or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › Relative Importance of the Long Game, Short Game, etc. (Mark Broadie, Strokes Gained, etc.)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Relative Importance of the Long Game, Short Game, etc. (Mark Broadie, Strokes Gained, etc.) - Page 7

post #109 of 511

Scoring well begins with the "Tee Shot". Most courses are designed as Par 72 with four Par 3s. Some will have long Par 3s which require a long shot to the green. Most courses will have 3 or 4 long Par 4s, which require a long shot to the green. Most Par 5s require two long shots to setup a scoring opportunity.

 

It will require 24 - 27 long shots for most rounds that are played on most courses.

Hitting a green from 170 - 200 yards is difficult, flagging these shots is challenging, even by skilled players.

 

Short game skills present many challenges, along with a players putting skills.

 

Most low handicap players are able to navigate courses with difficult course design, due to their long game skills.

 

Pros who are not in contention and miss cuts, are usually not hitting fairways and missing greens with long shots.

 

Most everyone who struggles with tee shots, will generally have higher scores.

 

Combine long game with short game difficulties, most will not score well or score to their potential.

 

The game is far more fun when hitting your drives on the playground and you have an opportunity to make a par or birdie.

 

I agree that the long game is the most important factor to play well.

 

Club Rat

post #110 of 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by GangGreen View Post


Couldn't agree more, I've only been on the forum for a short time (since August I believe) and can't tell you how much I've learned. It's gotten to the point that when I'm struggling with a particular side of my game, my first step is usually to search the forum for suggestions.

As for the forum topic, I'm not a baseball fan per se, but the short game to me is similar to having a good set-up guy and closer. You have to have them to be a great baseball team (or, in our case, a great golfer) but if your starting pitching can't get you into those late innings with a lead (ie. you have no long game) then they're not nearly as useful.

 

Think about it in terms of opportunity......  As a 24 hcp, you struggle to break 100.  Even so, you probably don't have more than 38 or 40 putts in a round.  My average score is 20 strokes better than yours, but I still average 32 or 33 putts.  If you improve your chipping and putting dramatically, you're still not going to improve your score by that by more than maybe 6 stokes (putts) or so.  But, get rid of one bad drive or approach shot just every other hole, and you're looking at breaking into the 80's, with your current short game.

 

No one's saying to ignore the short game, but the biggest single opportunity for improvement lies in at least getting close to the green in regulation, and the only way to do that is to improve full swing ball-striking.

post #111 of 511

The point of my philosophy is that a player can have a "statistically" poor long game and still play well if he can keep the ball in play and if he has a solid recovery and short game.  I base that opinion on nothing more than 35 years of playing reasonable golf, and observing the games of other players.  Nothing can swing a match in ones favor faster than winning a couple of holes by playing what gives the appearance of poor golf from tee to near the green, then still getting up and  down for par while your opponent goes fairway, green, then 3 putts from 35 feet for bogey.  Or tries to lob a SW from a tight lie and skulls it over the green.

 

When I've had time to practice, I've usually just played instead, so my game philosophy works for me.  Spending hours on the range just bores me.  I'm mostly self taught, from books and experience.  Maybe my way isn't for everyone, but it works for me, and I'm too old and play too rarely any more to change that.

post #112 of 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

The point of my philosophy is that a player can have a "statistically" poor long game and still play well if he can keep the ball in play and if he has a solid recovery and short game.

 

Here's where you and I will differ: those aren't "statistically poor" golfers. If they advance the ball reasonably far and reasonably accurately, those are good statistics.

 

Hitting into fairway bunkers, topping the ball, driving it into trees, etc. all cost you full shots. Hitting it 250 and five yards into the right rough is not going to cost much more than hitting it into the fairway at 260.

 

Anyway, not to jump in on your response to someone else, but statistics aren't all the same.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

When I've had time to practice, I've usually just played instead, so my game philosophy works for me.

 

Yes, because "enjoying the game" is what you want. If your goal was to be the best golfer you could be - instead of "enjoy golf as much as you can" - then your philosophy likely would not have worked.

post #113 of 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

 

Think about it in terms of opportunity......  As a 24 hcp, you struggle to break 100.  Even so, you probably don't have more than 38 or 40 putts in a round.  My average score is 20 strokes better than yours, but I still average 32 or 33 putts.  If you improve your chipping and putting dramatically, you're still not going to improve your score by that by more than maybe 6 stokes (putts) or so.  But, get rid of one bad drive or approach shot just every other hole, and you're looking at breaking into the 80's, with your current short game.

