July 4th weekend is almost upon us and it is the traditional half-way point for my golf season and is an excellent opportunity for some game analysis. Actually, it’s a little past half-way; I lose a bit of steam right about the time Tom Brady’s deflated footballs start to fly, but will play through mid-November.
To date, I have carded 21 rounds. I enjoy tracking a couple key metrics and always measure my performance against the previous year’s stats. The KPIs for 2014 full season vs 2015 halfway point:
|2014||Avg Score: 79.97||To Par: +8.47||GIR: 8.47||Putts: 32.25|
|2015||Avg Score: 79.41||To Par: +7.91||GIR: 7.68||Putts: 30.73|
The one number that immediately jumps out is putts. A reduction of 1.5 putts per round is huge. To put it in perspective, 1.5 putts per round separates the 1st and 140th ranked putters on tour. The improvement is due to a change in pre-shot routine I implemented late last year. Not everything is going in, but I can usually count on having a good day on the greens even when I’m striking it poorly, and that makes the game more enjoyable. In 2014 I played 31 times and had five rounds with less than 30 putts. This year I already have seven. Man, would I love to sniff a sub 30 average. Anyway, a separate post is coming on how the putting change was implemented.
Second issue and equally important, is that I did not overhaul some part of my game in the off-season or early spring. How many of you do this? I always used to, and last year I fell in love with the Tour Tempo book, and later was taking hundreds of swings per day in the back yard in an attempt to make my swing better. The reality of this was a jumble of swing thoughts and a sore body from over-analysis and overwork. I’ve only practiced 14 times to-date this year and at the same point in 2014 was at 33. I was advised that when you’ve played golf for over 40 years, it’s very difficult to change your fundamental golf swing, as Brant Kasbohm from FixYourGame.com so indicated during a video lesson in 2011. I appreciate his candor and now, just attempt minor tweaks and adjustments between rounds and during play. So there is nothing to overhaul and I’m enjoying the game more. My handicap index continues to hover in the 4.5 to 4.9 range, and I don’t expect it to change much.
The third difference is I am finally feeling like myself again after struggling with health issues from October through May. I am filled with gratitude every time I tee it up after confronting the prospect of not being able to play the game I love.
So, I’m very much looking forward to summer and fall because the hard courses (Myrtle Beach) on my schedule are behind me. Who knows, maybe I can slice a shot off the old index? While the total metrics grade out in the B to C range, it’s feeling like straight A’s!
How’s the mid-point state of your season coming? Ready for the big July 4th weekend on the golf course? I am!