Questions for scratch to 15 handicappers.

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By Andy

  • 43 Replies
  1. Andy


    Can you share with me the key areas to get to this level ? Please indicate your handicap when answering to put some context to it. Thanks.

    Q1) how many putts do you average in a game ? 2) how many GIR and fairway hits per game on average?

    3) i have the distance but poor direction which area should i focus more time on to bring my score to mid 80s - tee shot , approach shot, chip and put or putting ?

    4) why is it that my driver finish cannot finish like those good players or even the pros. Is it due to the wrong swing path. I swing steep and finished high up without shoulder rotating to the left.

    Thanks in advance for your time in answering my questions

  2. 8 Handicap (averaged just above 82 last year)

    1 - average around 30 putts

    2 - average 8 fairways and 9 greens

    3 - driver and short game. If you can't get off the tee you have no chance. If you can't putt or chip you also have no chance. If you drive it well and have a good short game, you can hide a shakey approach game. Obviously eventually you need to work on everything, but to me the driver and the short game are top priority.

    4 - really hard to say without seeing your swing, but from what you said, you don't really want a steep driver swing. that creates excess spin and usually weak shots to the right. try to shallow it out with the driver and hit slightly up on it.
  3. Andy


    Thank you very much for sharing these precious advice.
  4. Wade S

    Wade S

    Putts average 33
    Avg Fairways 9/14
    Avg GIR 10/18

    1. Learn how to scramble, Chip, Pitch and Putt
    2. 80% of your practice should be from 120 in
    3. See number 1

  5. Andy


    Thank you very much for sharing these precious advice.
  6. Good advice lol
  7. Chuck Z

    Chuck Z
    Mt Pleasant, SC

    Do not know if I can add to you specific question but I am currently a 17 handicapper and my coach says I am a dangerous 17 because I have a tendency to loose it on three to four holes a round. I can make two to three birdies are round, reach most par fives in two and keep my putts respectable. 30-35. Normally in the fairways 12-14. Think most call them blowup holes or the triple bogey blues. That is twelve extra shots. One foul second shot can really ruin your round. I have had medical issues for many years and am currently working on developing a stronger core, under doctors recommendation and many weeks of PT and rehab. At the end of this am taking refresher lessons to get my mojo back. Hope to be back play by the end of April. I know my issues and the second shots and course management are the key to me eliminating the triple bogey holes. At 76 taking refresher lessons is not out of the question. Almost shot my age when three days after I turned 68, with a sweet 69 and double bogied the last hole. I know my issues and will to spend the time and effort to get some of game back. In your questions to us, you never address your weaknesses that need help. I would recommend, as I am doing, go see a pro and have them look at your set up and swing and see what you need to work on. They are very helpful.
  8. Hi Andy, my handicap is 2.6 and these are my stats from Shotscope
    1) Average putts per round for the last year 29.8
    2) GIRs is 44% and Fairways 48%
    3) I would concentrate on short game - 120 yards and in. When I go to the range I practice hitting every 10 yards from 40 to 120 with full, three quarter and half swings with the vokeys ;)
    4) without seeing your swing this would be hard to say
  9. Mike M

    Mike M
    Marblehead MA

    Hi Andy. I'm not a stat guy. I couldn't tell you how many greens, fairways or putts I average.My handicap in 2020 was 4.0 and last year it ballooned to 6.7. Not sure why.Still trying to get it back to where it should be. To get better, you should focus on EVERYTHING, but the thing to start with, and in my mind the most important, is course management.

