Golf Insider Stats by Handicap Dashboard

Welcome to the Golf Insider stats by handicap performance dashboard. A common problem golfers have when trying to get better is benchmarking aspects of their game. They often don’t know if they need to work on their driving, approach play, short game or putting.

To help with this question we’ve created the following tool that shows you golf stats by handicap – a big thanks to ShotScope for supplying the data.

Explainer video – Golf stats by handicap

The box below allows you to select your desired handicap goal and the dashboard will update to show the average performance of that handicap level. Want to get down to 16? Click 16 and compare your stats to the data. Want to get down to scratch? Change the tab to 0 and watch the dashboard show you how it can be achieved.

There are four sections:

  • General scoring
  • Off the tee
  • Approach play
  • Short game
  • Putting

*This dashboard works on all devices but is best viewed on a laptop/desktop.

Please remember, that this is just a guide to help you develop your golf improvement plan. No one player is average across the board, you will all have strengths and weaknesses. Work on your weaknesses, but keep working on developing your strengths too.

If you want to track these stats and more, head on over to ShotScope to check out their products or download their free stats app.

Enjoy, have a play and check how your own stats compare. For further details about how this was developed and some key assumptions, scroll down or click here.

Key assumptions & limitations

Regular readers will know I’m keen on stating no models are perfect, but some are useful. This is a key example – some of these data points are hopefully useful in pinpointing your strengths and weaknesses and helping you improve. However, every player and every course is different, this ‘global mean’ of golf stats by handicap should be used as a guide.

How the data was developed

Shotcope reached out and offered to share some of their data – millions of data points collected across thousands of golfers. I would have loved the raw data, but was delighted to have their offering of mean data points for ~100 variables for 25, 20, 15, 10, 5 and 0 handicap golfers.

The fun project was then to work out how we could take these 5 discrete values for each metric and make them useful and interesting for golfers of all standards. I decided to start working on how we could fit linear and 2nd order polynomial functions to the data, then use a predict function in R to build out the data for handicap levels of 36 to +4 (the curvy black dots below).

The red dots are the true date from ShotScope. The black dots are the modelled data.

This is not scientific work, you cannot produce robust models with 5 data points. However, after a few weeks, I was happy enough that the data were useful, and a solid representation of how different handicap levels generally play golf.

I decided to move forward and build out the dashboard above, teaching myself to code in R Shiny as I went. Apologies, I’ve never built an app, but I’m enjoying developing my skills. It works on all devices but looks far nicer on a laptop/desktop.

Key limitations

  • All data points were modelled individually, meaning FIR, misses left/right may sometimes add up to 98 – 102%, rather than summing to 100%.
  • As the graph above shows, the data between the true data (red dots) 0 – 25 handicap is pretty solid, but as we move further away (up to 36 handicap or down to +4) we can be less certain about the true trend.

If you would like any other metrics added just leave a comment below and I will ask ShotScope.

Happy golfing – Will @ Golf Insider

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A PGA golf professional, with a PhD in Biomedical Science and MSc in Sports Biomechanics & Psychology. I currently spend my time lecturing part-time at Leeds Beckett University and working with elite athletes. In my spare time I build Golf Insider UK.

9 thoughts on “Golf Insider Stats by Handicap Dashboard”

  1. Really nice stuff, thanks a lot for the effort Will! I’m living in a place where I don’t have access to a real course, but only a trackman 4 to play with. This actually gives a great way to evaluate where I am with my game because some of these numbers are nicely comparable one-to-one with the output from the simulator. The trackman handicap itself feels way inflated (I’m nowhere near what I got there), but the estimate of ~10 hcp I can get from comparing the different percentages with the data here seems more realistic (when taking into account the sim conditions of perfect lie, no wind, finding all my off-line balls etc.).

    Also cool to see how the GIR % goes up way more than the FIR % when you go down towards single digits, and identifying that as something to work on (and approaches being a current weakness).

    Reply
    • Thanks Ikka,

      Delighted it’s of use to you. It has been many weeks of work and learning new coding skills, but there are a few other cool performance tools I can hopefully build this year for you all.

      Yes, so distance off the tee increases, with FIR staying roughly the same, so ‘relative accuracy’ increases. You can read more here: https://golfinsideruk.com/what-should-you-practice-in-golf/

      Let me know if there are any other metrics you’d like added to this. I can reach back out to ShotScope and see what I can get.

      Keep up the fine work.

      Will

      Reply
    • Hi Constanze,

      Great question – I wish I did! This is an overview of ShotScope’s entire userbase so men and women (I don’t have data on the breakdown, but will ask). I’ve only pushed this live a few hours ago, but it is proving popular. As long it is of use to golfers I will keep developing it, a toggle between men and women would be ideal – I’ll see what I can do.

      Many thanks,

      Will

      Reply
      • Sounds great, thanks.
        I think the rest of data should apply to both.

        I only stumbled over that number as I wanted to check where change is needed to get down to hcpi 1 and figured “Nope, I cannot drive 274 yds neither once nor in average!”
        (I am close to hcpi 3 currently but it seems so difficult to find these two shots?! 🙂 )

        Reply
        • I can empathise with that problem. It’s always difficult to reach the next level until you do – then it seems obvious. Learning is non-linear so just keep doing the right things and a jump will come.

          My dream would be to have access to the raw data so I can split the data for men and women, but then show i) the mean and ii) where 90% of golfers fall for each stat for a given handicap – this would give you all a brilliant idea of if a given area of your game is good enough, or you fall well outside.

          Thanks so much for the feedback – I’ll see what I can do.

          Will

          Reply
  2. Wonderful tool! Really appreciate all the work you have put into this. I was wondering if you had thought about tweaking “The Golf Insider Performance Diary” so that it aligns with the Golf Insider Stats by Handicap model. Pretty good already.
    Thanks Will!

    Reply
  3. I recently purchased “The Golf Insider Performance Diary” and I am looking forward to utilizing it along with the dashboard. I recently started gathering more data during my rounds for analysis. I am presently a 15 and put 12 in the dashboard to see what my immediate course of action should be. One thing for sure is I am way too hard on myself when holding any kind of wedge in my hand. I expect a much higher percentage for GIR. That being said, in order for me to average around 31.3 putts per round, I definitely should be working on my up and downs to save par. Obviously, putting is key as well. The model says that within 6′, I need to have the mindset that they are going in the hole every time. Thanks for giving me some additional incentive to work on my game.

    Reply

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