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Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Trying to figure out my goals for this year, and have a few questions. Right now I hit roughly 6 fairways per round (42%), and 5 GIR (27%). Pretty sad. My iron play is getting better, but definitely needs help.

I'm a 16.8hc as of last revision with putting issues, I average slightly over 36putts per round even with the low number of GIR.

My goal this year is to get to a 12hcp. I wanted to know roughly what kind of numbers I should be shooting for, as a 12hcp, as far as fairways hit, GIR, and putts/round? You can break it down in putts per GIR, versus putts per green in non-regulation as well if that helps.
post #2 of 27

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

Get a few more drives in the fairway, say 8 instead of 6. Get your GIR up to 8 (take enough club to carry to the center of the green on your average shot, not your career shot). Average 2 putts for each GIR (in other words, lower your 3-putts). Get up and down an average of 3 out of 10 times you miss the green (in other words, work on your short game).
If you do that: 8 pars for your GIR holes, 3 pars for your non-GIR holes, 7 bogies for your non-GIR holes. That's only 7 over par. You've got some wiggle room for a couple of doubles or even a triple and still be at a 12 hcp. But putting and short game are the key to better scores. No question. Good luck.
post #3 of 27

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

I have to agree with the above. I hit 57% of fairways but only 23% of greens. My avg putts per round is 34.5 or 1.91 putts per hole. I get up and down 35% of the time....which is why Im a 14. If I could hit more greens I think I would be an 11 or 12.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

Appreciate the feedback. I started tracking this info in the last part of the year, my putting has gone through a very rough patch which I'm working on. I also haven't had time to practice short game over the winter, it will be my focus this spring. I agree with you all, hit a few more greens, and get up and down, and I should be there.

My last few rounds I've had 4-5 three putts, just as ball striking has been coming around. Always something
post #5 of 27

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

I am playing to a 17.1

Last season my fairways hit was 42% and my GIR was a measly 17% and was averaging 1.8 putts per green.


My focus has been working on accuracy with the irons to improve that gir.
post #6 of 27

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

Fairways hit and GIR are less useful stats than we think. Both are measures of the long game, and are better compressed into one number: GHIR (green-high in regulation). Hitting greens is something most recreational golfers don't do well. As long as you can get your ball up to the green in regulation, you're doing OK. Then if you can chip and putt, you'll score. It's a lot easier to develop a good green game (chipping and putting) than a swing that hits lots of fairways and greens (not that we shouldn't try). I once heard Lee Trevino describe two endangered species: dogs that chase cars and pros who chip for pars. For recreational golfers, getting the ball up there to chip for pars time after time isn't that bad. If you're good enough to do that, the GIRs will come.

As for putts per hole, I find chips+putts per hole to be a better indicator of how well I'm doing on the green. This flows out of GHIR. Once I get my ball to the green, how quickly do I get it in the hole?
post #7 of 27

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

Ironically enough I just read this article the other day. It's perfect for this thread.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m.../ai_n26827727/

It talks about average GIRs to reach a certain score, avg putts, etc. It lists a formula to predict your score based off of GIRs. Haven't tried it yet, but... the author is very adamant that your score will be within a few shots barring any blowup holes.

Score = 95 - (GIR x 2)

So, if you hit 5 GIRs, you'd average around an 85. ANyways... not sure how well the formula works, but the article is very interesting.
post #8 of 27

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

The first thing that jumps out at me is your putting. As you said, 36 putts is a lot for a low GIR %. 36 putts over 18 holes is a 2.0 putts per green average which would be okay if you hit like 8-10 greens. Your putts per GIR is a better indicator of putting since you are less likely to 1-putt those and more likely to 3-putt. Getting putts per GIR between 2 and 2.5 would be good for a 12 handicapper. If you start hitting more greens, you are probably going to have a hard time staying at 36 putts per round overall. If you can do so, that means you have improved your putting. If your GIR stays the same, you would need to get to about 32 putts per round (1.8 per hole) to get to a 12 handicap. Basically, you need to look at all the stats together to see what is going on.