    Here are a couple thoughts on that;
    1.if you don't need to hit driver-don't. If it's a manageable par 4, hit 3 wood instead. It's easier to control and more forgiving.
    2. Eliminate 1/2 the golf course from the tee box-if you fade/slice tee it up on the right side and aim for the left edge of the fairway-and the opposite if you hook/draw.
    3.Take one more club on approach shots into the green than you think you need.Most amateurs end up short of the green.
    4.Don't stand over a putt forever.Too many golfers overthink it once they reach the green.Take a look at the putt from behind, and if it's really tricky from the side and beyond the hole.Once you're set take a practice stroke and GO!
    Good luck. Hope this helps.
  10. george t

    george t
    Old Lyme, CT

    Currently a 7. My average stats from last year:

    Average score was 81.4 with low of 74 and high of 92

    Par or better 51% of the time

    31 putts, 2 putts or less 94% of the time

    52% of fairways

    36% GIR, and being short 37% of the time. I haven’t tracked how many of those short approaches were due to being in trouble off the tee

    My round this past Sunday:

    Score 71 (short course)

    29 putts

    11 of 14 fairways hit

    14 GIR

    1 up and down par save

  11. Hi Andy,

    5.6 handicap came down from a 13.2 in the last two years

    1) average putts around the green is 30.6. (Making solid lag putts and higher make percentage inside 8ft really helped bring down my handicap)

    2) 45% fairways and 37% GIR with 43% just short of green. on average towards the end of last season it was 48% GIR.

    3)Get comfortable with short game! I work on key yardages that I find myself most often (50, 65, 75,100) and practice those numbers most. I play to yardages that I know have higher execution percentages. Driver accuracy is important, I've acknowledged that I am more comfortable playing a fade and embraced that. where i would say i've gotten the mosts strokes gained was driving accuracy/distance, chipping and putting.

    Finally the most important part of this last year was just getting the mental game on track. Letting go of bad shots and bad rounds... IT HAPPENS! round of golf or a bad shot is not a defining factor of your complete golf game.

    4) Take a lesson and stop comparing yourself to what pros look like.
  12. DK

    Northeast PA

    I currently play to a 7.6 and these are my stats for what they're worth.

    1) Average putts per round for 33
    2) GIRs is 38% and Fairways 45%
    3) Focus on the approach shots regardless of where they are from. I call it "recovery golf" LOL
    4) Drive for show, Putt for dough!
  13. Andy, my game is where yours is right now. I can taste sub-85 rounds everytime I play, just can't get there. My driver is pretty dependable. I'm averaging 38 putts in a round. What drives me over the mid-80's is the penalty strokes from balls rolling in ponds, the flubbed wedge shots, and the 2-3 3 putts I have per round. My score comes down when I'm hitting fairways and getting to the green in 2-3 shots. Putting is important, but I think most people can 2 putt most holes. If you're under 40 putts a round, I wouldn't worry too much about that.
  14. Frank P

    Frank P
    Port St. Lucie, FL

    I'm not much of a stat tracker, but I would say that the best thing for you to do is get with a PGA teaching professional, to get you on your way.
  15. Hi Andy

    7.1 Handicap

    55% fairways
    45% gir
    28.5 putts

    Q3. Work on getting up and down as much as possible. Once you are able to get out of trouble easily and have a “putt for par bogey at worst” golf game your scores will begin to fall rapidly.

    Q4. Tough/impossible to say. Steep is more often than not the way to go with driver. See a PGA pro for a lesson.

    Hope that helps!
  16. Really good advice. One of the pro’s at my club tells me constantly GIRs are the most important stat. If you can het yourself to be an avg to above avg putter you will be breaking 80 consistently w/11-12+ GIRs
  17. 3.3 handicap
    So how I play a hole determines on the layout of the hole I’m playing, staying out of the rough, in the fairway with a nice comfortable yardage into the green. Have to be able to shake off a bad hole and get out of your head, don’t overthink your swing trust it. Be patient!!! Bad holes are going to happen and missed reads/putts will happen. If you two putt for par from 10’ don’t think next drive im going to hit it as far as you can. Stay in play and set yourself up for the next shot. You score with your irons/wedges, not your driver. Practice ball striking, staying loose through out the week. Warm up before a round, (don’t hit 100 balls) hit 10-25 balls. Work on tempo and making great contact.
  18. I’m an 11, and trending lower (hopefully).

