Why Your Golf Scores Are Inconsistent

Why Your Golf Scores Are Inconsistent

This post looks at why, as a golfer, you can sometimes shoot wildly varying scores in spite of playing reasonably similar golf.

Before We Read On

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  • slices,
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Imagine a golfer hitting shots on the range.

They target the flag, and hit

  • 1/3rd shots on target
  • 1/3rd shots ~ 10 yards long
  • 1/3rd shots ~ 10 yards short

golf driving range pattern birds eye view

let’s say the difference, for them, was caused by subtle ground contact changes

Note – true golf shot patterns tend to be tilted more towards long/left or short/right – but the message and strategies remain the same.

Day 1 – On The Course

Now imagine this player playing the following 3 holes.

They target the flag (place their shot pattern circle directly over the flag) each time and hit their shots. Out of their normal shot pattern, ONE of their possibilities comes out – but they can’t control which one.

On day 1, they hit (within their shot pattern circle);

  • the long outcome first
  • perfect outcome second
  • short outcome third

golf good shot pattern outcomes

This player would come out of those holes 0.5 shots under par

(Based on the assumption of tour-level putting and a 50% up and down rate, and using a 50% make rate for the close shot)

Or, you could say they would be 1 under par after playing 6 holes like this.

Day 2, On The Course

Day 2, they play the same holes, same pins. However, this time they get the;

short outcome first

long outcome second

perfect outcome third

bad luck golf shot patterns

This player, with basically the same quality of shots (just done in a different order), now comes out of those holes 1.5 shots over par.

Or 3 shots over par if they did this twice.

That’s a 2 shot swing over just 3 holes!

This can account for some of the day to day variance we see in scores.

Same $h17, Different Day

Players can essentially strike the ball the same (in terms of probabilities of outcomes), yet produce different wildly different scores.

What can we do to mitigate this?

✅think about shot patterns, not individual shots

✅Understand that we’re not in full control of which outcome comes out – thus choose better targets that allow for this

collect stats on our own shot patterns so we understand OUR game better

On of the biggest things we can do is

Work on strike quality so that your front-back dispersion reduces

This is the area (first ball touch), vertically and horizontally, that produces the best, most consistent outcomes.

The better you strike it, the tighter your shot pattern will be.

Learn More

If you feel like your ball striking could use a tune up. If you ever suffer with

  • shanks
  • toes
  • fats
  • thins

then it sounds like The Strike Plan would be the perfect program to take your golf to the next level.

Or if your striking is already pretty good but you are looking for other ways to improve your game (from accuracy, psychology, course management, training methods etc), then check out my other programs in my Game Improvement Area below


  • Sebastian Muwandi

    Awesome. Thank you so much

  • Aaron Evan

    Would be amazing to know show patterns. Seeing how they vary on course vs range even more so. Being able to overlay those patterns on satellite image to find target to aim at even better.

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