July 15, 2007

Fixing your weak spot

Think you can't make over your game? We help two readers do it -- in an hour

See how Michael (left) and Paul improved their putting and iron play, and how you can use the Golf Digest Challenge to make this summer your best golf season yet.

See how Michael (left) and Paul improved their putting and iron play, and how you can use the Golf Digest Challenge to make this summer your best golf season yet.

Last year, Golf Digest challenged you to make over your game. My article in the May 2006 issue about building 30-, 60- and 90-minute practice plans kicked off an online program called the Golf Digest Challenge. Thousands of readers built their own customized get-better plans.

For this year's Challenge, we again enlisted the help of golf-stats pioneer Peter Sanders, who developed Shot By Shot, an online program that provides detailed statistical analysis of subscribers' rounds played (click shotbyshot.com). Sanders' program helps players compute a handicap not just for their overall game, but for each part of their game: putting, chipping, long game and sand play. In other words, you pinpoint exactly where you need the most practice, then apply the ideal tips and drills to see results quickly.

How quickly? Sixty minutes.

The editors sent two Golf Digest readers to the Chuck Cook Golf Academy at Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin. Using the stats provided by Shot By Shot - -a version of which you can download at golfdigest.com/challenge -- I determined the weakest part of their game and then gave each player a one-hour lesson. The results were dramatic. You can change your game in an hour if you know exactly what to work on. See how Michael and Paul improved their putting and iron play, and how you can use the Golf Digest Challenge to make this summer your best golf season yet.


CASE STUDY 1: MICHAEL LLOYD
39 / NEW YORK CITY

Michael's Shot By Shot profile showed that he three-putted from 20 to 50 feet almost three times as often as other players in his handicap group. Because putts account for nearly half of an average score, improving in this area would have a dramatic impact on his overall handicap.

See how Michael improved his putting.

Information provided by shotbyshot.com

Average performance within his handicap group


CASE STUDY 2: PAUL GAGLIARDI
54 / SOUTHINGTON, CONN.

__ Shot By Shot's long-game statistic is a measure of a player's success hitting the green from 100 yards and out.Paul hit fewer greens than his handicap group,and had six more long-game shots per round, on average.

See how Paul improved his iron play.

Information provided by shotbyshot.com

Average performance within his handicap group