    1.) 32.3

    2.) Fairways hit 31%, GIR 47%

    3.) Focus on Approach, chipping, and putting. Those come in to play on every hole.

    4.)Hard to tell without a video, but for me I just try to swing out of my shoes. It’s something I’m constantly working on.

    I made a conscious effort to work on my game inside 100 yards which has saved me many strokes over the past year.

    If I grab a bucket of 100 balls at the range, I probably hit about 75 of them with my wedges to different targets. Then I grab 4-5 ProV1s and practice chipping for about 30 minutes, concentrating of where I want the ball to *land* rather than where the hole is.

    It’s done wonders for my game.

  19. I can put stats above but that seems to be a lot of info :P

    If you learn how to hit the ball well within 100 yards and really nail your 2 putts, you'll be crushing it in no time.

    Biggest thing for me personally was learning how to hit it anywhere on the green on my second shot and consistently 2 putting. Get the first one within a few feet and finishing off with another solid putt.

    You can hit a driver 300 yards but if you can't putt, you'll lose a whole stroke from 2 feet.
  20. JDailey


    So many great tidbits here! Loved reading everyone's responses so far. OP is getting some good advice. I'm going to throw in something different, just because I see it cost people a few strokes on almost every round...course management. Nothing pro level...but learn where places on the courses you play are absolute no-nos and avoid them. It's okay to hit iron off the tee sometimes if there are fairway bunkers or lots of trees around where your driver distance is. It's okay to layup on a long par 4 sometimes if there's water or deep bunkers around the green. Cutting down penalty strokes and punch out shots will shave strokes off your game quickly. Good luck!
  21. PZ


    Hi Andy! You've come to a great spot to seek advice. I don't keep my stats (I need to) but I'm a 7, was at a 13 just a couple years ago. I'm going to echo what a lot of people on here have said, and that's being good from 120 and in. Take all your wedges and chart them based off 1/2 swing, 3/4 swing, ball on back foot and flighted, etc all your wedge shots. Some folks refer to this as the clockface method i.e. 9 o clock swing, 11 o clock swing. I'd also recommend rarely aiming directly at the flag and playing to the center of the green almost every time (of course there's always an exception or two!) Lastly you sound like you need to take a lesson or two and I highly encourage this. I just took one last week and my pro gave me a couple drills to work on while at the range, and they're always helpful. Cheers!
  22. Ron T

    Ron T
    Grapevine, TX

    I recently started tracking my stats so this is interesting to read... I am a 6.7 right now...

    1. Putts = 32 on avg

    2. Fairways** 30% GIR 43%

    3. Approach shots and course management are key for me

    4. This is what makes or breaks my round... if I am able to consistently get it in the fairway, I will have a great day. If I am grinding off the tee it's going to be a long day.

    Course management has been something I am really focusing on in 2023... shot a great score the other day (for me) and realized I only used my driver 5 times over the whole round. It was great reinforcement...
  23. DRoss


    Great advice so far, all I can add is:

    Not being upset by a bad shot and learning to recover from a poor shot.

    Practice short game, especially scrambling and both long and short long putts. Getting close on a long putt doesn’t help if you miss a lot of 5 foot putts.

    Course management and remembering that 150 yard shot from the other fairway is the same shot as from the correct fairway.

    Learn to get out of trees with a safe short to avoid a second shot from the trees.

    Remember this is a game, we play for fun, good or bad. Look around some of the most beautiful landscape around is on a golf courses.

    Enjoy the opportunity to be there!

  24. Teedz

    Fresno, CA

    Currently a 6.7 HCP

    Q1) how many putts do you average in a game ? 30-36

    2) how many GIR and fairway hits per game on average? 6-10 GIR, 7-11 FIR

    3) i have the distance but poor direction which area should i focus more time on to bring my score to mid 80s - tee shot , approach shot, chip and put or putting ? Chip shots (inside 100 yard shots) and putting speed control are most important and can easily add strokes to your score if you aren't comfortable with those shots.

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