Originally Posted by David in FL
Let's put it into perspective.
The reason you're a 10 hcp, and struggle to get into the low 80's, let alone break 80, has little to do with your short game. You don't hit greens. Probably less than 5 or 6 per round on average. That's at least 66% of the time you're missing greens, so even as a decent player, your "long game" is kicking your butt.
Don't feel bad, I shot 76 today and only hit 9 greens today. I got up and down 5 out of 9 times..... My opportunity wasn't in my short game, it was in the freaking 9 greens that I missed.
Perhaps your long-distance assessment of my game is the problem. I don't struggle to get into the low 80s. That's where I play, and I break into the 70s two or three times per year. My point is, my swing is at a place where X hours on my short game will get my score down quicker than X hours on my swing, not that X hours on my swing would not help. In the long term, I agree that swing improvement is the way to become a better golfer.
A few years ago I played in a tournament with a guy who was half my age and outdrove me by 30-40 yards on every hole. Yet, we both shot 81. If he didn't hit the green, and even then leave the ball close, he couldn't make par. I, on the other hand, got pars from hitting greens and from getting up and down. If this guy had a short game that matched his swing, he would have shot two or three over.
Or say it this way. Three pros miss the green and they all walk away with par. Three mid-handicappers miss the green in the same places and maybe one comes away with par.
As for your round today, I don't know what kind of shots you had when you missed the green, but 5 for 9 is all right. There are days, though, when a pro hits only 9 greens, but he won't turn in a 76. His short game will save him, and that's why he works on his short game, because he knows his swing will never be perfect.