Are You Better Than You Think?

The Reality Of Your Golf

I spend a lot of time talking with club golfers and one thing stands out when it comes to assessing their games and expectations: most tend to think that they need to hit the ball closer, further and hole more putts than they actually should be for their ability levels. By this I don’t mean they are not capable of achieving better things with their golf but I see it and hear it too often where a 15 handicapper is chuntering up the fairway because they hit it to 30ft from 150 yards away expecting to hit it to 10 ft or closer every time. The reality is that even the best players in the world on the PGA tours and European tours don’t stick it to 10ft every time and you shouldn’t be expecting to or be measuring yourselves against the guys who are the best in the world. Understand what the golfers of your handicap standard do on average and measure yourselves against them not Tiger, Rory and the rest of the world’s top ten.

Lets put some things into perspective here with some 2013 PGA tour stats:

No 1 in driving accuracy – Jerry Kelly 71.81 % of fairways hit

No 1 Driving Distance – Luke List averaged 306.3 yards

No 1 Green in regulation – Henrik Stenson 71.96% Greens hit

No 1 Proximity to the hole from 200 -225 yards – Charl Schwartzel 31′ 6″

No 1 Proximity to the hole from 125 – 150 yards – Chris Kirk 18′ 5″

No 1 Proximity to the hole from 100 – 125 yards – Robert Garrigus 15′ 3″

No 1 Proximity to the hole from inside 100 yards – Lee Williams 12′ 6″


So when we look over some very quick stats from last years PGA tour player data, you can see that the best players in the world are not knocking it to 3- 6′ all day long, not hitting all the fairways and not hitting all greens in regulation, so why is it so many club golfers expect to do so? What about the average club golfer, what do they do during a typical round of golf? We should be wanting to know how we shape up against other golfers of a similar handicap. photo


When we were able to look into the numbers and data on club golfers we start to see a totally different picture of what we “think” we should be doing and what in reality we need to be doing to play to certain handicaps. It will also help you see what you’ll need to be aiming for to reduce our scores.

You can see looking through the data that a club golfer of around a 10 handicap only hits around SIX greens on average per round, hits 54% of fairways and has around 32 putts per round. The interesting one for me is the driving distance a 10 handicap drives the ball, which is around 228 yards on average, slightly shorter than what most golfers would expect and probably boast about I think. The distances many expect to be hitting it can be way out too, most golfers tend to fall short of what their perceived driving distances are, I use a Trackman radar launch monitor and I have been able to show people the real distances they hit the ball and is a very rare occasion that I’ve had to tell someone they hit it further than they think.

When we look at the data and see how many greens, fairways, birdies, putts etc we actually need to be aiming to get per round, I think most would be surprised at how low the individual figures are and how much it puts things into perspective. The moral of the story is to set your expectation levels closer to the reality of your golf & what you NEED to be doing and make note of which areas of your game you need to work on to progress to the level of golfer you aspire to be. Also you might tend to be less harsh on yourself when you miss the odd green because after all we are out there to enjoy it too……..