Lower your score with a golf simulator
If you are looking to lower your scores, I’ve recently used a golf simulator to shave a few strokes off my typical score. I was able to take my handicap from a 7 to a 4 by getting very precise information on how far I hit each and every one of my clubs. Below is a bit of a story on how and why I did it.
I recently got a new set of irons and wanted to see how far I hit each one. I decided to do a couple different sessions on a golf simulator and track the results. Over a few different sessions I hit each one of my irons 10 to 12 times and tracked the distance of each shot in a spreadsheet.
When I analyzed my shot data, the results surprised me…
That last point seems to be fairly common. According to Shot Scope’s database that has tracked nearly 20 million shots, 80% of golfers are missing their greens on the short side.
After seeing the data, I did a few things:
Here is how I did it. First I made a sheet in Excel to track the distances of each club. I put room to track 12 good swings with each club. I quickly realized that hitting 12 shots per golf club plus warm up in a single session would probably not give me the best results.
I decided to do two separate sessions of 6 shots with each club. If the shot was a huge outlier (say a massive chunk), I excluded it from my data. I recorded each reasonable (not perfect) shot in the spreadsheet and repeated the process through two different hitting sessions until I had 12 representative golf shots with each club. I also threw in some ½ and ¾ swing shots with my wedges and am super glad I did. I now have some great references for those in between yardages where you can really lower your score.
Then I got nerdy. . .
I took the golf simulator data from the 12 golf swings and created a table that showed the Long, Average, and Short distance for each golf club. The Long was an average of my 3 longest shots, and the Short was the average of my 3 shortest shots on the simulator. The average is across all 12. So now I know my average, short, and long distance with each club - including ½ and ¾ swings on all my wedges.
This is where it gets really helpful. When picking a club I find my distance and go to the club with the closest average. I then look to see if the pin is in front, middle, or back position.
If the flag is in the back of the green, I make sure the “Long” distance with that club won’t get me in trouble. If it might, I look at the average distance of the next shorter club and see if the “Short” distance would get me in trouble. I am essentially looking at the two clubs to see which has less risk. Knowing my full range of tendencies has enabled me to avoid a blowup hole or two every other round or so.
If the flag is in front, I go up one golf club and check for the same risks. If the pin is in the middle, I really just look to see if the short and long would stay on the green so I know if I should go after it, hit more of a stock shot or choke down on the club a tad.
I hope this helps you find ways to use your golf simulator to improve.
No it is your turn. What do you think? How else could I improve this process? How do you use your golf simulator to train?
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