 

No one's saying to ignore the short game, but the biggest single opportunity for improvement lies in at least getting close to the green in regulation, and the only way to do that is to improve full swing ball-striking.

 



That's my game EXACTLY!!! Where I lose the most strokes is either off the tee with driver/3W in hand (OB, lost ball, or off the fairway with no clear shot to the green and having to punch it back into play) or miss hitting my mid/long irons to the green (10-20 yards past it, short of it, right of it, left of it, the longer the club, the wider the margin for error). Depending on the day, the penalties, extra-strokes to get the ball back into play on missed fairways, and extra strokes to get the ball on the green on missed approach EASILY adds 10-15 strokes.

I've been tracking my stats on golfshots over the last 10 rounds, fairways hit (31%), GIR (11%), Putting (2.1 per hole, 2.6 per GIR). For me, the long game is clearly where I'm going to have to improve to gain the most strokes.
post #114 of 511

long game, short game, putting........the most important way to improve your game is to improve whatever area you personally suck the most at

post #115 of 511

It just seems logical that the straighter and farther you hit your tee shots, the easier it will be to make a birdie putt. This is why so many beginners are struggling to hit far first, then work on accuracy, pitching, chipping and putting.

 

I'll agree that if you use a club that only gets you 180 yards off the tee, that you can land more fairways. However, on a relatively average length par 4 you need to make your second shot with the same club and no tee. On top of that, you want it to be high with backspin.

 

If you can drive 240 yards on the fairway, your second shot would be with a 9 iron and have a really good chance of landing the green.

post #116 of 511
Quote:

Originally Posted by JetFan1983 View Post

 

You guys cannot tell me that people who can consistently keep a 300 yard drive or a 230 yard 4-iron in play do not have an insane advantage over the rest of us. Guys like that can play from 7000+ yards like it's nothing. Obviously you don't need to hit 300 yard drives to play from that far back (250 is fine), but still... 7000+ yard golf is the modern game.... not "training wheels" golf like those of us who play from 6400 yards or something (like me). 

 

I agree, but you forgot about accuracy. That's the difference between a high handicapper and a low handicapper.

post #117 of 511

I don't believe one size fits all works in this case (as is the case for most "subjective" threads in this forum).   One thing I can tell you based on my experience is that driver FH ratio least correlates to my final score compare to other stats.   I can hit only 3 fairways all day and still score decently.  OTOH, I can have a great drive day and can't break 90.   The same may not apply to low handicappers (single digit).   

post #118 of 511
Also (to some degree) can depend on the course. There's a few courses here that have fairways you can hack your way down and save it with a nice put/chip. Others require much more shot planning because of water, dog legs, etc.

For higher handicappers, I believe their longer game is the cause of more problems. As you got better it seems more strokes are lost from short game problems.
post #119 of 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post

I'm not going to argue with a golf pro, but what you said seems to apply more in the case of the elite players (low hcp'ers) - not for the average golfer (excluding the bangers who really aren't trying to keep a score card).     I guess I'm basing my opinion on myself - pretty much your basic average serious golfer - short game (for me) costs me more strokes than the long game without question ... there's just no disputing that - maybe I'm not in the hcp range that this model works for ?    I simply can't fathom this entire concept of the long game being more important than the short game  unless one is an elite player, because they have the short game down, and have to really go after it off the tee as they're usually competing from the back tee's)  ...

I agree with this.  Precision is more important in the short game.  I can miss fairways all day, but as long as I keep the ball in play, I have a chance to recover.  On a par 4 hole, I put my tee shot in the rough, where I may even have to play under or over a tree.  I still have a couple of shots to work out a recovery and get the ball near the hole.   The closer you get to the hole the fewer chances remain for recovering a lost stroke.  If I'm 3 yards off the green in regulation, I expect to put my chip within a reasonable one putt range.  If I fail at that, or worse leave the ball in the rough or skull it across the green, I no longer have any real chance to recover.  I've known too many players higher than my handicap range with much better long games than mine, yet I have usually been able to out score them because of my short game.  

 

When it takes a player 4 or 5 strokes to get down from 70 or 80 yards, then all they are doing is driving for show.

