Quantifying the beautiful game of golf has become a hot button issue in the golfing world. No matter your opinion on teaching technology such as Trackman or SAM PuttLab, there is one set of numbers that have the support of the golf industry, stats. Stats allow us to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of our golf games. Tracking stats of your rounds of golf should be considered by players and coaches alike as a way to improve practice and lower scores.
Amateur golfers who keep their own stats always impress me as dedicated learners. Unfortunately, there are not many players who voluntarily track their stats. Thankfully, due to modern GPS devices, you can now track your stats easier than ever before. Arccos 360, Game Golf and Golfshot are examples of stat tracking systems you can use that won?t break the bank. There are two primary benefits for golfers keeping track of their stats. First, you will gain a better understanding of your own golf games and second, you will be able to identify the weak aspects of your game. This will allow you to focus your practice on the weaker parts of your golf game. Keeping a few basic stats, such as Score, Greens In Regulation (GIR), Fairways and Putts, will allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses. You may find out that you hit more fairways than you think and you average more three putts than previously believed. If this was the case, then you may want to spend more of your practice time working on your lag putts and less time hitting your driver. When you have identified your strengths and weaknesses, you can spend your precious practice time on the areas or your game that need it most.
As coaches, we rarely get to spend enough time on the course with our students to see how they perform. Having your student keep track of their stats will help you develop an understanding of their golf game deeper than swing mechanics. Even with only a few stats, you will be able to develop better improvement plans that will be based on facts, not opinions. An example of this is that a new student comes to you wanting to improve their ball striking to hit more GIR. The impulse would be to help them improve their short and mid iron play, but their stats might tell you a different story. This golfer hits 70% of their GIR from the fairway but only 20% GIR from the rough. As a coach, you may first want to look at their long game and see how improved play off the tee could improve their GIR % without excessive swing work. By creating an improvement plan based on stats and not opinions, you will organize your programs and help your students improve faster.
No matter how you look at it, every golfer and coach will benefit from the collection of stats. Breaking down your golf game and learning what makes it work, will benefit you during your practice sessions and on the course. I challenge you to keep some basic stats during your next two or three rounds and use what you learn to adjust your practice plan. Commit to this plan and use it for your next few practice sessions. Don?t worry, your scorecard will thank you.