By Stefan Gestwicki
Star Contributing Writer
I like making lists. Actually, let me amend that. I can’t help but to make lists.
It’s a running joke in my family that list-making is somehow genetic. My grandfather compulsively kept track of everything. My dad makes lists. My brothers make lists. And I might just be the worst of the bunch.
So it should come as no surprise to anyone that knows me that I kept track of my golf statistics for this season. If you like numbers, this is the Golfer’s Diary issue for you. If you’re interested in keeping your own stats for next season, let me just give you one bit of advice: Google Sheets is your friend.
My numbers are all from Hillview Golf Course in Fredonia. I was a member there this past year and played 36 nine-hole rounds. A few times that included an 18-hole round, but we always just played the white tees twice, so all of the pars, etc. stayed the same.
We’ll start with some of the more unfortunate stats. Nos. 1 and 7 were my worst of the season. I averaged worse than bogey on each of them with a 5.3 and a 5.4, respectively. The average on No. 7 was slightly worse, but the fact that I only recorded par three times on No. 1 is just embarrassing. That’s less than 10 percent. I somehow managed six pars on No. 7, I was just worse overall on that hole.
On the other end of the spectrum, No. 6 was my best hole of the season by almost any measure. I averaged just a tick over par at 5.3 (it’s a 470-yard par 5, for those who haven’t played the course). I recorded 20 pars and four birdies in 36 tries. That includes a stretch during which I recorded par 11 straight times. Not too shabby. That also means that on any given day, I had a 2/3 chance to record at least par when I stepped up to that tee box. I’ll take those odds all day.
Just a hair behind No. 6 was No. 5, the first par 3 on the course. Again, I averaged just a bit over par at 3.4 with a course-high 21 pars (though no birdies). Weirdly, I got par each of the first two times I played this year. So much for needing to warm up. I am sad to report that I actually lost a ball in the pond for the first time all season (perhaps ever) on my very last attempt. I just caught the ball far too fat and it didn’t carry the pond. I’m sure I wasn’t the first nor the last to pull that move.
Every other hole on the course was just slightly better than a bogey average, ranging from 0.7-0.9 over par. To be honest, I’m surprised that No. 2 (the first par 5) had an average as high as 5.7 considering my 15 pars and two birdies. That’s par or better almost half of the time, but I also had too many double-bogies sprinkled in there.
Another statistical anomaly came on No. 8, where it took me 16 tries to even get my first par of the season for some reason. It’s not a difficult hole by any means and I’m not even sure what my excuse is. Yet after that first par, I managed to play the hole extremely well, including a pair of birdies.
For what it’s worth, I also kept track of Nick’s stats. He actually played a couple more times at Hillview than I did, but overall it was a comparable number. His best hole was No. 5, by far. He averaged just over bogey at 4.1. His worst hole by a wide margin was No. 1, where he averaged worse than double bogey at 6.2. We talked often about needing a practice hole. You can see that both of us struggled mightily on No. 1 for the entire season.
If you’re a sports fan, the odds of you liking statistics are pretty good. I do highly recommend that you keep stats for yourself if you play the same course(s) a lot. It’s fun to analyze which holes you do well on and which ones simply have your number. Or maybe you just think I’m a nut now.
Either way, golf is great. Go get some.