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Relative Importance of the Long Game, Short Game, etc. (Mark Broadie, Strokes Gained, etc.) - Page 15

post #253 of 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

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.

 

Yes to win at a tour level, all facets of your game have to be solid for that week.  Just as if you had a career low round, you hit it well and putted well.  As we know, you can't depend on "career" putting days to see long term improvement in golf.  Putting is important and needs to be practiced by doesn't require the same amount of attention or reps that the long game does.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by virtuaframax View Post
 

 

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

 

Those old dudes also don't hit it OB, in water, behind trees.  They get the ball in play and their second shots are either on the green or pretty close.  They have solid long games.

post #254 of 514
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).

 

 

Actually, you can.  It is a fact.

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r View Post


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.

 

Try to look at it this way.  What is more "important" does not necessarily mean "what I should be practicing."  If you have the long game of a pro, but a terrible short game, you should definitely work on the short game.  Just because your short game is a "glaring weakness" does not mean the long game is less important to your scores.

post #255 of 514
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. 
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Please read the other thread, and several other posts. 

Is there an explanation in this thread, or the "how to divide your practice time" thread, of what's supposed to be wrong with the diagnostic test that boil3rmak3r was referring to?

 

I understand the relative impact that ball striking and short game have on your scoring.

 

Equally, I don't see the problem in the idea that for every level of play, there's going to be a statistically average level of performance in both long game and short game.

 

The argument here sometimes seems to be verging on a claim that the vast majority of golfers have an above average (relative to their score) short game, and a below average long-game. :hmm:

 

If there's a way - as that article claimed - of measuring your short game relative to your long game and to your score - that would be useful, no?

post #256 of 514

I thought of a couple of "analogies" to show how I see what the term "important" means in this thread:

 

1) Lets say you have the basketball game of Lebron except you shoot 35% from the free throw line.  You should definitely work on free throws, but that does not mean "free throws" are more important than "every other baskeball skill".

 

2) Lets say you have a team with four of the best starting pitchers in baseball, but your closer is the worst.  As the GM you should definitely look for a decent closer in the off season.  This does not make a "closer" more important than starting pitching.

 

3) Lets say you are the NFL's best middle linebacker, but you can't tie your spikes before games.  You should definitely work on "lace tying" but this does not make that more important than your strength or sprinting abilities.  :whistle:

post #257 of 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by birlyshirly View Post
 

Is there an explanation in this thread, or the "how to divide your practice time" thread, of what's supposed to be wrong with the diagnostic test that boil3rmak3r was referring to?

 

The tests - discussion of which belongs in the other thread, and which will be enforced from here on out - do not work accurately for driving. They don't work accurately unless you can devise an average sample size of ALL types of shots, either. You might be above average chipping from the fairway and below average pitching the same distance. And bunker shots deserve their own category, and can vary quite a bit too.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by birlyshirly View Post
 

The argument here sometimes seems to be verging on a claim that the vast majority of golfers have an above average (relative to their score) short game, and a below average long-game. :hmm:

 

Nobody is saying that.

 

They're simply pointing out that the gap between Golfer A and Golfer B - regardless of who those two golfers are - is primarily generally made up of the long game.

post #258 of 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by birlyshirly View Post
 

The argument here sometimes seems to be verging on a claim that the vast majority of golfers have an above average (relative to their score) short game, and a below average long-game:hmm:

 

If there's a way - as that article claimed - of measuring your short game relative to your long game and to your score - that would be useful, no?

 

This is the case for me and every bogey player I have ever met.

 

Your statement "an above average short game" does not quite fit, because that is a characteristic of a lower handicap player, like yourself.

