The Most Important Statistic for Lowering Scores

Dan Gold
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Why Are Greens in Regulation so Important?

When you look at your scorecard after the round, your first look will probably go to the three components of your score that you have the most control over: Putting, chipping, and hitting.

Putting, chipping, and hitting are directly in your control based on how well you play them. And you can improve in all three, regardless of what handicap you are.

Greens in regulation (GIR) is a stat that measures the percentage of times that your ball actually made it to the hole on a par 4 or par 5. So if you hit 14 greens in regulation, you would have a greens in regulation percentage of .86 (14 / 17).

A GIR percentage under 95% suggests that you should be able to lower your score by playing smarter. Some players are bad putters who can’t hit their way out of a wet paper bag. But the majority of players who succeed under par after par have GIR percentages above 95%.

If you have a GIR percentage below 95%, you have something to work with. Although the average putting distance might be 20 feet, the reality is that when a putting distance is 5 feet, most of us will putt the ball from 6 feet to get the ball to the hole. A greens in regulation percentage below 95% indicates you’re leaving some gettable putts or extra shots on the course.

Tee Shots – Setting Yourself up for a GIR

The tees are a privilege, not a right. They can give you a chance to hit it higher, which could mean hitting a hole in one, or they can give you a chance to land in the rough. Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine how you want to play it. You need to decide what you are looking for, then choose the perfect tee. Are you trying to get onto the green, or are you trying to get a little more distance? After all, when you play smarter, you can get more distance from your tee shots … and that’s why you should choose wisely.

In beer pong, you want to make the right decisions to ensure that you rack up the most cups. And if you’re looking to lower that big number in your scorecard, then choose a higher tee.

This gives you a longer shot into the cups, which gives you a greater chance of putting one in. However, this is a riskier move because you are playing higher up on the table and you cannot play so aggressively. The higher you are off the ground, the harder it will be to line up a shot. And that extra line-up makes you more likely to miss the cups.

Approach Shot Strategy

Two elements separate a good player from an average player.

One is the ability to get the ball where it needs to go and second is the ability to do it consistently.

One of the shots you will face in golf is approach shots. So the most important statistic when it comes to lowering your score is the number of approach shots.

A good place to rank a player is by the number of approach shots to the green. This comparison does not tell you how many putts a player had to hit or how many shots it took a player to get to the green, but it does tell you how many shots it took to get to the green from the tee.

That’s a much more useful statistic if you’re trying to improve your play.

You want to lower your number of approach shots because there is no advantage to having a long approach shot except for having to hit fewer shots to get from the fairway to the green.

Another reason is because a longer shot means more room for error. So make sure to practice with a variety of clubs in your bag so you can hit short approach shots as well.

Also, the shorter your approach shot is the less chance you have to make a poor swing. It’s easier to hit a short shot than a long shot.

Ball Striking and Fixing Your Swing

Ballstriking is the only thing that every single golfer across the world has full control over.

It’s the swing that is causing the ball to travel the way it does.

If the ball goes left, you need to make a correction to improve your ballstriking.

Ballstriking is the most important golf statistic because it is the only part of the game that you can work on and improve consistently. Touching up on your skill will allow you to hit the ball straighter without fail. It’s common to lose a few balls when you try to improve your ballstriking but it’s all in the name of better and more accurate shots.

Training for your ballstriking isn’t different than any other part of your game. Work on your technique and then slowly implement it into your game. Don’t expect to see immediate results after the first session. There will be plenty of bad shots along the way admittedly. But with consistent and dedicated practice you can improve your ballstriking for sure.

In the end, increasing your skill level in ballstriking will allow you to hit it consistently into the green so you can go on the make the putt with confidence.

What is Your Green in Regulation Plan?

For 9-hole courses, there is a green in regulation statistic that ranks how often you keep your birdie chances on track. On a par 72 course, keeping your birdie chances on path will give you the best chance to shoot under par.

The statistic shows your percentage of putts within 10 feet of the hole.

The putt statistic is available on the hole flyover graphics in the app. Find the distances within 10 feet of the hole on each green then calculate.

For more information on the green in regulation statistic, check out my article on the best stats for golfers of all levels.

The concept of breaking down your score into manageable chunks is a strategy that can have a significant impact on your game.

When a golfer goes out on the course and tries to play his best overall game, he is set up for failure. If his focus is on playing his best overall golf game, you can almost guarantee that he will not.

Instead, a golfer should focus on a single area of the game each time he steps onto the course.

An approach like this can help you to play better golf over time. If you are trying to break bad habits or add a new skill, the focus on it every time you step on the course will help you do it better over time.