Originally Posted by Fourputt
Originally Posted by inthehole
I'm not going to argue with a golf pro, but what you said seems to apply more in the case of the elite players (low hcp'ers) - not for the average golfer (excluding the bangers who really aren't trying to keep a score card). I guess I'm basing my opinion on myself - pretty much your basic average serious golfer - short game (for me) costs me more strokes than the long game without question ... there's just no disputing that - maybe I'm not in the hcp range that this model works for ? I simply can't fathom this entire concept of the long game being more important than the short game unless one is an elite player, because they have the short game down, and have to really go after it off the tee as they're usually competing from the back tee's) ...
I agree with this. Precision is more important in the short game. I can miss fairways all day, but as long as I keep the ball in play, I have a chance to recover. On a par 4 hole, I put my tee shot in the rough, where I may even have to play under or over a tree. I still have a couple of shots to work out a recovery and get the ball near the hole. The closer you get to the hole the fewer chances remain for recovering a lost stroke. If I'm 3 yards off the green in regulation, I expect to put my chip within a reasonable one putt range. If I fail at that, or worse leave the ball in the rough or skull it across the green, I no longer have any real chance to recover. I've known too many players higher than my handicap range with much better long games than mine, yet I have usually been able to out score them because of my short game.
When it takes a player 4 or 5 strokes to get down from 70 or 80 yards, then all they are doing is driving for show.
I'll add to that that I am a casual player, and I'm not willing to spend 10 hours a week doing nothing but practicing. If I have a half hour or an hour to work on my game, I see better results from practicing my chipping and putting.
I'm at basically the same HC as the two of you - and I do find driving to be important for someone in our range and above. It is why I was interested to know your stats. I'll give you my experience as a 16 capper:
Fairways: 57% (but keep in mind these are short - I don't carry driver)
GIR: 21% (mostly par 3's I'd imagine)
Putts Per Hole: 1.89 (this probably sounds good, but it is because I hit so few greens - so I'm chipping from pretty close a lot)
Up and Down Percentage: 31% (this means from really pretty close - not from 70 yds and such)
When I quit carrying driver, I was a 24 HC. Just too many balls in the woods, pond, OB, etc - which is something I observe an awful lot of in other players BTW. Short game matters none when it takes you 6 shots to get to the green. I began hitting irons off the tee exclusively and my HC started coming down - with no practice at short game what so ever. Eventually worked a hybrid for some tee shots and it came down more - still very little short game practice. As I got better at tee shots - I worked in a 3-wood and the HC came down a little more - virtually no change in short game.
By virtue of playing a bunch of golf - and watching the Phil Mickelson hinge and hold video - I'm sure my short game got a little better. But getting the ball out of the woods and onto the fairway took 8-9 strokes off my handicap in 18 months.
And I still feel like the long game is what is holding me back. I still hit a lot of irons and hybrids off the tee in an effort to keep the 8's off the card. And it works. If it is wide-assed open, I'll go 3 wood. If I kill it, I get 240. I can only imagine if I was getting 57% of fairways, but hitting driver 250 or 260 a lot of the time instead of 180 yard 4i's and 210 yd hybrids. I feel like most of my approach shots are from about 160-180. What if I was approaching from 125? Wow that would be fun.
I feel like my short game is my strength and is what enables me to be a 16 cap. But it seems like it would take a heck of a lot of time to get just a little better at it. To go from getting my up and down from 31% to 50% would take basically all of my practice time. And I don't think I could even do it then. My guess anyway.
I am by no means an elite golfer - and have been in the higher cap range you speak of. It seems unlikely time spent on short game would have helped me as much as long game.