Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve kept a variety of statistics for each round of golf that I play. I started doing this when I was 11 or 12 years old. The assistant pro that I was taking lessons from saw how interested I was in the game, and when I came in off the course, he would go over my scorecard with me hole by hole.
While we were doing this, he’d ask where I hit my tee shot, what club I’d use for an approach shot, how many putts did I take. Then he showed me how to keep track of all of that for every hole. Once I’d done that for a while, he’d help me compile several rounds worth of statistics and we’d analyze my strengths and weaknesses, and from there he helped me plan my practice sessions.
Now when I look at my scorecard after a round, I don’t just add up the score. I’m tracking how many fairways I hit from the tee, and when I miss the fairway, is it left or right? I keep track of how many greens I hit in regulation, also noting where my misses are, and with which clubs. I keep track how many putts I take, how many times I get up-and-down from the bunker, how many times I get up-and-down from off the green, etc.
If I notice that I’m missing a lot of greens to the right, I will analyze how I’m missing them to the right. Is it a pushed shot that flies straight, or a ball with a fade or slice, or a shot that I hit well and it ends up to the right. Once I’ve figured out how it’s missing the green to the right, then I will know whether I have an alignment issue or a ball striking issue.
I do this with every part of my game. Then I spend my practice time where I need it the most. This helps me to get the most out of my practice sessions, and I consequently play better golf because of it.
You can keep statistics the ‘old school’ way like I do, by making notes on your scorecard. Or you can embrace technology, and use any number of aps to track your statistics. If you start keeping track of more than just your score, you will be able to quickly identify your strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll be well on your way to playing better golf.