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LeftyRM7

Shot tracking a 20 handicap

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After finally pulling the trigger on a Shot Scope V2 and getting about a dozen rounds on it, I feel like sharing some numbers. I’m interested to hear some feedback on what stands out. It’s hard for a higher handicap to really know where certain aspects of your game should be, plus everyone’s game is different anyways. I feel like their is so much bad information out there ready to drag you down another rabbit hole. We’ve all heard the short game is king, but I haven’t seen that to be true. I mean, how many puts should a 20 hdcp have? How many fairways is good? Greens? What will shave strokes off my game faster? Anyways, I have this information now....but how do i use it to get better?

 

Feel free to share your stats so maybe we can all get a better gauge on where we really are with our games and what we really need to work on...

 

Avg. Score - 96

Par 3 Avg. - 4

Par 4 Avg. - 5.4

Par 5 Avg. - 6.4

Fairways - 31%

Greens - 10%

Pitches Inside 6ft. - 42.5%

Up&Down - 32%

Putts - 30.6

 

 

 

 

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I used arccos most of the year and went from a 21 to 14.9.   I don't credit Arccos 100%--as I also got a full bag fitting of PING and the changes in my bag--more FW and hybrids and less irons was the biggest diffence. 

The biggest part of Arccos helping was getting solid and consistent distances for each club.   It helped the longer yardges tremendously.   I now knew from 175 I would hit my 7 wood instead of trying to over swing a 4 iron or 4 hybrid.  

My long game got so much better.  Then seeing the percentage of shots that were short or missed left or right helped me know where to work on my swing. 

The fact that less than 5% of my approach shots went long, led me to take more club than I would have in the past. 

So yes shit tracking can be a huge help to higher handicaps.  

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38 minutes ago, Golfspy_CG2 said:

So yes s*** tracking can be a huge help to higher handicaps.  

It can also be beneficial to your overall health.

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30.6 for average putting is pretty good.  It's comparable to me as a 7 handicap.

I would attack your par 5 average of 6.4 first.  What I see over and over and over again with higher handicappers is hitting it as far as you can on the first two shots on a par 5, where you then probably have a 60 yard shot (or less) into the green for the 3rd shot, and then you chunk it, blade it, or some other variety of missed lob wedge, which leads to the inevitable double bogey.

Another perspective for you - I'm thoroughly convinced that I could beat most higher handicappers on par 5s just hitting 7 irons on this hole to the green.  I say this mostly because I can keep the 7 iron pretty straight, and in play.  Most higher handicaps tend to spray not only the driver off of the tee, but a fairway wood for a 2nd shot.  So by any 3rd shot you are probably behind a tree, or in bad rough, or dropping and hitting 4 way before you are close to the green.

My point to all of this on par 5s is to use better course management.  Sure, hit driver off of the tee, but then pick an iron that you have confidence with to lay up to a comfortable number, like 100 yards, so you'll have a decent chance of hitting a full wedge into the green.

I could be way off on all of this, especially since the numbers don't tell me anything about how you hit certain clubs, etc, but that'll give you some blind feedback and something to think about anyway, and take whatever you want from it and throw out the rest.  As always, it's advice that is worth what you paid for it, unlike the garbage coming out of Brandel Chamblee's mouth.

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Definitely the biggest help has been with distance and dispersion. Actually seeing your shots plotted out is nice. Not that i needed to know that my driver miss is left and left of left.


I would attack your par 5 average of 6.4 first.  What I see over and over and over again with higher handicappers is hitting it as far as you can on the first two shots on a par 5, where you then probably have a 60 yard shot (or less) into the green for the 3rd shot, and then you chunk it, blade it, or some other variety of missed lob wedge, which leads to the inevitable double bogey.


Funny you should say that, I like to play aggressive. I know my long game is my weakness so just try to bomb it and then try to save myself with my short game. I actually played 9 holes once with just my 7 iron, putting in all. Shot the same as I had the week before on the same course with my whole bag.

I’ll take any advice I can find. I just like hearing new ideas and perspectives. Never know what will spark the next breakthrough in your game.


