Self Analysis of My 2020 Golf Season

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:

Over Par4.72
Putts per Round29.76
Putts per Hole1.65
Distance of First Putts252.74
Average Distance For First Putts14.0
Distance of Putts For GIR163.1
Average Distance Putts for GIR20.2

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!

4 thoughts on “Self Analysis of My 2020 Golf Season

  1. Jim, good analysis. How difficult was it to capture your proximity stats? Also, I would suggest you get a second set of eyes for your iron improvement, and make them professional. You may be able to capture some face on and DTL video from your DIY range and get a customized video lesson. I’d recommend Brant did me right in that effort and the cost was very reasonable.

    Good luck!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian

      Thanks for the website. I will look into it for sure. It was not hard to gather the stats. But I did find that the more stats I was gathering, the less I focused on my game. I stopped doing the yardage gathering after about 20 rounds. I had gleaned as much as I was going to.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well let’s see. Tour average first putt distance is 15.1 feet. That putts you ahead of the game. To really get a feel for where you stand on your irons though, you might also want to check average approach shot distances. From 125-150, 20.2 feet ranks 98th this year on tour. 10,1 feet is the best. I know that’s not where your number comes from but it’s a good example anyway. So is the worst on tour for that stat which is 49.2 feet. Can you imagine? From 125-150 missing the flag by 49 feet on average and still being good enough to have a spot on the tour? That stat actually boggled my mind and made me feel pretty good about my game from that distance. It’s a little extra something to be grateful for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      My biggest concern is that I missed the green on approach shots (many were from within 150 yards) more that 50% of the time. Therefore, my distance stats are a bit of a red herring. I really need to work on my iron play for sure. We shall see how things work out after the winter.

      Cheers Jim


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