 

You can emulate a bogey golfer, like me. Try hitting every tee shot behind a tree or deep into a fairway bunker or OB, and let me know if your short game can get you onto the green in one or even two strokes.

post #259 of 514

At first thought, this question appears as subjective as "do forged irons feel better than cast".  I don't want to open up that argument, but to ask which facet of ones golf game is more important - long game vs. short game - appears subjective to the skill level of the individual.  However, after reading several pages of this thread, I believe the best short game is a good long game.  Personally, I hit great tee shots, but my GIR's suffer.  I place lots of pressure on my short game to score.  Where should I spend more time practicing?  The approach shots.  I'll add one more element needing attention - the mental game.  

 

How much better would your long game be if you knew how to focus and visualize the positive outcome of the shot you were about to play?  I'd wager too many mid - high handicappers see the trouble and or allow bad swing thoughts to creep into their minds before hitting a long/approach shot.

post #260 of 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by amac View Post

 

How much better would your long game be if you knew how to focus and visualize the positive outcome of the shot you were about to play?  I'd wager too many mid - high handicappers see the trouble and or allow bad swing thoughts to creep into their minds before hitting a long/approach shot.

 

Yes, good swing thoughts portend good shots. Bad ones...

post #261 of 514

So I do apologize if this has been brought up in the pages before, but here it goes anyway.  

 

For the sake of argument, let's assume two basic groups for the game; that is a mid-to high-handicapper's mental game vs a low-to-scratch handicapper's mentality.  They are pretty diverse groups, with a large span in between each group (20 HC and 10 HC are both considered mid to high, and 5 and scratch are both low and scratch), so it's intentionally broad in scope.  

 

The key to understanding the balance between the short and long game is to summarize the goal of good golf; creating opportunity.  

 

I've read on this website somewhere that the difference between a 20 HC and a 10 HC is closer than the difference between the 5 HC and the scratch.  This is probably because as a 10 HC player, you make generally fewer mistakes than the 20 HC player, but they are similar in nature (mental errors are fewer but not extinct; basic form issues are minimized (OTT-like issues); and our misses on the green are similar (putts are generally a similar distance away, with a larger percentage of the 10 HC player's wedge shots getting closer than the 20 HC player)).  10 HC players also have a larger arsenal of recovery shots in their toolbox; I know it took me forever to pull off a good punch shot from under the trees, and now it's a good go-to shot based on the conditions.  But IN GENERAL, there are more similarities than differences between the 10 and 20 HC player. A similarity is that the long game is generally  not as consistent (not good or bad, but consistent) with the mid to high HC players.  Drives are not always in the fairway; hybrid and FW shots are not always laid up well; sometimes you're playing from the rough more often than not; etc.   These are generally lost shots; it's difficult to consistently make par from these areas.  You don't create opportunity when you slice every other hole, you are fighting the course.  The Best way, not the easiest, or the fastest, but the best way, is to get the ball on the fairway.  The only way you're keeping the ball on the fairway is by keeping it in play off the tee.  So generally, the best way to create opportunities to score well for the high handicapper is to keep the ball in play off the tee, or the long game.  

 

Low to scratch players, on the other hand, are worlds apart in how consistently they score, and this is because of their short game.  They need to hone their short game because the more precise they are, the better they score.  They have fundamentals ingrained deeply to the point where it is reactive in nature; they (unlike mid-to high HC players) don't think about everything during a swing, only what is necessary to place the idea of  a good swing in their head.  I swing my best when I minimize the junk in my head to a simple idea (Ex. Hit the green, strike the tangent of the ball, short follow-through, etc), and just execute that simple idea.  In other words, the facets of the game are generally covered well with low to scratch players.  In this case, consistent accuracy, not just consistency, is a premium.  They are already creating opportunity with their long games more consistently than the high handicapper.  A scratch player can get it on the green with eyes closed; how close they need to get it, controlling the spin, understanding the grain of the grass; these are all factors that come when you know you're getting on the green. You know you're getting on the green, as a scratch player, when you are at 130 yards in the fairway with a wedge in hand.  The question becomes how to do it on this particular hole; hop and stop, bump and run, or spin it back?  These questions are set up by your long game, which is already solid.  It's your short game that matters more at this point.  

