Junior Golf: Keeping Stats

In this Wednesday Waggle we will look at keeping stats for your son. Statistics are a big part of golf and the pros keep stats on everything you can imagine and things you would never imagine! (golfdigest.com)img_0102-1

We’re keeping this simple. Why are these numbers important? After a round of golf it’s common for the details to blur. With some easy statistical help your son’s play and his strengths and weaknesses during the round become apparent. Again, with input from S3’s longtime swing coach, PGA Professional, Tim Harford, we came up with a structure to mark S3’s, and anyone else’s scorecards to give a good snapshot of what happened during the round.

Here is an actual scorecard from 1 of S3’s college tournament rounds at The Tribute at The Colony, a wonderful links course north of Dallas, Texas. Let me explain how to read it. Notice that hole 16 has 2 little teepee marks at the top. I put those there to mark the hole he starts on, so he began this round on #16. We use 7 lines: Name (score for each hole), Fairways (hit), Greens (in regulation), Chips, Putts, 1 line for +- on each hole and 1 line for +- cumulative for each 3-hole group.image

So what do we see here. Line 1 shows us a very good score of 73 with a double-bogey, 3 bogeys combined with 4-birdies and 10 pars. And there were 3 3-putts in this 73 so S3 had a very nice round. He hit 13 of 14 fairways. He hit 12 of 18 greens, the -1 on #13 means he was on the green in 1 stroke less than regulation, in other words, he drove the green. He had 6 chips which included 3-up and downs and 1 chip-in for a birdie. And 31 putts which is a lot.

The scorecard shows us that 93% fairways hit is a tremendous percentage (#1 on the PGA Tour is 74.56%, Thomas Aiken in 29 rounds). So A+ for fairways. 66.67% for greens in regulation (#1 on the PGA Tour is 75.12%, Bubba Watson in 23 rounds), S3’s 66.67% would be about tied for #80, so a C for GIR. Chipping and putting were inconsistent with some great shots, some decent shots and some poor shots. Frankly, perhaps the biggest revelation within this scorecard is that S3 had a couple of stretches where he could have let this round get away from him but he kept his cool and continued to grind out a 1-over par round. And look at that finish, his last 3 holes, #13, #14 and #15! Talk about finishing strong, he was 2-under par for those final 3 holes! That’s how to finish a round of golf!

The last 2 lines, the +- lines help complete the overall snapshot of the round. The 1st +- line makes it easy to see pars, birdies and bogeys. The – sign by itself is really a dash denoting a par, -1 is a birdie and +1 is a bogey. This line is a quick way to see and count up pars, birdies and bogeys. The 2nd line is the cumulative even, under par or over par for that 3-hole stretch. I circle the number on the 3rd hole of each 3-hole stretch so you can easily see where the whole round is heading. By adding up each of the 6 circled numbers and adding them to the course 18-hole par of 72, you come up with a quick way to total the score. So, in order of holes played, beginning on #16, the 3-hole circled totals are -1, +1, +1, –, +2, -2, totalling 73, 1-over par.

This is really more simple than it appears. The challenge is to record consistently, at least every couple of strokes. It’s easier to mark the scorecard as he hits his shots than to try to play catch up after the round is over.

See you on #1 tee ready to see you stats… Sam

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