Ian Hardie Golfer Pacific NZ Column January 2019

Ian Hardie Golfer Pacific NZ Columns
Ian Hardie Golfer Pacific NZ Columns

How many birdie or par putts have you ever made with your golf bag?


One of the puzzling things about the game of golf and a fair amount of the golfers that play the game.

Is the lack of thought that most golfers put into their golf equipment.

The golf equipment I’m referring to, are the shiny (mostly) metal things that actually allow the golfer to move their golf ball around the course that are commonly known as golf clubs.

It would be difficult to play the game without them wouldn’t it?

Yet, I’ve had countless occasions over the years, where I’ve been listening to a golfer tell me just how bad their golf is or how poor their scoring has been lately.

While they are standing in front of me with a very new looking golf bag (you can also add  very expensive golf trundler in here as well) and a cheap, crappy or really old putter sticking out of it.

As soon as I see this, my question has always been.

How many birdie or par putts have you ever made with your golf bag?

You would be surprised to hear that most golfers, when asked that question (after the bit of time they need to work out what I’m asking) – answer.



Consider this for a minute – most standard par 72 courses are comprised of four par 3’s, four par 5’s and ten par 4’s and for ease of working out we are going to imagine that the golfer is going to hit every fairway in regulation, every green in regulation and two putt every green.

Let’s assume that maybe three of the par 4’s are short and or tight driving holes as well as one of the par 5’s.

So that means that the driver is going to be used for maybe ten tee shots.

And as it will most likely be a fairway wood or a hybrid of some sort that’s used on the other four tee shots, as well as maybe each of the second shots on the par 5’s.

We can assume that the total fairway wood shots in that round, will probably be eight.

There should be four iron shots (maybe a hybrid) played on the par 3’s as well as four wedge shots played into the par 5’s for the third shots.

The remaining ten shots would be played into the greens on the par 4’s with irons.

Which gives a total of eighteen iron (maybe a hybrid or two) shots.

Not forgetting, that in theory there are thirty six putts to be played.

Although to be honest, if you have a golfer hitting every fairway and every green in regulation – they are going to be pretty grumpy.

If they actually have 36 putts!


But back to the imagining, when looked at in terms of ‘par for the course’ the following percentages can be worked out.

The driver accounts for 13.9%

The fairway woods are a further 11.1%

The irons total usage is 25%

And the putter 50%

Although, these are the figures that relate to the course par.

In reality the figures for most of golfers look a bit different, as we are not taking into account.

Any missed fairways or greens.

Penalties, hazards, three putts.

And all the other countless things that can happen on the golf course.

But if we use the rule of thumb that I traditionally have, which is that putting is about 40% of a golfers score.

In my mind it makes the purchase and cost of your putter, considerably more important than the golf bag (or trundler) that you use.

You might want to read that bit again by the way.

So, if 40% of your score is made with a putter and most golfers are aware that there are differences between cheap putters and good putters.

Which I know because when I ask them the question at the top of this article, they all answer:

‘It’s just a cheap / crappy / old putter – I’m going to get a good putter one day’.

Why do they buy the new golf bag (or trundler) first?


Which does such special things as holding the golf clubs, storing golf balls and tees, holding a drink and a snack……………

Wouldn’t it make more sense to buy the good putter first?

An extremely important part of their set of golf clubs that has the potential to quickly reduce their golf score and handicap!

Which for almost all golfers, makes them enjoy golf more.

Seems a bit odd – doesn’t it?

Play well.


If that idea found you questioning a few things about your golf game and you are one of those golfers that are telling everyone you know, just how bad your golf is or how poor your  scoring has been lately – you might want to check out my Practical Golf Psychology Workshop.


Ian Hardie is Golfer Pacific’s Golf Professional contributor. He is Club Professional at Omanu Golf Club in Mount Maunganui. Ian’s time is split between the pro shop at the club and helping people to improve, while enjoying their golf more as a result of his golf coaching. Over the past few years, in an effort to help as many golfers as he can, Ian has been sharing his common sense golf advice with golfers around the world through his website golfhabits.com. With over 500 articles to read, it’s a great resource for any golfer looking to improve their golf game.

Location Omanu Golf Club, 98 Matapihi Road, Mount Maunganui Phone 0272222073 (txt is ok) or at Omanu Golf Club Pro Shop (07) 575 5957 E-mail ian@golfhabits.com Hours Coaching Times: Monday - All Day, Tuesday - All Day, Wednesday - Morning, Thursday - Afternoon, Friday - Sometimes, Saturday - Afternoon, Sunday - Rarely.
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