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Relative Importance of the Long Game, Short Game, etc. (Mark Broadie, Strokes Gained, etc.) - Page 3

post #37 of 514

Re: Long game more important than short?

Originally Posted by julius06 View Post
btw - i did what any self respecting hack would do...bought a new driver. Obviously that was the problem...
If your game is doing great, you deserve it. If your game is doing terrible, you need it.
post #38 of 514

Re: Long game more important than short?

Originally Posted by Awsi Dooger View Post
Not even close. The drive is the single most important shot of every hole. It sets up everything else and invariably you relax and gain confidence for the remainder of the hole if the tee shot is pure.

Pelz is selling snake oil, at least applied to the mediocre masses. It's no different than horse racing where speed kills. You can pretend from the back of the pack all you want but I'll chew up your cash if I have foundational advantage with the lead.

As a Las Vegan and sports bettor for 20+ years I'm dumbfounded this is even debated. I don't care where you apply it the beginning dictates the tone. In Average Joe tennis players the serve is by far the most important stroke.
I can make birdie when I miss a fairway. I can make par when I miss a green.
But I can't make biride if I miss the birdie putt, and I ant make par if I don't get it up and down.

Ask any pro, they will tell you that the short game is the one area of golf that any amateur can become as good as the pros. Your ballstriking is going to be on and off no matter how much you practice it. Your short game will be there on a much more consistent basis.
post #39 of 514

Re: Long game more important than short?

Originally Posted by Crafty View Post
I can make birdie when I miss a fairway. I can make par when I miss a green.
But I can't make biride if I miss the birdie putt, and I ant make par if I don't get it up and down.

Ask any pro, they will tell you that the short game is the one area of golf that any amateur can become as good as the pros. Your ballstriking is going to be on and off no matter how much you practice it. Your short game will be there on a much more consistent basis.
I think as you become a better player, the short game becomes more important. But as a high handicapper, the long game problems overshadows the rest of your game.

That said, even as a high handicapper you can make up for a lot with a good short game. But then again if its taking you 6 shots to get within 30 yards then ....
post #40 of 514

Re: Long game more important than short?

I have the mentality on any hole, get me within 150 and I should be on the green & 1 or 2 putt. if I'm 250 away from the hole on a par 5 or even 220 out after a long par 4, I'm thinking about getting inside that 100 yard mark b/c 9 of 10 times I'm not taking my 3 wood 250 and sticking the green (I did it yesterday and ended up 3 putting for par) but when you're in that even 125 and in...the wedge land, you should be money getting up and down.
post #41 of 514

Re: Long game more important than short?

Hi

As 24 HCP scorecard statistic shows average 36 puts (more than a few 1 putt) per round for scoring between 89-98. Penalty 1,6 GIR 21%. Answer is obvious for me : i have to improve my long game /swing !

regards,
post #42 of 514

Re: Long game more important than short?

Originally Posted by Crafty View Post
Ask any pro, they will tell you that the short game is the one area of golf that any amateur can become as good as the pros. Your ballstriking is going to be on and off no matter how much you practice it. Your short game will be there on a much more consistent basis.

I personally agree with the linked article in that the long game is the foundation for a good round, but I have to admit that I agree with you in that the short game is the easiest area for duffers to accel.

To me the short game is easier because it's a slower more controlled swing. The long game requires power, and when generating that power it becomes very easy to lose control. Putting on the other hand is very low power when compared to a tee shot. It's a lot easier to control a putt. That doesn't mean it's easy to make a putt, but the physical requirements of the short game are far less. Having that greater measure of control allows one to more easily master, or at least accel at, putting. Chipping, and to a lesser extent pitching, are versions of the putt swing. Again this provides one a greater degree of control when compared to the full swing required of the long game.

In practice I believe everyone has the potential for a decent short game from the first time they pick up a club. But as your overall game improves it is in the long game that you see the most dramatic improvements/changes. Fine tuning the short game isn't as dramatic. Even the rankest of amatures can two putt a few greens a round, but it takes years of practice and work to be able to hit a long drive exactly how and where you want. That to me is the ultimate proof for the linked article's primary assertion.
post #43 of 514

Re: Long game more important than short?

I can see the overall point of the study but for me personally, the midrange game and putting kill me. Before I ever played a full 18 rounds on a course (early this summer) I'd been on the range hitting the longer clubs for at least 1.5 summers.

I drive the ball as well as the better players in the 20-25 group I go out with regularly (and I'm one of the worst), however, I almost always mess up my 2nd or 3rd shots approaching the green. Not just miss slightly, but mess them up, so that's what I'm working on. For e.g. a 287 yd drive (my longest ever) into the fairway this past weekend and I then butcher a 9-iron approach! I also putt with little to no distance control (and I'm working that out too!).

