Numbers Don’t Lie.

The first in our golf instructional blog from Steve Mitchell PGA (Head Professional at Etchinghill Golf Club (part of the Pentland Group). Kent County 1st Team Mens Coach, County Boys Coach, Kent ladies and Kent girls Coach. Coach to three touring Professionals and Ping Custom fit expert).

Picture the scene; Sunday morning, monthly stableford, 8am start. Whilst I’m serving in the Pro shop, a member comes in and I ask how many points he got, he replies…
“Well, on the 1st I hit it straight down the middle, missed the green, chipped it up and holed the putt. 3 points. Topped it off the second, then shanked it……blob…”
7 minutes 28 seconds later he informs me he scored 26 points for his round.
“26 points”- that takes less than 1 second to say (even if you say it slowly).
The 3000m steeplechase World Record is 7m 53 secs. He was slightly quicker than that. He then informs me, “But I played out of my skin”.
Well did he?
The number of points you get, or your score, 99% of the time is an accurate reflection on how well you played, especially in pretty normal weather conditions.
Is he lying? Probably not.
Is he trying to impress me by saying how well he played? – nahhhh.
Is he unsure what part of his game lets him down to allow a good game to result in 26 points? – almost definitely.

Self analysis in golf is vital. Breaking down your game into the different components and being able to distinguish which department is weaker than the others is essential.
The better the player, the better the self analysis and therefore evaluation of their own game = more points. What do points make?….
Count greens in regulation, fairways hit, number of putts, proximity to hole and number of penalty strokes. Then work on your weaknesses.

So for starters why not take a look at how you perform off the tee? Using your normal scorecard just use one column to record, as you play, whether you hit the fairway, or miss right or left. Leave the par threes for the moment (these will come under some scrutiny in following weeks).

Now take a look at the average % of fairways hit for your handicap;
20-28 h’cap = 30% on fairway
15-20 = 40%
10-15 = 50%
Single figure = 60%
Tour Pro  = 80%

Are you on target? Is there a pattern of misses that is emerging that you can work on in practice or with your Pro?
Numbers don’t lie.

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