Strengths and Weaknesses
If you want to begin improving your scores, you need to find out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Use the following article to start tracking data for your future rounds.
You can then build an action plan for your practice sessions. You’ll find this a much more responsive technique than just whacking endless amounts of golf balls off at a driving range, which will result in minimal progression.
It’s up to you how many rounds of golf you track for. I would recommend around 10 rounds of golf. This should start to give you enough data for a good spread of averages. Using only one round wouldn’t give enough data, especially if you’ve had an off day, or extremely good day.
It’s entirely up to you with how many of these stats you track; I recommend all of them as they won’t take long. Just take a spare scorecard and use the columns where you would normally write in Player A, Player B, Points, Gross, Net etc. So long as you know which is which you can write it wherever you like.
Missing a fairway can make it very difficult to recover from and hit low scores. You will find it harder to hit the green in regulation, thus a chain reaction creating high scores. Typically, a professional averages around 70% of fairways hit.
On your scorecard, write a column saying, ‘Fairway Hit’ or ‘F’, and mark down whether or not you hit the fairway with your tee shot.
Don’t cheat either; if you hit the light rough or even the wrong fairway… this is for your own good.
On a Par 3, you don’t need to track this statistic.
If you find this number of fairways hit is a weakness, you need to improve on your accuracy off the tee. Look for better landing spots in the fairway for example if most of your shots hit the fairway, but then roll into the rough.
You could also track which side of the fairway you missed by using an arrow pointing left or right. This could help determine whether or not you’re consistently missing one side.
Each hole in golf has a ‘Green in Regulation’ or a GIR.
Par 3 – 1
Par 4 – 2
Par 5 – 3
This is the amount of shots that you are supposed to take to get on the green and begin putting. Of course it makes no difference whether you hit the green in regulation or not; it’s about simply getting that ball in its home.
There are no pictures drawn on your scorecard, but in most cases, more greens hit equals more birdies and pars.
If you are missing the greens, you are likely dropping strokes around the course, unless you are chipping in or very close all of the time with your short game.
On your scorecard, write a column saying, ‘GIR’, and mark down whether or not you hit the green in regulation.
You will need to improve your iron play to improve your GIR. Again, you could delve deeper by working out the average of your GIR for each par.
How many putts are you taking per hole and round? If I could choose between driving the ball 350 yards every time down the middle or one putting every hole, I would choose the later every time.
You’ve heard the quote, ‘Drive for Show, Putt for Dough’? One putting is a sure fire way to decreasing your score around the golf course. You should be making 36 putts per round on a 18 hole course, this is regardless of the total par for the course.
On your scorecard, write a column saying, ‘Putts’ or ‘P’, and mark down your total putts for the hole. If you’re on the fringe, then you’re not on the green so it doesn’t count as a putt.
3-putting is a real killer and will make your scorecard increase. If you are getting lots of 3-putts then you need to determine whether it’s your first putt that is poor or second one. Are you leaving it too short every time on your first putt? Maybe you are leaving yourself too long of a putt to come back at when missing the first.
You might find that this number is indeed lower when you have a low GIR percentage.
When we say scrambling in golf, we don’t mean that we stop after 9 holes and head to the clubhouse for some scrambled egg. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?
Scrambling is the term used when you miss the green in regulation but still make par or better. One example can be, landing in a green side bunker on a par 3 and then ‘scrambling’ to make a par.
Combined with 1 putts; you become a deadly player. Watch any single figured handicapper and they will teach you a lesson or two about how vital scrambling can be. If you are never scrambling then you are again giving away strokes.
Instead of the using the driver at the range all of the time, go to a practice green, throw 100 balls down, pick a club and play each ball as it lies with that club. This will force you to become creative about your shot type. Such as opening or closing the club face.
How do you get over that bunker for example with a 9 iron? Some shots of course will be impossible, and you’d never pick that shot type or club in a real round but it’s all about experience and adapting.
I have golfed with too many players who would always putt way off the green rather than the bump and run with a wedge or 7-iron.
You will become a much more creative player with a huge amount of confidence.
On your scorecard, write a column saying, ‘Scrambled or ‘S’, and mark down whether or not scramble for par or better when missing a green in regulation.
This one is pretty simple to finish with. How many shots are you throwing away to the course via hazards such as water or O.B (Out of Bounds).
Write down whether or not you took a drop shot on the particular hole. Keeping the ball in play is far more important than attempting to launch the ball an extra 50 yards.
Once you have tracked your stats for a while and you’re confident in where your strengths and weaknesses lie, you can begin work out an improvement plan for your game.