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Wisguy

GIR: 3 to break 90, 8 to break 80 - what do you think?

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This month's Golf Digest has an interesting little commentary from a teaching pro who claims that after a study done some years ago, one needs to hit, on average, 3 greens in regulation to break 90, 8 to break 80, and 13 to break 70.  Seems like the one time I broke 90 I had quite a few more than 3 GIR (I think I had at least 6 when I shot an 89) and I know I've had some rounds where I didn't break 100 where I had at least 4.  Maybe I'm having both more good holes and more really bad holes than the typical person who shoots about the same as me?  I've never really paid attention to how many GIR I have in a round, though.  Have any of you and have your results been consistent with the 3-<90, 8-<80, 13-<70 stats?

I'm looking at sub-zero weather tomorrow and I'm 2-4 full months away from my next round of golf, but this upcoming season, I think I'm going to start to track the GIR stat and see exactly what sort of correllation it has on my scores.  Obviously, the more GIR, the lower the score (unless you're 3-4 putting more).  Have any of you found that it helps to pay close attention to your GIR stats?

I've never been a stats guy, in contrast to a buddy of mine who kept every score card he ever played and had every putt marked on it.  I think I'll try to keep track of 3-(or worse) putting stats too, and see what that shows me.

Somehow, I think that my game will have a way of compensating for any particularly good aspect on a given day with a different aspect that will bring me back down to mediocrity.  This will be my 20th year of playing golf and sometimes I feel I damn well ought to have more than just one sub-90 round to show for it.  I had more birdies last year than I had in any five-year period of my golf career, but my scores stayed the same.  Maybe playing a dozen rounds a year with a small handful of trips to the range, I'm just not ever going to improve.

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I usually hit between 3-5 greens a round and I have only broken 90 once in the last 2 years and it was an 89.  I don't keep my stats anymore but it seems that it would need to be higher to break those.  I think when I shot the 89, I hit probably 7 greens.  I shot a 90 about 2 weeks ago and probably hit 7 greens that day as well.

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Originally Posted by Wisguy

Maybe playing a dozen rounds a year with a small handful of trips to the range, I'm just not ever going to improve.

Probably not. If you were just starting out as a golfer you would expect to improve a lot going that often your first few years, but if you've been golfing for 20 years its unlikely that you'll see much improvement without significantly increasing the amount of time you play/practice. It also depends on how else you try to improve, whether by lessons, posting your swing and getting tips on this forum, or by some other method, if you are doing those things quite a bit in conjunction with your normal amount of play you should see some improvement.

On needing 3 GIR to break 90, that's something I disagree with. I definitely think the number is higher, depending on how difficult the course. I've had rounds in the mid 90's with 4-5 GIR, but obviously everyone is different.

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I don't keep stats but I know I hit more FIR and GIR to break 90. I started last year on a quest to really improve my scores and I can tell you it will take more than 12 rounds a year and a little range time, but if you have been playing for 20 years you know that. I play in a league once a week and I play another round on the weekends, usually a Saturday. On Sunday I'm at the range where I hit a 100 to 150 balls, always working on something. And I'm taking lessons besides. I also read the forums, I read books on golf and of course Golf Digest and Golf magazines. I'm always working on something, it is my hobby (and my passion). BTW I have a very understanding wife.

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I disagree with the article. I averaged 10 GIR the last few months. High of 13 and a low of 8. I didn't break 80 every round. There are to many other factors in ones game to come up with GIR=score. How often do you get up and down on the other holes? How is your putting? If you 3 putt a GIR, it doesn't really count. These are just a few examples of why I think those numbers aren't accurate.
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Originally Posted by MJK3122

I disagree with the article. I averaged 10 GIR the last few months. High of 13 and a low of 8. I didn't break 80 every round.

There are to many other factors in ones game to come up with GIR=score.

How often do you get up and down on the other holes?

How is your putting? If you 3 putt a GIR, it doesn't really count.

These are just a few examples of why I think those numbers aren't accurate.

He did say "on average."  Seems fairly reasonable to me.  Obviously there are a zillion different other factors, but on average, this seems about right to me.  Here's a couple random examples from my year:

Worst score of the year: 94 ... 5 GIR

Best score of the year: 74 ..... 8 GIR

Round with most GIR:   85 ....11 GIR

Round with least GIR:   88 .... 2 GIR (twice)

Obviously, it's all over the board, based on putting, as well as big numbers on some holes, but considering all facets, if you have to pick "on average" numbers, these seem good to me.

For the rounds I've kept stats on this year, I average just under 6 GIR per round with an average score of 86.  That pretty much lines right up with his numbers :)

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I can relate to the numbers in the article. My best round last year was a 2-over 74 in which I hit 10 GIR's. I was 3 under on those 10 holes and 5 over for the 8 holes I missed the green. I scored 79 or better many times while only hitting 5 greens. If you can eliminate penalty shots and get the ball NEAR the green on those holes you miss it, a decent short game can keep the score down. I play 90% of my rounds on the same course. I think the familiarity of the greens makes a big difference as well...
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Seems to make sense to me... think about it this way, for bogey golf (a 90) you can miss every green in regulation, but if you are on every green in regulation +1 you shoot 90 if you two putt everything. If you figure you hit 3 greens and still two putt those, that puts you at 87. That still allows for some three putts or a bad hole or something to come in under 90; plus that doesn't take into account any one putts or up and downs, etc.

