We want you to understand that golf statistics are very important as you develop as a player and that they will help you to benchmark yourself against accomplished golfers who are playing successfully on a professional golf tour.
Recently I was looking at proximity to hole results from the sand for the 2013 PGA Tour season and one golfers results stood out from the rest of the golfers in the top portion of the list.
Now this golfer wasn’t ranked number one for the year from sand as that honour went to Justin Rose who for the 62 rounds of golf he played he managed to hit 59 of his sand shots within 6 feet and 10 inches (2.08 metres) from the hole on average.
Charlie Wi is more widely known as an exponent of the “stack and tilt” golf swing method, but few if anyone (apart from his caddy and instructors) probably know how effective he is from the sand.
I think you’ll agree that Charlie Wi is extremely successful at getting close to the hole from the bunker?
But as you know it’s all well and good being able to hit it relatively close to the hole from the sand, because once you hit it to close range you still have to putt it, and this is where it really matters.
Charlie ranked 56th for scrambling from the sand in 2013 with 66 of his 117 bunker shots being converted to par or better which is 56.4 percent.
Between Charlie Wi and Matt Kuchar there were about 55 golfers who were able to get the ball up and down out of every possible lie in the bunker better than 56 percent of the time.
This is an exceptional standard, but it’s also critical to be this effective if you are going to maintain your score momentum during a round.
Putting Effectiveness From Short Range
What about putting effectiveness from 7 feet with Justin Rose and Charlie Wi? How good are these guys?
I mentioned that Justin Rose’s proximity to the hole from sand was 6 feet 10 inches and that he ranked number one in this category.
Well he is also a great putter from short range and his putts made from inside 7 feet in 2013 was 73.47 percent ranking him number three in this important category where he made 36 putts from 49 attempts.
Remember that Charlie Wi who was only 4 inches further away from the hole than Justin Rose out of the sand, how did he fare in this category?
Not nearly as good, Charlie ranked much higher than Justin at 96th with 58.46 percent of putts made from this distance; he made 38 putts from 65 attempts from inside 7 feet of the hole.
The key to understanding where your game is deficient is to look at the relationship of one category to another, like sand proximity to the hole and how many putts you make.
Start monitoring your greenside strokes within 30 yards (28 metres) of the edge of the green and when you practice make sure that you practice your greenside wedge skills (chip, pitch, sand, flop and trouble) and that you measure your proximity to the hole results when you putt out.
This is so you can understand the critical relationship between how far you are hitting it from the hole and how many putts you take to get it in the hole.
At Pro Tour Golf College our students practice their short-game skills using the Par 20 Score Card pictured below. We map out 10 holes around the pitching green with chip, pitch, flop, sand and trouble shots of various distances and when they play their shots to the pin we measure their proximity to the hole using a very simple strategy of counting paces or steps from the pin to their ball.
- One step (1 metre or 3 feet) = Zone 1
- Two steps (2 metres or 6 feet) = Zone 2
- Three steps (3 metres or 10 feet) = Zone 3
If you hit it 10 steps from the pin it would be zone 10. I think you get the idea. Using a simple score card like the one we use you can monitor your proximity to the hole easily and effectively.
Take the time to monitor your distance from the hole and work with your golf instructor on improving this critical performance statistic and I guarantee you that with a lot of hard work and focus you will start to see a big difference in your scrambling ability around the green.
Lawrie Montague and David Milne - Pro Tour Golf College
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