When you go to practice, how do you know what you need to work on? Are you going to practice because you hit the ball poorly recently? Are you going to practice because you want to hit the ball further? Are you going to practice because you didn't putt well your previous round? How do you know exactly where your weaknesses are? If you don't keep stats during your round, then how will you know what areas to improve?
There are several products out there that will help you keep statistical data during your round. Game Golf and Arccos are some of the most popular however they are not cheap. In both products, sensors are attached to each club and data is transmitted to either a belt clip (Game Golf) or a smartphone (Arccos) during your round. While these options make it easier to keep your stats, there is a cost for these products. Additionally some of the metrics that I want to know aren’t calculated with these items.
It is very simple to keep your stats manually during a round of golf. What you do with those stats is very important and more on that later.
What you see above is a sample scorecard that I would use to keep my stats. When I play I make sure to get my own scorecard. As you can see above, on my “score line” I will also track the fairways I hit (F in upper left corner), the greens I hit (G in upper right corner) and the number of putts I have (number on bottom right corner). So as you can see on the 1st hole I made a par after hitting the fairway, the green in regulation and two putts. If I miss a fairway I will either put an “L” or an “R” in the upper left corner to designate left rough or right rough as shown on holes 2 and 3. Now on hole #2 you can see that I missed the fairway left and I missed the green as well. I two putted for a bogey. Underneath the score line I also put “0/B”. The “B” stands for bunker and the “0” indicates I did not get “up and down” from that position. On hole number 4, I missed the fairway to the right, missed the green but 1 putted for par. And you can see underneath the score line I posted a “1/20”. This means I was within 20 yards of the green and I was able to get up and down. The third line below the score line I will make a note if I have any penalty shots like did on hole 5 with an “OB” written down which is short for “Out of Bounds”.
The process of tracking your rounds is actually quite simple. What you do with the scorecard makes all the difference. If you are competent with an excel spreadsheet it really is quite simple. (If not, let me know I will create one for you and send it to you). Essentially all you have to do is data entry and if you can use the formulas to determine averages, then it will become much easier for you to identify weaknesses in your game and where you need to spend time practicing.
Being able to isolate areas of your game that need improvement based on data that you have collected will make your limited practice time much more effective and enable you to lower your scores.