Your pro tip by Wes Jones

This first step in improving your game starts with analyzing each basic part of your golf game.

Let’s start with your tee shots. Of course we all want to hit the ball a long way, but more importantly, let’s keep the ball in play and hit the ball solid enough to roll down the fairway.  Keep track of fairways hit, and of what side of the fairway you tend to miss on.

Collecting some basic statistics from your previous game should be the starting point as to where improvement can be found.

Next, keep track of your second shots. I like to not only keep track of whether I hit the green in regulation, but at first just keep track of whether or not you hit the ball satisfactorily. If you missed the green, did you hit your ball in a spot that is an easy chip, or did you hit the ball over the green and in the woods or in a difficult sand trap? If you usually shoot in the 90’s and want to shoot in the 80’s, you don’t have to hit the ball great, you just need to limit the terrible shots. 

Next would be taking statistics on your chipping, putting and sand shots.

Chart these shots as easy, medium and difficult. For example, two putting from 5 feet is not the same as two putting from 50 feet over a mound. Sometimes a three putt is not that bad.  Same with chips. A chip from the fringe is not a difficult as a downhill pitch shot over a sand trap. 

Let’s go back just a little bit. When judging the success of a 2nd shot, an “approach” shot, you can judge the shot by saying it left you a simple putt or chip, a medium shot, or it left you in a difficult situation. Of course the goal on a second shot is to have the most simple third shot.

Now, once you have this information, lets use it. See what shots put you in the most difficult situations and practice those shots. The goal is to take the shots that put you into a difficult position and learn to at least get to medium difficulty and so on.

Some golfers are good at making great shots from difficult areas only to later mishit a simple shot. If that is the case, then you know to work on simple shots.

In short, keep good statistics and work on the shots that are costing you the most strokes, and enjoy watching your scores go down.