Early Season Focus: Improving My GIR

Early in each year, I like to find an area of my game to focus upon in order to have build the foundation for success. I have to admit, improving my GIR is rooted in last year’s goals and I want to continue to improve lowering my golf scores. Additionally, I have discussed this statistic with Brian Penn from All About Golf and we both agree that increasing our GIR percentage should be at the forefront of most golfers goals. Hence, GIR is my early season focus!

The challenge I have is changing the way I play to create opportunities to increase my greens in regulation (GIR) stat. I thought deeply about what to do and I think I have a game plan. Let me know what you think.

First, when all possible hit to a distance of either 120 yards or 50 yards. Both of these distances are my strengths (PW and SW respectively) and offer an opportunity to improve my GIR and lower my score.

Second, I will start aiming on the fat side of the green. I generally pin hunt most of the time and that has been a bit of a problem in the past. Obviously, the closer I am to the green, the more aggressive I can become. But, from 150 yards out, a more conservative approach might be required.

Lastly, try to avoid hitting my ball hard into the green. If I am in between clubs, use the longer club more often. I generally use the shorter club and swing a bit harder and have met with good success. However, hitting the ball hard has its disadvantages. The ball has a tendency to hit hard on the green and release father than I expect. And my ball will over re-act if it hits the ground at a bad angle. So, hitting the longer club might help me increase my GIR percentage.

By focusing on increasing my GIR percentage early in the season, I have the opportunity to greatly improve my overall game later in the year. Of course the higher GIR percentage has a direct and inverse ratio to my golf scores; so it only makes sense that I put the time in now working on this important area of my game.

Do you focus on a specific area of your game early in the golf season?

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


6 thoughts on “Early Season Focus: Improving My GIR

  1. Jim, totally agree on the value of GIR. It is the most valuable stat and accordingly, is the hardest to improve at. But good things are worth working for 🙂 Your improvement plan using course management techniques makes sense. Sounds like your 50/120 strategy is mostly for par-5s, right? Ultimately solid mechanics and improved ball striking will get you more greens. I’m finding that’s where I am putting in the most work.

    Looking forward to a long weekend of practice, play, and improvement. Thanks for the mention and stay safe!



    • Brian

      Yes, my 50/120 strategy is mostly for par 5s. However, if I was to expand that to par 4s, I would have to add 150 yards. That is a stock, smooth 7 iron. Another of my favourtie clubs. Hitting solid consistent irons is something I always work on and will keep that as a second focus for sure. So much to work on…..so little time. Have an awesome long weekend!

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I am concentrating on my nemesis Jim! Putting is killing me in comps. Wednesday winner was 3 shots better than I and I had 35 putts…..this is now my focus. I find that if I hit fairways my chances of GIR is good, but putting seems to be lost in my current game.

    To try to fix this I spent time yesterday and today on practice green and working very hard on rolling the ball with more top spin as I have been leaving every putt short. Played 9 with Michelle today and worked hard on rolling the ball to (or past) the hole. Can’t wait for next Wednesday. Notably, Michelle played great today even though she has a sore neck muscle…out-played me on a few holes….Still love that she enjoys time on the course with me – best part of my day!


    • Kirk

      Having putting woes is always a challenge. Personally, it is harder on my game than chipping yips! I know you are a ver strong putter and will find your solution very quickly. Your game is too solid not to. Great to hear that Michelle is enjoying her time on the links. I always loved playing with Teri as well, it is a great way to spend sometime together for sure. Good luck with your putting.

      Cheers Jim


  3. Well of course, we don’t worry about seasons down here. Not much training is involved with the decision over whether we need a thermos or an ice bucket on the worst extremes we generally get here.

    As to GIR, I like your thoughts on hitting more partial swings. Hitting a bigger club than needed to do the job is the easiest way to increase our consistency. I don’t know why I found it so hard to learn to do* but it is so much easier to be consistent when swinging 70% over swinging 100%. And that will certainly to bring up our GIR’s. And it should also lower strokes putting over time too. (*By “learn to do”, I mean control my basic urge to show off.)

    I can say from experience that hitting say a pitching wedge from 100 or a gap wedge from 70, two of my personal favorites, may not be as thrilling as pushing them out to their distance limits, but the results speak for themselves. Doing so is what dropped me to single digits and it’s brought me more hole outs than all the years prior combined. In fact, that career 2nd ace I got the other day came from a partial swing with my 9 iron. I’m a firm believer. I was even choosing to do that today on the fairway for two of my layup shots. I like calling it boring golf. But surgical golf is also accurate. Rather than thinking what’s the smallest club I can use to get there, I’m trying to stick to thinking what’s the most consistent way I can get there.

    BTW…the one green I missed today came from a full pitching wedge swing. It was the tenth tee where everyone can see you so I’m pretty sure I defaulted to show off mode. I hit a big tall pretty draw that flew all the way to the back edge and bounced off the green to lie by the base of a tree and it cost me my only double for the day. Before pulling that wedge out of the bag I remember thinking an easy 9 would do the job. Big mental error.


    • Kevin

      Well we are on the same page for sure. I am trying to improve my game slowly and I think a few more partial shots are important. I also think that there is a difference between a full shot and ‘full hard hitting’ shot. I will have consider this for a future article. Showing off never helps when trying to make an approach shot.

      Cheers Jim


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