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What are the most relevant statistics to track for a 20 handicapper?


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Hello all.

 

Ive recently invested in Shot Scope V3, and I reckon its awesome for stats nerds like myself.

 

Just looking for advice and opinions on what are the most relevant stats to track for someone like myself who isn't necessarily tying to make gross par every hole. For example, at my home course, which is tight and lined with trees and bush there are quite a few holes that I aim for bogey by clubbing down off the tee and laying up off the fairway. I simply don't have the skill set to approach these holes with longer clubs like driver and approach the holes with long irons. A high risk strategy like this can really blow out my scores

 

I was even considering of keeping track of greens in net regulation - if that makes sense? For example, making the green on the long par 4 stroke index 3 hole in three shots would count as a Green in Net Regulation.

 

Obviously putting stats are relevant. What are some putting goals do you think a 20 handicapper should aspire to? Is putts per round a relevant stat to track? Is % of 3 putts?

 

Thanks

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At that level, I'd probably be tracking wasted shots.  I'll explain what I mean.   There are 4 general phases on each hole, except par threes.   Tee Approach (Tee on par three

off 20 everything needs work. Id track total putts for a start, fair bet yours maybe thick end of 40 a round. Beyond that though.. if youre just bunting it in the fairway 180 yards, and you hit 1

Well I just lost the post I was typing, so here goes attempt #2   I skimmed through this quickly and saw a stat not mentioned, first putt distance.   Why does it matter? Context. T

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off 20 everything needs work. Id track total putts for a start, fair bet yours maybe thick end of 40 a round.

Beyond that though.. if youre just bunting it in the fairway 180 yards, and you hit 10/14, so what? its a high %age but doesnt give you a shot to the green. 

Maybe track holes per round that were worse than bogey. Thats what sends your scores into the stratosphere. 

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5 hours ago, Wormkiller said:

Hello all.

 

Ive recently invested in Shot Scope V3, and I reckon its awesome for stats nerds like myself.

 

Just looking for advice and opinions on what are the most relevant stats to track for someone like myself who isn't necessarily tying to make gross par every hole. For example, at my home course, which is tight and lined with trees and bush there are quite a few holes that I aim for bogey by clubbing down off the tee and laying up off the fairway. I simply don't have the skill set to approach these holes with longer clubs like driver and approach the holes with long irons. A high risk strategy like this can really blow out my scores

 

I was even considering of keeping track of greens in net regulation - if that makes sense? For example, making the green on the long par 4 stroke index 3 hole in three shots would count as a Green in Net Regulation.

 

Obviously putting stats are relevant. What are some putting goals do you think a 20 handicapper should aspire to? Is putts per round a relevant stat to track? Is % of 3 putts?

 

Thanks


Believe it or not, same stats hold true for most of us. Greens and getting close to the greens are both critical.

 

As you get better, track short games statistics.

 

Finally putting.

 

5 hours ago, milesgiles said:

off 20 everything needs work. Id track total putts for a start, fair bet yours maybe thick end of 40 a round.

Beyond that though.. if youre just bunting it in the fairway 180 yards, and you hit 10/14, so what? its a high %age but doesnt give you a shot to the green. 

Maybe track holes per round that were worse than bogey. Thats what sends your scores into the stratosphere. 

 

I would qualify this with what affliction makes the player a 20HC?

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1 hour ago, SNIPERBBB said:

At that level, I'd probably be tracking wasted shots.  I'll explain what I mean.

 

There are 4 general phases on each hole, except par threes.

 

Tee

Approach (Tee on par threes)

Chipping

Putting

 

You can break approach out to account for laying up on par 5s or long par 4s with forced carries of bunkers or penalty areas to the green. Can also break out purring for putting if you're leaving yourself 3+ foot second putts a lot.

 

A wasted shot, including penalties, are shots that didn't advance you to the next phase of the game. Say if you're 190 out and you chunk/top your approach and you have more than 40yards left to the green, it's a wasted shot as you're still in the approach phase.

 

The more you can get that wasted shot number down to 0, your scores will reflect it.

