FULL IRON OR WOOD SHOTS TO THE GREEN
(FOR PROFESSIONALS AND STAR AMATEURS)
While all golfers need to measure and record performance, this amount of detail
needed here is suited to the more motivated golfers, those on the pro tours
and top amateurs, though all golfers benefit from it. For them, saving one shot
in a tournament can mean the difference in winning or losing a major tournament.
Phil Mickelson and his caddy enter some of this data into his laptop on each
shot. One other favorite statistic: his large number of tournaments wins.
To select the correct club for the shot at hand, all golfers need accurate
yardages on how far they hit their shots in relation to the yardage required
and the shot, target and weather conditions. These distances are affected by
the type of ground condition, the slope of the lie, the target height, wind
direction and speed and even the height above sea level and the temperature.
Golfers almost never record data on what the shot condition was, how far the
pin was away and how far they hit the shot. As a result, they make club selection
errors that can be costly.
Professional golfers playing with amateurs state the number one mistake amateurs
make is to choose a club that does not hit the ball far enough for the shot
By recording accurate information on exactly how far they hit a shot and how
far it went to the landing point under different shot conditions, players begin
to make better club selections. Their average score tends to decline.
Prior to a lesson, a 24-handicap player told me how far he hit his average
shot with each club. During a nine-hole observation, I observed him and recorded
how far away the pin was and how far he actually hit the shot. He stopped the
shots an average of 20 yards short of the pin, with the ball stopping in sand
bunkers and two water holes. In the first application of this feedback, I showed
him his estimates and the actual performance. With this and other changes, he
dropped his average score by six shots quite quickly.