Fairways - It is hard for me to assign a goal on fairway percentage, because I need to know two things. 1) how tight are your home course's fairways? and 2) how far do you hit it? (because a 12 handicap who is a bomber off the tee can afford to miss more fairways than a shorter hitter)

Greens in reg - shoot for about 8, but GIR also can be skewed by the course you play (big or small greens, well bunkered or open, etc.)

My 2009 stats (1.7 handicap - obv not a mid-handicapper but I thought I would throw them in here )
45% fairways (Pretty short and tight home course, but I hit it long so I get away with it)
57% GIR
32.4 putts per round
1.9 putts after GIR

Good luck
post #9 of 27

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

Originally Posted by The Recreational Golfer View Post
Fairways hit and GIR are less useful stats than we think.
Disagree, FW and GIR stats help one understand where their game stands….and both play a key role in your overall scoring ability. In addition to FW and GIR's you need to keep the other major stats as well to truly understand where ones deficiencies are (eg: putts, up-n-downs, sand saves, etc…).

My stats for 2009 below:

Scoring average: 74.18
Putts: 28.48
FW: 6.92 (49%)
Greens: 9.54 (53%)
Sand Saves: 42%
Up-n-downs: 57%

I know that my fairway % has a direct correlation on my GIR%. Per my 2009 results, I increased my driver loft to 10.5*, changed shafts, and decreased the overall length by 1 1/2".

Fairway and GIR stats are as useful as we think.
post #10 of 27

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

The most important stat is GIR. It isn't just a measure of iron play but also driving. Typically you have to hit a good drive to hit the green. If you hit 6 a round and are just ok around the greens and not three putting a bunch, you should have no problems being a 12. 8 or 9 a round is great. If you do that you are closer to a 5 than 12 if your short game isn't horrid.
post #11 of 27

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

I am a 12 handicap player, and i usually hit 6 fairways out of 14, GIR: 6 out of 18. Putting: Everything below 36 putts per round is ok for me.

Now, when i play really well i can hit 12 fairways, 10 greens and 31 putts. But it´s not very often.
post #12 of 27

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

The October '08 issue of Golf Digest had an article on just this topic. It lists four stats with averages for various levels of player. (I've kept that issue just to have those numbers around.)

Code:
                       Tour Avg.  Scratch  10 hcp.  20 hcp.
Driving (fair./dist.)    63%/286  64%/260  50%/225  43%/190
Greens in Regulation         62%      61%      39%      22%
Scrambling                   56%      52%      32%      21%
Putting (3-putt avoid.)     3.2%       4%       7%      12%
This gives me some reference by which to judge my own numbers and figure out what I need to be working on.
post #13 of 27

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

One thing I noticed is you have to be careful how you interpret # of putts and scrambling. If you're a good putter, you can make up for poor chipping. If your a good chipper and poor putter, you may struggle even when you chip it within six feet. Unless you start tracking distance on all strokes, you do have to look at all stats combined.

I took a break in 2009 from keeping my stats. I found it was dominating my game too much. I plan on getting back into it this year.
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

Appreciate all the feedback. My home course is pretty tight, greens are small but pretty accessible. Not much water, standard bunkering around the greens. A good drive for me is 270yds, but basically if I miss a fairway by more then 5yds it's going to be a punchout.

I agree with much of what has been said, I can get a little better off the tee, hit two more greens...and then it's really about my putting. Some of the putts will come down as my short game improves (I'm decent around the green but typically leave myself a 10ft putt), but I mostly need to eliminate three putts. Having issue as of late with long putt "yips" of sorts. Hard to explain, but I'm trying to guide the ball which makes me mishit it, and leaves a lot of 10ft putts for par/bogey...think I've been averaging 4 3putts a round lately. I'll make a couple 6-10ft putts in a round to offset the 3putts, but the damage is done.

I've been tracking stats as said, I'll start tracking up & downs as well.
post #15 of 27

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

This is an interesting thread. I have had two initial goals since getting back into golf last year: (1) start breaking 80 again, and (2) get to a single digit handicap. I started tracking my stats as a way to look for areas of improvement. My handicap is right around 11.5, even though I have been making big changes in my swing plane. (Too flat to more upright)

In my last ten rounds, I am only hitting around 45% of fairways. (Including drives using irons or FW), and my GIR is a measly 28%. I hit around 33 putts per round, and average less than 1 three putt per round, but rarely make putts over 8 ft. (Though my new putter looks like it will really help with the mid range putts)

The worst, however, is that my scrambling percentage is only 18%. Toss out a round with a 70% (Not surprizingly, my best recent scoring round) and the percentage drops to only 13% I had 4 of my last 10 rounds with 0% scrambling!

