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FIR and handicap

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
There was an article that prompted a thread a while back that stated if you want to lower your handicap, hit more greens, and it did a survey of how many greens somebody hits, and how that translates to handicap. Some of the people here found it to be pretty spot on, others it was high / low.

However, I am here today asking about Fairways hit off the tee box. To be more accurate, I am curious about quality tee shots. What I mean by quality tee shot is that it is within a reasonable margin of your target. On a short and tight par 4, being in the first cut isn't a fairway, but if get quality distance out of it, you likely won't have too much trouble with the first cut and a short iron or wedge.

What is your handicap? How many quality drives do you hit a round?

For me, as a 17 handicap, driving is the worst part of my round. I tracked this 2 days ago when I played 9 holes. On 7 of the holes that you have a fairway to hit, I considered a quality drive is one that leaves me between the two tree lines and is +/- 20% of the distance that I believe is average for me (250) So anything that is 230-270 with a clean look at the green.

I had preciously 0 on my last 9 hole round. In spite of that, I managed a 46 (normal is 44-46) and that was because of 2 instances of a stroke and distance penalty for a lost tee shot.

The previous week at the same course I managed to shoot a 41 and had 4 quality drives out of 7.
post #2 of 19

Here is one data point, for what it's worth.

 

I'm a 12 handicap. My FIR is 47% for the past 20 rounds, but I like your idea of "quality" tee shots. I wish I tracked those, but I'd guess that is around 60/65%. My average drive is 233, and I include all my driver shots in that, although not the occasional shots that go 50 yards. Anything over 200, I'll count whatever the GolfShot app tells me is the distance when I get to my ball. Sometimes only 200. Highest I've ever hit is 289 yesterday (downhill with wind), but my typical shot when well struck is 240.

 

I use GolfShot app, along with its cool companion called GolfPlan. They do a great job comparing your stats to others at your handicap. They tell me that at my handicap, I am hitting quite a bit more fairways than average. They do not comment on length, unfortunately. My 33% GIR is about average. My putting and ups/downs is what is below average compared to other 12 handicappers, according to them anyway.

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
The idea of "quality" tee shots comes from the idea that pitchers in baseball track "quality" starts, and to be fair that is a much better statistic than the W-L record, because a pitcher can have a shitty game, but his offense scored 10 runs, and he still earns the W, or the case in my team (Cubs) the pitcher has a great game, but his offense scores nothing because they stranded 10 runners through 7 innings.

To me a good drive is 240-250, with a on the screws frozen rope, mashed potatoes, drive is 270 with roll (probably 260 carry)

I typically consider anything from 230+ with a clear look at the green (or in shots where you have a weird double dog leg) within 10% of my target (that gives me a very respectable 23 yard radius circle to put it in)

I did the math one time. If you hit a decent tee shot, play the 10% rule, and hit 50% of the 5' and in putts, you will break 90 almost every time.

The 10% rule is take the distance of the shot and give yourself a 10% circle by which you consider that a quality shot. so on a 230 yard drive, if you hit it 207 right down the line or 230 but 20 yards right or left of the target, it's a quality shot. At a 17 handicap, a 150 yard shot at the flag with the 10% rule should give you par because you should have at worst a 45' putt to which you can put within 5' and 2 putt.
post #4 of 19

I just checked my "GolfPlan" app for averages of 17.4 HCP:

 

FIR- 40% (33% left, 27% right)

GIR- 22%

Scrambling- 9% pars when miss GIR

Sand Saves- 13%

Putts- 1.97

Putts/GIR- 2.17

 

 

For my 12 HCP:

 

FIR- 41%

GIR- 31%

Scrambling-14%

Sand Saves- 21%

Putts-1.90

Putts/GIR-2.09

 

Interesting that fairways is about the same to improve HCP by 5. Just 1% improvement. 

post #5 of 19
I think playable drives is a better stat than FIR. My index is currently 7.9 and i'm only hitting 38% of the fairways but 85% of my drives are playable. I guess you can interpret playable to be about anything that you can hit but i consider it a drive that is not OB, in the hazard, sand or trees and has a clean path to the green or landing area on Par 5's. I hit my drives about 280 so hitting 50-60% of fairways is a challenge. Last 20 scores Fairways 38% GIR is 44% Scramble 14% Putts/hole 1.97
post #6 of 19

I think it can depend on what kind of game you play - and you and I play a very different game.  As of today I am a 16.9 cap and I hit 70+% of fairways.  But I would rarely make one of your Quality Tee Shots.  I don't even carry a driver at this point (although I hope to get it in the bag soon).  I hit 4i, hybrid, or 3-wood if it is pretty open.  Mostly hybrid - which is good for 200-220 on most hits.

