Do you want to have a guess at what the most important stat in golf is?
Is it putting?… nope.
Up and downs?… nope.
Sand saves…definitely not.
You mean it’s not a short game stat?
You want to shoot better scores? Hit more greens in regulation…it’s as simple as that.
Look at this table from WRX Golf. This data was taken from lots of rounds.
And it basically says. Your golf score (within a few strokes) is pretty much dependent on how many greens you hit.
So all this advice about short game is king…
I call bullshit…hitting greens is king.
After all if you don’t miss any greens, then you won’t need a short game.
Of course, that’s unrealistic, but the point is – short game saves a poor long game.
So get something that doesn’t need saving all the time.
Stop Being So Reckless
An obvious answer to the above is improve your technique (we’ll come onto that)
But before you start pummeling hours and money into your golf swing. There’s a really simple tactic you can start implementing that 90% of golfers don’t do.
You’ve absolutely smoked one off the tee. It is a beauty – you can’t hit it much better.
And you are left with 165 yards.
You are pumped and you have confidence rippling through your veins…
The pin is cut on the severe left hand side of the green (only 5 yards from the left) and any miss left will be in a treacherous bunker and will give up any hope of a par.
But your pumped – so you go straight for it.
It’s a pretty solid swing but it’s just tailing left and yep, you guessed it, you are buried in the trap.
4 shots later, you finally find the cup and it’s a double from absolutely nowhere.
Two good swings and you make double? Ouch…talk about momentum stopper.
The next problem is, you walk off the green cursing that ever so slightly pulled iron shot…
You start tweaking things in your swing because you cannot believe you pulled that 7 iron 5 yards…
When really a 5 yard pull is still a bloody good shot.
In reality it was your poor decision making that cost you to miss that green, not that near perfect golf swing.
I even think there is a case for the club golfer to avoid all pins. When you think that statistically you will only hole around 20-30% of the 10 footers you are faced with (this is being generous), then it poses the question..
Why even bother trying to hit it to 10 foot?
Why bother taking lots of risks, trying to knock the flag out, when even a pin point approach probably won’t yield you a birdie?
It makes more sense to aim at the beef of the greens, which in turn, lessens the risk of throwing shots away like confetti.
Have a think about it. Could you make better decisions with your approach play?
Improve the Obvious
You don’t have to be Albert Einstein to work out that improving your technique will result in you hitting more greens. (one of his more famous quotes above)
Everybody is trying to improve their technique. There isn’t a golfer on the planet that isn’t working on something.
Whether they are working on the right things or not, is whole different ball game…
Ask yourself this question?
Do you 100% for sure know that what you are working on will improve your technique?
Or is it guess work?
Is it something you think you are doing wrong?
Is it something someone who isn’t even qualified thinks you’re doing wrong?
Or are you having lessons but you don’t trust your coach? Maybe he spends more looking at Face book than he does your takeaway.
Well whatever the reason – if it’s not 100%, then stop.
This part of the game is too important to be fiddling around with and changing things on a whim.
In a recent survey, I asked golfer’s whether they were having regular tuition or not.
And if not, why not?
The astounding majority put it down to lessons being too expensive.
And let’s be honest, this isn’t surprising – golf lessons aren’t the cheapest things on the planet.
So that’s why we have bought out our New game changer academy which we believe makes it affordable for everyone.
Please click the logo below to check out our NEW Academy…
Improve the Not so Obvious
Remember at the start of the article I appeared to give the short game a bad rap?
Well not at all – I was only talking about stats.
If you have been following this blog a while, you’ll probably know that my chipping is by far and away my poorest asset.
I have struggled with it for a long time until I recently found an alternative technique.
But in this time when I struggled, I found that having a crap short game put a tremendous amount of pressure on my long game. I knew that if I missed a green, it was almost game over for that hole.
I knew that missing the green could end up in carnage.
And because of this, it caused me to get very defensive.
And not defensive in a good way, I am talking about making defensive golf swings.
In the words of mental guru – Bob Rotella (Here’s a review of one of his books)
‘Conservative strategy, cocky swing’
Well I was doing the complete opposite because I was so fearful of missing the greens.
That’s why I believe that sharpening your short game will improve your GIR statistics – especially if your short game was as weak as mine.
Imagine having the feeling that you don’t really care if you miss the green or not because you know you have the tools to get it up and down?
What will likely happen is, you’ll begin to swing with much more freedom than before and actually start to see that GIR percentage increase.
Allow Yourself to Miss greens
I thought this article was about hitting more greens and now your telling me to it’s okay to miss them?
Yep – that’s right.
One of the greatest golfers of his generation Gene Sarazen, used to allow himself 6-8 bad shots per round…
Sounds ridiculous when you think some of us who play 18 holes every two weeks and hit a few range balls now and again, get annoyed at the first sight of a bad shot.
We don’t allow ourselves any room for the inevitable rubbish we will produce from time to time.
And it’s these unrealistic expectations that again cripple your freedom on the course.
There’s a guy who I play with regularly on a Saturday. A 7 handicapper but very, very solid.
And for the amount he plays, this is a brilliant standard.
And he truly gets the most of his rounds.
He generally looks like he doesn’t give a crap…you wouldn’t know if he’d just shanked it and killed his cat or just holed a 240 yard 3 iron for albatross.
You literally wouldn’t know.
And one of the reasons for this attitude – is he knows he’ll hit lots of crap shots and he just accepts that.
He doesn’t let a bad shot or a bad spell derail him – he knows this will happen.
Once you give yourself the freedom to be crap and miss some greens, you actually become so much freer-er and you’ll actually hit more…
Don’t try and Hit More Greens
Now that you realize to get to your desired level you’ll have to start hitting more greens…
You might start to set goals like this before each round:
Goal: Hit 12/18 greens in regulation.
My advice – stay away from setting goals like this, especially before a round.
This is an outcome goal and any outcome goal before a round will not likely end well. Whether it’s:
- Shoot less than 90
- Have less than 36 putts
- Hit 12/18 greens
These types of goals only raise your performance anxiety and take freedom away from your game.
Goals before the round should be process goals like:
- Stick to my pre-shot routine on every shot
- React calmly after every poor shot
- Not to hit a shot unless I am fully committed
These goals completely take the performance anxiety away and make you focus on the processes which we enable you to reach your desired outcome.
If you wan’t some more info on this, here’s a great article by online mental guru, David Mackenzie
So before your next round, if you want to hit more greens, set much more beneficial process goals which will help you achieve this…
I hope this article has made you think where you could improve in order to improve this crucial statistic.