Firing on All Cylinders

Lou Stagner's Newsletter #16

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Firing on All Cylinders

I hope you are doing well, and thank you for subscribing!Have you ever walked off the course and said:"I played so well today except for my ________. Why can't I just get everything working well during the same round?"Yep - I have said that too. We are going to look at three things today.

  1. How often do players get every part of their game going really strong during the same round? (e.g., firing on all cylinders)

  2. What parts of the game perform best during your best rounds?

  3. What parts of the game perform worst during your worst rounds?


The first thing I did was group rounds into quintiles. A quintile is just a fancy way of saying 5 equal buckets. Imagine you played 100 rounds. We sort your rounds by score and your 20 best scores would be in the top quintile. Your 20 worst scores would be in the bottom quintile.

All the numbers below are for 10-handicaps. I looked at other skill levels and they are similar, so I decided to only show 10-cap data to not overwhelm you with numbers.

I took all the rounds played by 10-caps and grouped them into quintiles. I used total strokes gained to rank rounds from best to worst.

I also grouped each of the strokes gained categories into quintiles (Off-the-tee, approach, around-the-green, and putting).

That allowed me to answer these types of questions:

For the best rounds (the top quintile) what percent of the time will a player perform in the top quintile with their putting? What about driver? etc...

Rather than me ramble on, let's look at a few charts. I think these will make a lot of sense.


My Thoughts

Your very best rounds, and your very worst rounds are more likely to be driven by how you hit your irons. All areas of the game are going to drive score, and you should not neglect any part of the game, but for most players their irons and driver have a huge influence on the overall outcome.

As a general rule, the path to lower scores (and lower handicaps) is through better ball striking.

Also - don't be frustrated after a round if 3 parts of your game were great, and that 4th part was not so great. That does not happen often. If you played 100 rounds a year, having a round where you "fire on all cylinders" will only happen about once every 20 years.


I have had a few great ideas submitted by the readers of this newsletter. If you have something you would like me to look at, please reply to this email and let me know what you are thinking!

Have a great week!

— Lou