With all the latest advancements in golf technologies, statistics and information is instantly at our fingertips. But what do we do with this information? How do you effectively utilize it to improve our game?
I've always found it intriguing that golfers are so quick to purchase a new putter, or driver or golf balls, but when it comes to investing in a stat tracking platform, there seems to be more reluctancey. Don't get me wrong, new clubs and equipment are great, but in order to make the most significant improvements to your game, you need to become more self aware of your statistics.
Although there are several stat tracking platforms available, my personal favorite is GAME GOLF. GAME GOLF is the pioneer of stat tracking 'wearable' devices for golf, is endorsed by several Tour players, and is a proven platform for accurately collecting and analyzing on course statistics. Lets take a look at some of the statistics you should be tracking and how it can help lower your score. Please be advised, once you start tracking your stats, you'll quickly become addicted to them.
Driving Distances - Probably the most fun of any golf statistic, is how far you hit it off the tee. But as the saying goes 'Drive for show, putt for dough'. That being said, most golfers think they hit the ball significantly farther than they actually do. Just because you hit a 340 yard drive 'that one time' with the big downhill fairway, wind at your back, bounce off the cart path... doesn't mean you can replicate it every time. Understand your average driving distance with your driver, 3 wood and 5 wood and you'll be able to select the right club for the conditions and hopefully be in a better position to approach the green.
Driving Accuracy - There is a direct correlation between hitting fairways and lower scores. In most cases, you're better off to be 20 yards back, but on the fairway as opposed to 20 yards ahead and in the rough. GAME GOLF helps to identify the accuracy of each of your tee shots (driver, 3 wood, 5 wood) and lets you know how many fairways your hitting as well as which direction your misses are going. For me personally, although my driver gains me the most distance, my 5 wood is consistently the most accurate. Therefor, when narrow fairways are in play, I tend to air on the side of caution, sacrifice a few yards in an effort to keep it on the short grass.
Distance of Irons - Knowing the distance you hit each of your irons has obvious benefits. Although most golfers have a general idea of their distances, having irrefutable statistical data telling you this information will give you more confidence over the ball. In looking through the data, you may also identify that you're hitting some irons better than others which will allow you adjust your game accordingly.
Approaching the Greens - More than half your shots are likely to take place from within 150 yards of the green. It stands to reason that there's a great opportunity here to make up some strokes. This is one of my favorite statistics to analyze in the GAME GOLF platform as it allows me to see my accuracy from various distances and clubs. Knowing that I have a great approach percentage from around 130-140 yards, I can plan my previous shot accordingly, as opposed to trying to hit it as far as possible. In a sense, it reminds me of a game of chess, where you're always trying to think about your next move. Golf is no different. Choose your highest percentage shot, that will get you within striking distance of the green.
Greens in Regulation - Similar to hitting as many fairways as possible, hitting greens in regulation is a vital statistic for lowering your score. The more greens you're hitting in regulation, the more birdie tries you'll have. It's also a fun process to follow along and track your progress throughout the season,
Putts Per Round - A lot of stokes can be saved or lost on the putting surface. Tracking your putts per hole and per round can help identify how you're doing. Hank Haney has said many times, one of the keys to lowering your score is to eliminate three putts. If three putts are still finding their way onto your scorecard, you might consider spending a little more time on the practice green pre-round.
Average Score (Handicap) - Tracking your overall scores and your handicap is one of the most 'birds eye view' ways of tracking your progress. As you identify areas of improvement, and become more self aware of your game, you'll hopefully see this number start to decline as the season unfolds.
Score Per Hole (Par 3s, 4s & 5s) - This is an interesting stat to see how you fair against par on Par 3s, 4s and 5s independently. If there's a large discrepancy between hole types, this may help you to identify your strengths as well as your areas of improvement.
Penalty Strokes - Obviously, no one enjoys penalty stokes and this is another category that Hank Haney highlights as something that must be avoided. Whether you're slicing the ball off the tee with your driver, or hitting into water hazards, it's important to track and ultimately reduce the number of penalty stokes in your round. Making the appropriate adjustments, such as leaving the driver in your bag, might be the answer to lowering your score.
Areas of Improvement - I personally find tracking and analyzing all of the above statistics to be an enjoyable process. In doing so, identifying your on-course strengths and weaknesses is what will ultimately lead to lowering your score. It's funny that most golfers tend to practice their strengths and seemingly avoid their weaknesses. By highlighting these areas, hopefully you'll be able to make better use of your practice time and make better decisions while on the course. The GAME GOLF platform does an excellent job of highlighting areas of improvement for you, pointing out areas of focus where you could eliminate the most stokes.
So, before you spend $450 on a new driver in hopes of lowering your score, save yourself some money and some stokes, buy investing in the GAME GOLF solution and start becoming more self aware of your golf game.
Visit GAME GOLF online at: www.gamegolf.com
About GAME GOLF
GAME GOLF is a wholly-owned trademark of ACTIVE MIND TECHNOLOGY, Inc., a San Francisco based company that is building a data analytics platform for the sports industry. Active Minds' first product was GAME GOLF. The GAME GOLF platform has over 32,000 courses mapped, over 550,000 rounds of golf uploaded in 100 countries, and has captured 40 million golf shots. GAME GOLF is permitted under the Rules of Golf by the USGA and R&A for use in competition. It is endorsed by golf Professionals Graeme McDowell, Jim Furyk, Lee Westwood, Chesson Hadley and Sophie Walker. It has been adopted by leading Coaches and Golf Instructors. It is also backed by the PGA of America.