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Relative Importance of the Long Game, Short Game, etc. (Mark Broadie, Strokes Gained, etc.) - Page 14

post #235 of 516

I've had a change of heart after reading this entire thread & after analyzing my last 2 rounds over the weekend - totally agree that hitting GIR's needs to be my focus, and is most important (for me).     One suggestion - do you think it would be better to change the phrasing of this thread, to "whats more important, the long game, approach/mid game, or short game" ?

 

Long game to me means TEE SHOT only & using it to describe approach shots (even the long ones) seems too broad.    Getting off the tee is clearly important ... BUT ... tee shots are a whole different animal than trying to hit a specific target a loooooong ways out there (approach shots).     The approach game seems to really be where most of us need to tighten up & get more GIR's !!     The two aspects really should be separated in this discussion ....

post #236 of 516
Look at it like this:

If I could trade both my short game AND my putting for that of a pro I could probably knock 9 shots off my average.

If I could trade just my full swing for that of a pro I would likely be within about 9 strokes of them.

BIG DIFFERENCE.
post #237 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post
 

I've had a change of heart after reading this entire thread & after analyzing my last 2 rounds over the weekend - totally agree that hitting GIR's needs to be my focus, and is most important (for me).     One suggestion - do you think it would be better to change the phrasing of this thread, to "whats more important, the long game, approach/mid game, or short game" ?

 

Long game to me means TEE SHOT only & using it to describe approach shots (even the long ones) seems too broad.    Getting off the tee is clearly important ... BUT ... tee shots are a whole different animal than trying to hit a specific target a loooooong ways out there (approach shots).     The approach game seems to really be where most of us need to tighten up & get more GIR's !!     The two aspects really should be separated in this discussion ....

 

All of those shots are full swings though.  Chipping and putting are significantly different.  Also - maybe the approach shot is not what needs to be worked on to get the GIR.  For me - my fairway irons are pretty decent.  A problem with getting a GIR can be having a 200yd approach shot or maybe hitting from behind a tree or out of the rough.  Getting better at the tee shot would def improve my GIR's.  It's half the battle.

post #238 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by wils5150 View Post
 

Amen to that!! :)  I don't understand why this is so hard to grasp.

 

I don't understand why some think it is up for debate.  Facts are not debatable.

post #239 of 516

This whole thread reminds me of what I hear people say when I get randomly grouped with people:

 

"I don't hit the green in regulation often so I work really hard on my short game so I can get up & down for par."

 

 

If you don't catch the irony in this statement, don't worry about it.

post #240 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by SloverUT View Post
 

This whole thread reminds me of what I hear people say when I get randomly grouped with people:

 

"I don't hit the green in regulation often so I work really hard on my short game so I can get up & down for par."

 

 

If you don't catch the irony in this statement, don't worry about it.

Yup, that seems to be the big disconnect.

post #241 of 516
I went back and re-read the original article, this is what stands out most to me.

"Another factor Broadie has measured is the impact of what he calls “awful shots” on a round. We all know what he means by awful shots — a poorly struck 5-iron that sends the ball all of 20 yards, tee shots in ponds or skulled chip shots. But Broadie’s data reveal that a golfer with an average score of 105 has nearly four times as many awful shots (8.1 a round) as someone shooting 80 (2.1). And Broadie said there were more awful shots linked to the long game than the short game with the attendant scoring inflation, so to speak."

Sadly, I'm reminded of this fact every time I go out! Also, as its been said before by many, if my long game is ON, then the "relative" importance of my short game is not nearly as critical. Maybe I'm over simplifying things but, for me, the short game is meant to get me out of trouble "when" my long game is OFF...so the best short game is to have a good long game in the first place.
post #242 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meltdwhiskey View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post
 

I've had a change of heart after reading this entire thread & after analyzing my last 2 rounds over the weekend - totally agree that hitting GIR's needs to be my focus, and is most important (for me).     One suggestion - do you think it would be better to change the phrasing of this thread, to "whats more important, the long game, approach/mid game, or short game" ?

 

Long game to me means TEE SHOT only & using it to describe approach shots (even the long ones) seems too broad.    Getting off the tee is clearly important ... BUT ... tee shots are a whole different animal than trying to hit a specific target a loooooong ways out there (approach shots).     The approach game seems to really be where most of us need to tighten up & get more GIR's !!     The two aspects really should be separated in this discussion ....

 

All of those shots are full swings though.  Chipping and putting are significantly different.  Also - maybe the approach shot is not what needs to be worked on to get the GIR.  For me - my fairway irons are pretty decent.  A problem with getting a GIR can be having a 200yd approach shot or maybe hitting from behind a tree or out of the rough.  Getting better at the tee shot would def improve my GIR's.  It's half the battle.