Going on, if you hit 8 GIR and two putt those and are on in regulation +1 on the 10 hole and two putt everything, that puts you at 82. However, if you are at the level where you can regularly hit 8 GIR, you probably aren't missing the other greens by too much which should allow for at least a few up and downs to save par. Also, at that number of GIR, you'd probably make a birdie or two, so breaking 80 having 8 GIR sounds reasonable to me.

For what it's worth, the one time I broke 80 (79) I had only 4 GIR. However, I made up and down 5 times and many of those were from the fringe so they were nearly a GIR. The other round where I came close (82), I had 5 GIR and 5 up and downs, and the only reason I didn't break 80 was triple and two doubles on the front side.

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The formula referred to in the article is SCORE = 95.1 - (2*GIR). It is pretty accurate unless you're a particularly bad (or good) putter. Should be within one shot 90% of the time when you take the average of four or more rounds.

Pulled five random rounds off my phone.

75 -- 10

74 -- 10

76 -- 11

78 -- 8

73 -- 13

Average GIR: 10.4. Predicted average score: 95.1 - 20.8 = 74.3. Actual average score = 75.2.

Not particularly surprised that I'm near the upper end of the 1.0 shot variance, as my putting is below average for handicap level I think.

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For the past few months, I've been struggling with my game, but I keep pretty detailed stats.  My average score last few rounds was +26.

I've been averaging 11.11% GIRs through my last few rounds.

5% on Par 3's

14% on Par 4's

10% on Par 5's

Results after GIR:

10% Birdie

70% Par

20% Bogey

Results after missed GIR:

0% Birdie

6.25% Par

37.5% Bogey

56.25% D. Bogey

My scrambling percentage is only 6.25% based on these same few rounds.  Combine those together, and I'm actually shooting around a 23h.c. instead of a 15.  I'm sure once there's a recalculation, mine will jump harshly.

But in contrast, my Fairways hit numbers seem to be much more damaging....

48% Fairways hit during 5 rounds averaged out.

After Fairway hit:

3% Birdie

20.59% Par

76% Bogey

After Fairway Missed:

0% Birdie

8% Par

22% Bogey

69% D. Bogey

So mine is not that easy.  I must start hitting fairways in order to hit more GIRs and improve my chipping and putting to greatly improve my scrambling percentage.

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Bullitt. Great example of how stats can highlight the areas to work on. And subsequent analysis showing the importance of hitting FIR and GIR to give yourself the opportunity to keep scores more. Just a shame they have gone the wrong way recently;-)
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It depends on your short game and how much you miss the greens by. I am lucky to him two GIR but If my misses are close and my short game is working I can get up and down or at worse up and two putt.  I have broken 90 many times with no GIR  However the only two times I broke 85 I had 5 GIR. My puts per round average 1.6 that is not because I am a great putter but rather because I many times miss just off the edge and can chip it close giving my self a tape in or at least a make-able put most of the time. My putting average for GIR is 2,3.

So to break 90 miss it close hit it close and tap it in.

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I have broken 90 many times with 3 to 6 gir. I have never broken 80, yet I have hit 8 gir a few times and 9 gir a couple.
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It's a decent starting point, but as others have said, individual games can vary. For myself, I average 3-6 GIR a round, but haven't broken 90 in a while. If you take out all of my stroke and distance penalties (yay driver), I'd regularly shoot in the mid 80s. I lose most of my strokes in the trees, but I can make them up around the greens sometimes. My playing partner is about my level, and his game is completely different. He's not as long as me, so he doesn't take as many penalties as I do, but his putting is seriously holding him back.

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Two years ago I had a strange round: zero GIR, but shot 89, which was +18 on a Par 71 layout.

I was spraying my approach shots, but scrambled well enough to get three pars and a birdie (ran in a 20-foot putt from 2" off the fringe).

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Take these articles with a grain of salt.  Averaging 3GIR to break 90?  maybe?............it can be done.  I've hit 3GIR and shot near par golf before.........21 putts and a couple chip-ins certainly didn't hurt!!!  There are so many variables involved that it's hard to generalize.  The author is assuming "all things equal" with respect to a persons golf game and hitting 3 greens.  A low single digit player hitting 3GIR will post a score very different from a 20HC hitting 3 greens. Generalizing is difficult......

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You got to take the GIR numbers very generally as opposed to being a statistical calculation of how well you shoot. There are other variables that come into play, different courses and how the pins are placed which can skew the number or just conditions in general. So, yah, I think 3 greens in regulation to break 90 makes sense, but it's certainly not an iron clad rule. Some days your just lights out putting. I'm pretty confident with my putting, meaning I hit the ball exactly the direction I aim, but on my good days I also get the break right and that can change my GIR relative to my score real fast.

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Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut

Take these articles with a grain of salt.  Averaging 3GIR to break 90?  maybe?............it can be done.  I've hit 3GIR and shot near par golf before.........21 putts and a couple chip-ins certainly didn't hurt!!!  There are so many variables involved that it's hard to generalize.  The author is assuming "all things equal" with respect to a persons golf game and hitting 3 greens.  A low single digit player hitting 3GIR will post a score very different from a 20HC hitting 3 greens. Generalizing is difficult......

You're right, a 20HC hitting 3 GIR is very different than a low single digit doing it. I think the point is that a low single digit should average more than 3... obviously on days when they only get three they'll still probably shoot better than high 80s, but normally they get more than three.

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