How to Set Goals for Your Golf Game Using Stats

Dan Gold
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My Year in Review

So I want to talk about how I approach setting goals and where I’m at. Because I’ve been doing this for a few years now. I’ve been treating this like a game for a few years. And I think I’ll probably continue to do this.

This is my year in review of 2013. So there are a few things that I want to talk about that I didn’t think about at the beginning of last year. To give a little context for why I did what I did.

I want to talk about stats and how to use them in your game. Like if you feel like you’ve plateaued or you’re not improving, how to use stats to get yourself to the next level. So that’s going to be exciting.

Summary of my stats

Since I’ll be taking a stats based approach for the rest of this book, let’s first dig into my own stats.

I’ve been playing golf for twenty years now. I’ve got five handicap and an 8.2 index. I’ve been working hard to push that slight handicap for the last five years, and although I’m not there yet, I’m getting closer.

I’ll start with some high level stats first, then go into deeper stats from the last five years. I’ll finish with stats that ll reveal my strengths and weaknesses as a golfer.

A Deeper Look

Since you want to play to your strengths, take a look at what stats are best for you.

Here are the categories you can use to take your golf game to a new level:

To keep track, use this simple formula to determine the value of each category:

  • Ball Speed (Speed is good)
  • Putt
  • Approach/Scramble
  • ADE
  • HCP
  • Driving Accuracy (Accuracy is good)

Driving accuracy is a bit iffy because every course is different and drives are determined by distance and path. The long rough is difficult to maintain because it often leads to poor drives.

The two main advantages of accurate drives are:

  • You can hit it past the pin so that it is easier to putt
  • You can make better birdies out of raised greens

Tee Shot Analysis

Just as for any other sport, detailed stats can greatly aid your game improvement. Whether following your personal stats on your own or with a coach, or keeping a record of your scores, it can be really helpful to track various aspects of your game to have better control over it.

One of the most important stats you can keep track of is your tee shot distance. By doing a tee shot analysis, you can quickly identify what type of tees you should be playing from, as well as the distances for each tees that you have the same average all around.

A tees shot analysis go a lot deeper than just measuring the overall distance though, because it allows you to track which direction you tend to drift the most and by how much.

For example, if your average tee shot distance on the 250-260-yard tees is around 250 yards, then you would be playing from the wrong tees. And if your average tee shot distance on the 150-160-yard tees is around 150 yards, you would also be playing from the wrong tees. But if your average tee shot distance on the 180-200-yard tees is around 190 yards, then you would be playing from the correct tees.

By doing a tea shot analysis regularly and throughout the season, this would allow you to automatically change your tees and levels as you improve, which would in turn also constantly improve your scores.

How am I going to do it?

What does this mean for you?

You need to track your summary stats (statistics). This is useful in golf because it gives you a lot of information about your game.

It will give you an indication of how you are putting, how much of your drives are going towards the fairway (instead of in the rough or trees), and how much of your irons are getting close to the green.

By tracking this information you can tell which part of your game you need to improve on, and which parts of your game are good.

If you want to have a shot at the pros, you might want to learn something about statistics and track all kinds of performance stats and skills.