Entries Tagged as 'Statistics'

So near and yet…

A little extra bit of work and a serious start to lifting my mental game were part of this week’s preparation. Did it pay off?  Yes…and NO.

Generally my driving was better.  50% of fairways hit doesn’t sound like a great deal of improvement, but only one of those five required a creative recovery. Even then it was only about five metres from the cut surface.

My bunker play was good – with two sand saves, and one GIR from a  fairway bunker.

For over two thirds of the round my thinking and approach was good – and my ‘course plan’ was sound.  At times I was let down by execution that was not quite right.

So how did I go with this strategy? Answer: after the 15th I was on track to play to my handicap, despite missing a 2 foot par putt on 13. Three holes later another point had been added to my stableford score and five more shots had been taken than my handicap allowed.

The statistics:

FIR: 50%  GIR: 50% PPG in Reg: 2.22 Score: 31 points. Handicap: 4.9 for another week.


One golfing goal for 2010 has been achieved. Today I played Ratho Golf course, the oldest course in Australia.

Located just outside Bothwell, Tasmania, the course surrounds a working farm. New holes have been added and the greens and bunkers are not original, but the course has been on the same piece of land since 1822. With six new holes added (with plans for a further three to complete the eighteen) the course well grassed, well cared for, and offers a good variety for a short course, and a number of interesting – perhaps even novel – challenges.

Too much trouble to go for the green off the tee

Risk is high, reward is low at the 6th

The first few holes are relatively flat and straight with a drainage channel crossing the second, fourth and seventh.  The short 260 metre fourth is a dogleg right with a blind landing area. Rough left and right means the wise choice is to lay up and rely on a 120 metre approach. The risk factor is high here, and the reward is low.

Hole 6 is a shorter  par 4, just 220 metres! The tee shot is over the crest of a hill and a drain/channel snakes across the fairway dividing it neatly into three sections. Again discretion is called for, and I chose an 8 iron for safety. Even though it was a wise choice poor execution on my next two shots left me a 7 metre putt for par. It didn’t drop.

The six new holes include some remarkable challenges and one excellent par 3, the 180 metres 11th.   Ten starts near the road and requires a tee shot over a mustering yard. The green, some 500 metres from the tee, sits precariously on the edge of the  river. It does not pay to hit a long wedge to this green, but a short wedge means the putt must traverse a small valley to get into the hole.  A few paces from this green is the 11th tee. The river is just metres away for the entire length of this long par 3, a danger for slicers, while too far left will leave the ball in deep rough.

View from 15th tee at Ratho

Make sure you clear the hedgerow - and watch the sheep around the green!

On 13 and 15 a hedgerow stands between tee and green, and a poor tee shot can be disastrous. On the 197 metre 15th sheep provide a further hazard. While local rules allow a replay if the ball hits a sheep it is hard to see the contacat through the hedgerow!

The Ratho course does not make the top 100 courses in Australia, and never will. As a keen golfer it was good to play on the oldest course in Australia (and the third oldest in the world).  How do I rate the experience? On my scoring, just OK. For enjoyment and interest – Very Good.

If you are a golfer, and are in Tassie, make sure you visit Bothwell and play the oldest golf course in Australia.  While in Bothwell, take the time to visit the Australian Golf  Museum as well.    For an all up cost of $20 it is great value and affordable golf.

My statistics:

FIR: 8/11  = 72% GIR: 10/18 =  55%  Putts: 29 Score: 71  (4 over) 6 birdies, 6 bogeys, 1 triple bogey!

Progress toward the goal

A social round at a new course with borrowed clubs was an opportunity to test out my game – technically and strategically.  For most of the day things worked well, but some poor course management and a couple of slight lapses my thinking and concentration hurt on the score card.

My stats:

FIR  38%   GIR 41%  PPG  1.61 (29 Putts) Score 79  (8 over)

A well trapped green.

The par 5 8th is reachable in two - if you can hold a three iron on a well trapped green!

The driving stats don’t look good, but most of my drives were close to the fairway when they missed. Only one drive left me with chip out, and that was caused by lack of course knowledge.  GIR isn’t great either. From good fairway position approaches often came up short – and that might be attributed to failing to adjust to the strange clubs.

Three holes cost badly. Three putts on two of the par 5’s were  major blemishes, and a double bogey on 6 hurt on the scorecard. The double bogey came after missing the green from 70 meters. Without a lob wedge the recovery shot was almost impossible, so I took the soft option and accepted the double.

My other learning experience for the day came in the sand.  A wide sole on the club is not helpful when there is little depth to the sand. All three bunker shots were long by at least 1o metres! Not good when the pin is six metres from another bunker.

Overall I was happy with my ball striking and course management  despite it being my first outing on the course and my first use of this particular set of clubs.

Related posts:

Close … but not there yet

A magnificent day in Hobart, no breeze and a little dew adding a layer of moisture for the first five or six holes. Perfect for golf.