 

This a good point.  Instead of long game, it should be called full shot vs. short game - short game meaning less than the typical full swing for that club.

post #243 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by birlyshirly View Post

See the test I quoted above at post 219? Doesn't that partly address your question? Granted, it won't tell you where your shortgame weaknesses are - but it's a stab at testing how well matched your long game and short game are to your scoring ability.

I did see that post and thought the concept was spot on. It is the only post I've seen that tries to help a player identify their glaring weakness. To me, you can't just give a blanket statement that one is more important than the other (short game vs long game).

Supporting the concept by asking which shot you would rather have a PGA Tour guy hit for you is asinine. Those guys have practiced for thousands of hours. During those thousands of hours of practice, I'm guessing most have focused on their short game more than long game at different points in time b/c they felt it was a glaring weakness, BASED ON THEIR ACTUAL PLAY. I don't care what my skill level is, if I can have an expert (PGA Pro) play to the green on a 450 yd par 4 and have me play out from there; OR have me play that hole to the green and have the PGA guy play out from there. It's a no-brainer. It doesn't matter, though. The hypothetical is bogus.

I think this concept is supported by most because most amateurs DO have a glaring weakness with their long game. Those folks that pitch/chip/putt for 30 minutes before every round, but never hit the range for long game practice, are likely hurting their scores with the long game. The problem is, those golfers don't hit range balls anyway... They aren't willing to put the effort in to try to improve.
post #244 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

This a good point.  Instead of long game, it should be called full shot vs. short game - short game meaning less than the typical full swing for that club.

I agree with that. Whatever gets a player to the closest proximity to the hole in regulation wins. For most people that starts with a long accurate tee shot, but long is not as mandatory if the ball striking on approach shots is much better than average.

 

Accurate is always mandatory. Scrambling for pars is a great thing (and sure as hell better than not doing it) but it doesn't beat putting for birdies.

post #245 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

This a good point.  Instead of long game, it should be called full shot vs. short game - short game meaning less than the typical full swing for that club.

I agree with that. Whatever gets a player to the closest proximity to the hole in regulation wins. For most people that starts with a long accurate tee shot, but long is not as mandatory if the ball striking on approach shots is much better than average.

 

Accurate is always mandatory. Scrambling for pars is a great thing (and sure as hell better than not doing it) but it doesn't beat putting for birdies.

 

And short game would include such things as punching or pitching out of trouble, not just play around the green.  I've seen too many players give away more strokes when they are trying to play the safe shot, simply because it's a shot that they have never really practiced or even thought much about it before needing it on the course.  It's like playing a layup - it's so easy to try and play too perfect a shot and end up in the trouble you are trying to avoid.

post #246 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by GangGreen View Post

I went back and re-read the original article, this is what stands out most to me.

"Another factor Broadie has measured is the impact of what he calls “awful shots” on a round. We all know what he means by awful shots — a poorly struck 5-iron that sends the ball all of 20 yards, tee shots in ponds or skulled chip shots. But Broadie’s data reveal that a golfer with an average score of 105 has nearly four times as many awful shots (8.1 a round) as someone shooting 80 (2.1). And Broadie said there were more awful shots linked to the long game than the short game with the attendant scoring inflation, so to speak."

Sadly, I'm reminded of this fact every time I go out! Also, as its been said before by many, if my long game is ON, then the "relative" importance of my short game is not nearly as critical. Maybe I'm over simplifying things but, for me, the short game is meant to get me out of trouble "when" my long game is OFF...so the best short game is to have a good long game in the first place.

 

It reminds me of the Nike VRS commercial about leaving yourself a "much, much shorter short game." I was going to embed it but I don't know that the commercial made it onto YouTube.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r View Post

I did see that post and thought the concept was spot on. It is the only post I've seen that tries to help a player identify their glaring weakness. To me, you can't just give a blanket statement that one is more important than the other (short game vs long game).

 

Please read the other thread, and several other posts. You do realize, too, that "to me" carries very little weight given who you are. Have you done comprehensive studies on this topic? Have you devised and tested strategies and tests?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r View Post

Supporting the concept by asking which shot you would rather have a PGA Tour guy hit for you is asinine.

 

No it's not. There's a much, much larger gap between their "long game" abilities and yours than exists between their "short game" abilities and yours. They shoot better scores than you. A bigger portion of that gap is the long game.

 

It's very simple, straightforward logic.

 

Now, if you want to continue to discuss this "glaring weakness" stuff, even though it's been answered several times, or where to devote practice time, please do so in the 65/25/10 thread. This thread is not that one.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

And short game would include such things as punching or pitching out of trouble, not just play around the green.

 

No it doesn't. Sorry, but that's just how it's defined. That's like saying if you top a ball off the tee and it goes 20 yards it's a poor "short game" shot. We don't just get to make up different definitions. I don't necessarily agree with "everything inside of 100 yards is a short game shot" either (you can use full swing mechanics on a 70-yard shot), but it's pretty telling that even at 100 yards Broadie will tell you it's only 32% of the importance.

