Focus on Your Faults

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Focus on Your Faults

January 07, 2010

Long Game

I always felt I was a poor putter, but in reality my approach shots were placing too much pressure on my putting. Filtering my stats, I discovered the telltale sign of a poor round (80 or higher) was my average distance to the flagstick on a green hit in regulation. It was nine feet farther than in my sub-80 rounds. My home course has lots of tiered greens, so a lack of precision really kills. That's why improving my Long Game Handicap, rather than Putting, was the most efficient way to lower my scores.Find out how he did it >>

Sand Shots

When I started keeping my stats, I'd been playing golf for only a year. I was overwhelmed: It seemed like every facet of my game needed improvement. I'm by no means a number cruncher, but because I've played a lot of endurance sports (swimming, running, triathlons), which are all about mechanical efficiency, using stats to narrow my searchlight made sense. It's great being able to tell an instructor exactly what you want to work on. For me, it was distance control on sand shots.Find out how she did it >>

Chipping/Pitching

I'm a Type A personality, and I decided one day I was sick of the C Flight. I was surprised when the numbers bounced back and said chipping and pitching were the worst parts of my game. When you play with higher-handicappers, like I do, I guess you get used to mediocrity. I was below average for my handicap in two areas: average distance to the hole and percentage of shots that miss the green.Find out how he did it >>

Putting

Because my Long Game Handicap was 5, my coach, Cheryl Anderson, said there was no reason I couldn't achieve that level in Putting. Studying my stats, we knew to zero in on putts from 21 to 30 feet. A typical 5-handicapper would three-putt only 10 percent from that range, so that was my goal. It's neat knowing the averages for each level of player and then trying to beat them, though I'm only 11.Find out how she did it >>

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