After the normal warm up the game got under way.  On the practice fairway things were good, and the first drive split the middle of the fairway. Five shots later my first double bogey was on the card – not a good start in a stroke round. 40% of my handicap gone with 17 holes to play. 

A birdie putt on 11 (my second hole) was on line but just short.  Blast!  Then followed a birdie, only to give the shot straight back with a three putt bogey. Four pars followed before bunker hopping to a bogey on 18. Three over at the turn was OK.

Splitting the fairway on one was followed by a slightly mishit 3 iron, and a one meter putt for a birdie.  From two metres my birdie putt didn’t even graze the hole on  4, and the next two holes yielded two double bogeys.  A shocking drive precipitated the first double, and the next was poor course management par excellence.  Five shots were given away in just three holes. A fortunate bounce off a tree left my ball on the fairway at 7, and after a good aproach the putt dropped for a birdie.  That shot was  given back on the next hole after my chip landed on the putting surface instead of  the fringe and my four metre putt lipped the hole.  Six over with one hole to play. On the 9th (my last hole) one centimetre was all that stood between playing to my handicap or not. Right on line is no good if the putt stops short of the  lip! 

The result was a 78, nett 73 – and my handicap went down 0.1 as  this round replaced a 7 over round in my top ten.


FIR: 57%  Driving distance 237 metres*

GIR 72%  PPG 1.833 (32 putts) Average first putt distance 22.39 feet.

 * Driving distance is based on two holes going in opposite directions as per PGA tour stats. Average drive distance for all open driving holes was 223 metres. Monthly medals are played off the back tees, and distances to the green are marked on sprinkler heads.

Related posts:

Signs of hope

It worked on the golf course, but not on the scoreboard!

Extra efforts over recent months to raise my game to the next level are bearing fruit.  A slight correction yesterday (shortening my backswing) made a huge difference on the course. It certainly did improve my score.

Statistically: FIR  64%  GIR 50%  Putting 1.67 = 30 putts.  Score = 75  (3 over)

This is my best round on this course by three shots. As always, it could have been much better. Three shots were dropped in the last three holes. A 115 downwind approach was pushed right at 16, and compounded by an overhit bunker shot, an ordinary chip and a missed 5 footer meant a double bogey, and a short chip on 18 added to my pain.

Highlights: Four birdies (including three of the four par 5’s).  Most satisfying was the driving, with only two holes where I needed to shape my second shot to get to the green. Both of those however resulted in bogeys.

Lowlights: Three putts on the par 3 4th, and a bogey on the short 5th put a halt on a promising start.

Summary: I am on my way to better golf and a lower handicap is just around the corner.

Work areas this week: Bunker play – 3 greenside bunkers but no up and downs

BTW: 38 points on my card did not translate to 38 points in Golflink, but that story is for another day!

Related posts:

Facts vs. Feelings

At the end of the day the ball striking was pleasing. Off the club so many shots felt good, and I was generally happy with my swing.  At least two birdie opportunities were from under ten feet. The score card told another story – 28 points!

Statistics: FIR 21%  GIR 27%  Putts 34. None of them were good!

After 5 holes I was two over, but on handicap. The next four holes included one penalty drop (unplayable lie) and 10 putts, 9 of those putts came from within 6 feet of the hole.  A downhill birdie putt from 4 foot on the 6th kicked off an appalling sequence which ended with a missed 2 foot bogey putt on the 9th. Six shots dropped in four holes. 

Looking beyond the putting lapses there were 5 drives where it was not possible to go for the green. The fnal score was not helped by two penalty strokes – my one hooked tee shot ended in water on 14, and a sliced 2 hybrid on 9 (after a  magnificent drive that was on the fairway) ended in an impossible lie in the tea tree.

In summary, the good is very good, but the bad was horrid.  It was one of those days. All golfers live for the day when it is all good. Roll on that day!

Three by three, and another 0.1

Back at Royal Hobart for the Monthly medal this weekend. Conditions were cool and the sky was overcast. There was little breeze. In other words, it was a perfect day for golf.

In preparation I was at the course at least 30 minutes before tee off.  About 30 shots on the practice fairway, a few chips and a few putts and I was ready to go.  During the week I had managed to get out on the course once, and spent time most days indoors on putting and chipping technique.

At the end of the day I signed for a 78, net 73. CCR  was 71 (Par 72), and the handicap went out to and exact 5.0.

Statistically:  FIR  64%   GIR 50% Putts 32 = PPH 1.77

Practically 4 errant drives meant playing for position rather than going for the green, and three three-putt greens were costly. Of five realistic birdie attempts (putts of 3 metres or less) on one was converted. A little improvement in any of these areas and lower scores should result.

The plan this week:  practice twice working to embed changes to my set up and swing. More time needs to be spent on the driver, and on the putting green.

