Most players have a specific goal in mind when taking a lesson. That may be to improve ball striking, driving, bunker play, etc. A majority of the time, a great improvement is made however, overall scores and handicap does not come down. Generally what this means is, even though a specific area of the players game has progressed, it may not have been the area where they are actually losing strokes on the course. If you are a consistent lesson taker, over time things may possibly come together. On the other hand, you can make better use of your time by actually pinpointing where it is that you are losing your strokes.
With most of the elite junior players, collegiate players and members I work with on a consistent basis, I always go through some form of skills evaluation. With juniors I do a lot of skills testing from different locations around the green and on the course with ongoing reevaluations. With members who come in for private lessons who don’t have as much time, I have them track their stats on their scorecards.
I always start with having someone keep track of basic stats such as fairways hit, greens hit in regulation, and number of putts on the green. At the end of your round, this will give you a general picture of where your strokes are being lost.
Depending on scoring range, I’ll have some players get a bit more specific with their stats and keep track of things such as the distance the approach shot was taken from, or how long (in feet) their first putt was struck from. If you are looking to break 90, goals may be a bit more general such as hitting acceptable tee shots that are in play. Whereas, a scratch handicap player may need more details to reveal where breakthroughs need to be made. Detailed stats such as the examples mentioned, can help dig a little deeper into what needs to be improved. Let’s take a look at an on course situation:
Player A has a great round and his average proximity to the hole of 38 feet. Player A two putts every hole and shoots even par.
Player B has an equally great round, has the best ball striking day of her life and average proximity to the hole is 9 feet. Player B two putts every hole and shots even par.
These two players have shot the same score of even par however, their statistics paint different pictures. Player A’s proximity to the hole averaged nearly 40 feet on each hole. indicating his ball striking is not quite up to standards. On the other hand, he also managed to two-putt each hole from 40 feet which tells me that his putting is doing pretty well. Player B struck the ball better than a tour pro, averaging just 9 feet to the hole on every green. However, from inside of 10 feet she did not make one putt and ended up two-putting every hole. This indicates that Player B struggles with her putting in some aspect. Ultimately, even though these two players shot the same score, we can see Player A needs to work on ball striking while Player B needs to work on her putting. Keeping track of your stats can reveal things about your game that overall score can’t. Use the card below as an example to track your rounds! Feel free to e-mail or tweet pictures of your scorecard for analysis and recommendations!
Stat Tracking ScoreCard
(Someone needs to work on long range approach shots)