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I don't think we have the data in your post to give you much insight.  I have Arccos, not ShotScope, and they provide a handicap and trending for different facets of your game (overall, driving, putting, approach, short game, sand) that's based on Strokes Gained.  I think ShotScope has something similar called Shots to Finish.  

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There's too much unknown here. But as a 20 handicapper you can probably pick off the low hanging fruit (strokes) easily by only using basic course management. Next I'd make sure you are playing the correct tee/course distance for your ability. Just because you might occasionally stripe a driver 260+ yards and are a man doesn't mean you play the "tips". I'd reckon you probably slice the ball. Playing from the fairway on only 4-5 holes off the tee is a non-starter and makes for a long day on the course. You'll be surprised how much better you'll play and score when you're able to start driving the ball more accurately. Golf is as much or more a mental game as physical ability. Keep in mind that driver isn't always the best or only choice off the tee on par 4 and 5 holes.

Finally - go get yourself some basic instruction occasionally to begin setting you on a path sound fundamentals. Golf is hard and you only get out what you put in. Best wishes on your never ending journey. 🏌️‍♂️

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So yes s*** tracking can be a huge help to higher handicaps.  

So will help your "shot" tracking as well


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On 10/19/2019 at 6:33 PM, GSwag said:

My point to all of this on par 5s is to use better course management.  Sure, hit driver off of the tee, but then pick an iron that you have confidence with to lay up to a comfortable number, like 100 yards, so you'll have a decent chance of hitting a full wedge into the green.

This is something I have started. I know unless I have two perfect shots, I'm not reaching most par 5s. I know I am more likely to hit offline or mishit a wood rather than my hybrid, 6 or 7 iron. I try to be about 100-120 out on par 5 for my approach and I have had a lot more birdie chances. 

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Your short game is equivalent to a single digit handicap based on averages. So it is your tee-to-green game costing you 5-10 strokes per round. GIR is the stat tied closest to overall scoring, so I would start by focusing on your irons and cleaning up your strike. If you got GIR up to 30% (I am between 33-38% as a 16 handicap with 35 putts/round) you would likely shave 3-5 strokes there. 

Hitting fairways correlates to slightly higher GIR. Overall, Fairways hit is the stat least tied to your score provided you are not taking multiple penalty strokes off the tee each round. A crude example is I would much rather hit a drive 300 yards through the end of the fairway (resulting in a miss) on a par 4 leaving a short wedge into the green, than a 200 yard layup into the middle of fairway and have over 150 yards as an approach shot. 

Given you score worst on par 4s and 5s, driver is likely hurting you the most. With your short game, it shouldn't be hard to hit a long iron or hybrid off the tee and get your scoring average down closer to bogey golf fairly quick considering it is already there for par 3s. Par 5 scoring seems to be an area to target a 2-3 strokes improvement per round. 

Edited by BMart519
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Hit more greens. Hitting less than 2 greens per round is going to kill your score. Figure out what causes you to miss them, either bad drive or bad approach and focus on that. 

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To me your stats for your short game look good for 20 h/c. Putts @ 30, 1/3 up and downs is pretty good. But it looks like you must carry a few doubles or worse on your card and looking a a parteo of what causes these is a good start. 

Small changes can make a big difference, getting rid of a destructive shot. For me the 3w has always given me a high cut, so it stays in the garage or  I go out and practise with it until I get confident with it. 

Just remember that ShotScope is an aid and can give you loads of data but sometimes just standing back and using common sense can take a couple of strokes off your score

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So after trying to dissect my game to put my self on a better path to improvement, I’ve started to keep track of shots by hand. The shotscope is great and an easy reference for the bigger picture but I really wanted to break it down more.

Now I’m keeping track of good tee shots and good approach shots. I feel like fairways and greens in regulation are misleading for higher handicaps. They don’t really tell the whole story. I could flub a tee shot 100 yards into the middle of the fairway then bomb one on the next tee box into perfect position but roll 2 feet off the fairway. That’s literally what happened this weekend. I knocked my approach just short on the fringe with a front pin location. Almost chipped in and tapped in for my par. Point here is, I played the hole next to perfect, but the stats say I missed the fairway and the green. Ironically on the previous hole I laid up after the flubbed tee ball, then hit my approach into the heart of the green.