Is there hope? Absolutely.

Two weeks on from the lesson. Another competition round played.

With a forecast of 26 degress and clearing showers the drive to the  course was made in persistent rain.  In conditons like this even getting the clubs out of the car was a trial.  A rain jacket helped.  Gathered with a dozen or so others I waited near the gloom of the pro shop. Even though is was nearing 8 a.m. the pro shop was dark. A power drop out meant that a candle was used to read the hit off sheet and normal log in procedures were changed.

With rain falling groups were made according to those present and a few of us headed to the tees.  Fortunately the weather was mild and the drops were big, but the rain was not heavy.   In the rain the aim is to keep clubs and hands  dry, and try to make solid contact. Two holes later I was one under par and the rain stopped.  I did not cope  well with the change.  Another four holes later and something of the right rhythm returned.

By the end of the round it was nearing 26 degrees and I walked off reasonably happy.

My score: 34 stableford points.  Handicap: now 4.8.

I finished 53 out of 115 competitors. A wild slice on 13 and three 3 putt greens were costly.  Poor putting on the last 6 holes (5 makeable birdie putts of 5-15 feet) didn’t help either.  Some might attribute ‘blame’  to the recently scarified and slightly bumpy greens, but the errors were all my own. You should not leave birdie putts short.  Nor should you miss from 18 inches.  At least two of the three putts on the last went past the hole !

My stats:

Driving Accuracy: 43%  (Only two drives were in positions where I could not go for the green.  Most were within a metre or so of the fairway.)



Why am I satisfied?

It wasn’t the statistics so much as the way my round finished. On the last six holes tee shots put me in position to go for the pin, and 5 good birdie/eagle opportunities resulted.  As the round progressed confidence in my set up and swing increased. The future is looking brighter.

BTW: Well done to Jacques and Gordon, two of my playing partners. They shared the spoils for the day with 41 stableford points each.

State of Play

My first competition round in three weeks was OK.  The handicap remains at 4.6 after a 78. 

The Club

%th GreenThe decision to join Royal Hobart was fairly clear. Tasmania is a more spectacular course, and there was some attraction to that club. While the costs are comparable the major factor in my choice was the differnece in practice facilities. The range at Tasmania is a “pro balls only” range. There is a  similar area at the Royal, but they also offer alternative areas including a short game range, and a chipping green.   Currently Royal Hobart is ranked in the top 50 public access courses in Australia, while Tasmania makes the next 50. Reports on the condition of the course confirm that ranking.  

The  Round

My first round was OK, marred by one three putt at 18, a bunker to bunker double bogey on 14, and some bad thinking  on my final hole, the 9th.   Aspects that I continue to work on are Driving (too many drives just off the fairway), approaches between 120 and 50 metres, and putting.  34 putts is at least 4 too many!

Subtle slopes on the greens continue to confuse, and increased familiarity with the course can only help in the green reading process. Then I will need to get the putts on line!    


Practice this week….not really. A few one hand swings indoors,  nine holes Friday night, and nine holes at Richmond Valley Course on the previous weekend.  More intentional practice and a chat to the pro are on the agenda for this week.

Leishman vs Baddeley – and then there’s Roberts

2009 PGA Rookie of the Year Marc Leishman continues to perform well on tour.  With the Northern Trust Open coming to a conclusion Leishman sits T15. A bogey free 65 propelled 27 spots up the leaderboard him up the leaderboard.

His main stats for the round (as per PGATOUR.com):

  • Driving Distance 288 Yards
  • Driving Accuracy 85.7%
  • Greens in Regulation 77.78 %
  • Puts per hole 1.643
  • Ave distance to the pin 25′ 6″

Aaron Baddeley continued to be off the pace but made the cut and finished T54 afer an even par final round.

His stats:

  • Driving distance 282.5 yards
  • Driving Accuracy 57.7%
  • Greens In Regulation 44.4%
  • Puts per Green 1.843
  • Ave distance to pin 35′ 2″

The final score shows a difference of just 6 shots. Driving distance shows little difference – it is insignficant in the big scheme of things. Driving accuracy is more important, not just hitting fairways, but putting the ball in the right areas. Shots played to the green set up the score, and fairway position sets of the approach. When Aaron Baddeley was putting he was starting, on average, 10 feet (3 metres) further away than Mark Leishman.   It  doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up to about 6 shots and lots of $$$$$$!

For someone playing for pleasure my stats on the weekend added up to +6.

  • Driving distance  252 metres (275 yards)
  • Driving Accuracy 42.9%
  • GIR  61.1%
  • Putts per hole 1.889
  • Average distance to the pin  24′ 11″

The difference is in the number of shots taken to the green, and the PPH comparison with Marc Leishman is worth 4 shots a round.

* Driving distance is calculated on two selected holes only the course. These holes will be played in opposite directions to balance out the influence of the wind.