Smart Improvements – Using Stats to save shots

Smart Improvements – Using Stats to save shots

When it comes to looking at touring professionals we love to analyse their game, their swings, the putts they hole, and of course their statistics, but how often do we sit down and look at our own?

One thing I consistently find with golfers is a misunderstanding of where they lose strokes on the golf course, this misunderstanding to me forms the biggest reason why golfers simply never improve. We often see golfers working on the strengths in their game repeatedly, with little work towards improving the weaker aspects. This will often cause a significant amount of wasted time in both lessons and in practice.

Keeping some form of statistics can be a vital part of improving your game for several reasons.

FINDING YOUR WAEKNESSES

Using a statistics software will allow you to instantly identify any weaknesses in your game, this can be particularly useful when we try to get the facts about issues in our game, rather than a subjective opinion about our own game.

According to Brendt Snedeker:

“The lines between a good and great season are so thin, so I’m trying to find any edge I can get,”

” We, as professional golfers, have a tendency of thinking we’re strong in certain areas, and that may not be the case at all. He (His Statition) does a great job of identifying what I need to work on, what my strengths are so I play to those, and what my weaknesses are, so I can play away from them.”

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EFFICIENT USE OF TIME

Having regular, up to date statistics help you use your time far more efficiently. Knowing what areas of your game need the most work means you can highlight those areas within your practice sessions and spend a little more time improving them, rather than spending your time only working on your strengths.

Having your statistics readily available will also make your professionals job far easier. If he can see what areas need prioritising before your lesson may even take place, not only can he have an area of your game ready to prioritise, but he can also have a plan ready prior to the lesson.

BUILD A GAME PLAN

Once you know your patterns and habits, it becomes very easy to build a game plan around them. Let’s use recent example of a professional that I work with. After analysing his statistics early on a Monday we noticed he was losing an unusual amount of shots from 150 – 200 yards. After delving deeper into his “strokes gained” statistics we noticed that when he missed an green in regulation, 85% of the time he would miss left, and only 15% of the time he would miss right. This information becomes extremely useful as it means first we had a few days to work on simply improving how often he misses to the left. Secondly it meant we could build a game plan around his common miss. Going into the first round if there was a flag on the left-hand side of the green, the game plan was to aim slightly to the right of the flag. If he strikes the ball correctly he will hit the green, however if he pulls it he may even end up closer to the flag than where he was aiming. On the flip side if we had a pin that was positioned on the right-hand side of a green he has full permission to take a more aggressive and direct line towards the flag. A good should will yield a birdie, while a small pull will still hit the centre of the green, and as a result not cause him to lose any strokes to par.

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WHAT TO USE

There are several golf statistic websites and apps you can use that go into varying detail when it comes to statistics. On the simpler side when it comes to apps my favourite is “Golf Game Book” which is extremely easy to use, and gives you a reasonable amount of information such as:

  • Birdies, pars & Bogeys per round
  • Fairways & Greens (hit & miss tendencies)
  • Number of Putts per hole
  • Other statistics available
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Statistics Shown by Golf Game Book

However, if you wish to go into slightly more detail, which I would strongly recommend for better players, my favourite site is www.golfstatlab.com. With Golf Stat Lab you can get as much information as possible from you’re your game. On the front, it provides a very simple dashboard which shows a broad overview of where you have gained and lost strokes on the golf course.

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Golfstatlab’s Dashboard

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Golfstatlab’s details statistics

As you look deeper it can go into any amount of detail you wish:

  • Ball striking and miss percentage
  • Driving distances & Accuracy
  • Putting & Scrambling
  • Shot occurance
  • Strokes gained
  • Many other details

There are also a number of other websites which you can use such as shotstohole.com and shotbyshot.com, the key is in the detail they provide!