 

When I first took this up a couple years ago (after a 15 year layoff), I played a game more similar to yours. I did play with driver and it was my worst club and I was in trouble off the tee and had to take some stroke and distance penalties.  I decided it was just better to get it in the short grass and try to get it on in 2 or 3 if necessary / make bogeys / get up and down sometimes, etc.  I hated the stroke and distance so much.  And hated searching for balls and playing from the woods.  And hated quad bogeys. 

 

Long story to say there are different types of FIR's.  Mine are all pretty short so I might get as many as a lower cap golfer.  The lower cap might miss as many as I do, but he'll have a lot of 9i approaches - which I basically never have.

post #7 of 19

6 handicap. I hit 51% of fairways and probably 80 percent are either in the fairway or just off.

post #8 of 19

Try leaving your driver in the bag for a couple of rounds and see what that does for you. I've been doing it for the past week or so and have been loving it. I need to track the stats, but I'd say I'm hitting 40%-50% FIR and you could probably add another 20%-30% for "quality shots". 

post #9 of 19

I only started tracking my data from my last round so isn't the best bit of info but I guess it all helps.

 

24 Handicap

FIR = 5/13 (38%)

post #10 of 19

6.8 index here.  Over my last 20 rounds, I've hit the fairway 44% of the time.  I am fairly generous, too, with what I consider a fairway hit.  Last round I hit one right where I aimed and it rolled through the fairway on a dogleg.  However, the rough at this course is virtually non-existent and I had a clear shot to the green.  I counted that as a fairway hit.  I also use a hybrid or 4-iron off the tee whenever possible, and I still don't hit the fairway half of the time.  For the record, my GIR is actually BETTER than fairways (47.5%) over that same stretch.  Not sure if that is common or not.

 

As a related side note:  Looking at rounds individually, my worst round for fairways hit in the last month or so was 36% (5/14).  It was a tournament where I shot 76 (the best score I've had since March) and won.  Incidentally, that March score I'm referring to is a 73 (par 70) where I only hit 5/13 fairways.

 

At least in my case, there appears to be no correlation between FIR and score. ;)

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

6.8 index here.  Over my last 20 rounds, I've hit the fairway 44% of the time.  I am fairly generous, too, with what I consider a fairway hit.  Last round I hit one right where I aimed and it rolled through the fairway on a dogleg.  However, the rough at this course is virtually non-existent and I had a clear shot to the green.  I counted that as a fairway hit.  I also use a hybrid or 4-iron off the tee whenever possible, and I still don't hit the fairway half of the time.  For the record, my GIR is actually BETTER than fairways (47.5%) over that same stretch.  Not sure if that is common or not.

 

As a related side note:  Looking at rounds individually, my worst round for fairways hit in the last month or so was 36% (5/14).  It was a tournament where I shot 76 (the best score I've had since March) and won.  Incidentally, that March score I'm referring to is a 73 (par 70) where I only hit 5/13 fairways.

 

At least in my case, there appears to be no correlation between FIR and score. ;)

 

Agreed completely. I had 5 GIR the other day, with 0 FIR. lol

 

As long as the tee shot is in play, and the rough isn't just super nasty, you have a scoring chance.

post #12 of 19
I am a 15 handicap. Last week I played 9 holes and had what I would call 3 quality drives. On a par four 356, I had 110 good angle from the first cut. On a par 5-503, I had 247 from the middle of the fairway. On a 321 par four, I had about 145 from the fairway, but the hole has an elevation change uphill about 50' tee to green, and I hit a persimmon 3 wood. The other two drives were with a persimmon driver. The rest of the day's tee shots were not mentionable!
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

6.8 index here.  Over my last 20 rounds, I've hit the fairway 44% of the time.  I am fairly generous, too, with what I consider a fairway hit.  Last round I hit one right where I aimed and it rolled through the fairway on a dogleg.  However, the rough at this course is virtually non-existent and I had a clear shot to the green.  I counted that as a fairway hit.  I also use a hybrid or 4-iron off the tee whenever possible, and I still don't hit the fairway half of the time.  For the record, my GIR is actually BETTER than fairways (47.5%) over that same stretch.  Not sure if that is common or not.

 

As a related side note:  Looking at rounds individually, my worst round for fairways hit in the last month or so was 36% (5/14).  It was a tournament where I shot 76 (the best score I've had since March) and won.  Incidentally, that March score I'm referring to is a 73 (par 70) where I only hit 5/13 fairways.

 

At least in my case, there appears to be no correlation between FIR and score. ;)

Completely agree on no correlation. Hit 13 out of 15 fairways in a round and shot 84. Then hit 2 out of 15 in a round and shot 77. All about GIR and scrambling percentages

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post

I think it can depend on what kind of game you play - and you and I play a very different game.  As of today I am a 16.9 cap and I hit 70+% of fairways.  But I would rarely make one of your Quality Tee Shots.  I don't even carry a driver at this point (although I hope to get it in the bag soon).  I hit 4i, hybrid, or 3-wood if it is pretty open.  Mostly hybrid - which is good for 200-220 on most hits.

