After watching professional golfers on TV it can be really easy to be hard on yourself when you hit an iron shot that doesn’t end up next to the pin. But the reality is, even the best players in the world aren’t doing that every time.
One of the keys to better golf is being more realistic about what a good shot is relative to your skill level.
So what does a good shot look like?
Let’s take a standard 150-yard golf shot, which golfers would claim is a simple 7-iron shot. There is in fact only one handicap category that has the length to reach with a 7-iron, and that is golfers off scratch or below.
After this, the average club hit by club golfers increases significantly to the point that 25-handicap golfers, on average, require a 3-wood to reach the green from 150 yards. Clearly, hitting the green becomes a trickier feat then.
Looking at Shot Scope data, we can clearly see how close to the pin, or even to the green, each handicap category gets from 150 yards. The results are definitely eye-opening.
As you can imagine, as a player’s handicap decreases, they hit the ball nearer the pin. The dispersion difference between a scratch handicapper and a 25-handicapper is 77 feet! That is wider than most greens.
On average, a scratch handicapper hits it to 41ft from 150 yards. When you move up to 5 handicappers this increases to 58ft. This means any shot worse than average will end up missing most greens.
A scratch golfer only hits the green 51% of the time from 150 yards. When you drop down to a 15-handicapper, this goes to 20%, and 25-handicappers only hit the green 8% of the time.
15-handicappers need to understand that if they hit an average shot from 150 yards, they will still miss the green sometimes. You can see from the blue dispersion circle, over time, a selection of shots would still end up in the bunker, and actually, it would require a better-than-average shot to hit the green.
So next time you have 150 yards into the green, know that unless you are a scratch golfer, you have more chance of missing the green than hitting it.
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