If you’re a mid-handicapper, it can be hard to know where your game is lacking. You could leave the course thinking your putting is the problem, but that might just be because you three-putted 18. Or maybe you hit two drives into hazards on the back nine, so the ensuing rage is clouding your judgment and making you believe the driver is what’s keeping you from better scores. Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Cathy Kim says the only way to really know where you need to improve is to keep your stats. Here’s how she recommends you do it:
Kim says to take your scorecard and use the lines you’d use to keep a whole foursome’s scores to keep your own stats. On the top line, keep your actual score. Below it, use a line for how many putts you had on that hole. Use another line for whether or not you hit the fairway (use a check mark for Yes, I hit the fairway, and an X for No, I didn’t hit the fairway. Keep one more stat: Whether you hit the green in regulation.
If you’re a 15-handicapper, Kim says you want to hit 50% or more fairways and more than 25% of greens. For putts, keep an eye on how many three putts you have: Your goal is to not have any. How do your stats measure up to these benchmarks?
“You’re going to be able to see pretty quickly where it went wrong on the golf course,” Kim said.
After keeping these stats for several rounds, you’ll start to see trends appear. Maybe the problem wasn’t actually your putting – maybe the real issue is that you don’t hit enough greens. So instead of spending extra time on the putting green, you should head to the range with your irons.
“You’re now practicing with a purpose,” Kim said, “Instead of aimlessly hitting golf balls.”
This article was originally published on golfdigest.com