 

 

 

 

I agree with the above.  I think this is especially true if you're looking to enjoy the game more.  Personally, I can enjoy playing worse than I usually do as long as I'm not wasting shots by duffing them.  That said, I'd imagine the data will only show what you likely already know.  If you tend to top long irons, you'll see that.  If you struggle off the tee, the data will just bear that out.

 

If you're looking to use the data to improve your score (gaining a baseline/metric to start comparing performance against), I agree with the other posters that putts are probably the place to start.  I think it's easier to underestimate how many shots are expending in the short game.

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3 minutes ago, bonvivantva said:

 

I agree with the above.  I think this is especially true if you're looking to enjoy the game more.  Personally, I can enjoy playing worse than I usually do as long as I'm not wasting shots by duffing them.  That said, I'd imagine the data will only show what you likely already know.  If you tend to top long irons, you'll see that.  If you struggle off the tee, the data will just bear that out.

 

If you're looking to use the data to improve your score (gaining a baseline/metric to start comparing performance against), I agree with the other posters that putts are probably the place to start.  I think it's easier to underestimate how many shots are expending in the short game.

Thanks for that. 
 

My current putts per round is 34.6.

 

Current 3 Putt percentage is 15%.

 

I have previously determined that a lot of my blow up holes started off the tee using my driver. In my last 7 rounds Ive predominantly gone 4 iron off the tee (its a single length club with a 7 iron length shaft) to get me in play and enjoy myself. 😄 Average distance off the tee with this club is 168m. My fairway % has increased to 60% over the last 9 rounds from 34% when I was using driver and hybrid for the first 6 rounds I played using shotscope.
 

Any other stats youd like let me know. 🙂

 

At the moment with the reduced distance off the tee Im aiming for bogey on nearly all par 4’s and most par 5’s and aiming for par on the par 3’s. Im working on the range to get the driver up to standard to hit fairways on my tight, long course lined with trees. 
 

My wasted shots (duffs, tops, chunks) dont come so much from hitting off the fairway anymore. This has improved. I play on courses with very sandy rough and am prone to duffing when punching and hitting out of it, and can get in trouble there. Bunkers can be hit and miss too.

 

 

 

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Penalty Shots off the Tee (punching out is a penalty shot and so is a fairway bunker, Lost ball or OB is 2 penalty shots)

 

Penalty Shots Approaching the Green (if you are more than 30 yards short of the front of the green, bunkers, cant go at the green on the short game shot, etc those are penalty shots as well)

 

# of strokes from 100 yards and in (including putts)

 

Keeping track of just putts is pointless because putting performance is mostly based on how far you are from the hole, that is based on short game and iron play skill

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Fairways hit, and total putts. 

 

Those are the two areas where a 20 handicapper can benefit most, so track those until they are in a reasonable range. You want 10/14 fairways hit and 40 putts or less. 

 

Some will say that hitting a fairway is pointless if it leaves you too long an approach. I disagree.

 

For one, you can probably manage a 160-yard approach from the fairway better than a 140-yard approach from the rough. You can also choose to hit only the distance you're comfortable with from that fairway lie, and chances are it will leave you short of the greenside trouble that probably blows up your score. 

 

Second, playing from the fairway builds confidence. You feel like you're playing golf and not just looking for golf balls. You have more confidence on the tee which leads to better swings. It creates an environment for success and reduces frustration. 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, me05501 said:

Fairways hit, and total putts. 

 

Those are the two areas where a 20 handicapper can benefit most, so track those until they are in a reasonable range. You want 10/14 fairways hit and 40 putts or less. 

 

Some will say that hitting a fairway is pointless if it leaves you too long an approach. I disagree.

 

For one, you can probably manage a 160-yard approach from the fairway better than a 140-yard approach from the rough. You can also choose to hit only the distance you're comfortable with from that fairway lie, and chances are it will leave you short of the greenside trouble that probably blows up your score. 

 

Second, playing from the fairway builds confidence. You feel like you're playing golf and not just looking for golf balls. You have more confidence on the tee which leads to better swings. It creates an environment for success and reduces frustration. 

