How to make better club choices

How to make better club choices

4 July 2019

Trying to decide which club to hit, can be a real tricky decision. This article outlines the way you can use statistics from game tracking companies like Shot Scope, to help you make better club choices when out on the course.

To help explain how to start making better club choices, we take a look at a specific example, of Shot Scope customer Tom Jackson. You can then apply the theory and analysis in this article to your own game and statistics.

Data Article: Tom Jackson

Tom is a 13 handicap golfer who has a well-rounded game, his overall statistics show that he is a steady player.

make better club choices, club distances example

Looking at Tom’s statistics we can see that he has good distance gapping with his clubs. Shot Scope’s Performance Average removes all outlier shots (good and bad) to give the golfer a true representation of the distance a well struck golf shot travels. The 30 yard gap between Tom’s average of 234 and performance average of 264 suggests that he struggles with swing consistency with his Driver.

golfer driving averages

Tom has a Green Success rate of 39% and leaves 72.5% of approaches short of the pin, with 50.6% of these completely short of the green. Rather than this being a complicated fix, the data suggests that Tom simply needs to pick his club more carefully.

golfer approaches

Perhaps this means taking one more club than normal, to hit the green, or to ensure he gets it to the pin. Focussing on the back of the green distance would ensure that Tom selects the appropriate club and leaves fewer shots short of the green. In this example, if Tom was to hit a 9 iron, i.e. to the middle of the green yardage, his average and performance average show that he would end up in the danger zone at the front of the green. This is why Tom should hit one more club, his 8 iron.

golfer 9iron v 8iron

Shot Scope data reveals that 72% of danger is at the front of the green whereas only 28% at the back. Therefore, missing long is 99% of the time, less of a problem than missing short. Tom, gets ‘Up & Down’ 43% of the time, which is very steady for a 13 handicapper, considering the best PGA Tour players get ‘Up & Down’ 70% of the time.

Chipping is one of Tom’s strengths, his average proximity from his short game is 14ft, but Tom is reliant on this to keep his score down. If Tom was to start hitting the correct club for his distance to the back of the green, he would start hitting more greens and wouldn’t have to try and get ‘Up & Down’ as often.


Tom needs to hit more greens from the fairway, so he is not reliant on his short game and become a more rounded golfer overall. Tom has committed to playing to the back of green distance, to try and increase the number of greens hit per round.

golfer new driver data

Tom has informed us he has a new Driver (Taylormade M3 with Twist Face Technology, 10.5 degree, Fujikura Atmos shaft) to try and sort out his distance inconsistency. After playing 8 rounds his Average Driving Distance is now 251 yards and Performance Average is 268 yards.

About Shot Scope

Shot Scope design and manufacture golf GPS watches, shot tracking systems and laser rangefinders. Shot Scope’s mission is to help golfers improve on course strategy and make the game more enjoyable for all.

The Shot Scope V3 is a stylish and lightweight GPS watch available in 4 colours. The V3 can be used on the course as an advanced GPS watch or simply use in watch mode for your daily life off the course. The Shot Scope V3 comes preloaded with the Shot Scope’s in-house course database of 36,000 worldwide courses, allowing changes to a course to be instantly uploaded within as little as 48 hours. The V3 automatically tracks each shot hit on the course, without interfering with your game.

understanding strokes gained, final shot scope image
Shot Scope mobile app and performance statistics

Shot Scope V3 users have unlimited access to Tour-quality performance statistics with the touch of a button. More than 100 different analytics can be reviewed via the Shot Scope V3 mobile app or Shot Scope’s online dashboard on different clubs, tee shots, approaches, short game and putting.

My Golf Spy: Best Value GPS Watch 2020

Check out this review on Shot Scope V3.

V3 is available to buy at, Dicks Sporting Goods – USA, PGA Superstore – USA, American Golf – UK and Golfbox Australia.


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