Stats…Everywhere we look! How many steps did we take today, how many calories did we consume, how many hours did we view on our devices last week…. and then there is sports.
Sports in general are now covered in stats, every pass completion, every 10 yard run made, how many wickets taken to left handers in breezy conditions before lunch. Golf is no different only it’s made its way right down to you. We now not only know all the game data from fairways hit to how far it’s gone if we choose to collect it. We also have in game data from how far to the back of the green, what’s the calculated yardage with slope taken into account, and then we can even access how much the putt will break based on the fact our speed will go 3 feet past the hole! The third factor is that as coaches we can now measure every single ball that you hit in front of us, the speed, the spin, the path of your swing and where the club is pointing at impact. For many this can be massively confusing.
So what’s the point of this email? It's to let you know that stats can help you progress hugely without you wasting your time.
Often my first question for any new player will be “how can I help you?” I’m then so dependent on you giving me accurate information that is purely objective so that I can help you put move in the right direction. We also have no baseline data to measure if we are actually getting better in the correct areas or if just “feels” better. Its kind of what happens when you buy a new Driver off the shelf and you convince yourself that it now goes further and straighter.
So, first piece of advice, start to keep some basic stats if you don’t already.
1. Record how many putts you had in your round
2. How many fairways did you hit
3. How many greens in regulation
4. How many errors did you have (errors are 3 putts inside of 20 feet, penalty shots, major mis-strikes or didn’t get out of bunker or didn’t recover from trees)
We will all hit bad shots, the key is not to compound the error.
There are so many great stats programmes online now that can go into great detail. What’s important is to get into the habit of recording every round to a level that you feel comfortable and make it appropriate to your level of play. The more detail that you can record and share with your coach, the quicker they can get to the heart of the issue and help you shoot lower scores.