The game is a puzzle and all the pieces fit together. Each round is a mix of good shots, average shots and bad shots or errors. The challenge is to find the piece of your game’s unique puzzle that is your greatest weakness so you can target your improvement time and money on the highest impact area.
If you track the simple good and bad outcomes listed below for a few rounds, your strengths and weaknesses will become apparent.
Goals: Hit 7 fairways, and limit your driving errors to 2 – preferably of the No Shot variety (see Errors below).
Distance: I will ignore this and assume that you are playing from the appropriate tees for your game.
Fairways: Hitting fairways is important as we are all more accurate from the short grass.
Errors: Far more important than Fairways hit is your FREQUENCY and SEVERITY of misses. ShotByShot.com users record THREE types of Driving Errors:
- No Shot: You have missed in a place from which you do not have a normal next shot, requiring some sort of advancement to get the ball back to normal play.
- Penalty: A 1-stroke penalty due to hazard or unplayable lie.
- Lost/OB: Stroke and distance penalty.
Goals: 5 GIRs and 1 Penalty/2nd (see below)
Penalty/2nd: This means either a penalty or a shot hit so poorly that you are left with yet another full approach shot greater than 50 yards from the hole.
(Shots from within 50 yards of the hole)
Chip/Pitch: If you miss 13 greens, you will have at least 10 greenside save opportunities. Your goals should be:
- % Saved: 20% (two saves)
- % Errors: 15% shots that miss the green (approximately three every two rounds)
You should have 2 greenside save opportunities. Your goals:
- % Saved: 10%
- % Errors: 30% of your shots miss the green (approximately 1 in every 3 attempts)
You need 36 putts. Aim for:
- 1-Putts: 3
- 3-Putts: 2
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.