Two days ago I asked the question about which golf stat was the most important. With out a question, there was one that quickly rose to the top of the pile. It is the one meaningful stat because it connects to all the others. I have discussed this stat before and I am reassured to hear that my earlier thoughts remain true today.
There is a place for collecting golf stats. Which ones collected depends on your intent and use of the stats. Regardless, here is what the readers said:
As the poll was going on, several Grateful Golfers weighed in. The first that caught my eye related to the handicaps of the respondents. Their point was that at different stages of your game, you will track different stats. This is completely true; a 15 handicap player will find driving percentage more valuable than save percentage. It makes sense that if they cannot get the ball in play, the rest does not matter much. Where as a lower handicap player like myself focuses on GIR because the rest of my game is fairly solid.
Here is another great point:
The above tweet brings to light that all stats are interconnected. Although I think GIR is the most important stat, I can without hesitation say that I am right. However, it must add one caveat: for my game.
Stats help point out challenges in our game. They allow us to actually see where precious practice time is needed instead of thinking where to improve our game. However, if not analysed properly, all players could be chasing their tail trying to find solutions to their woes. Golf stats are important especially if we are trying to lower our golf score.
The lower your handicap, the more in-tuned you are to your game. This does not mean that taking an objective look at your stats is not required, it means and more critical examination may be what is needed.
I use golf stats. I do not track them all the time, however approximately 4 or 5 times a year I will track the above stats. It usually lasts for about 5 rounds, then I compare. Last year, my GIR and putts per round continually jumped out as areas of improvement. Before I rushed to the practice range I examined how these stats were connected. This is what I found:
- My putts per round were lower when my GIR was down. I missed the green more often, so I was chipping closer to the pin that gave me a greater opportunity to 1 putt.
- My save percentage was up, because I missed the green more often, but only by a little bit. So, I was able to chip close and put the ball in on the next shot.
- When my GIR percentage was up, I was in the fairway. The range of 130 yards and closer saw my highest GIR. This was a result of driving the ball well and keeping in the fairway.
- When my GIR was down, my driving percentage was down.
I could go on and on. You can see that no one stat is independent. They are all connected. In case you are asking, I worked on my driving accuracy and putting. Although the stats pointed to improving my GIR, analysis showed that I was not putting the ball in play as I should and the cascading effects were clear. Never discount the 2nd and 3rd order of effects when conducting analysis.
Golf stats are fun, frustrating and informative. Depending on how you use them, depends on what and where you should improve your game. Regardless, using stats is part of my journey and I will continue to use them. How about you? Do you use golf stats to improve your game?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!