 

I'll add to that that I am a casual player, and I'm not willing to spend 10 hours a week doing nothing but practicing.  If I have a half hour or an hour to work on my game, I see better results from practicing my chipping and putting.

 

I'm at basically the same HC as the two of you - and I do find driving to be important for someone in our range and above.  It is why I was interested to know your stats.  I'll give you my experience as a 16 capper:

 

Fairways: 57% (but keep in mind these are short - I don't carry driver)

GIR: 21% (mostly par 3's I'd imagine)

Putts Per Hole: 1.89 (this probably sounds good, but it is because I hit so few greens - so I'm chipping from pretty close a lot)

Up and Down Percentage: 31% (this means from really pretty close - not from 70 yds and such)

 

When I quit carrying driver, I was a 24 HC.  Just too many balls in the woods, pond, OB, etc - which is something I observe an awful lot of in other players BTW.  Short game matters none when it takes you 6 shots to get to the green.  I began hitting irons off the tee exclusively and my HC started coming down - with no practice at short game what so ever. Eventually worked a hybrid for some tee shots and it came down more - still very little short game practice.  As I got better at tee shots - I worked in a 3-wood and the HC came down a little more - virtually no change in short game.  

 

By virtue of playing a bunch of golf - and watching the Phil Mickelson hinge and hold video - I'm sure my short game got a little better.  But getting the ball out of the woods and onto the fairway took 8-9 strokes off my handicap in 18 months.

 

And I still feel like the long game is what is holding me back.  I still hit a lot of irons and hybrids off the tee in an effort to keep the 8's off the card.  And it works.  If it is wide-assed open, I'll go 3 wood. If I kill it, I get 240.  I can only imagine if I was getting 57% of fairways, but hitting driver 250 or 260 a lot of the time instead of 180 yard 4i's and 210 yd hybrids.  I feel like most of my approach shots are from about 160-180.  What if I was approaching from 125?  Wow that would be fun.

 

I feel like my short game is my strength and is what enables me to be a 16 cap.  But it seems like it would take a heck of a lot of time to get just a little better at it. To go from getting my up and down from 31% to 50% would take basically all of my practice time.  And I don't think I could even do it then.  My guess anyway.

 

I am by no means an elite golfer - and have been in the higher cap range you speak of.  It seems unlikely time spent on short game would have helped me as much as long game.

post #120 of 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by octabogey View Post

Also (to some degree) can depend on the course. There's a few courses here that have fairways you can hack your way down and save it with a nice put/chip. Others require much more shot planning because of water, dog legs, etc.

For higher handicappers, I believe their longer game is the cause of more problems. As you got better it seems more strokes are lost from short game problems.

 

I agree.  For bogey golfer --->  I am suffering from the transition right now as I moved from one home course to another.   On my previous course, errant drive and missed long iron shots didn't impact the final score much.   The old course had less OB areas, and small number of bunkers which were easy to get out of.   I.e, my short game which happens to be my strength can salvage much of a bad long game.   My score from the old course have been in very narrow range between high 80s to low 90s.   The new course has narrow fairway, OB areas, & greens with many deep/huge bunkers protecting every green. It's rough is thick & sticky type which best you can do is get out it with short iron.   Bad drive and long iron shots translates into 2 stroke penalty in most cases (penalty + loss of distance).  If I don't hit long shots well, my score ends up really high.  Accordingly, the score variance has been huge from 90 to 106.  On the last round, I had 8 pars and 8 doubles or worse holes.   It was feast of famine.   So, I am a crossroad at quickly needing to double down on my long game or my scores is going to play "Jekyll and Hyde" on me. 

post #121 of 511

For me long game is about keeping the ball in play, preferably with a chance to hit GIR. I'm not concerned with eking out a few more yards as much as playing for the best opportunity to make par. If you read through articles about stat importance you'll see many that don't place a lot of value in FIR, I've seen it referred to as a weak stat. Can't speak for anyone else but I can honestly say my scores didn't start improving until I focused on accuracy with long clubs. My scrambling stats improved a bit but not much. I'm sure it's been mentioned but long game is about opportunity. It doesn't matter how well you chip and putt if it takes you 3-4 shots to get to the green on a par 4. My current stats show I make par or better 43% of the time. It's not because I am great at getting up and down. It's because the opportunity is there and it starts on the tee box.

post #122 of 511

I think it depends on the stage of development in your game.

