One of the most important steps a golfer can take in improving their game is actually tracking what they're doing on the golf course.
For years, golfers made tallies on a scorecard for fairways and greens hit in regulation, putts hit and their overall score. Then these scorecards often went in the trash, effectively of no use in helping a golfer get better.
Now golfers have Shot Scope to track their games, which uses GPS mapping and a powerful analytics package to record and display golfers' shots, tendencies, strengths and deficiencies to help them get better at golf.
Andy is a golfer who's new to the Shot Scope platform. He started using it to track his game in June 2019, and he's got more than a dozen rounds in the system. Good rounds for Andy are just under 10-over total for the round. Bad rounds are on the other side of breaking into double digits.
Without multiple seasons of data on the platform, it's hard to tell the arc of Andy's life as a golfer. Is he getting better, or is he getting worse? We don't really know.
However, we can see pretty clearly where he can improve to knock shots off his game. Shot Scope tells us Andy is missing the fairway about half the time, and he's almost always missing to the right. Andy has effectively taken the big miss left out of his game, eliminating one side of the golf course.
The problem, though, is when Andy misses the fairway to the right or the left, he pays a big penalty. When he misses the fairway right, he makes double bogey or worse 19.5 percent of the time, compared to just 7 percent of the time when he hits the fairway. Missing his tee shot left, Andy makes double bogey or worse 27.3 percent of the time.
The bottom line is Andy needs to find a reliable tee shot. Driver appears to actually be his best club to do that. In the rare instances Andy his a hybrid or long iron off the tee, he misses the fairway well above his driver rate. The results have been bad for his score, leaving him offline and farther from the hole than he should be.
If Andy can stick with driver, work on his reliability with that club and keep the ball in the short grass more frequently, the strokes are going to melt off his handicap.