 

 

 

The worst LPGA Tour Player hits 57% of her fairways and still has a scoring avg of 72 ... 10/14 FIR is very difficult for a 5 handicap let alone a 20 handicap 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Santiago Golf said:

 

The worst LPGA Tour Player hits 57% of her fairways and still has a scoring avg of 72 ... 10/14 FIR is very difficult for a 5 handicap let alone a 20 handicap 

 

 

 

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that all the differences between the worst player on the LPGA Tour and a 20-handicap hobbyist are probably not fully explained using the "fairways hit" statistic. 

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1 minute ago, me05501 said:

 

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that all the differences between the worst player on the LPGA Tour and a 20-handicap hobbyist are probably not fully explained using the "fairways hit" statistic. 

 

Then why keep track of FIR then???

 

Penalty Shots are the biggest difference maker 

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3 wood: Taylormade Aeroburner TP 15*; Diamana Blueboard 72X

Hybrid: PXG Gen1 19* (set 18*) Hzardus Handcrafted Black 100x (Not getting alot of use)

Irons: PXG Gen1 0311 4-7 iron; Aldila RIP Phenom Hybrid 100 Tour X (Lofts; 17.5*, 21*, 25*, 29*)

          NIKE Vapor Pro Combo 6, 8, 9, PW; Aldila VS Proto 100x (Lofts; 33*, 38*, 43*, 48*)

Wedges: Scratch 53* (bent 51*); TT DG S300 , Callaway MD4 Raw 54*, 58*; TT DG S300

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44 minutes ago, Wormkiller said:

Thanks for that. 
 

My current putts per round is 34.6.

 

Current 3 Putt percentage is 15%.

 

I have previously determined that a lot of my blow up holes started off the tee using my driver. In my last 7 rounds Ive predominantly gone 4 iron off the tee (its a single length club with a 7 iron length shaft) to get me in play and enjoy myself. 😄 Average distance off the tee with this club is 168m. My fairway % has increased to 60% over the last 9 rounds from 34% when I was using driver and hybrid for the first 6 rounds I played using shotscope.
 

Any other stats youd like let me know. 🙂

 

At the moment with the reduced distance off the tee Im aiming for bogey on nearly all par 4’s and most par 5’s and aiming for par on the par 3’s. Im working on the range to get the driver up to standard to hit fairways on my tight, long course lined with trees. 
 

My wasted shots (duffs, tops, chunks) dont come so much from hitting off the fairway anymore. This has improved. I play on courses with very sandy rough and am prone to duffing when punching and hitting out of it, and can get in trouble there. Bunkers can be hit and miss too.

 

 

 

This is one of those areas where some stats can be misleading. The one stat that is most telling of a golfers skill is GIRs, the goal should be to improve your swing such that hitting greens gets easier and easier. This means a decent tee shot that is in play and gives you a realistic 2nd shot at the green. (playing the appropriate tees is part of this equation as well)

 

If your course is long as you say, laying up well short to boost fairways hit doesn't tell you much about actual progress. So while your fairways hit statistic "improved", you largely have zero chance of reaching the green in regulation as a 20hcp with a 170m tee  shot.  If your goal is to have fun and play bogey golf, this is totally fine. If the intent of stat tracking is to improve and lower your index, this metric likely isn't going to help. At some point you are going to need to bring the range work with driver to the course, so intentionally laying up with an iron just to boost fairways hit might actually handicap you some. 

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Just now, Santiago Golf said:

 

Then why keep track of FIR then???

 

Penalty Shots are the biggest difference maker 

 

And where do most penalty shots occur? I'm honestly curious, but I'm sure that data is available. 

 

I know that when I was a 20 hc a large proportion of my penalty shots came off the tee. Slices OB, cold tops into hazards, or other wasted shots where it took me extra strokes to reach my partners' balls out by the 150 yard marker. 

 

Focusing on fairways hit as a critical metric changed that for me and probably reduced my scores more than any other effort. It changed my approach and how I chose my gear, and eventually as it started paying off it changed my confidence and my handicap for the better. 

 

This is why I offered the advice I did to the OP. Feel free to disagree, but don't imply that it's not possible because I know from experience that it is. 