After thinking I needed to work on my approach shots because I wasn’t hitting greens in regulation, I found out I have actually been pretty successful with approach shots. Moral of the story is that sometimes you have to dissect things a little bit more to find out what’s really the problem and not a symptom.

On another note, tee to green I’ve played outstanding the last few weeks. Problem has been putting. The cold weather set in and they started covering the greens at night so the pace has been much quicker and I haven’t adjusted well. That my friends is the beauty of the game I guess...


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2 minutes ago, LeftyRM7 said:

So after trying to dissect my game to put my self on a better path to improvement, I’ve started to keep track of shots by hand. The shotscope is great and an easy reference for the bigger picture but I really wanted to break it down more.

Now I’m keeping track of good tee shots and good approach shots. I feel like fairways and greens in regulation are misleading for higher handicaps. They don’t really tell the whole story. I could flub a tee shot 100 yards into the middle of the fairway then bomb one on the next tee box into perfect position but roll 2 feet off the fairway. That’s literally what happened this weekend. I knocked my approach just short on the fringe with a front pin location. Almost chipped in and tapped in for my par. Point here is, I played the hole next to perfect, but the stats say I missed the fairway and the green. Ironically on the previous hole I laid up after the flubbed tee ball, then hit my approach into the heart of the green.

After thinking I needed to work on my approach shots because I wasn’t hitting greens in regulation, I found out I have actually been pretty successful with approach shots. Moral of the story is that sometimes you have to dissect things a little bit more to find out what’s really the problem and not a symptom.

On another note, tee to green I’ve played outstanding the last few weeks. Problem has been putting. The cold weather set in and they started covering the greens at night so the pace has been much quicker and I haven’t adjusted well. That my friends is the beauty of the game I guess...


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Fairways are probably overrated. Just depends on the condition of the course. Deep rough places a premium on hitting the fairway. But if you roll 2 yards into the rough and it is tame, then usually there is no issue. 

Greens in regulation are far from overrated, no matter your handicap. Yes there are times where you will have holes like you described and while technically it is not a GIR it is still a decent approach shot. There is a stat on tour that consists of Greens or Fringe in regulation to take this into account. 

The stat tracking I use accounts for drives that don't require a recovery shot and fringes as it is a true SG app. The more information you have the better. 

 

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On 11/26/2019 at 10:35 AM, LeftyRM7 said:

Now I’m keeping track of good tee shots and good approach shots. I feel like fairways and greens in regulation are misleading for higher handicaps. They don’t really tell the whole story. I could flub a tee shot 100 yards into the middle of the fairway then bomb one on the next tee box into perfect position but roll 2 feet off the fairway. That’s literally what happened this weekend. I knocked my approach just short on the fringe with a front pin location. Almost chipped in and tapped in for my par. Point here is, I played the hole next to perfect, but the stats say I missed the fairway and the green. Ironically on the previous hole I laid up after the flubbed tee ball, then hit my approach into the heart of the green.

After thinking I needed to work on my approach shots because I wasn’t hitting greens in regulation, I found out I have actually been pretty successful with approach shots. Moral of the story is that sometimes you have to dissect things a little bit more to find out what’s really the problem and not a symptom.
 

You almost chipped in, imagine how much closer it would have been with a putter in your hand 🙂

What is your up and down %? If it is less than 40% that means you are giving up at least half a shot for every GIR missed unless your putts/GIR is around 2.5. GIR is the stat most correlated to score, you need to get the putter in your hand ASAP. This is also true for the fringe or edge of greenside rough. Your chance of birdie with any club other than putter can be assumed to be zero. You might chip in once or twice per season. 

Fairways is an overrated stat and your examples show both ends of the spectrum perfectly. The best way to leverage ShotScope driving data is mostly for year over year comparisons: you want to be increasing you P-Avg and Avg yardage, increasing FIR, and minimizing the difference between your P-Avg and Avg distance as that  measures how short your bad drives are as well as the frequency. 