Anwyay, my off-the-tee game is pretty accurate, imo, but that doesn't get me under 100.
post #44 of 514
Thread Starter 

Re: Long game more important than short?

Originally Posted by Chief Broom View Post
...Chipping, and to a lesser extent pitching, are versions of the putt swing...
I completely disagree...not that it has anything to do with the topic of this thread, but I just had to reply...

On a side note, I'm gonna try and see if I can get the author of this study to participate in this thread.
post #45 of 514

Re: Long game more important than short?

Bob Rotella says a good drive keeps your high scores low, but good wedges and putting keep you low score even lower
post #46 of 514

Re: Long game more important than short?

Originally Posted by pjsnyc View Post
I completely disagree...not that it has anything to do with the topic of this thread, but I just had to reply...
How is that off topic? The fundamental difference between the long and the short game is swing mechanics. I'll grant you that pitching is simply a scaled down full swing, but traditional chipping is the putter swing without breaking the wrists. You do break the wrists when pitching.

Now days the flop shot is all the rage, but for me you can keep it. To me the short game really begins inside 20yds. That's where I'm basically putting but with a variety of clubs.

Obviously this topic is going to be hot because both aspects of the game are of paramount importance. The best drive in the world can easily be squandered. The worst drive can be salvaged and par saved with a chip in. That's what makes golf so cool. But if one aspect of your game is in the toilet good luck beating your handicap on that given day. IMO the harder aspect of golf to master is the long game. You get that down and the short game will follow.

When you've got your full swing grooved you don't have to rely upon your short game nearly as much in order to save or beat par. Whereas if you are scrambling off the tee consistantly you're going to have a much harder time saving, much less beating, par.
post #47 of 514
Thread Starter 

Re: Long game more important than short?

Originally Posted by Chief Broom View Post
How is that off topic? The fundamental difference between the long and the short game is swing mechanics. I'll grant you that pitching is simply a scaled down full swing, but traditional chipping is the putter swing without breaking the wrists. You do break the wrists when pitching...
I actually generate a little bit of lag on my chip shots - so I guess I just disagree with you on the fact that you don't break your wrists on chips. My putting stroke doesn't break the wrists on the backswing, but sometimes I release the putter head on longer putts. We all have different techniques I suppose :)
post #48 of 514

Re: Long game more important than short?

Originally Posted by Chief Broom View Post
To me the short game is easier because it's a slower more controlled swing. The long game requires power, and when generating that power it becomes very easy to lose control.
I really don't agree with this. I use the same swing for every club in my bag with appx the same speed. i don't try to go at longer clubs harder than i do with my pw. a nice and easy 5 iron is gonna go if you hit it well. don't concentrate on jacking every shot that you take when you're more than a 6 iron out. Don't try to accelerate and crush the ball. just focus on striking it well.
the only time my swings change is when the shot requires it:
punch, flop, pitch, chip, bump and run.
other than that, the fundamentals of your swing should remain the same.
you can adjust distance by the back swing and finish.
when you're attempting to hit a cut or a draw, I just change it with how I setup relative to the target line.

but starting out or trying to lower your hc and gain a more consistent swing, you shouldn't try to jack the shots.

head down, left arm as straight to stay on plane, make sure you're squared to the target, release hands properly, strike the ball. and let your body position naturally bring your head up. trying to jack the ball leads you to opening up your body, chunking shots.

When I 1st started, I thought it was all about distance. I mean Tiger did make that statement: if he can hit drive and bomb it..even if he's in the rough..at least he's a shorter shot away in the rough...
but think about it this way. every pro has a comfortable distance of where they can utilize their SHORT game to score. if you can consistently get your 5 iron from 180/190 out. and stick the green..that's cool. but what if you don't?
Here's my point, I play witih people that have an awesome long game. they're on or around the green in 2 all day. they crush drives around and even above 300. They nut their 7 irons around 185 - 195. then comes their short game. 100 yards in...and control becomes an issue. if they don't get onto the green in 2 recovery and scrambling becomes an issue. sure they have better rounds than me and I have better rounds than them. i'm not a long hitter by any means. My 175 shot is a 5 iron. my 150 is a 7 iron.
this year i've only been able to get a pured 3 iron to 195 - 200.
but i'm still scoring well.... once i'm in that 125 mark...my 9 iron area, I'm trying to play the right shot to stick it close.
post #49 of 514

Re: Long game more important than short?

Originally Posted by pjsnyc View Post
We all have different techniques I suppose :)
A valid point.

For me the line between my short game and my long game is whether or not I'm using my full swing (say above 50% of maximum power) or when I'm using a reduced power swing (less than 50%). So in other words I see a 110yd sand wedge as being part of my long game. My short game starts at pitching and chipping onto the green. When you go from a full swing wedge to a pitch (which for me is a half swing at best) depends on the player, but I would put that line for me at around 20-50yds. That's where I have to stop using my full swing. Then I'm pitching which is a half swing all the way down to a strong putt but where my wrists actually break (hinge?) in the back swing and follow through. Chipping, which for me is a huge part of my game, is the putting stroke with a wedge in my hands. My chipping routine is just like my putting routine.

