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post #199 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by nuck81 View Post
Unfortunately you're doing yourself a large disservice. A good week of short game practice can drop five or six strokes easy. What good does it do to reach the green in two shots, only to take three to get it in the cup? Short game is the most important aspect of golf, period...
Yeah, then how come it's almost impossible to find someone with a fundamentally good swing that is more than about a 5 handicap? The fact of the matter is, short game is highly overrated. Tour pros go on and on about short game because that's what separates a winner from an also ran. But that's among players with amazing swings. But when you're a 10+ handicap, the vast majority of your improvements need to be in the long game.

High handicappers are high handicappers for one reason; their swing. They miss fairways and greens. Look at Vijay Singh. He can barely make a four-foot putt at times, but he still shoots in the mid 70s with those rounds. Johnny Miller, when his putter was so far south it was sitting on an ice cap, and 4 putted multiple greens in a round, still shot in the 70s, or at worst low 80s. These are on the PGA tour, that's still nearly scratch golf.

Short game is what separates a teaching pro from a tour pro, not a high handicapper from a low handicapper. This does have a lot to do with driving distance as well. Miss hitting the center of the clubface regularly, and you're not hitting it anywhere. Forget the marketing hype, clubs are not forgiving enough to let you hit it an inch off center and still get 260 yards, let alone 300. The full swing, in golf, is a lot. Many higher handicappers believe that they can practice chipping and putting all day and become a scratch golfer, and curse their bad short game for their handicap. It's total baloney.

A fundamentally solid full swing begets a good short game. The same fundamentals are used in each swing, even the putter. If you were able to hit every fairway and every green, but three-putted half of the holes, you'd shoot an 81. Most people here would be happy with an 81. That's an 81 with nine three putts. Even the worst putters here would likely not have nine three-putts. Go play a round, and hit one ball as normal, and take another and drop it on the green at the farthest spot from the hole sometime, and call it a green in regulation, then putt it out. I can guarantee that you will score lower with the ball you drop on the green.
post #200 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by nuck81 View Post
I could probably add 10-15 yards to my drive, but I'd have no idea where it would go. I swing about 80% so I can control it. I'd rather have 180 to the green, then 150 yards to the green, but have to punch out of the woods 20 yards just to even have a chance of getting there. It's only taken me 4 months to break 90, I'm sure I'll keep improving...
If you find you avoid the woods my not driving 10-15 yards and I have no doubt you do then you are doing the right thing for your game. Naturally I was assuming more risk to longer drives but also more rewards.

One other thing that has got me thinking is- that if a person says they are happy to drive 220, I'd be happy hitting a 2 iron off the tee in that case, a shot which would lend itself to far more control. So another advantage of big hitting if you are capable of it.
post #201 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

250 yards is a big carry.
I hit low running shots instead, I find them more accurate than launching one into the air and letting the wind mess with it.
post #202 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

I'm with you James. In Ireland the weather plays a big part in distances. Give me a really sunny calm day and I might hit 280 including roll or 320 if slightly downhill but all too often wind/rain and temperature/humidity decrease the distance of our drives.

Low trajectory with the right driver/shaft and appropriate golf ball is the way to go over here.
post #203 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

I carry the ball about 225-230...I hit it probably 250-260 total. I have alright distance but I need to hit further to compete in these tournaments and at the college level soon.
post #204 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post
It's easier to hit fairways and greens when you hit a shorter ball. As long as your course doesn't have a lot of forced carries you should be okay. Power applied incorrectly is a recipe for disaster.
A good golfing buddy once told me if you have to make a choice between Long or Straight, pick Straight. He was correct.
post #205 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by Shanks A Million View Post
Yeah, then how come it's almost impossible to find someone with a fundamentally good swing that is more than about a 5 handicap? The fact of the matter is, short game is highly overrated. Tour pros go on and on about short game because that's what separates a winner from an also ran. But that's among players with amazing swings. But when you're a 10+ handicap, the vast majority of your improvements need to be in the long game.

High handicappers are high handicappers for one reason; their swing. They miss fairways and greens. Look at Vijay Singh. He can barely make a four-foot putt at times, but he still shoots in the mid 70s with those rounds. Johnny Miller, when his putter was so far south it was sitting on an ice cap, and 4 putted multiple greens in a round, still shot in the 70s, or at worst low 80s. These are on the PGA tour, that's still nearly scratch golf.

Short game is what separates a teaching pro from a tour pro, not a high handicapper from a low handicapper. This does have a lot to do with driving distance as well. Miss hitting the center of the clubface regularly, and you're not hitting it anywhere. Forget the marketing hype, clubs are not forgiving enough to let you hit it an inch off center and still get 260 yards, let alone 300. The full swing, in golf, is a lot. Many higher handicappers believe that they can practice chipping and putting all day and become a scratch golfer, and curse their bad short game for their handicap. It's total baloney.

A fundamentally solid full swing begets a good short game. The same fundamentals are used in each swing, even the putter. If you were able to hit every fairway and every green, but three-putted half of the holes, you'd shoot an 81. Most people here would be happy with an 81. That's an 81 with nine three putts. Even the worst putters here would likely not have nine three-putts. Go play a round, and hit one ball as normal, and take another and drop it on the green at the farthest spot from the hole sometime, and call it a green in regulation, then putt it out. I can guarantee that you will score lower with the ball you drop on the green.
I disagree, but that's ok.