 


 

I wanted to bring up the example posted before by @Phil McGleno. The example was a scratch player playing a par four and making a bogey. If it wasn't that exactly, that's my example here.

 

From the tee, he's going to average a 4. Yes, I know that a scratch golfer could theoretically shoot 90 in 10 of his last 20 rounds, but we're saying on this particular hole, he averages 4. It's got a big green and a wide fairway.

 

So on the tee, he's averaging 4.0.

 

After his tee shot, from the so-so lie or whatever it was called, he's averaging 3.4 to finish the hole (doesn't count his tee shot - that's already happened). That means his tee shot cost him 0.4 shots. He hits his 7-iron or 8-iron or whatever into the greenside bunker. From there, he's averaging 2.9 shots, let's say (many are surprised at how bad even good golfers are from bunkers). So his second shot cost him 0.5 shots, because hew as sitting at 3.4, and now he's at 2.9 and he played a full shot to get there. He's down 0.9 strokes.

 

Now, his very good bunker shot (hitting it to ten feet is pretty good) means he'll take an average of 1.7 putts to get it in the hole. 50/50 is right around eight feet, and 50/50 is 1.5 strokes. So 1.7 strokes. He went from 2.9 to 1.7 while using only one shot - his bunker shot SAVED him 0.2 strokes. Now he misses the putt for par, but since his average is only 1.7, missing the putt only costs him 0.3 strokes.

 

Long game: 0.9 strokes.

Short game: 0.1 strokes.

 

Here's the problem for many of you: you look at that and say "if he had a better short game he'd have made par." You don't realize what you're asking, though. To make par he'd quite literally have to average under 2.5 from the bunker. The best players in the world barely average 50% sand saves (#90 out of 180 in 2013 was 50.57%). That right there is an average of 2.5, and they play on better greens with more consistent bunkers.

 

The problem - where the guy lost shots - was putting it in the bunker to begin with. What got him there? His long game - both off the tee and his 8-iron. Yet a lot of you look at that and see his failed sand save and simply blame his short game.

post #247 of 516

Was an interesting bit on Twitter today from Phil Kenyon (British putting guru) about what he terms the "contribution to victory" of putting on the PGA Tour. CTV (Putting) is putts gained per round divided by total strokes gained per round * 100. From 2004 - 2012, the average contribution to victory of putting for Tour winners was 35%. Highest contribution was Bill Haas at 2011 Tour Champs with 114% (2.05 putts gained/1.79 strokes gained) and lowest contribution was Vijay Singh at 2008 Bridgestone with -37% (1.14 strokes lost/3.05 strokes gained). 

post #248 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by wils5150 View Post
 

 here are some stats from Justin Rose' 2013 season. Total driving--4th, Greens in reg--9th, Strokes gained putting--133, total putting-- 99th, Fed ex cup--7th, scoring average--3rd. 

 

I know I shouldn't repost this again but It hold water to me. Yes its one player but, many have similar stats. Total driving and GIR numbers equal long game to me.

post #249 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
 

Was an interesting bit on Twitter today from Phil Kenyon (British putting guru) about what he terms the "contribution to victory" of putting on the PGA Tour. CTV (Putting) is putts gained per round divided by total strokes gained per round * 100. From 2004 - 2012, the average contribution to victory of putting for Tour winners was 35%. Highest contribution was Bill Haas at 2011 Tour Champs with 114% (2.05 putts gained/1.79 strokes gained) and lowest contribution was Vijay Singh at 2008 Bridgestone with -37% (1.14 strokes lost/3.05 strokes gained). 

 

To win on the PGA Tour you often need a good ball striking week combined with a good putting week. Some of it can be luck - putts that lip in versus lip out, getting a lot of uphill right-to-lefters, etc. That kind of approach will produce slightly different results than "strokes gained" studies that often take place over the long haul of a full season (scoring average, high consistent finishes, etc.) and will tend to emphasize putting more because an average player having a freakishly good putting week can win. It's a small sample size, and one of the aspects of a player's game that can fluctuate the most is putting.

post #250 of 516

they are both important. when i have a god long game, usually my short game and putting is miserable. When the long game is off and I don't hit fairways, i can save myself somewhat with the the short game.

 

However, to consistently shoot low you need more short game than anything: putts per round and up/down stats are what makes the difference and separates myself from a low handicapper.

 

Take the older man who shoot in the 70s and low 80s who can drive the ball 200 tds top... they still shoot low because of their short game and ability to get up and down from 50 yds in.

 

so, short game is more important once you achieve a consistent ball striking

post #251 of 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by virtuaframax View Post
 

However, to consistently shoot low you need more short game than anything: putts per round and up/down stats are what makes the difference and separates myself from a low handicapper.

 

It's precisely the opposite. The lowest scores occur when you hit a lot of greens and never have to rely on your short game.

 

Please read the thread before posting.

post #252 of 516

Anyone that keeps stats would (should) attest to that. GIR is everything.

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