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Improve Your Golf Game By Keeping Stats

Updated on May 26, 2014
Middlefield GC, Oregon
Middlefield GC, Oregon | Source

Getting the Edge

Not all golfers have raw talent, and so we must practice harder and learn to play smart on the course. Golf in general is more of a mental game than a physical one. It may not seem this way when we are slicing the ball into the woods, but it's probably not a technique problem as much as a mental problem.

To get the edge in the mental arena I have devised a statistical system that helps me see in numbers the exact state of my golf game. Numbers don't lie, and being able to compare them and study them shows me what part of my game I need to work on the most. By having a clear idea of what part of my game I'm losing the most shots from, I can then go into the next round with a renewed strategy to alleviate the problems.

I would guess most golfers don't keep detailed stats of their rounds, so if you start to do this and make it a habit, you will gain the edge over the other golfers you've been looking for.

Implementing the Stat System

I have placed a video above to help explain this system, there is also a similar article about this subject in an article I'll share at the bottom of this article. In this article though I want to expound a different perspective to add to this video and article already written.

I have been keeping a detailed statistical system for the last five years or so. Before this I kept some stats, but nothing like the ones I do now. It has become an enjoyable tasks to complete after each round, because I can see how the numbers ended up. Sometimes this means I had an exceptional round in some ways on the card, and other times not so much. Either way I can then compare the round to those of the year and see where I'm at.

Sharing this system to my wife who doesn't golf hasn't gone over to well, so I thought I would share it with someone who takes golfing seriously like I do. It's always been a dream of mine to become a professional golfer, and although I'm far away from such an accomplishment, I still take golf as serious as if I were. This helps me enjoy it even more, because I keep a pure score and have dreams to keep me company out on the course.

Middlefield GC, Oregon
Middlefield GC, Oregon | Source

Stat System Itself

The system itself keeps track of all the main areas of the game. Things such as GIR (greens in regulation), putts, fairways hit, sand and par saves, penalty strokes, and of course your score. The extra stats that I have included in addition to these over the years are a little more interesting and can help gauge your game in more in depth ways than you have probably thought about. Having a general vague sense of where your golf game is may not be as accurate as you need to zone in and focus on what you need to fix.

So, I have included a system where I can see how often I have a chance for par with at least one putt on the green. This is the part where I have a check mark, C, and B+. The check mark is the percentage I was in position to make par with at least one putt on the green, the C is the conversion rate I made for par or better, the B+ is how often I one putted when my first putt was for bogey or worse.

By using these statistical percentages, I can see very clearly how much of a chance I'm giving myself to make par, how well I'm converting, and how well I'm cleaning up and avoiding a bad hole.

I also keep track of the putts I have from the fringe, the 3 and 4 putts I have, the percentage of times off the tee I have a shot at the green or fairway and am in play even if not on the fairway, and the amount of times I one-putted. All of these stats help me see exactly what I'm doing out there on the course.

I also have an in the zone section which you can go to the article below and get more details on in addition to the video. This is the system though in part that I've been using and I think it has helped me with course management and awareness to in turn play better golf.

What To Mark On Your Scorecard During A Round

circle hole
Fairways Hit
number above score
Sand and Par Saves
ss and ps
Penalty Strokes
Below Hole(OB, WH, Etc)
Fringe Putts
slash above score
In Play Off Drive
slash by drive distance
Drive Distance
under the hole yardage
Middlefield GC, Oregon
Middlefield GC, Oregon | Source

Do You Keep Stats on Your Rounds?

See results

Overview of Statistical System

We all love golf whatever level we play it at. Some golfers aren't very interested in even keeping score very well. Some golfers like to use mulligans and kick the ball into the fairway from the brush. Whatever, it's your choice on how you want to play the game. As for me, I find it the most enjoyable when I know I have a pure score and am playing by the rules. If I play like it's a tournament then when I play in competition I'll be ready.

Personally, I don't even like to go to the range much. I'd rather just go play 18 holes and take the ball as it comes of the stick. I like to work with the shots I have and produce, never giving up on a hole until it's over. Sometimes I really botch a hole, and am putting my first putt for double-bogey, but if I can make it then I just saved myself a triple or worse, and this is what makes a bad round OK, and a good round great.

Usually I play golf by myself so I can focus on the course and my game. This statistical system I have keeps me company as I mark down all the particulars I will record in my logs after the round. What the stats do for me is keep me mentally tough, so when I have a bad shot I don't get frustrated so much. Instead I stay positive and try to salvage every hole I can. If I shoot three bad shots in a row then I start to get frustrated, but still I have to shake my head and carry on knowing these things happen.

If you are trying to break 90, 80, or shoot that prize par round, then you need all the help you can get. That's why I'm sharing this statistical system with you, and I hope that it inspires you to create your own and start playing better golf. Happy golfing to you and may we all shoot a par round one day!

Ben Hogan Wasn't A Raw Talent, He Was Mentally Tough


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