 

If  a player with a high handicap's goal is to simply improve his scores in the short term, he can work on his game from, say, 100 yards in and lay up to places from which he has a chance to score. When I first got serious about the game, that is what I did and I dropped 10 strokes the first year.

 

Then, as I developed my swing, the long game became very important  because I was in play more often and had chances to hit GIR instead of always scrambling. That has been more incremental over the years, but I always have the short game to fall back on when I am struggling with my swing.

post #123 of 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post
 

 

I'm at basically the same HC as the two of you - and I do find driving to be important for someone in our range and above.  It is why I was interested to know your stats.  I'll give you my experience as a 16 capper:

 

Fairways: 57% (but keep in mind these are short - I don't carry driver)

GIR: 21% (mostly par 3's I'd imagine)

Putts Per Hole: 1.89 (this probably sounds good, but it is because I hit so few greens - so I'm chipping from pretty close a lot)

Up and Down Percentage: 31% (this means from really pretty close - not from 70 yds and such)

 

When I quit carrying driver, I was a 24 HC.  Just too many balls in the woods, pond, OB, etc - which is something I observe an awful lot of in other players BTW.  Short game matters none when it takes you 6 shots to get to the green.  I began hitting irons off the tee exclusively and my HC started coming down - with no practice at short game what so ever. Eventually worked a hybrid for some tee shots and it came down more - still very little short game practice.  As I got better at tee shots - I worked in a 3-wood and the HC came down a little more - virtually no change in short game.  

 

By virtue of playing a bunch of golf - and watching the Phil Mickelson hinge and hold video - I'm sure my short game got a little better.  But getting the ball out of the woods and onto the fairway took 8-9 strokes off my handicap in 18 months.

 

And I still feel like the long game is what is holding me back.  I still hit a lot of irons and hybrids off the tee in an effort to keep the 8's off the card.  And it works.  If it is wide-assed open, I'll go 3 wood. If I kill it, I get 240.  I can only imagine if I was getting 57% of fairways, but hitting driver 250 or 260 a lot of the time instead of 180 yard 4i's and 210 yd hybrids.  I feel like most of my approach shots are from about 160-180.  What if I was approaching from 125?  Wow that would be fun.

 

I feel like my short game is my strength and is what enables me to be a 16 cap.  But it seems like it would take a heck of a lot of time to get just a little better at it. To go from getting my up and down from 31% to 50% would take basically all of my practice time.  And I don't think I could even do it then.  My guess anyway.

 

I am by no means an elite golfer - and have been in the higher cap range you speak of.  It seems unlikely time spent on short game would have helped me as much as long game.


I think you and I are in the same boat.  

 

( I thinks we should open a bogey golfer, HI from 16 - 22, only thread to share common ideas, and experiences.   No disrespect to low cappers in this forum but sometimes I think they don't understand our flight.   Either they started golf early in their life and were taught good fundamentals or forgot what it was like for them to be a bogey golfer.  )

post #124 of 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post

I'm not going to argue with a golf pro, but what you said seems to apply more in the case of the elite players (low hcp'ers) - not for the average golfer (excluding the bangers who really aren't trying to keep a score card).     I guess I'm basing my opinion on myself - pretty much your basic average serious golfer - short game (for me) costs me more strokes than the long game without question ... there's just no disputing that - maybe I'm not in the hcp range that this model works for ?    I simply can't fathom this entire concept of the long game being more important than the short game  unless one is an elite player, because they have the short game down, and have to really go after it off the tee as they're usually competing from the back tee's)  ...

I agree with this.  Precision is more important in the short game.  I can miss fairways all day, but as long as I keep the ball in play, I have a chance to recover.  On a par 4 hole, I put my tee shot in the rough, where I may even have to play under or over a tree.  I still have a couple of shots to work out a recovery and get the ball near the hole.   The closer you get to the hole the fewer chances remain for recovering a lost stroke.  If I'm 3 yards off the green in regulation, I expect to put my chip within a reasonable one putt range.  If I fail at that, or worse leave the ball in the rough or skull it across the green, I no longer have any real chance to recover.  I've known too many players higher than my handicap range with much better long games than mine, yet I have usually been able to out score them because of my short game.  

 

When it takes a player 4 or 5 strokes to get down from 70 or 80 yards, then all they are doing is driving for show.

