Why Do You Track Stats?
By Kickntrue on 11/30/09
This may seem like an odd question coming from two guys who decided to build a golf stat tracking site, but we want to know why you do it.

I see two main reasons, but if there are others, please share. What I'm really curious to know is, do you track stats to get better or do you track stats to watch yourself get better? It seems like a small difference, but I think it's huge, and I think both are completely valid reasons.

One person may use the stats to focus on areas of improvement, while another person knows he's going to get better by playing more golf and being focuses on it, so he or she wants a diary of that progress throughout their golfing career. It seems like "to get better" should be the reason I do it, but when I really think about it, I hardly ever pour through my stats for areas of improvement, I really just want to watch it happen as I play.

Please indulge our curiosities. It could help us determine what to build next.

[ comments ]
bducharm says:
Mine is totally selfish - to track where I need improvement. That is where I will focus in the "off-season"...
jeremyheslop says:
I think it is a mixture of both reasons. My thought is how do you know where you are going if you don't know where you have been? By tracking my stats I can see where I need improvement thus what to work on in the future. But being a very new golfer it is nice to watch the HC decrease and other good stats increase. I think once I level off or plateau with my game (only 15 or so scores put in) I'll think differently.
activesense says:
I follow the stats to see where my game hits a peak and I have a target to aim for in future rounds. GIR and putting are the main ones I follow as they seem to have the biggest impact on my scores right now.
Since I mainly play the same course it is great to know what I have achieved previously on a certain hole so I can remind my self that a good score is possible. I keep track of my "dream round" on any course I have played more than once. The best score on each hole across a season counts towards the dream round showing me my potential best score for that course.
The biggest thing I have learned from looking at stats is that a good putting day is usually accompanied by a not so good driving day and vice versa.
lcgolfer64 says:
I echo what everyone above has stated. I like to go back and look at what holes give me grief, what causes my scores to change (GIR's, putting avg, fairways) or sometimes to step back from my game and see what changes I could make before hitting the course (3W vs Driver off the tee) and hopefully apply what I learn on the next round. But I think everyone on here loves to be able to look at the cool graphs and charts of their game throughout a season.
@activesense - like the 'dream round' concept!
mmontisano says:
i mainly use it to see what i'm currently doing wrong, so i know what to work on. it's also a good way to see what my handicap really is outside of my league.

i have to admit though. after i entered in all the information from my rounds, i was more startled than anything to find out that i was completely wrong about the state of my game. i previously thought i was horrible off the tee and was a solid iron player.

now that i know what to work on, it's made a bid difference to my handicap. thank you Oob!!!
PingRhoda says:
I track my scores to see where I need to improve.
BME_Badger says:
For the first year I used it mostly for self discovery, prove or disprove what your own internal thoughts were about your own game. I found that GIR really affected my score but that could be 2 things: it could be that my short game stunk and I couldn't get up and down or that I wasn't putting myself in a position to get on (driving).

I found after the season (while doing some analysis) that playing on shorter courses for after work league play was masking how much my driving was hurting my game. Playing on the shorter course I could play more with irons/fairway woods or a bad drive could be overcome with a wedge or short iron. Once I played more on some longer tracks my poor driving was exposed.

Goal #1 for early next year - driver consistency, will maybe get fitted for a new driver w/ shorter shaft (it's obviously the equipment's fault)
Banker85 says:
i track to see myself get better. but its not happening fast enough maybe i should do the latter as well that might help.
Bryan K says:
Let's be honest. These stats are misleading. I'm a terrible driver, yet I shoot better than 50% onto the fairways. I'm a worse than average and extremely inconsistent putter, yet I'm averaging less than 2 putts per hole. When I'm hitting well, the one aspect of my game that really shines is my wedge play, but where is the stat to track that?

Seriouisly, I started tracking my stats to see what aspects of my game needed improvement. However, I have evolved to tracking it for a completely different reason. I like to play courses multiple times, and then track my stats on each hole. What holes do I have trouble hitting the fairway? What holes do I put in a lot of putts? Is it because the green is difficult? Or is it because I'm not getting my approach shots close enough?

For me, it's all about how I perform on each hole. After putting in a few rounds on a single course, I get a lot of enjoyment going through the course hole by hole to see what I need to do to improve my game on that course.
Mookie says:
Over the years, I often wondered what my lifetime batting average was for softball, baseball. When I started playing golf in 2002, I thought, hey, I CAN track my lifetime golf scoring. So I do.
cjgiant says:
I do it to see how "good" (or "bad") I am, so that is to track improvement. However, I also do occasionally study some items and find something to concentrate on (or just downright interesting, like I can't hit a par 3 with a 7-iron apparently). But then again, I like the chips (although I wish the stat was avg per round, not hole) and putts after chips, as I knew that was something I wanted to improve.