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18 minutes ago, Santiago Golf said:

 

The worst LPGA Tour Player hits 57% of her fairways and still has a scoring avg of 72 ... 10/14 FIR is very difficult for a 5 handicap let alone a 20 handicap 

 

 

As a 2 cap I laugh at FIRs at my home course and the fairways literally avg less than 15 yards wide

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45 minutes ago, Santiago Golf said:

 

# of strokes from 100 yards and in (including putts)

 

 

I think this might be key. I'm also a high-cap who plays safe off the tee because my driver is more likely to get me into lots of trouble than save me strokes by getting closer to the hole. 

 

The goal for a scratch golfer in my opinion might be to get that average as close as possible to 2, or even under, because in most cases if you're 100 yards and in but not in birdie territory you're trying to get up and down for par, and 100 yards and in includes GIR on par 3s where you may be pushing for birdie. 

 

Looking at my round yesterday, I played the course +23 and counted 57 shots from 100 yards and in, for an average of 3.16 strokes from that distance. And I can look at everyone of those holes and see where there were shots that were wasted that shouldn't have been. Multiple tries to get out of a bunker. Three-putts for bogey. Chunked pitch shots that turned a chance at par or bogey into bogey or double... Etc.

 

Get down to 2.5 average from 100 in and that would have turned my +23 into a +11. That would have been my career best round on that course. Can I count 12 "wasted" strokes from 100 in? I can count at least 8 right off the top of my head. And I can count a handful of other strokes that if my short game was better would have been an up-and-down instead of an up-and-two-putt. 

 

My ballstriking was all over the map yesterday on full swings, but I could have completely turned my score around by not wasting strokes from 100 yards in. 

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Just now, me05501 said:

 

And where do most penalty shots occur? I'm honestly curious, but I'm sure that data is available. 

 

I know that when I was a 20 hc a large proportion of my penalty shots came off the tee. Slices OB, cold tops into hazards, or other wasted shots where it took me extra strokes to reach my partners' balls out by the 150 yard marker. 

 

Focusing on fairways hit as a critical metric changed that for me and probably reduced my scores more than any other effort. It changed my approach and how I chose my gear, and eventually as it started paying off it changed my confidence and my handicap for the better. 

 

This is why I offered the advice I did to the OP. Feel free to disagree, but don't imply that it's not possible because I know from experience that it is. 

The goal is to get the ball into the hole with the fewest strokes possible. Sacrificing a ton of distance off the tee simply to improve fairways hit does not help you to accomplish that goal in any way since GIR probability drops as you get further and further away . If anyone wants to get significantly better at golf, they  need to hit the ball better, period. Not hitting longer clubs to avoid penalties will inherently limit someone's ability score. It only makes sense to lay up if a decent shot will still land you trouble.

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2 minutes ago, me05501 said:

 

And where do most penalty shots occur? I'm honestly curious, but I'm sure that data is available. 

 

I know that when I was a 20 hc a large proportion of my penalty shots came off the tee. Slices OB, cold tops into hazards, or other wasted shots where it took me extra strokes to reach my partners' balls out by the 150 yard marker. 

 

Focusing on fairways hit as a critical metric changed that for me and probably reduced my scores more than any other effort. It changed my approach and how I chose my gear, and eventually as it started paying off it changed my confidence and my handicap for the better. 

 

This is why I offered the advice I did to the OP. Feel free to disagree, but don't imply that it's not possible because I know from experience that it is. 

 

When I was a 20 handicap (10 years ago) ... I honestly had more penalty shots on approach shots (if you count shots that finish in bunkers or 30 yards short of front of green, etc)

 

I definitely wasn't even close to hitting more than 4 FIR a round and would lose balls

 

The biggest reason I got to a 10 handicap was the majority of my missed iron shots getting with 30 yards of the front of green

 

The biggest reason I got to a 5 was the majority of my missed iron shots getting hole high

 

The biggest reason I got to where I am now is making more putts from inside 10 feet

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3 wood: Taylormade Aeroburner TP 15*; Diamana Blueboard 72X

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So we're calling a ball that lands in a fairway bunker or one that lands 30 yards short of the green a "penalty stroke" now? What game is that? It's not golf!

