Lou Stagner's Newsletter #22

Approach Shot Distribution

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Approach Shot Distribution

One of the questions I receive on a regular basis looks something like this:

"Most of my approach shots are from 175 to 200 yards. I am a 12 handicap. Is that typical for someone at my skill level? "

Today’s issue is going to provide a detailed breakdown of approach shot distributions by skill level. An approach shot is defined as any shot outside of 50 yards, except for tee shots on par 4’s and par 5’s.

The Data

My Thoughts

I hope these charts give you context on what approach shot distributions look like for different skill levels. This is such a frequent question in my direct messages (and email) that I thought it would be worthwhile to give you this data dump.

Also, please make sure you are playing tees appropriate for your skill level and distance you hit the ball. In the charts above, you will see that scratch players have about the same percent of approach shots outside 200 yards that 20 handicaps have. Scratch players hit the ball SIGNIFICANTLY farther than 20-caps.

There are so many players in this data set where 50%+ of their approach shots are with their longest non-driver club in the bag. I am all for having a variety of shots, but when half your approach shots are with 3 wood, you NEED to move up.

Lastly, if you peel back the layers the other interesting tidbit is that for many amateurs, their bad rounds tend to see a decent increase in the percent of approach shots from the 50 to 80 yard range. That increase is driven by an uptick in bad drives. Those bad drives increase the frequency where the player is not able to get on or near the green in regulation.

Step one is to keep those tee shots in play, but on those days where the driver is off, having a solid partial-wedge game will prove to be very helpful.


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    Have a great week!

Lou Stagner