 

And amac is right; none of it matters if you get so angry after every miss that you break your clubs in half.  Mental discipline was one of the hardest but most valuable lessons I have taught myself.  It is vital to keep mental mistakes at bay, to accept your mistakes, and to be able to move on.  

 

Those that say the long game is best but don't produce when it comes time to put the ball close need to work on their short games.  Those that say "Drive for show, putt for dough"; a one-put for a bogie is worse than a two-putt for par.  You should've probably driven the ball better to set you up for that one-putt birdie.  It goes hand in hand; they are always dependent on each other.  Many of you guys have said this in one form or another.  The scratch player doesn't neglect his or her long game after they get to scratch, and the high handicapper doesn't forgo the short game because they are a 20 handicapper.  It's a continuum, which is probably always changing and moving throughout a golfing career.  But in general, it is probably better to work on getting consistency in the long game so that opportunities are created for the short game.  

post #262 of 514

One thing that has certainly already been brought up in this thread is how much of a direct effect the long game has on the short game.  Well, duh.  But what I mean is, we keep talking about these two as mutually exclusive, but a good short game is made even better by a good long game.  And the opposite is also true ... a bad short game is made worse by a bad long game.

 

The pros who have really great up and down stats ... do you think it's because they just miss their approach shots all willy nilly, knowing that they can recover from wherever?  Or, perhaps, is it because they know EXACTLY where to miss and where not to miss on every hole they play?  So when they hit a "poor" shot, more often than not, it is in the area they cheated towards, which yields the easiest chance at recovery.

 

Perhaps it could be argued that this portion of the "long game" shouldn't apply towards the long game, but rather an entirely separate "mental game" category.  That's fine.  Either way, though, the ability to succeed at the short game is influenced a lot by what you do in the long game, physically and mentally.

post #263 of 514
A 15 handicapper like me will spray their drive more than occasionally probably miss the green in regulation, chip up and hope to one putt for par. So short game is important to me - I need to get the ball on the green (with practice get it somewhat close to pin). I say short game is most important to me. A single digit player makes more 3 and 4 footers, hits more greens in regulation because of longer drives that land in fairway.
post #264 of 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulligan Jeff View Post

A 15 handicapper like me will spray their drive more than occasionally probably miss the green in regulation, chip up and hope to one putt for par. So short game is important to me - I need to get the ball on the green (with practice get it somewhat close to pin). I say short game is most important to me. A single digit player makes more 3 and 4 footers, hits more greens in regulation because of longer drives that land in fairway.

 

???????  Short game is more important  ????

post #265 of 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulligan Jeff View Post

A 15 handicapper like me will spray their drive more than occasionally probably miss the green in regulation, chip up and hope to one putt for par. So short game is important to me - I need to get the ball on the green (with practice get it somewhat close to pin). I say short game is most important to me. A single digit player makes more 3 and 4 footers, hits more greens in regulation because of longer drives that land in fairway.

wrong. if your long game was better you wouldn't have to depend on chipping up and one putting so much. Its all about greens in reg.

post #266 of 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulligan Jeff View Post

A 15 handicapper like me will spray their drive more than occasionally probably miss the green in regulation, chip up and hope to one putt for par. So short game is important to me - I need to get the ball on the green (with practice get it somewhat close to pin). I say short game is most important to me. A single digit player makes more 3 and 4 footers, hits more greens in regulation because of longer drives that land in fairway.

 

Like you said, you're missing the green because the long game is the culprit.  If you're consistently giving yourself chances at an up and down, then your short game is your strength, not your weakness.  You're conceding that you'll hit it crappy and then have to depend on your short game, why not improve your long game and potentially move into single digit territory.