 

I said to track fairways hit and avoiding fairway bunkers is clearly a part of that. I never suggested that the OP needs to play an iron from the tee on par fours or fives (though it might help his scores in the short term).

 

I absolutely *would* suggest dropping driver and playing a mini driver or fairway metal from the tee for a season or two.

 

It's hard to learn to hit good approach shots when you're punching out of the trees half the time. It makes it impossible to stay in the right frame of mind for learning to score. It raises the tension level on every tee. It puts even more pressure on your short game and putting. 

 

Facing the same scenario I replaced my three wood with a TM Mini Driver. I had a ton of confidence in that club. It meant I was always playing a slightly longer course than my buddies, but I was in the short grass almost all the time. I became used to hitting greens and making putts that mattered.

 

Now I use a driver setup that is relatively short but very predictable. I still hit a ton of fairways which gives me a lot more time to search for the balls my longer-hitting buddies hit offline. 

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For something completely different, and maybe too advanced for a 20 cap, try tracking shots that lacked mental focus. Then analyse the results of those shots v ones with good focus. 
 

I am super curious what your results would be. 
 

I am mid single digit cap, last round I had 9 shots that lacked mental focus. Not all of them cost me strokes, but on holes I had focus I made birdie or par, holes I did not - I made par, bogie, or double. 


If I could get three swings back I would be even par instead of 4 over. Just needed to get my mind right.


It is very rare I am truly focus on all shots, but this is the goal. 

 

I wished I had tracked this more when I was high cap, as finding the right mental state is the real long term game within this game.


 

 

 

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In high school our coach would have us report 3 putts.  That definitely made me realize how much better my scoring was when I put the time in on the practice green.  I'd say mark the areas where your game needs the most work and track them.  Be it GIR, chipping, putting, driving, etc. 

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Oh and our coaches rule of thumb was more than 1 three putt per nine was unacceptable.  He'd say there is no excuse for poor putting.  Anybody can be a decent putter.  You put the work in or you don't.    

 

 

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5 hours ago, me05501 said:

Fairways hit, and total putts. 

 

Those are the two areas where a 20 handicapper can benefit most, so track those until they are in a reasonable range. You want 10/14 fairways hit and 40 putts or less. 

 

Some will say that hitting a fairway is pointless if it leaves you too long an approach. I disagree.

 

For one, you can probably manage a 160-yard approach from the fairway better than a 140-yard approach from the rough. You can also choose to hit only the distance you're comfortable with from that fairway lie, and chances are it will leave you short of the greenside trouble that probably blows up your score. 

 

Second, playing from the fairway builds confidence. You feel like you're playing golf and not just looking for golf balls. You have more confidence on the tee which leads to better swings. It creates an environment for success and reduces frustration. 

 

 

 

hes already explained he is nowhere near a 160 yard shot at the green from his bunted tee shots. The green isnt in reach at all. FiR tells you nothing in that situation.

 

He needs to keep track of tee shots that left him a realistic shot at the green. eg on how many holess did he have a mid iron from fairway or light rough.

 

That said ive yet to meet the 20 handicap that wasnt shocking on and around the greens.

 

 

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Near green in regulation would be good. Basically within 20y of the edge of the green in regulation. The Scoring Method would be great for you as well. Extremely simple and has specific scorecards for you. I ask people to keep track of how often they’re pin high on their approach shots. Most people are below the pin 90some % of the time. Partially due to just not hitting good approach shots, but also they don’t understand how far they actually hit the ball and just don’t take enough club. 

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4 hours ago, me05501 said:

So we're calling a ball that lands in a fairway bunker or one that lands 30 yards short of the green a "penalty stroke" now? What game is that? It's not golf!

 

I said to track fairways hit and avoiding fairway bunkers is clearly a part of that. I never suggested that the OP needs to play an iron from the tee on par fours or fives (though it might help his scores in the short term).

 

I absolutely *would* suggest dropping driver and playing a mini driver or fairway metal from the tee for a season or two.

 

It's hard to learn to hit good approach shots when you're punching out of the trees half the time. It makes it impossible to stay in the right frame of mind for learning to score. It raises the tension level on every tee. It puts even more pressure on your short game and putting. 

