Skill in this critical facet of the game is measured by distance and accuracy. But let’s take distance out of the equation by assuming we’re all playing the correct tees for our games and focus on accuracy.
As the chart in my first post indicated, we are looking for 2.5 strokes on 14 driving holes (on a typical golf course). The chart below shows results in the average round for Mr. 18 and Mr. 9. Note that Mr. 18 makes two Driving Errors* per round while Mr. 9 just over one.
Weed out these costly errors and you can be more than half way home, especially if they are Penalty Errors** that tend to carry a cost of between 1.3 strokes (penalty with drop) and two-plus strokes (stroke and distance). This may be easier said than done, but sometimes the fix is as simple as target and club selection from the tee.
Sure, it works to aim away from trouble but try also choosing a club that cannot reach the trouble. Most holes that feature trouble off the tee will also be stroke holes, even for Mr. 9. Avoid the error and take double-bogey out of play. This is also a valuable strategy for match play situations.
Next, strive to hit at least one more fairway. the approach accuracy charts in my next post will illustrate how many more greens are hit from the fairway vs. the rough.
*No Shot Driving Errors = Balls hit out of play that require an advancement shot to return to normal play.
**Penalty Errors = a. Stroke with a drop, or b. Stroke and distance
Peter Sanders is the President and a founding partner of ShotByShot.com, a unique strokes gained analysis program that helps golfers determine the precise strengths and weaknesses of each facet of their golf game, the system SwingU uses for its Versus product.
Peter has worked with PGA Tour players and major champions such as Zach Johnson, Lucas Glover, Smylie Kaufman, Zack Sucher, Sepp Straka, Dylan Frittelli and Michael Thompson to analyze and interpret their data for game improvement.