2012 Performance Analysis

With the 2012 golf season concluded it’s time to examine my performance against plan and compare this season’s playing stats against 2011.  The KPIs:

Year Total rounds Scoring Avg. GIR Avg. Total Putts Avg.
2012 33 78.85 8.74 31.88
2011 34 79.60 8.74 32.86

The primary objective in 2012 was better ball striking which should have translated into a higher GIR average.  It’s quite remarkable that the GIR is exactly the same across the two seasons, but no improvement is considered a miss.  My early season conditioning work left me feeling good, hitting it longer, but not necessarily straighter.  In the fall, I didn’t have enough time to practice or play and my ball striking went in the crapper.  I failed to reach double digit GIR in any of my last five rounds, and failed to break 80 as well.  It’s a no-brainer, but the key takeaway is that I need the reps and more importantly, reps from the right positions.  Interestingly, my scoring average dropped by 3/4 of a stroke, which can directly be attributed to better putting.  I’m not sure why because I practiced my putting less, but I suspect it was a mid-season change to a right hand dominated stroke that led to better distance control on my lag putts.  I’ve since abandoned that method and adopted one that helps me judge pace better on greens of varying speed.  Only five of my 33 rounds were sub 30-putt rounds and I’d love to get more of those, but the big picture shows a very consistent year with the putter, and I never took more than 35 in a round.

The great thing about the off-season is that you can battle test ideas for improvement and not feel pressured to abandon them because of one or two bad rounds since you aren’t playing regularly.  I’m very excited to work with my new custom fitted irons and have been doing a lot of reading and film study of myself, specifically in the down-the-line position with my driver and noticed some glaring flaws.

In this video you’ll see my swing plane is way too far inside on the takeaway and too flat throughout the back and downswing.  My position at the top is open with a cupped wrist and it’s no wonder I’m struggling to control my driver and am only slightly better with the irons.  It’s also clear that hoping a year of pure conditioning would improve my ball striking was a mistake.  The numbers don’t lie and neither does the film.  So I am humbled yet determined to improve in 2013 by making changes over the winter to key swing positions.  I’ll specifically focus on my position halfway back, at the top, and on the downswing.  I came across an excellent video I’d like to share at MySmartGolf.com of the one-plane swing.  Have any of you seen this one?

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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