‘Stats’ the way forward?

Statistics (stats) are common place now in business and sports. Watch any sport on TV and you will hear stats being quoted on almost everything. But the question is, ARE THEY USEFUL?

I appreciate to some, the thought of taking stats is pointless or tiresome but hear me out before you make your mind up fully.

Once again, this will likely expand beyond one blog as I share my thoughts.

I believe every golfer will benefit from keeping some stats; the type and depth of stats will differ dependant on the players skill level, desire, personality and technology being used.

I also believe there are stupid stats that you can come across – more on this in the next blog!

So, lets start with the below image: –

Stats can help understand your scores

The image is two screenshots from the same player about a month apart. On the left is from 1st December 2022 and on the right is 15th January 2023.

What do these two screenshots show you? (I’ll focus on one element for this blog).

Yes, putting is clearly an area to be improved and will be addressed in due course.

The player was aware that driving had been poor which had been affecting how many greens they could hit and therefore making scoring harder. The software helped measure by how much and gave us a baseline. Between the two dates, the player had one lesson on driving and has gone from losing around 6 strokes per round off the tee to gaining 2 strokes.

Now, if you are unclear on how you can gain or lose strokes with singular shots, I refer you to the work of Mark Broadie whose book “Every shot counts” has benefited golf coaching (for those that have read it). Simply, we can now measure individual shots based on the distance they have travelled, the lie they are hit from, the lie they finish in, as well as how close to the green or hole that leaves you. Thank goodness for software companies who work this out for us!

In this instance, the stats are confirming that driving off the tee is improving and as we know from a previous blog of mine (‘confident golf’), performance accomplishments are a major driving force behind confidence. Simply, the stats are helping build confidence and belief in what you are doing which is powerful in performance.

Now, if at this point it seems daunting or confusing, I have a much simpler version of key stats you can use to get started, helping you understand your performances and not just your score.

  • Greens In Regulation Opportunity – After your tee shot, were you in a position to be able to hit the green?
  • Greens In Regulation – How many greens did you hit in regulation?
  • Length of putt held to finish the hole – what was the length of the putt when you holed out

So, what I would like you to do before the season starts is to collect some stats and begin to build a picture of how your score is created.

If you would like a template of my key stats rather than start with an app or purchase technology, please get in touch.

If you are interested in apps or software, below are a few I would recommend from experience.

  • Spider Golf App – it has a free version as well as a premium version
  • Shotscope – www.shotscope.com
  • Arccos – uk.arccosgolf.com        

I am looking into some other technologies, but if  you have any good suggestions, I would love to hear them.

In summary, stats can play an integral part in helping you lower scores, ensure lessons are relevant to YOUR game, educate your practice and help build self-belief.