By Colin Fisher

Finding out where you can save shots on your average round isn’t as simple as you think. You really need some notes or data software to help you see the facts.

Many of you will have a very specific idea of where shots can be saved. Driving will be high on the list, I’m sure.

I use a data system called ‘Golf Data Lab’ with many of my players. It takes around 10 minutes post-round to enter your round data. You might need to keep a note of it as you go. Among other things you need to keep track of are the distances of your putts and where you miss, for example. The data you get out is only as good as the info going in!

One player I now work with (a single figure handicapper) wants to improve his driving and this is costing him many shots per round. After a few rounds, I had a look at his stats (home page pictured). We can drill down into any particular area and see more details, but we’ll stick to the swift version in this article.

His ‘driving accuracy to fairway and semi’ is 68.3 per cent with ‘fairways hit’ only 43.9 per cent. He is correct. He needs to improve this. If he starts to hit 68.3per cent of fairways and around 80 to 85 per cent of fairway and semi combined, then we’re in the right area.

Will it improve his game as much as he thinks? 1st we have to look at other areas of his game.

There are not too many mid-range approaches (6,7 and 8 irons) hitting the greens. Same can be said with short approaches (9i, PW, SW etc). His short game shots (anything inside 50 yards) he hits these outside 30ft, 20 per cent of the time and not hitting it inside three or six feet often enough.

• If he hits more fairways, he’ll have more mid iron approaches. He still misses the greens with mid irons, he’s not scoring much lower.

• If he hits more fairways, he’ll have more short iron approaches. He still misses the greens with mid irons, he’s not scoring much lower.

• If he hits more fairways on short par fours and par fives which can’t quite be reached in two, he’ll have shots inside 50 yards and if he doesn’t hit the ball close enough to the hole, he won’t score much lower.

In conclusion, it’s not just one area of his game which needs to be improved. We must look at mid irons (it could be general swing technique, it might also be strategy- you can hit the ball to within 20ft of the hole, but miss the green). We need to improve wedge play and short game. Some of this might be technique, it might be strategy, and it might be decision making/shot selection.

You see, improving your scores isn’t quite as cut and dried as you might think. It will need an open an honest discussion, followed by a plan of coaching and practice.