Sooo.....a low GIR% plus a pathetic scrambling% is a recipe for disaster.

What the stats have taught me is that I need to rethink my practice sessions. Instead of 75% of the time hitting driver through mid iron shots, and 25% hitting short irons, pitching, chipping, and putting, I need to reverse that.

I need to work on chipping/pitching the ball much better when I miss the green, being much more accurate with my approach shots, and making a few more mid-long putts per round.

For me, stats have been a very valuable tool for learning where I need to improve.

Gary
post #16 of 27

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

The two most important stat to keep track off is.............

1) putts per round
2) scrambling or up and down from around the green and within 80 yards to the green for a one putt.

If you miss a fairway with a good short game you can still birdie or save par on the other hand if you hit the fairway you can still double boogie with a poor short game. In summary count the stats from the hole backwards. the scrambing is the ability to get up and down and one putt. Imagine your scores if you tracked how many time you scrambled to make birdie, save par and even sometime to save boogie, what your scores would look like.

The reason for the stat is too see what your weakness in your game and work on it, in most cases its putting and the short game.

If you watch the pros on tv at the end of the day who ever is putting well will win the tournament. The goal is to keep the putts around 30 per round and lower. The pros with their incredible short games have 23 putts for 18 holes.

Finally, what I discovered is that when you short game improves my overall game improves, meaning that I am hitting the ball better with all my clubs including my fairway and driver. I discovered the proper way to make solid contact with my wedges will translate to a more solid golf swing. My theory is because your backswing improves with short game practice.
post #17 of 27

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

Let me speak one more time on stats. I said fairways hit and GIR are less useful stats than we think, but I didn’t say they’re useless. Bump-n-MI is a low handicapper, probably breaks par a lot, and these stats are entirely appropriate for him. We expect him to hit fairways and greens, so we should measure that. But we don’t expect most recreational golfers to, so we should measure what they can reasonably be expected to do, for three reasons.

First, we’re still trying to learn a swing that leads us to expect a straight shot. All these two stats show is that we don’t do that very well. But then we already know that.

Second, when I break 80, which I do several times a year, it’s because I’m hitting lots more fairways than usual, and hitting more greens or missing close to the pin for an easy up-an-down. When I shoot my average score, I don’t hit the ball that well. The correlation is so direct that I don’t have to keep track of the details. Once (if ever) I start moving into single-digit handicaps (mine is 11-12), then I’ll need to move on to a more discerning set of stats.

Finally, measuring our game by goals that are set too high can hide the true progress we are making. A lot of improvement can be made between beginner and mid-level player without the GIR budging very much. We need stats that measure the beginning and intermediate states of our game - more forgiving stats. When my son, who is just taking up the game at age 33, hits a few greens in regulation, they’re lucky accidents. Why start counting them when we have no expectation yet that he’ll get any?

I keep track of three things when I play: on each hole, number of full swings, number of short shots into the green, and number of putts. With a little thought, you can pull a lot of information (including GIR) out of the interactions between these three numbers. I spent my career in data analysis and know that even the best descriptive statistics hide important details. That’s why I write down every shot when I get home and evaluate it, so I know where I need to improve. If you truly want to analyze your game, that’s the best way.
post #18 of 27

Re: Fairways hit, Putts/hole, and GIR goals for a mid handicapper?

My cap right now is 12.0.

average score last year (75 rounds) - 88.4
fairways - 44%
gir - 26%
putts 33.6 per round
putts per gir 2.1
I am not a long driver ( average about 225yds ), and miss a lot of greens, but miss them short and straight most of the time ( for some reason us amateurs never take enough club, just cannot force myself to do it), by missing them in front of the green, it is in my opinion the best place to miss, as it usually leaves a much easier chip and putt versus missing way left or right. Hope this helps.
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