Golf, like most sports has numerous statistical categories for players and coahes to track performance . Statistics can help athletes assess their strengths and weaknesses and follow key metrics in their development. Before I get going, I do want to stress how easy it is to get wrapped up in the numbers, which can cause confusion and even distract one from hitting their goals.
I do believe keeping several key stats will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your game. By doing this you can work on improving these weaknesses and play to your strengths. The value of these statistics is meaningless without being able to interpret them. Used correctly, however, they can lower the most important statistic, your scoring average.
Here are a few common and key metrics and how to decipher them:
- GIR (greens in regulation) – This is a great indicator for general ball striking. Hitting a green in regulation means you are giving yourself a putt at birdie. More birdie chances will lead to more birdies.
- Fairways Hit- this is the number of fairways hit off the tee. Getting the ball in play is often the key to the GIR stat above.
- Putts- Usually this is the total number of putts in a round. This stat is the most commonly misconstrued. Many people look at this number and think they are putting poorly if it is high. Most often this is due to hitting more greens in regulation or not hitting it close enough to the hole. The best putter in the world is only going to make so many 30+ footers. Better metrics to use in combination are putts per green and a proximity to hole.
- Scrambling- “Up and downs” are great to measure. They tell you how often you make par when you miss the green. This can be skewed if your course management is poor and you leave yourself in difficult areas to chip or pitch. Overall this one statistic could improve your score by vast amounts.
Remember, we cannot improve what we do not measure. This holds true in life and golf. Whether its sports, sales, or academics, there are always indicators that will lead to success. All we have to do is find the right ones to measure and improve daily.
**Author’s note: For keeping golf stats I use the online golf community oobgolf.com. The guys at oob have developed a great free service for tracking the development of your game as well as a great community. Kind of a facebook for golfers.***