The First Call Inbox

The stats that really make a difference

In their respective attempts to improve, The First Call readers share the numbers that they track to better understand their scorecard

100th PGA Championship
A wide-angle view of the electronic scoreboard inside the media center during the second round of the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri.

Question of the week [Oct. 2-9]:  What statistics — if any — do you track each golf round? And have you noticed improvement over time?

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For years, I've tracked fairways hit, greens in regulation, putts, birdies, pars, bogeys. From year to year, they tend to remain the same even though I've moved up a set of tees.

Index is plus or minus 1 from year to year.

Norm Amyot
Melbourne, Florida 

I track greens in regulation and fairways hit. I just recently started doing this and have found that I can really see one of the reasons my score has not improved. Hitting the fairway gives me a better opportunity to hit the green. Missing the green almost guarantees a bogey unless I chip well. Hitting the green guarantees a shot at par. I'm not really sure if my scores are improving yet, but I'm feeling better about my game and that should help a lot.

Lou Ullrich
Nashville,  Tennessee

I note fairway’s hit, greens in regulation and putts (and score).

Dean Dodge
San Francisco, California

I track putts per hole during every round, as well as sand saves. Yes, that habit helps me improve round-over-round.

Mike Sanders
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania

I like to track total 3-putts, total putts and up-and-downs. I found that up-and-downs have the best (or worse) effect on my score since I know that I am going to hit just so few greens in regulation. A new putting routine given to me by my pro, and a lot of wedge practice has dramatically improved all three categories the past two years. 

Barry Duckworth
Knoxville, Tennessee 

I keep track of the following for each round — fairways hit, greens in regulation, total putts and total feet of putts holed.

Trevor S. Nelko
Minneapolis, Minnesota

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