As for stats being misleading, I think it depends on what you want to track and how you track it using the stats available. For instance, to me, a "chip" for the stat mentioned above is any non-full shot I feel I should be able to get up and down from, regardless of whether it's a pitch, a putt from the rough, or an actual official chip. Similarly, I count any stroke I hit with the putter where I never even consider another club as a putt, even though not everyone does the same.
blackhawk says:
I do it for both reasons. I like seeing where I need to improve and then track my improvement in that area. I also like creating a journal of my golf experiences.
munk24 says:
I like to see what Im doing and what I need to improve on, heres an interesting site to see what stats are important and reliable to shooting a better score.
Snypa13 says:
I would like to track what if any of the things I work on with my game actually make me score any better.
falcon50driver says:
And if the statistics show that you suck at every aspect of the game? Do what I did ..Quit flogging a dead horse.
mjaber says:
I have found that if I am tracking stats, I get better. I did something similar when I was working in retail. I was tracking sales dollars, dollars per sale, dollars per hour, etc. I noticed an improvement in my sales after I started tracking all of the info.

One stat I love is the "dollars spent." I decided this season, in order to force myself to save money, every time I played a round I would deposit the cost of that round into a savings account. It worked, and that money is going toward the downpayment on a house. :)
Matt F says:
Initially I was using Oob to see overall improvement but next season I'll be focusing on where I need to improve my game.

bortass says:
I track for both reasons. I started tracking basic stats years ago and that exploded when I was lead to OOB earlier this summer. I need to sit down and start looking over the numbers looking for trends etc.

This year, before I found OOB, I got a GHIN membership only to have a metric to show improvement. That index is my holy grail for the state of my game.

The stat I wish I could track, and I mentioned it in the forums, was a place to also track how far I hit my approach. I was tracking that in approach length this year instead of how far I was from center. It's nice to know how far I hit my approach shots but I can't get any good feedback from it. So I plan to use that box for what it was designed for ;)
Tim Horan says:
I am not sure why I track my scores...I guess I use it to monitor how often I hit my handicap and whether my club is keeping abreast of my overall game. I have not analysed the data therein beyond this. It is just a record. I find if I get too wound up with the stats my game suffers and my enjoyment goes south. It is not that I am not working on my game in some area or other. I will work on something for a couple of rounds/ weeks. I know if it is working without the need to track it. GIRs and 2 Putts just means my putting needs working on but I know that without the stats.
gball68 says:
I track to identify areas where I need to work. Course Management seems to be what I get the most out of stats, fairways and greens, leads to club selection. Making the correct or best decision.
bknapp45 says:
I track fairways hit, GIR, U/D, U/D from a bunker, putts, how many 3-putts, and penalties. Mostly, I want to know the areas that need the most improvement. I have done this for my past 20+ rounds and I have dropped from a mid 90 score to a mid 80 score. I was losing a lot of strokes with penalties going OB off the tee. I was also 3-putting 3-5 times per round which has improved too. I have been able to focus my practice sessions to those areas that need the most work.
ksu_FAN says:
Same thing as most, I like to see where I'm at and whether or not I'm improving. I'll vary what I focus on, but mainly look at short game things; up and down, # of putts, par putts made, 3 putts, etc. Off the tee I mainly look at playable drives vs fairways hit. Look at GIR some, but for my game GIR +1 is probably more applicable, ie. I should be in position to 2 putt for a bogey most times. Plus, as others have said, its nice to have a record of your play and its also nice to see how you do hole by hole on courses you play a lot. Its a great tool and allows you to be a "stats nerd" with your golf game pretty easily.
munk24 says:
Check out this site probablegolfinstruction.com/golf-scoring-statist in how your tracking statistics relate to your scoring, pretty interesting.
Mjw71772 says:
Mine reason is summed up best in 3 simple words, " BECAUSE I CAN" haha. Sure you can talk all you want about improvement and tracking your score and this and that, but face it, we all do it because we can. We have graciously used wildly, what some other people have put into place because we were way too lazy to come up with something ourselves. Face it, if OOBGOLF.com or something similiar wasnt available, 99.99% of us would not track our stats.
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