Key #1: Steady Head
My Score: 1
I started really focusing on this one this year, and I don't move my head anymore. Pretty simple.
Key #2: Weight Forward
My Score: 1
Yes, I made a huge improvement this year as well. Got it down. In fact if I really hit a hard right to left shot, I'll often do the Gary Player follow through rather than miss it thin or with a pull. I even do it when putting now.
Key #3: Inline Impact
My Score: .5
This one is very recent; I had a swing fault where I wasn't getting the heel of the club down which messed up my wrist alignments sometimes; The sweet spot would be in a spot at impact that usually could not get a ball off the ground unless I toed it or opened or closed the face excessively.
It literally makes the difference between spraying and crushing the ball, and gave me excellent control over shot shape. My range work and subsequent rounds have been rewarding in the ballstriking department. I can now hit all my clubs well from all lies. I still struggle with consistent driving because of this key, and my short game would benefit from being more like my long game, with more emphasis on this key.
Key #4: Diagonal Sweetspot Path
My Score: .33
This one is a bit unclear to me, as it seems to be about controlling path for curve as well as generating speed efficiently. Either way I must be doing it at least partially right, as I can work the ball both ways with every club. I still hit the occasional shot that goes to target but with the wrong shape or trajectory, and I still need to learn spin control with my irons. This one seems to be the least conscious key on the list for me, I do it pretty intuitively but a bad ball position or uneven lie or something can mess it up a bit.
Key #5: Clubface Control
My Score: .5
I understand the ball flight laws, I can hit shots low and high, left and right, getting the start line and curve right. However, I do not have perfect control over the amount of curve, and I still have a 10% chance of failure, such as the perfectly struck hook I hit into a par 5 the other day that carried 220 with a 5 iron, left, over the green, and into the woods a good long way. It was supposed to be higher, start to the right, and not go quite that far. Can't give myself over a .5 if I'm still doing that even once per round.
So I ought to be about a 2 handicap... I think I make a few too many bogeys for that, but I think I'm an outlier in terms of distance and ballstriking. Last time I played 18 I counted 12 bad (I consider a bad shot to be one that doesn't put me inside 8 feet from this range) shots from within 30 yards with just my lob wedge, all from spots I should've gotten up and down, and 38 putts with 6 3-putts to boot. This is after making 9 greens in reg and hitting 11 fairways, and mind you, many of the missed greens were extremely close.
I'd say, however, that I was at about 1.5 keys 2 months ago, and I was shooting a bit more than 8 strokes worse then. But I was probably the worst 1.5 key golfer around, just as I'm one of the worst with 3.