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How To Enhance Your Golf With Informed Stats

Keeping stats on your golf game can be very useful. Professionals are acutely aware of their stats which can form the basis of pinpointing areas for improvement. The principle is...

Keeping stats on your golf game can be very useful.

Professionals are acutely aware of their stats which can form the basis of pinpointing areas for improvement.

The principle is the same in the amateur game, keeping stats over a period of time will give you valuable insight into your own strengths and weaknesses out on the course.

There are lots of ways stats can be tracked.

If you have a smartphone you can pick and choose from any number of apps to download or you may be a little more old-fashioned and record your stats on paper.

So what stats should we record and why can these be beneficial for our games?

To help you with this we’ll guide you through:

  • Stats you can keep when you play
  • Strokes gained statistics -what do they mean?
  • Why recording stats over time is beneficial
  • Stats can be useful when you want to change your clubs
  • Stats you can keep when you play

    Let’s run through some of the stats you can keep whilst out playing and a brief explanation as to what they are.

    These are simple to record and as mentioned, can be done via an app or paper and pen.

    Fairways Hit

    This stat relates to the number of times your ball stays on the fairway after you’ve hit your tee shot.

    What happens if your ball ends up 2 feet off the fairway in the first cut of rough?

    Technically it is a missed fairway and can’t be counted.

    The fairways hit stat applies to tee shots on par 4s and par 5s.

    So, for example, if you play a round of golf and there are 14 holes that require you to hit a fairway off the tee and you hit 7 of them then you would have a 50% record for that round.

    Out of curiosity, for this season the average fairways hit on the PGA Tour is 58.5%

    Greens in regulation (GIR)

    This stat is based on the number of shots required to find the putting surface on any hole from the tee.

    To hit a green in regulation, you would need to hit the following number of shots:

    Par 3 - 1 shot

    Par 4 - 2 shots

    Par 5 - 3 shots

    Using the PGA Tour again as a benchmark, the average for GIR is 65%.

    If you are playing a par 4 and your 2nd shot ends up on the fringe of the green, technically, you have missed the green in regulation.

    If you chip or putt from the fringe for your 3rd shot then hole the subsequent putt you could classify this in your up and down stats which we’ll come to shortly.

    Putts per round

    Another easy stat to keep - how many putts do you need per round?

    The benchmark is set with the expectation to 2-putt every green in a round which would be a total of 36 putts.

    On the PGA Tour, the average putts per round is 29.06 but for a golfer who is shooting just under 100 they are more likely to average 40 putts per round.

    You can only count putts for this stat where the ball is on the green.

    Putts from the fringe or any other area around the green don’t count towards this stat.

    Up and downs

    A successful up and down only needs two shots - a chip, putt or pitch followed by a converted putt on the green.

    When we miss a green in regulation we are looking to make an up and down to minimise the potential of running up a big score on a hole.

    Referring to the current stats on the PGA Tour the average is 58.42%

    Sand saves

    Similar concept to up and downs but this stat is based on being in a green side bunker from an approach shot.

    A successful sand save is playing the bunker shot and then being able to convert the subsequent putt.

    Surprisingly, on the PGA Tour, the average sand save is only just over 50%

    Strokes gained statistics

    Strokes gained measure how a player performs against a given peer group benchmark.

    You will see strokes gained stats used a lot when you watch coverage of any professional tournament on television.

    To explain strokes gained in layman’s terms, let’s use the fairways hit stat as an example.

    As we saw, the average for fairways hit on the PGA Tour is 58.5%

    If somebody is hitting 70% of fairways they are gaining shots on the field average and therefore their driving is a strength in their game.

    The opposite is true if a player is hitting less than the 58.5% average. This then indicates their driving is a weakness.

    Some of the available apps for your phone will be able to produce strokes gained stats.

    All you are required to do is keep a record of the stats we discussed above.

    These apps can benchmark you against the tour average or averages based on given handicap brackets.

    The benchmark stats are based on thousands of stats that have been recorded.

    Why recording stats over a consistent period of time is beneficial

    Given what we’ve discussed can stats be misleading in golf?

    Let’s take an example where you feel you aren’t very accurate off the tee so the next time you go out and play you’ll keep a record of the number of fairways you hit.

    If you have an amazing day with the driver and hit every fairway it doesn’t mean that all of a sudden you are the most accurate driver of a golf ball in the world.

    The same goes for scenarios we’ve alluded to already where the ball ends up on the fringe of the green.

    If you putt from the fringe you can’t class that in your putting stats but you could count it in your up and down stats as technically, you were off the green.

    Stats can be useful if you are in the market to change your clubs

    If you are in the market for new clubs having a data set can be useful information to share with the fitter.

    As an example, if you are struggling with accuracy off the tee and the stats back that up then the fitter can look at ways of improving that.

    Coupled with the data provided by TrackMan the fitter can start to build a club that can help improve shot dispersion.

    Coming away with a driver that you know is designed to improve your accuracy out on the course can give you a lot of confidence to hit the driver more often as it will now not be costing you lots of shots.

    In conclusion, keeping stats can give you valuable insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your game.

    Recording stats over a period of time will give you the most accurate reflection and will smooth out the exceptional days with the days when your game really isn’t on song.

    Knowing your stats can be useful when it comes to changing your clubs and you can discuss with a fitter what statistically your strengths and weaknesses are.

    At Nine by Nine Golf we believe that custom fitting is a key component in helping you get the most out of your game.

    Having clubs fitted for your game will lead to an improvement in your stats.

    Get in contact with us and arrange a fitting session at our studio where we can discuss what you’re looking to improve and how we can help.

    Alternatively, we have fantastic custom options available on our website for you to explore.

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