 

I'll add to that that I am a casual player, and I'm not willing to spend 10 hours a week doing nothing but practicing.  If I have a half hour or an hour to work on my game, I see better results from practicing my chipping and putting.

 

I'm at basically the same HC as the two of you - and I do find driving to be important for someone in our range and above.  It is why I was interested to know your stats.  I'll give you my experience as a 16 capper:

 

Fairways: 57% (but keep in mind these are short - I don't carry driver)

GIR: 21% (mostly par 3's I'd imagine)

Putts Per Hole: 1.89 (this probably sounds good, but it is because I hit so few greens - so I'm chipping from pretty close a lot)

Up and Down Percentage: 31% (this means from really pretty close - not from 70 yds and such)

 

When I quit carrying driver, I was a 24 HC.  Just too many balls in the woods, pond, OB, etc - which is something I observe an awful lot of in other players BTW.  Short game matters none when it takes you 6 shots to get to the green.  I began hitting irons off the tee exclusively and my HC started coming down - with no practice at short game what so ever. Eventually worked a hybrid for some tee shots and it came down more - still very little short game practice.  As I got better at tee shots - I worked in a 3-wood and the HC came down a little more - virtually no change in short game.  

 

By virtue of playing a bunch of golf - and watching the Phil Mickelson hinge and hold video - I'm sure my short game got a little better.  But getting the ball out of the woods and onto the fairway took 8-9 strokes off my handicap in 18 months.

 

And I still feel like the long game is what is holding me back.  I still hit a lot of irons and hybrids off the tee in an effort to keep the 8's off the card.  And it works.  If it is wide-assed open, I'll go 3 wood. If I kill it, I get 240.  I can only imagine if I was getting 57% of fairways, but hitting driver 250 or 260 a lot of the time instead of 180 yard 4i's and 210 yd hybrids.  I feel like most of my approach shots are from about 160-180.  What if I was approaching from 125?  Wow that would be fun.

 

I feel like my short game is my strength and is what enables me to be a 16 cap.  But it seems like it would take a heck of a lot of time to get just a little better at it. To go from getting my up and down from 31% to 50% would take basically all of my practice time.  And I don't think I could even do it then.  My guess anyway.

 

I am by no means an elite golfer - and have been in the higher cap range you speak of.  It seems unlikely time spent on short game would have helped me as much as long game.

 

I should add a qualification to my statement above.  Most of my golfing life, I carried a 10-12 handicap.  It's only since moving to this island that my handicap has soared, because I've only played one week of golf in the last year and a half.  So my comments and analysis are the impressions of a better than average player, but not a single digit handicapper.

post #125 of 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkim291968 View Post
 

I think you and I are in the same boat.  

 

( I thinks we should open a bogey golfer, HI from 16 - 22, only thread to share common ideas, and experiences.   No disrespect to low cappers in this forum but sometimes I think they don't understand our flight.   Either they started golf early in their life and were taught good fundamentals or forgot what it was like for them to be a bogey golfer.  )

 

You make a point.  A 24 is playing little bit different game than a 14 who is playing a little different game than a 4.  When I changed strategy and focused more on protecting bogie instead of getting par - my scores got better.  I'd imagine a low cap might gasp at the thought of playing for a bogie.

post #126 of 511
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post
 

...but hitting driver 250 or 260 a lot of the time instead of 180 yard 4i's and 210 yd hybrids... What if I was approaching from 125?  Wow that would be fun.

 

Totally agree.

Just starting to be able to appreciate this thanks to Mike and Erik, arguably the best internet golf teachers around. :-) 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post
 

You make a point.  A 24 is playing little bit different game than a 14 who is playing a little different game than a 4.  When I changed strategy and focused more on protecting bogie instead of getting par - my scores got better.  I'd imagine a low cap might gasp at the thought of playing for a bogie.

 

Most likely, the high handicapper (me) needs to concentrate on losing 10 or more strokes with a good drive, next a lower handicapper would need a good solid approach (which might lose another 5-6 strokes?), then the better players benefit from chipping and putting (losing 5-6 strokes?)

 

So, if you do some really coarse math a 25 handicapper would be able to get down to a 3-5 in the stages described above. Without the longer straighter drive, it looks really hard.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Golf Talk
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › Relative Importance of the Long Game, Short Game, etc. (Mark Broadie, Strokes Gained, etc.)