I am a big believer in keeping track of my golf stats. Next to honing a good and repeatable swing, I really think all golfers need to pay more attention to a number of key statistics in order to improve their games.
Before I started using Striker, I used to set up my score card like this at the start of my round.
Occasionally I would add Up&Down and scrambling as well. On the 19th hole I’d add up my stats and analyze the state of my game that day. The final score was the least relevant number for me because there were so many variables that impacted it. I wanted to know the root cause of my score, not just the final outcome.
When I saw my playing partners’ score cards, I was always amazed that they only tracked their total score and maybe their putting. I kept asking them, “How can you improve if you don’t measure?” Their answer, “I’m not good enough yet.” or “It’s too much work.”
When I got home, I would enter my score into my handicap tracking system. It didn’t have a very user-friendly interface and entering all my stats was a pain. So instead, I kept my score cards in a file and every week or so I would compare my latest rounds with past adventures on course to see where I needed to spend more time practicing.
At first it was putting; there were far too many 3-putts. Practicing putting can be pretty boring, so I always invite my husband to a “putt for dough” competition (mamma always wants a new pair of golf shoes ;)). It put more pressure on each putt and made it more like playing golf than tap tap taping balls around the green. When I started winning, I felt it was time to focus on my next bad stat – chipping or pitching (both were bad).
I didn’t realize how poorly I estimated how far I hit my wedges until I started comparing my chipping/pitching stats with my putting. It dawned on me that the reason I was 3-putting so much wasn’t because I was a really bad putter; it was because I wasn’t hitting my wedges close enough to the pin.
So off I went to the short game area to practice my sand, gap and pitching wedges from 10, 50, 75 and 100 yards. As my short game got better, so did my putting stats and so did my score.
Anyway, you get the drift of my golf game. But enough about me; what about you?
- Do you know how often you hit the green in regulation?
- Do you know often you get it up and down?
- Do you know many putts you typically take during a round?
- Do you know how often you hit a drive onto the fairway versus one that is just off the fairway or even worse, one that went out of bounds or into a hazard?
- Do you actually keep a handicap? It’s shocking to me how many golfers don’t.
If you don’t track your stats then you’ll never really know where your best opportunities for improvement lie. Don’t assume you know that state of your game just by playing. I guarantee you don’t.
Ben Hogan always said that “The secret is in the dirt.” and no one practiced harder than he did. But he also knew that practice without purpose is a big waste of time. I don’t know how he kept his stats, but I’m sure he could rhyme off every one of them at any time.
Practice makes permanent, not perfect. And you can’t fix what you don’t measure.
So here’s my challenge to you…
Between each round, practice the part of your game that had the poorest stat in your last round.
After round 5, take a look at your results and let me know what happened.
Something tells me you’ll be amazed what Stat Tracking can do for your game.
The Striker Tipster