Last month, we used Shot Scope data to examine the Previous Shot Effect and the Anatomy of a 3-Putt across a range of ability levels. Today, the guys at Shot Scope are narrowing focusing and offering a case study of a single golfer. It's an example of how, by analyzing Shot Scope data, one can identify not only areas in which to focus practices opportunities but also weaknesses in things like course management and even the equipment in your bag.
In this first study, the team at Shot Scope provides an analysis of one of its employees and in doing so, uncovers something unexpected.
If you're a current Shot Scope user, be sure to check out the last paragraph for an opportunity to take part in a case study of your game.
Scott, the Sales Director at Shot Scope, is a former professional golfer who now has a handicap of 0. He plays club matches and some club tournaments. Scott is constantly in the office complaining about his Putts per Round total and how much he practices that area of the game. Eventually, the Shot Scope team took pity on him and decided to have a look at his performance data to hopefully make some suggestions which would result in lower scores.
Here is what we found!
As you can see in his game overview, Scott is a skilled golfer who hits the ball well off the tee, finds fairways a healthy percentage of the time. His green success (Greens in Regulation) is on the low side, and his avg proximity for approaches is farther from the hole than we'd expect from a scratch golfer. Scott routinely alludes to the fact that his putting statistics aren’t great. 34.2 putts per round is poor, and an average of one 3-putt once per round is also poor for a player at Scott's level.
Let’s start with a look at Scott’s putting:
As you can see his Make % for short (less than 6-feet), medium (6-18 feet) and long (greater than 18-feet) putts are slightly low, but they are not terrible. Ideally, Scott should be touching 90% for short range, 28% for medium range and anything in double figures for longs putts. Those ideal Make % stats are based on data gathered from 0 – 1 handicap golfers on the Shot Scope system.
His breakdown of Putts per Green highlights an issue; there are not enough 1- putts taking place. Understanding his Make % ratios, it would seem that he is not giving himself enough opportunities to make 1-putts regularly. His 3- putt % is also high. We know he 3-putts too many greens and this will either be due to inconsistent strike, poor green reading, or that his first putt distance is too far from the hole. With a scratch golfer it is unlikely that it is inconsistent strike and green reading so let’s have a look at Scott’s proximity to hole statistics.
Looking at Scott’s short game, he uses a mix of clubs (8-iron to putter) to pitch/chip. The simple solution is to improve his general sharpness and try to bring his avg proximity to under 10 feet. He might be capable of doing this by simply switching some of his putting practice to short game practice, but we don’t feel that his short game is the complete cause of his long initial putting distance.
Scott’s proximity to the hole from 75–125 yards could definitely be tightened up. 46.1 feet is below standard for a scratch handicap golfer, considering the best on the PGA Tour is 14.2 feet. His approach play from 125–225 yards also leaves a lot to be desired, with an avg proximity to the hole of 67.8 feet. Effectively Scott is managing to hit greens, but the putts he leaves are a long way from the hole.
To give Scott actionable insights, we looked into his wedge play, thinking that he could concentrate on making some changes over his next five rounds and we could measure improvement. Looking at his green success by club, however, we noticed an issue. There is a problem with his 9-iron. It is evident that this club is not performing at nearly the correct level, Scott is going to have it checked out by a club fitter to check the shaft, loft, and lie.
Checking the average distances for his short irons, we see that he also has a gapping issue. Scott is going to organize a testing session to check his clubs and improve his gapping.
Out of sync 9-iron green success and non-existent gapping with short irons are the likely root causes of Scott's issues. The recommendation is to visit club-fitter for a check-up. Aim to improve proximity to hole between 75–125 yards initially and then improve 125– 225-yard proximity to hole.
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