How do you know which area of your game needs improving?

This will be the first part of a series of blogs on how to analyse your own performance. The series will look at all aspects of the game including mental rehearsal, pre shot routines and even fitness levels.

So, which area of the game are you weakest?

This blog will look at the most simple of self-analysis methods; Fairways, Greens & Putts.

An easy way to see how your performance shape’s up is to look at the three main types of shots in golf; off the tee, onto the green and on the green.

Fairways Hit

The importance of hitting the fairway off the tee is huge and sets the tone for the hole. A good drive will not only leave a specific distance to the green it will also allow a better and cleaning contact between club and ball.

In 2012 on the PGA tour, Phil Mickelson had one of the lowest averages of fairways hit, only 54%, (no wonder he is a genius with a wedge). It is commonly know if Phil hits the fairways then he will always be there or their about. Alternatively Graeme McDowell is one of the highest with an average of over 70% of fairways hit. McDowell was also one of the players with the highest number of birdie chances.

Greens in Regulation

If your looking to score low or even just to make par you need to give yourself the best possible chance of making birdies. By hitting the green in regulation it will allow the vast majority of golfers two good chances at putting the ball in the hole.

Justin Rose was the clear leader on the PGA tour in 2012 for greens hit in regulation, with over 70%. Rose’s rise up the PGA tour standing in 2012 was no coincidence. On the other hand a surprising stat was that Ian Poulter was one of the lowest performing players at hitting greens in regulation with only 61%. When looking back at highlight’s of Poulter’s game in 2012 the vast majority of shots were either around the green or on the green, which leads to the question how good would he be if he could up his average level with Rose?

Putts per Round

The final part of any hole can and is the most frustrating. How can 1 shot of over 300 yards count the same as 1 shot of 2 inches? However, this can be the make or break of any round and success on the green consistently leads to a positive preceding tee shot, although this can be the reverse with negative green experience leading to negative tee shots.

In 2012, Brandt Snedeker had an average of 27.9 putts per round and was lowest on the PGA tour. Snedeker’s tour ranking rose 18 places from 2011 to 2012 and this was purely down to his improvement on the green. On the reverse of that Luke Donald dropped down the ranking and the only stat that dropped from 2011 to 2012 was his putting average, therefore reaffirming the importance of putting. However the most well know victim of putting is Lee Westwood, with a lowly 30.5 putts per round average, he will continue to struggle to win a major until he address his ability on the green.

So the next time you play add 3 extra columns on your score card and record these stats and see just how good your stats really are compared to the pros. Once you have analysed these stats you can then use the stats to determine your training programme.

In summary you will need to work backwards when analysing performance as if your in trouble off the tee the chance of you hitting the green in regulation is significantly reduced and if your not hitting the green in regulation then the pressure to make 1 putts can lead to increased tension and a higher probability of 3 putting.

About Stooey

The newest recruit to the 3-men-in-a-bunker, I'm the Head of Quality & Curriculum for a range of football academies in the South of England. I'm a qualified PE teacher who loves a wide variety of sports, even the rubbish ones you find on Eurosport at 2 in the morning. I used to run a Golf Academy where I had students representing England, Sussex and Hampshire on a regular basis. Also used to be the South & South-East College Golf Co-ordinator.
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