I looked through the course stats for Mill Green Golf Club taken from every tournament round entered between October 2017 – October 2018 and had some interesting findings! All of these stats were taken from the scores entered when playing the Red Tees.

What Happens On The 10th Tee?!

I was surprised to find that weirdly the 9 easiest holes (based on average +/- to the par of the hole) are all of the back 9 holes. Which means that over the course of the year, the front 9 holes have been proving much more difficult to score on…But why?!

NOTE: This is exactly how the results came out, I have not split them into front 9 and back 9.

What does this table of numbers tell us about how the ladies have performed?

  • 3 of the top 4 easiest performing holes are par 5’s
  • the 3rd easiest hole is actually stroke index 2
  • more birdies were made on the ‘harder 9’
  • the front 9 (hardest) holes equated to + 6.62 over par on average
  • the back 9 (easiest) holes equated to + 2 over par on average
  • a par 5 has a lower scoring average than a par 4

The 2nd Hardest Hole… is the 3rd Easiest…?!

You would be forgiven to believe that the hole which is scoring the highest on average, is the hole on the right with the water hazard to hit over. In fact, the hole on the right is Hole 12 which has a scoring average of just 4.10 which is 0.10 over par and stroke index number 2. Well done Ladies!!

The hole on the left is Hole 2 which is just 67 yards longer, has no water to carry and has a scoring average of 5.01 which is a massive 1.01 over par and +0.91 greater than Hole 12!!

But Why?!

Unfortunately without watching every golfer play both holes I have to make some assumptions…

  1. I am confident in saying that a huge % of club golfers do not hit golf balls before going out to play, therefore unlikely ‘ready’ to play golf to their optimum towards the first few holes and falling victim to errant shots.
  2. Hole 12 (right hole) is likely to force many of the ladies to lay up short of the water, simply because hitting over in 2 may be a tall order. The shot and club which is now required to hit over the water is likely a shot which has been hit many times, now hole 12 has been reached. Also you will now be in a more comfortable position using a club you’re happy with and reaching the green in likely 3 shots. Whereas, hole 2 doesn’t force you quite so much into the corner and more than likely the bunkers are not treated with the same respect the lake receives!

The Averages…

Playing from a bunker drastically increases your scoring average of getting the ball into the hole. Because your hand isn’t forced because of the water, there may be the temptation to take a shot on which is against the odds, not realising how much going in a bunker can impact your score. In reality most club golfers may score better from 70 yards away in the fairway compared to 20 yards away in a bunker.

Another Example…

This is hole 14 which is a par 5 and again often forces the hand of the ladies and how to play it because of the distance, well position bunker and lake. The length of this hole is 459 yards and scoring average of 4.90 which is -.10 to par. In comparison, hole 2 is 346 yards and averages 5.01. In simple terms… 113 yards longer but 0.11 shots lower on average.

So What Can You Learn?

  • Bunkers are still a hazard, they will increase your scoring average when going in them. Improving out of bunkers will help but you will always end up scoring lower on average from the grass.
  • Plot your way around a golf course leaving yourself with shots into the green from both a distance and with a club you are comfortable with.
  • When questioning if a shot is the correct one. Ask yourself “if I were to attempt this shot 10 times, how many would be successful and worth the risk?” If the numbers aren’t on your side, maybe plot another way.
  • When you have a good round going through 9 holes, take confidence… the back 9 is likely to be better!
  • Par 5’s are a strength when scoring.
  • 70 yards away on the grass might be better than 20 yards away in a bunker

Try implementing some of this into your game and let me know how you get on!