 

Single digit players don't just hit more greens because they find the fairway more often or hit it longer, they have better impact conditions than a 15 handicapper.  They can make an "average" swing and still hit the green.

post #267 of 514

A good doctor is very important ... but it's more important to do whatever you can to stay healthy, such that you need to call on said doctor as infrequently as possible.

post #268 of 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

One thing that has certainly already been brought up in this thread is how much of a direct effect the long game has on the short game.  Well, duh.  But what I mean is, we keep talking about these two as mutually exclusive, but a good short game is made even better by a good long game.  And the opposite is also true ... a bad short game is made worse by a bad long game.

 

The pros who have really great up and down stats ... do you think it's because they just miss their approach shots all willy nilly, knowing that they can recover from wherever?  Or, perhaps, is it because they know EXACTLY where to miss and where not to miss on every hole they play?  So when they hit a "poor" shot, more often than not, it is in the area they cheated towards, which yields the easiest chance at recovery.

 

Perhaps it could be argued that this portion of the "long game" shouldn't apply towards the long game, but rather an entirely separate "mental game" category.  That's fine.  Either way, though, the ability to succeed at the short game is influenced a lot by what you do in the long game, physically and mentally.

 

Remember they are more confident in their game. So I could easily say they go for shots that amateurs shouldn't and end up missing the green as well. I think most pro's could end up hitting 15-17 out of 18 greens if they went for the middle all day. But pin placements are usually around the edges and they know that proximity is the key to scoring. So for the many times they just put the ball somewhere 20-30 feet away. They miss a green when they try to stick one close. So I think it equals out. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulligan Jeff View Post

A 15 handicapper like me will spray their drive more than occasionally probably miss the green in regulation, chip up and hope to one putt for par. So short game is important to me - I need to get the ball on the green (with practice get it somewhat close to pin). I say short game is most important to me. A single digit player makes more 3 and 4 footers, hits more greens in regulation because of longer drives that land in fairway.

 

This argument is a total misconception of what is going on. Most people will remember that missed putt, or that blown chip. They refuse to remember what got them there in the first place. Their poor LONG GAME shot. Fix the problem, don't just try to throw on a small patch on a bigger issue. 

post #269 of 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

 

 

This argument is a total misconception of what is going on. Most people will remember that missed putt, or that blown chip. They refuse to remember what got them there in the first place. Their poor LONG GAME shot. Fix the problem, don't just try to throw on a small patch on a bigger issue. 

Well stated.

 

 

I think the poster misunderstood the question - I took him to say the short game is more important RAAAT NOW for scoring because his long game is woeful. So you are absolutely correct - the short game is a band-aid until his long game comes around. And you are helpful in urging him to work on his long game.

post #270 of 514
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

 

Remember they are more confident in their game. So I could easily say they go for shots that amateurs shouldn't and end up missing the green as well. I think most pro's could end up hitting 15-17 out of 18 greens if they went for the middle all day. But pin placements are usually around the edges and they know that proximity is the key to scoring. So for the many times they just put the ball somewhere 20-30 feet away. They miss a green when they try to stick one close. So I think it equals out.

This is certainly true.  They have more confidence in both aspects of their game so they are liable to go after a lot of pins that lesser golfers like us should never attempt.  They are more likely to succeed, and they are more likely to recover if they fail.  But, there are still those "red light" pins and I'll be damned if the vast majority of pros don't make a point to miss those on the correct side.  They know that if they miss that particular green on that particular side that even they, with their world class short games, will have much smaller chances of recovering.

 

So they "miss" to the other side of the hole and leave themselves with a 30' putt or 40' pitch and they make par.  Or they get a little aggressive and make birdie, or short side themselves and make bogey.  In each case, though, it was the long game, along with course management, that was a bigger factor in that outcome than it was the short game.

 

At least that is how I look at it.  In my game, I could, if I want, say "the reason I didn't par that last hole was because I couldn't make an 8' putt."  But I choose to believe its because I couldn't hit the green from 120 yards away that was the culprit, not so much the decent chip or the 50/50 putt.  (Basically the same thing you said to mulligan jeff ;))

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