At the end of every year, I like to sit back, pour a libation and ponder about my previous season. This introspection allows me to develop areas of improvement in my swing, course management, and improving my golfing experience. The 2020 golf season was very unique, excluding COVID, because I tracked more stats than ever before. Thus I have some concrete data in which to base my 2021 plan. Additionally, my self analysis helps me understand if my previous plan worked and were I might improve my processes to attain my ultimate goal of being a scratch golfer.
I thought I would list some stats used to evaluate the success of my overall game. This data is not meant as a “hey look what I did”, but, foundational data so you can understand how I drew some of my conclusions. First, the data:
- Handicap Index: Start: 4.4 – Finish: 3.4
- number of Rounds: 70+ (not all recorded for handicap as some were fun events and practice rounds)
- Sub par rounds: 1
- Rounds in the 70s: 87%
- Rounds in the 80s:13%
- Eagles: 0
The following is based on 39 rounds of golf:
|Putts per Round||29.76|
|Putts per Hole||1.65|
|Distance of First Putts||252.74|
|Average Distance For First Putts||14.0|
|Distance of Putts For GIR||163.1|
|Average Distance Putts for GIR||20.2|
First look at the stats shows a fairly successful year. It is interesting to note that most of the rounds in the 80s happened at the beginning of the year. I still hacked around a few times from July till the end of the year, but less once I was able to get my swing working.
Strengths for 2020: hitting the ball in play off the tee and putting. Both stats were very good and something I hope to sustain moving forward. Fortunately, these two stats have been my strengths for years; being in play off the tee is definitely a stroke saver.
Weaknesses of 2020: My iron play. I did change clubs this year, however that was not the reason for my poor iron play. I realize that just under 50% for approach shots might be considered acceptable, but not for my game. I expect to hover around the 60% mark considering most of my approach shots are from 160 yards and closer. From that ranch I must do better.
Highlights of 2020: Shooting a sub-par round. I had four opportunities to shoot under par and was able to finish strong enough for one. During these low scoring rounds, my GIR was high. So, there is a direct correlation between the two. I won a kayak for closest to the pin in a tournament. That was pretty cool. Lastly, playing 70+ rounds with my friends. That is always a boon and I hope to exceed that next year.
After looking at all the stats, what is my approach for 2020? It is very simple; I am going to sustain my strengths and focus on improving my weaknesses. This might seem like a no-brainer, but there is a bit more to my madness. I have talked about improving my GIR for years, however I never seem to be able to make any headway.
This year, I am going to change my approach just a bit; I am going to focus on hitting my irons more consistently. I am going to focus less on the stat and more on the mechanics of hitting better irons. I think I have been lacking in that area over the past few years. So, now it is time to change my focus slightly. This will require possible changes to my swing/posture/set up/aim points. I am not exactly sure which, but I will figure that out over the winter.
Well, that is my 2020 golf season in a nut shell. I have a clear direction on where I need to focus my efforts and I am looking forward to addressing my swing challenges. I would consider 2020 a very successful year (excluding the COVID stuff) and I hope to build on this success in 2021.
I am grateful to my friends, Blair, Rick, Fernando, for another awesome year and I look forward to teeing it up with you early in 2021.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!