In September 2021, ShotScope offered MyGolfSpy readers an opportunity to play and test the Shot Scope V3 GPS and performance tracking watch.
But the divide between golfers who want to get better and those who are willing to put in the work to get better is vast.
Regardless of where you sit on the “want to/will do the work” continuum, we can agree that knowing is better than guessing. As a group, golfers tend to overestimate ability and conveniently excuse mistakes. Hell, even professionals think they hit the ball further than they actually do and Jack Nicklaus quipped, “I never missed a putt in my mind.”
So whether you’re looking to break 80 for the first time or breach the single-digit handicap barrier, it’s vital to confront the brutal facts of what you do well—and where you need to improve.
With that, we selected three members of the testing pool to track throughout this year. Based on several months of performance tracking, Shot Scope identified target areas for improvement in 2022.
This first overview highlights the primary goals for each player and the key improvement areas. We’ll check back in several times throughout the season to see how each player is progressing.
MGS Tester 1 – greggarner
Greg is a very good golfer and carries a 3-handicap. As you might expect, his game is well-rounded without any glaring deficiencies. As such, the aim here is to identify small gains that will allow Greg to consistently shoot lower scores.
Comparing Greg’s Strokes Gained against the scratch golfer in the Shot Scope database, his game is only 1.89 shots off the pace of a scratch golfer. Greg’s tee shots are his strength whereas his putting and approach play offer the greatest opportunities for improvement.
We can see by looking into Greg’s approach play that shots from 100 to 150 yards cost him the most (-0.50), closely followed by shorter approach shots of 50 to 100 yards (-0.20).
However, it is on the green where Greg needs to focus most of his attention. Currently, he averages one three-putt every 14.5 holes. For comparison, a scratch golfer averages one three-putt every 39.2 holes. Greg three-putts nearly three times as often as a scratch golfer.
Breaking down Greg’s putting by using Strokes Gained again highlights that it is long-distance lag-putting that Greg needs to work on the most. This assessment, combined with more traditional statistics on the Shot Scope dashboard, shows Greg averages six feet for his second putt when putting from at least 30 feet. Ultimately, with better pace control from 30 feet and up, Greg will be able to two-putt more often and reduce his three-putt frequency.
Goals for Greg in 2022
- One three-putt per round
- Greens in regulation up to 60%
MGS Tester 2 – JerBooth
MGS tester Jeremy was able to play only a limited amount (a few nine-hole rounds and just two 18 holes) in 2021 due to course closures in Ontario. (In order to get the most from the data we usually require 10 rounds.) However, with the data available, we have been able to identify a few areas that Jeremy should look to improve in 2022.
Jeremy’s handicap hovers around 12 but his posted rounds sit closer to the scratch benchmark. It’s a small sample size and we will need more data to generate a fully accurate assessment.
That said, his working average score comes in at +2.53. As a result, we used the scratch handicap as a benchmark when looking at Jeremy’s game.
Cross-referencing Jeremy’s Strokes Gained data and “hole types” allowed us to identify two potential areas for improvement: short par-5s and 150- to 200-yard par-3s.
Jeremy averages nearly 300 yards off the tee. Therefore, it would be reasonable to expect him to be score well on the short par-5s as he should be able to reach the green comfortably in two shots, likely with a mid or long iron.
However, approach statistics highlight a huge drop in Green Success Percentage when Jeremy is using an 8- or 9-iron. This also results in an average proximity to hole that more than doubles when using 8- or 9-iron as compared to 7-iron and PW. This inconsistent performance with short irons is most likely what is contributing to Jeremy losing shots on short par-5s and mid-length par-3s.
With the limited data available from Jeremy’s golf in 2021, the suggestions are based on a restricted insight into his game. As Jeremy posts additional rounds in 2022, the data should become clearer. Stay tuned.
Goals for Jeremy in 2022
- Overall: Improve performance on short par-5s and mid-length par-3s
- Assess 7-PW and check for specification inconsistencies (loft, lie, length)
MGS Tester 3 – JerryB
Jerry plays off a handicap of 30. However, his Shot Scope statistics show an average score during 2021 at +26.41 versus par.
Strokes Gained on the Shot Scope mobile app allows us to compare Jerry’s game against a 25-handicap golfer (which should be his next target). This analysis shows Jerry is closer to a bogey golfer off the tee and around the greens. His tee shots and short game result in a net gain of nearly six full shots as compared to a typical 25 handicapper.
Putting, however, appears to be a significant weakness for Jerry. More specifically, short putts. Because Jerry is a higher handicap golfer, missed short putts often translates into excessive three-putts.
In 2021, Jerry averaged a three-putt every 3.8 holes. That’s a bit more than four three-putts per round. Diving into his make percentage from various distances, like many golfers, Jerry struggles from three to six feet when putting.
We recommend that Jerry focuses primarily on his short putting, aiming to increase his make percentage on three- to six-foot putts to 50 percent.
Goals for Jerry in 2022
- Increase make percentage from three to six feet to 50 percent
- Reduce number of three-putts (two per round)
Objective data is crucial if you are looking to shoot lower scores. Fundamentally, it allows you to see where you need to improve and assess the effectiveness of any strategy (coaching, drills, new equipment, etc).
Do you use a performance tracking system? If so, which one? What are you looking to improve on in 2022?
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