 

Facing the same scenario I replaced my three wood with a TM Mini Driver. I had a ton of confidence in that club. It meant I was always playing a slightly longer course than my buddies, but I was in the short grass almost all the time. I became used to hitting greens and making putts that mattered.

 

Now I use a driver setup that is relatively short but very predictable. I still hit a ton of fairways which gives me a lot more time to search for the balls my longer-hitting buddies hit offline. 

 

 

For 20 handicaps ... hitting into a fairway bunker is a penalty shot (be honest if I give you 18 shots from 150 from the fairway, 1.5" rough and 18 shots from a fairway bunker ... how many are getting to hole high around the green, fairway and round are not going to be that different, bunker is going to significantly lower) therefore its basically a penalty shot 

 

 

Driver: Taylormade M2 ('17) 10.5* ; Accura MV85x PINK 1 of 1

3 wood: Taylormade Aeroburner TP 15*; Diamana Blueboard 72X

Hybrid: PXG Gen1 19* (set 18*) Hzardus Handcrafted Black 100x (Not getting alot of use)

Irons: PXG Gen1 0311 4-7 iron; Aldila RIP Phenom Hybrid 100 Tour X (Lofts; 17.5*, 21*, 25*, 29*)

          NIKE Vapor Pro Combo 6, 8, 9, PW; Aldila VS Proto 100x (Lofts; 33*, 38*, 43*, 48*)

Wedges: Scratch 53* (bent 51*); TT DG S300 , Callaway MD4 Raw 54*, 58*; TT DG S300

               Custom Wedge 63* (made buddy made it); KBS Tour Stiff

Putter: Scotty Cameron Studio Design MB #5; 35 inches; Super Stroke GP Tour

 

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When I was using Game Golf, one of the biggest takeaways was knowing my actual club distances and understanding that I needed to score better on par 5s.  Once I understood that going for par 5s in two was causing me more issues than turning them into a 3 shot hole, my par 5 scoring average started to come down.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Santiago Golf said:

 

Then why keep track of FIR then???

 

Penalty Shots are the biggest difference maker 

You mention penalty shots include punching out from the rough. I'm not sure I agree on this uniformly, as its dependent on the goal for each hole. 

 

Take yesterday, for example, 490m (535 yards) par 5, stroke index 3. My intention was to play for bogey (net birdie) on this hole, especially when into the sea breeze. My tee shot with my 4 iron was poor and went right into the trees, cut down to only 133m. My second shot was a punch out with my 4 iron that I got 117m down the fairway. Setting me up with a 132m shot from the fairway to just before the water hazard on the right. Then final approach into the green, 2 putt for bogey. Even on a long hole like this, my poor tee shot and lack of distance I could get on my second shot did not affect me from achieving my goal for the hole. Even if I hit the fairway 170m, my third shot would have still been to safely lay up before the water hazard.

 

Thats why I personally also think fairway percentage isnt a great stat to track. I like to look more closely at being in play off the tee v not being in play.

 

Par 5.PNG

Edited by Wormkiller
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9 hours ago, me05501 said:

So we're calling a ball that lands in a fairway bunker or one that lands 30 yards short of the green a "penalty stroke" now? What game is that? It's not golf!

 

I said to track fairways hit and avoiding fairway bunkers is clearly a part of that. I never suggested that the OP needs to play an iron from the tee on par fours or fives (though it might help his scores in the short term).

 

I absolutely *would* suggest dropping driver and playing a mini driver or fairway metal from the tee for a season or two.

 

It's hard to learn to hit good approach shots when you're punching out of the trees half the time. It makes it impossible to stay in the right frame of mind for learning to score. It raises the tension level on every tee. It puts even more pressure on your short game and putting. 

 

Facing the same scenario I replaced my three wood with a TM Mini Driver. I had a ton of confidence in that club. It meant I was always playing a slightly longer course than my buddies, but I was in the short grass almost all the time. I became used to hitting greens and making putts that mattered.

 

Now I use a driver setup that is relatively short but very predictable. I still hit a ton of fairways which gives me a lot more time to search for the balls my longer-hitting buddies hit offline. 

Ive been meaning to give a mini driver a crack. 

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