Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"Profiling your golf game": time to shoot lower score !

This article is going to help improving your golf game forever !

2014 is over and it is now time to think about the objectives of the new 2015 golf season ! 

Cosily seated inside and based on the strokes gained calculation I decided to summarized my 2014 year by determining the lost strokes by distance and will try to explain how to "profile" your golf game and shoot better score in 2015 !

(the beautiful view on the Golden Gate in San Francisco!)

Here is the process:

a) Calculate your average strokes gained/lost by distance for 3 to 5 significant rounds of golf (read the previous post on this blog for the calculation method).

On the table below, column 9 represents the "Drive and Lay-up/second" shots and column 13 represents "Attack of green" noting that it also needed to calculate the average strokes gained (/lost) for putting. However the average strokes gained on putting was zero in my case explaining the absence of data for putting in the related table. 

b) Determine your average number of shots by distance based on the same 3 to 5 significant rounds.
(column 14 below).

c) Based on the related columns (9 and 13) you can now calculate your strokes lost compared to a scratch who obviously has an average stroke gained of zero per shot.




Examples:

Example of strokes lost on yardage of  "> 500 yards"

The 2014 average in the table below was -0.20 (column 7) multiplied by 3 shots (column 6) = -0.60 stroke lost.

The scratch player would only have lost 3 shots x -0.01 = -0.03 stroke lost.

Difference between the player and the scratch golfer = 0.60 - 0.03 = 0.57 stroke lost (rounded here to 0.6 in column 15). See "Ex 1" in the table below.

This is explained by the fact that the distance of my shot averaged 215 yards compared to the scratch average of 265 yards (on this yardage) noting that the total distance requested (ideally 265 yards to play scratch) decreases as the yardage of the hole decreases. See for example that the ideal distance on a tee of 300-324 yards is 235 yards...

Example of "lay-up" from 175-199 yards

The lost strokes on this yardage were pretty significant including a deficit of 2.1 strokes.
In order to play like a scratch golfer I should have attacked the green trying to catch the green reaching a 37 feet distance from the pin threshold to get an average stroked gained average of zero, the scratch player average... 

Lay-up does not pay, then...? It depends on where you lay-up though as the further the lay-up, the better !

Example of "attack of green" from 125-145 yards

Lost strokes were 1.5 on an average of 3 shots for this yardage.
To get a scratch player average, I should have targeted the 31 feet from the pin threshold or an error margin (distance from the pin divided by total distance: 31 feet/125 yard=8%) of 8% compared to my 2014 margin error of 14%. 

Where to focus the practice ?

On the areas where the most lost strokes are concentrated: 

- From 125 to 199 yards as 6.4 strokes were lost representing 40% of the 14 strokes (=handicap) lost 

- And then evenly on the driving and attacks of the green (that could be break by yardage too to get a precise picture) as there areas respectively represents 2.8 and 2.9 lost strokes or another 40% of the 14 strokes lost !

Conclusion: 

By knowing your game profile, the number of shots you lose per yardage, you will be able to work on your weaknesses and shoot lower score !


And this is the first time the golfers can mathematically quantify this. Exciting, right ?



(practice session in the beautiful "Celebration Golf Course" in Orlando, FL. December 2014)