Originally Posted by iacas
There's been evidence, but I think you're misunderstanding some things… This thread's also pretty old. Look at the 65/25/10 thread. It's more recent and has links to Money Golf (2009) and the recent articles which are setting up Broadie's book coming in March.
That's the kind of stuff that makes me feel like you're not understanding what's being said.
This isn't about the correlation between height, weight, and driving distance. It's not about Tiger versus you. It's about shooting the lowest scores you can shoot, and just how important the long game is for YOU and EVERYONE to shoot the best scores. Those scores might never beat Tiger Woods playing left-handed, but the facts still apply: the long game is really, really important.
I agree the long game is important for me and everyone else. But if it's about shooting the lowest score the individual can shoot, nothing in here, or in any of the recent articles I've seen, says the long game is more important than the short game. Both are really important. All of the actual data and analysis I've seen so far has been about comparing golfers to other golfers, not to themselves.
I think it might be interesting to see how these studies comparing different golfers would turn out if you controlled for weight, height, gender, age and/or physical fitness. Take cohorts of golfers of similar age, gender, and size, and then see what is resposible for more of the variation in scores within each cohort. Will it still be the long game?
I also think this is very sensitive to a somewhat arbitrary definition of "long game" as being everything from 100 yards out. This lumps the advantages of big hitters off the tee in with the advantages of those who hit strong approaches from 100-150 yards out. But those are somewhat different things. If you can stick it near the pin from 130 yards out, it really doesn't matter that much whether you are doing that with a PW or a 6 iron. You don't need to be a big hitter to be able to reach from within 150 yards.
I think if you treated those as separate categories, you might find out it broke down something like 1/3 tee shots and long shots, 1/3 approach shots, 1/3 short game (chips, pitches, long puts). And most of us could use to work on all three.