What statistics matter to you when you play a round of golf? Do how many greens in regulation you hit per round really matter? What do you do with those statistics after your round?
I’ve been teaching and coaching the game of golf for over 8 years and to this day when The Golf Channel tells me that Brandt Snedeker hit 18 out of 18 greens in regulation I still don’t have any idea as to how that relates to his score. I think it’s safe to say that Brandt is a great ball striker, and for a while, he was one of the best putters on tour as well.
I think any amateur with a handicap of 10 or below can hit 18 greens in regulation, but they still end up a 10 handicap, so where is the disconnect? Here a few things that actually matter, and if you have never thought of this stuff before, you may to start implementing it immediately.
First, figure out your driving distance, and no I don’t mean that one time you hit it 280 downhill down wind at Bolingbrook Golf Club. Find out your driving distance from the EDGE OF THE FAIRWAY. This will tell you how many yards off line, not from a straight drive, but from a crooked one.
Next, log what clubs you use for your approach shots to the greens. If you fail hitting your 5-hybrid, and have to hit a 7-iron next, log the 7-iron.
Finally, keep track of how far away you are from the hole after your approach shot, preferably in feet, not yards. Once you get a few rounds of doing this under your belt, it will seem easy, and maybe even fun.
Here’s just a few recommendations…
You should be hitting most of your drives “in play” so the drives you miss off the edge of the fairway aren’t 40 yards right or left, they are 4-10 yards offline. In my opinion, that would be acceptable for most golf courses in the Chicago area (unless you are having an outing at White Pines East Course).
On that course, you often should have a 7-iron or less as your approach club. If you don’t, you are playing the wrong set of tees and need to move up a tee box (or two). When you play golf and have fun, the people around you have more fun as well. So put the ego aside and play the white tees until you break 80.
The average proximity to the hole from 125-150 yards on the PGA Tour during the 2014 season was 23’. 2014 Masters Champion Bubba Watson finished 2014 at 22’9”, so if you are half as good as Bubba, and you put your 7 to 9-iron within 50’ on average, you will start to see some lower scores.
You should be hitting your driver a distance to where you can hit your 7-iron or lower. Playing the correct set of tees really can influence your score for the better. When you practice, don’t practice with that 5-iron, practice your wedges in order put the ball closer to the hole on your approach shots. You will ultimately take pressure off your short game and won’t have to worry about those pesky little four footers to save bogey.