For me the short game has always come natural. The long game though has always required the most effort and concentration. So naturally the article's premise appeals to me, but I think it's validity goes beyond my anecdotal experience. Anybody can play putt putt, but put a driver in their hands with the same amount of initial instruction and most people would probably have a hard time hitting the ball much less striking it well enough to consider parring a hole on a golf course. Therein lies the distinction: the inherent difficulty of hitting long versus hitting short.
post #50 of 514

Re: Long game more important than short?

All aspects of one's game are equally important in order to improve their level of play. In other words, more golfers need to focus on all-round style an of play, rather than focusing on one aspect of their game.

However, according to Titleist based on their Pro V ball ad; that the average recreational golfer requires improvements on their short game to lower their scores, and improve their game. This happens to be statistically proven, and true.
post #51 of 514

Re: Long game more important than short?

I'm a little in between on this one. Generally, I would say the short game is more important, but you need to define short and long.
For me, short game is 100 yds and in.
Improvement in either area is going to improve your score.
I would say that for the higher handicap player (20+) the long game should be worked on first because this is usually a matter of solid ball striking (eliminating duffs, big slices, etc). A lot of shots lost if you chunk 3 or 4 shots to get into approach range.
Lower handicap players probably need to concentrate on distance control and accuracy to get to the next level. This is magnified in the short irons and putting.
For me, if I get a little erratic off the tee (these days) it means I am left or right, maybe in big trouble, maybe just making the dogleg play a bit longer. I can recover from most of that and lose a stroke at most (if I spray it to where I need to punch out).
If my short game is off and I am missing chips and putts, the score goes up much quicker.
post #52 of 514

Re: Long game more important than short?

Originally Posted by Anand View Post
(I have not yey read the article)

I think those folks who said that it all depends on the level of the amateur have pretty much got it right.

What's more important is focussing most of the time on the weaker parts of your game. If you are weak or wayward off the tee or with your long irons, but can get up and down very well -- you spend more time on your long game -- and vice versa.

For me, every teaching pro says I have the long game of a 5 handicap. I am generally consistant off the tee -- in dry, summer conditions, I can consistantly drive 260+, and sometimes bomb it further. I can hit my hybrids exceedingly well from the fairway and rough. However, I struggle with pitching and chipping. For example on Monday I was pin-high and just off the green on 3 520+ yard Par 5s. I failed to make par each time.

So I keep practicing chipping, pitching, putting, much more than beating rocks into oblivion. I am 5 shots better today than in January.

I'm sure it's different for those with the magic touch inside 100, but spray it around off the tee.

Work out the weaker parts of your game and spend more time practicing those areas!!! You cannot but improve!!

//Anand
Agree. Practice where you are weak, and you will improve.
post #53 of 514
Thread Starter 

Re: Long game more important than short?

Finished reading the pdf on the author's columbia university webpage. Pretty cool analysis (and a lot of it) but it seems my initial guess as to this gist of his argument is right - that the long game is more important to practice for mid to high handicappers in order to better his/her game overall...the short game is important too, but more important for at or below scratch players since it assumes they can tee off quite consistently (low amt of poor shots - shanks, etc).

The research points out a few other things that ring true with me - one of which is that it is often easier to hit shots from the rough than from a tight lie on the fairway (the ball sits up a little more, fluff under the ball tees it up a little). Whereas for the pros, it affects their score more in a negative way.

...Also, the rough has a bigger impact on pros than amateurs. For example, from 100-150 yds, the pro's median FRL more than doubles from the fairway to the rough, while the amateur's increases by less than 20%...amateurs often have difficulty from tight fairway lies and they occasionally hit better shots when their ball is sitting up in the rough...playing from the rough is more difficult than playing from the fairway, but the rough penalty is greater for professionals than amateurs...
Also explains that the rough the pros hit out of tend to be much more difficult than your casual sunday round at the local muni, but still interesting to see how he crunches his data.
post #54 of 514

Re: Long game more important than short?

Just finished reading the actual study (PDF on the author's website). Boy, there's a lot of math and stats in there. Cool stuff. His analysis really makes sense. Basically, the software he built calculates shot values based on how many strokes it would take a scratch golfer to hole out from the starting and ending positions of each shot. A series of shots, rounds, etc, can then be assigned a value, which (if I read it correctly), can estimate how many shots an individual (or group) is losing to a scratch golfer. It shows that a high-handicapper is losing about 17 shots to a scratch golfer in the long game, and "only" about 7 in the short game. Another 5 shots are lost in putting, and about 1 shot in the sand game (because sand shots don't occur that often).
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