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You almost chipped in, imagine how much closer it would have been with a putter in your hand
What is your up and down %? If it is less than 40% that means you are giving up at least half a shot for every GIR missed unless your putts/GIR is around 2.5. GIR is the stat most correlated to score, you need to get the putter in your hand ASAP. This is also true for the fringe or edge of greenside rough. Your chance of birdie with any club other than putter can be assumed to be zero. You might chip in once or twice per season. 


I agree that my GIR would go up if I played to the center of the green more often. But my putts per round wound also go way up. Right now my up and down is at 32% which I’ve been told is good for my handicap. I’d have to guess my putts/GIR is around 2, sitting at 1.7 per hole, but I’m only hitting 11% GIR.

Honestly I feel much better with my 56/60 around the green than with a putter over a long putt. If my ball isn’t 100% clear on the green I chip. I know, I’ve heard it a million times and read it in every guide to strategy in existence but to me it’s backwards. I feel like I’m taking one variable almost completely out. I don’t have to worry about speed as much, it just changes my landing spot slightly. I mean my 1 putt percentage is 34% and I can promise I’m not making much outside 3 feet. I’ve actually chipped in 6 times this year but i do give myself plenty of opportunities.


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Unfortunately the part that OP isn't good at is the hardest to improve upon.  Looks like he took the advice of people saying just improve your short game for quick gains LOL.  Developing a consistent swing is hard, and a lot of work and understanding.  Smart people find a good coach and gets it done quicker.  Stupid ones like me try to figure it out on YouTube. 

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1.7 putts/hole means you are a good putter and the focus should be getting the putter in your hands as quick as possible. If you are at 2 putts/GIR and 32% up/down that means you lose 0.7 strokes for every missed green assuming you never 3 putt a missed green after chipping on or fail to get on with the first chip. GIR of 33% should be a reasonable target and would lower your score by a minimum 3 shots per round. (Assuming bogey average on all non-GIR holes)

You are not getting double or triple bogey on a hole with a GIR. So this 3 shots per round could easily grow to 5-6 per round by reducing big numbers. Your rounds with low GIR will usually be your lowest putting rounds and if that is your target that's OK. But to improve your score you need to improve GIR or get your up/down to 60% which is scratch level short game. 

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I get what you’re saying but those are some big assumptions. I’d argue that my short chips to tap in distance would be replaced by 3 putts. Instead of a short uphill easy chip, a club longer would put me center to back of the green with a long downhill put that could easily end up right where my short approach already sits.

My average put holed is 2.4’. 1.7 putts per hole is deceiving, much like 11% GIR. My putting is good because I have a strong chipping game and my GIR isn’t low because I’m bad on approach shots, it’s more due to bad tee shots and not being afraid to miss the green and have to chip. I’ll take a green side bunker over that putt any day.

I’ll definitely get some time in on the putting green this week and test my chipping vs putting. Maybe 6 one way half dozen the other. I do know that my full swing needs to be more consistent for me to get where I want to be, that’s where I give up too many strokes.


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Well I spent some time on the putting green today. I picked out 5 hole locations close to the edge of the green. Some uphill, some downhill, one level. I hit 3 chips from just off the green, all hard/tight lies. Then I took 12 paces across the green to simulate as if I hit one club longer. Dropped 3 more balls putted back to the pin. Here’s what I found...

My chips averaged 60” from the hole, 18” closer than my putts. Over 1/2 of my chips finished inside 3’, including 2 dropping. Only 1/3 of my putts finished inside 3’, none dropped.

Breaking it down even more, I averaged each set of chips and putts. 3 of the pin locations, the chips were clearly better, by 2’ or more. 1 location, was essentially a wash being 4” apart. The last location, the flattest, was just over 2’ better with the putter. Then I broke it down to uphill vs downhill and what stood out there is the downhill putts. Putting downhill averaged 3’ longer than my overall putts. I guess pin high really is the king. Uphill putts averaged within a few inches of my average chip.

Small sample size I know, but definitely seeing some trends. Moral of the story, GIR are nice, but placement to pin location is huge. Reinforces what I’ve thought all along, I’d rather come up short, pin high than have a downhill putt.


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