Pareto’s Principle and Golf

In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto created a mathematical formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in his country, observing that twenty percent of the people owned eighty percent of the wealth. In the late 1940s, Dr. Joseph M. Juran inaccurately attributed the 80/20 Rule to Pareto, calling it Pareto’s Principle. While it may be misnamed, Pareto’s Principle or Pareto’s Law as it is sometimes called, can be a very effective tool to help you manage effectively. (about money)

Wow, how does this interesting economic factoid influence your golf game, you may ask? Let me explain it in another way. The Pareto principle, also known as the 80–20 rule, states that, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. So basically, when working on your golf game, make sure practice time on the 20 percent that really matters.

Pareto's Law Works In Golf!

Pareto’s Law Works In Golf!

Those 20 percent produce 80 percent of your results. Identify and focus on those things. For example, I had trouble is chipping from 50 yards. I did not focus on the real issue that was common to all chips, but focused on each individual challenge. Before, I never distributed most of my weight to my front foot when chipping. I had an even distribution of weight on both feet. The result was I scooped the ball often and was short on most of my chip shots. I tried many things like changing clubs, a different ball, more hand motion, less hand motion, etc….basically I was focusing on the 80%. Once I figured out that I needed to have more weight on my front foot, all my chips improved and positive results occurred during all my chips from within 50 yards.

I believe in Pareto’s Principle. It can be applied to all areas of my life, especially my golf game. I now take a different approach to improving my golf game, I look at the larger picture to see what area of improvement will benefit the most parts of my game.

This year, I am working on my swing sequence as discussed in previous posts. The bump, chest catch up, and complete follow through will be beneficial to all my full swings….focusing on this 20 percent that will affect the 80 percent.

What is your 20% this year?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


14 thoughts on “Pareto’s Principle and Golf

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  9. Hi Jim, thanks for the weight on the front foot tip, I have been coming up short on chips recently. On another topic, there is a new golfer at our club who started playing golf two years ago, and is now at scratch !!!


  10. Jim, my 20% this year is good footwork; in terms of correct alignment and stability and balance on my downswing. I’ve got an active left foot and so much video I’ve seen of myself shows a spin out move that has to be killing my consistency. Thanks,



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