If you’re looking for directions to travel somewhere that you’ve never been, it helps to know where you’re starting from to make the journey a little smoother. Improving your golf game is no different. It helps to know where you are so you can get to where you want to go quicker & easier.
Keeping track of your statistics will give you a road map of your game and ultimately where you need to improve.
So many golfers who want to improve their game end up at the driving range beating balls without clear direction of what they are trying to improve upon. Beating balls at the range to improve your game is too general. Don’t be that golfer. Get specific.
Luckily your statistics are there to help you get specific about what you need to work on. Find your strengths and exploit them. Then find your weaknesses. Find out how to improve those weaknesses. Go to the range/course and work on those specific weaknesses. One at a time.
Check out the subscriber toolkit for “Better Practice Habits.”
WHICH IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STATISTIC?
There’s a lot of debate over which is the most important statistic to keep track of. I believe that it’s different for every level of golfer. I’m not trying to cop-out of the debate, just the opposite, I don’t think there is a debate. There’s just no way to give one set of principles to all golfers out there. What works for a 20 handicap, won’t necessarily work for a single digit handicap and vice versa.
I’m not going to group you all together. You’re individuals and you need the right information.
You can glean this information from yourself. From your game. It’s simple. And I’m going to present it in the simplest, most broken down way possible.
21+ handicap range:
Simply keep track of your Putting at this point. All the information out there relating to golf improvement suggests the quickest way to lower your scores is a better short game, this can’t be more true when it comes to 21+ handicaps. You’re most likely putting 36-40+ times per round. Bring that down to 32-33 and you’ve just cut 3-8+ strokes off your game right there.
Subscribe to Quite The Chap and you’ll get a free Putting Stat Tracker template. It’s going to give you instant feedback on what you’re making and what you’re missing.
If you miss a putt mark down “0”. When you make a putt mark down “X” to the corresponding distances.
Now take this information and find out what’re doing right and what you’re not.
Here are a couple links to two of my putting drills to help you out.
16-20 handicap range:
Keep track of two major stats, Scrambling, and Putting. Why nothing else? Well because the average 16-20 handicap misses a lot of greens and needs to get up and down, a lot. You’re probably asking yourself, “Well, why wouldn’t I work on hitting more greens in regulation then?“.
Well, I’ll tell you. Because I’m trying to make you a whole player.
Let’s make calculated moves here.
I want you to have great success close to the hole before we start moving further and further away from it. I want this success to be burnt into your mind because it will turn into confidence. And there is nothing more dangerous in an opponent than confidence.
When you are calculating your scrambling, write down how many feet you have remaining after your chip or pitch and what club you used. By tracking this you will find out what clubs are your strengths around the green and then you can capitalize on this new found strength.
And make sure you are still recording your putts. These two statistics go hand-in-hand. How close did you chip or pitch it and did you sink the putt? What weaknesses or strengths are being revealed on your card?
11-15 Handicap Range:
We’re going to add Greens In Regulation. At this point in your game, this is a very important statistic and the easiest way to track it, according to Lucius Riccio PH.D. in his Golf Digest article, is to track your GIR on Par 3’s.
You have a perfect lie and a clear shot to the green. I would add TWO “sub stat categories” to this statistic and they are proximity to the hole and what club you used.
If you find that your Greens In Regulation statistic is a little embarrassing, and at times it will be, it’s usually because we get a little too aggressive firing at tucked pins. Scott Messner has a great article on how to play it safe without taking the fun out of your round.
Are you still with me on this step-by-step approach?
6-10 Handicap Range:
Start tracking your Fairways hit… finally. Yes the “Big Dog” is in the house. Not so fast. Track your fairways hit and what club you used.
Use this information in conjunction with the information from the last handicap section- “iron used and proximity remaining to the hole”.
If you tend to hit a lot of greens with your 7 iron then maybe you should layup off the tee to your 7 iron yardage until you’ve fine tuned your wedge game.
Maybe you hit 90% of fairways with your five wood- then I would suggest you hit more five woods off the tee until you can get a handle on your three wood or driver.
This is how you exploit your strengths.
Remember we’re trying to build success upon past successes. We’re trying to stack as many “wins” on top of each other as we can.
If the point of tracking your drives is to hit more fairways then swing the club that will hit the most fairways. Capture that confidence AND THEN start using the next longer club off the tee until you are hitting fairways consistently, and then the next longer club and so on and so forth.
Ed Oldham, a Golf Channel Swingfix Instructor goes into a little more detail, yet keeps it simple, on how to hit more fairways and lower your scores.
0-5 Handicap Range:
Now the last and most specific handicap range. Track all of the above including which side of the fairway you’re missing on. At this point in your game you are fine tuning and you can use all this information to give yourself a huge advantage.
Improving your golf game is about knowing not only what you’re doing wrong but also what you’re doing right. Track the stats in a simple manner. Don’t overwhelm yourself by inundating your brain with a bunch of information that might not be useful to you… yet. Baby steps are the best way to approach becoming a whole golfer.
There is no point in going to these lengths, of keeping track your stats in this detailed fashion, unless you are going to use them for the betterment of your game.
To use your stats to your advantage to help you improve, you have to ask yourself “why” and then figure out the “how”.
DO NOT try and figure out the “how” before the “why”. And don’t wrack your brain over the “why” before you have all the information.
Summary of Statistics:
21+ : Putting (distances hit & missed)
16-20: Putting (distances hit & missed) & Scrambling (club used & distance remaining)
11-15: Putting (distances hit & missed), Scrambling (club used & distance remaining), Greens In Regulation (club used & proximity to hole)
6-10: Putting (distances hit & missed), Scrambling (club used & distance remaining), Greens In Regulation (club used & proximity to hole), Fairways Hit (club used)
0-5: Putting (distances hit & missed), Scrambling (club used & distance remaining), Greens In Regulation (club used & proximity to hole), Fairways Hit (club used, direction of misses)
Too Complicated- Try these:
If this seems extremely complicated and you’d like something/someone else to do all the work for you, you could sign up for the new smart phone program from Foursum Golf.
FOURSUM GOLF has developed the Stat Tracker Galore & More.
Right now they are in the beta testing stage but are ready to blow the golfing industry away with what they’re about to release. Not only is it a GSP Rangefinder, live scoring, and statistics tracker but it’s also a social platform that keeps you connected to friends and their progress.
Something like this is going to keep the core golfer engaged a lot more than if they were just out on the course whacking it around because they get to work towards achievements and compare themselves to friends and members.
SHOT BY SHOT has a membership package ($59/year at the time of publishing this) that will track and analyze the shit out of your golf game. They will track shots into the green from good, bad, and ugly lies, putts, chips, sandies, etc etc etc.
Quite The Chap does not benefit monetarily when you click on these links and purchase the products.
If you have a specific statistic that you keep track of, I’d love to hear what it is. Let me know in the comments section below.