 

When I first took this up a couple years ago (after a 15 year layoff), I played a game more similar to yours. I did play with driver and it was my worst club and I was in trouble off the tee and had to take some stroke and distance penalties.  I decided it was just better to get it in the short grass and try to get it on in 2 or 3 if necessary / make bogeys / get up and down sometimes, etc.  I hated the stroke and distance so much.  And hated searching for balls and playing from the woods.  And hated quad bogeys. 

 

Long story to say there are different types of FIR's.  Mine are all pretty short so I might get as many as a lower cap golfer.  The lower cap might miss as many as I do, but he'll have a lot of 9i approaches - which I basically never have.

 

The idea of "quality drives" isn't so much about a specific distance as it is, hitting it to within a 10% radius of your target.  If you hit a hybrid 200 yards, than a quality shot for you would only be 180-220 from the tee box with a left right dispersion of say 10 yards. 10% circle around your target. 

 

But you are right, I scramble for almost every par or better, and rarely give myself birdie putts.  I went out this morning, Par 71, shot a 92.  I had a 10 on a short and straight par 5.  Because instead of hitting a hybrid off the tee and putting it in play, I stubbornly tried to hit it off the tee box and dunked 3 in the water.  If the first ball was in play I would have had a scrambled birdie.  The hole is only like 450 yards long, my drive was like 235.  I punched a 4 iron around 150, hit a wedge onto the green and sunk the putt. 

 

The backside, I had another quad bogey on a 175 yard par 3.  The pin placement makes it a 155~160 yard water carry, but if you go to the right side of the green, you have a run up fairway, and only around a 115 yard water carry (big landing area) and the back right is protected by a trap.  I pushed my tee shot left, and it carried the distance, but because it was left ended up in the water.  The course allows for a drop at around 90 yards from the green.  I should have taken the stroke and dropped and played for a up and down 4, or 2 putt 5.  Nope, I dunked a second in the water, and then finally put the 3rd on the green for a 2 putt 7.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

6.8 index here.  Over my last 20 rounds, I've hit the fairway 44% of the time.  I am fairly generous, too, with what I consider a fairway hit.  Last round I hit one right where I aimed and it rolled through the fairway on a dogleg.  However, the rough at this course is virtually non-existent and I had a clear shot to the green.  I counted that as a fairway hit.  I also use a hybrid or 4-iron off the tee whenever possible, and I still don't hit the fairway half of the time.  For the record, my GIR is actually BETTER than fairways (47.5%) over that same stretch.  Not sure if that is common or not.

 

As a related side note:  Looking at rounds individually, my worst round for fairways hit in the last month or so was 36% (5/14).  It was a tournament where I shot 76 (the best score I've had since March) and won.  Incidentally, that March score I'm referring to is a 73 (par 70) where I only hit 5/13 fairways.

 

At least in my case, there appears to be no correlation between FIR and score. ;)


I have the same opinion.  I am just as accurate from the rough with a PW as I am from the fairway with a 8i.  So a quality drive is something that has about 90% of the distance or better and is in position to hit the green (in other words, no scrambling required)

 

Oh well, I submitted my driver video to Evolvr last night, once they finish laughing at the swing, hopefully they can help me get this corrected. 

 

Man, how I love this game.  I finished this mornings round having struggled my way around the golf course.  At the same time, I had a devil on my shoulder saying, nobody will miss you at work if you play another 18.  (why do we have a halo smiley face, but no devils horn smiley face?)

post #15 of 19
The last month I hit about 75% playable and more than 50% fir with only a 235 yard average drive. Hc is about 18 to 20.
post #16 of 19

Depends on the course setup and the obstacles in play. My stats for last 20 rounds 45.5% FIR and 28.6 GIR. I'm probably overly honest about it, first cut and fringe doesn't count. I primarily play two courses and they're very different. One has no first cut, trees and IMO unfairly deep rough considering the low course rating. The other is more open but has excessive fairway bunkers and the nasty "rough" just to either side of the fairway is Scotland style. Either way missing the fairway is rarely results in anything but a difficult lie, the deep stuff makes judging distance a chore. Not uncommon to try an hack a ball from less than 150 clubbing up two and still leave it short. A clean lie is everything at those courses.

 

Unfortunately with my skillset FIR doesn't always yield a good approach shot but it certainly helps. I'm pretty good at getting up and down as long as the lie isn't overly tricky. If I miss a green I prefer it to be short and in the fairway, on the fringe or in a shallow bunker. The rough and collection areas are too tough to play from with any consistency. Without a doubt it's a blown chip or pitch from a tough lie that leads to bogey or worse for me.

post #17 of 19

I would say I hit 60% of fairways, but often complete the round with 1 ball (assuming it is not damaged) so im guessing 95% of my drives are actually playable.

post #18 of 19
Lol. Last 9 holes I played I had zero fairways and also shot 46
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