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The Four Foundations


The Four Foundations of Golf

Jon Sherman | @practicalgolf

I was intrigued by some tweets (or are they x’s) by this author.  One of his “Foundations” is managing our expectations.  To emphasize this, he recommends looking at the statistical performance of a scratch golfer and comparing that to expectations of ourselves.

Here’s what Jon said:

A scratch golfer will hit about 50-60% of their fairways every round. Additionally, it’s pretty standard for them to have about a 65-yard wide dispersion with their driver.  Can they place it on one side of the fairway to get a better angle?  Not quite!

Don’t get me wrong, getting down to zero index is REALLY hard.  That’s why less than 1% of golfers do it.

However, so many players assume they need perfection to get to whatever handicap goals they have.

I see many golfers put SO much pressure on themselves to always hit “great” shots. But the secret is that boring, big-mistake avoidance is the path to lower handicaps.

It’s not knocking down pins and draining 15-footers.

So whatever goals you want to achieve in your game, don’t create a false reality that you will never live up to.
You will make golf harder for yourself and won’t enjoy playing as much.

Scratch Golfer Stats:

Putting make rate % inside of 10 feet:

    • 5 Feet = 66%
    • 8 Feet = 41%
    • 10 Feet = 33%

That’s a lot of missed putts.

Birdies and Bogeys

    • They usually average about 1.5 – 2 birdies per round.
    • But less than one double bogey per round.

It’s not a birdie fest; it’s a big-mistake-avoidance-fest

Greens in regulation

Hitting more GIR is one of the most significant predictors of scoring potential. Scratch golfers are GREAT at hitting them.

    • But a typical 0 index will hit about 50-60% of greens in regulation.

That’s about eight missed greens per round.

Performance from distance

How close to scratch golfers hit it to the hole from various distances?

    • 75 – 125 yards: 39 Feet
    • 125 – 175 yards: 45 Feet
    • 175 – 225 yards: 82 Feet

Those are amazing numbers, but hardly pin seekers!

Maybe if we put a little less pressure on ourselves, we could play better.

This is just a snippet of what Jon shares in his book.

You can find it on Amazon.


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