The Golf Statistics You Should Really Be Keeping

Lots of players like to keep track of their game as they play. They write down fairways hit, greens hit in regulation, up and downs, number of putts, and so on. Those statistics don’t really tell you what you need to do to improve, because they are effects, not causes.

Instead, keep track of which shots come off like you had intended, and the reasons why something else happened. Only then will you get the information you need to know about what is working and what is not.

I would suggest that after you get home you answer these two questions for every shot you hit. Be honest.

1. Shot quality. If I hit every shot like this one, I would:
a. shoot par
b. shoot 80
c. shoot 90
d. shoot 100
e. take up tennis

2. For d. and e. shots, was I:
a. trying too hard
b. thinking about technique
c. not sure the shot would come off
d. losing my focus temporarily
e. trying a shot I had never practiced
f. in a brand-new situation with no clue
g. trying to get too much out of the situation
h. not assessing the situation fully
i. just a bad stroke — they happen

Notice that most reasons you miss shots are mental mistakes. Sure, better technique cannot be denied. But it’s the mind that lets the skills you have come to the fore, no matter how good you are.

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