I am proof that a good short game is GREAT advantage. I played 18 on Thursday and hit like shit on the front nine but still managed a 43, due to the fact that once I had a wedge in my hand I had no putt longer than ten feet, and most were six and in because I could chip it so close. If I couldn't chip and putt well, and I was hitting like garbage I would have hit over 50 on the front nine. As it was I broke 90 for the first time Thursday. Not bad for someone who has been playing four months. I really think if folks would learn the game from the green and out instead of just blasting away at the range we'd have a lot more good golfers than what we do right now....



Originally Posted by brgolf View Post
If you find you avoid the woods my not driving 10-15 yards and I have no doubt you do then you are doing the right thing for your game. Naturally I was assuming more risk to longer drives but also more rewards.

One other thing that has got me thinking is- that if a person says they are happy to drive 220, I'd be happy hitting a 2 iron off the tee in that case, a shot which would lend itself to far more control. So another advantage of big hitting if you are capable of it.
I pulled out my 3wd yesterday since I haven't taken a swing with it in about three months and I hated it. It's an old Cobra SZ with a stiff shaft and I just didn't feel real comfortable. If the fairway is real tight I'll tee off with my 21* hyrbid, I can swing pretty hard and get away with it but It's max is only about 200 yds so I'm still better off with my Driver. My Driver is pretty high loft 12* but like I said I need the extra control. My next Driver (still a year or two away) will probably be 10.5
post #206 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by Shanks A Million View Post
Yeah, then how come it's almost impossible to find someone with a fundamentally good swing that is more than about a 5 handicap? The fact of the matter is, short game is highly overrated. Tour pros go on and on about short game because that's what separates a winner from an also ran. But that's among players with amazing swings. But when you're a 10+ handicap, the vast majority of your improvements need to be in the long game.

High handicappers are high handicappers for one reason; their swing. They miss fairways and greens. Look at Vijay Singh. He can barely make a four-foot putt at times, but he still shoots in the mid 70s with those rounds. Johnny Miller, when his putter was so far south it was sitting on an ice cap, and 4 putted multiple greens in a round, still shot in the 70s, or at worst low 80s. These are on the PGA tour, that's still nearly scratch golf.

Short game is what separates a teaching pro from a tour pro, not a high handicapper from a low handicapper. This does have a lot to do with driving distance as well. Miss hitting the center of the clubface regularly, and you're not hitting it anywhere. Forget the marketing hype, clubs are not forgiving enough to let you hit it an inch off center and still get 260 yards, let alone 300. The full swing, in golf, is a lot. Many higher handicappers believe that they can practice chipping and putting all day and become a scratch golfer, and curse their bad short game for their handicap. It's total baloney.

A fundamentally solid full swing begets a good short game. The same fundamentals are used in each swing, even the putter. If you were able to hit every fairway and every green, but three-putted half of the holes, you'd shoot an 81. Most people here would be happy with an 81. That's an 81 with nine three putts. Even the worst putters here would likely not have nine three-putts. Go play a round, and hit one ball as normal, and take another and drop it on the green at the farthest spot from the hole sometime, and call it a green in regulation, then putt it out. I can guarantee that you will score lower with the ball you drop on the green.
Short game can help lower scores though.
I know people who have lower handicaps than me because they sink a few more putts than I do.

Ballstriking makes things easier but if you can't get the ball in the hole or if you mess up and miss the green, short game is a big asset.
post #207 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by deronsizemore View Post
I think the better you get as a player, the more you realize and embace this idea. Like everyone else, I used to try to hit every shot a ton and my scores would suffer. But hey, I hit that last one a LONG way so that's all that matters, right? As I've matured and realized I've realized that the game is won or lost around the green. I'm shorter now than I used to be, but I'm about 12 shots better now than I used to be too. I'll take the lower score any day.

+1, well said. I'm 30 now and have been playing since I was 17. I tell all ten juniors at our club that if I could do one thing over I would go back and put all of my "hit it far" energy into under 100 yards. Didn't learn that until I got beat consistently by by 200 yard driving 65 year old dad!
post #208 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by deronsizemore View Post
I think the better you get as a player, the more you realize and embace this idea. Like everyone else, I used to try to hit every shot a ton and my scores would suffer. But hey, I hit that last one a LONG way so that's all that matters, right? As I've matured and realized I've realized that the game is won or lost around the green. I'm shorter now than I used to be, but I'm about 12 shots better now than I used to be too. I'll take the lower score any day.

+1, well said. I'm 30 now and have been playing since I was 17. I tell all the juniors at our club that if I could do one thing over I would go back and put all of my "hit it far" energy into under 100 yards. Didn't learn that until I got beat consistently by by 200 yard driving 65 year old dad!
post #209 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by nuck81 View Post
I am proof that a good short game is GREAT advantage. I played 18 on Thursday and hit like shit on the front nine but still managed a 43, due to the fact that once I had a wedge in my hand I had no putt longer than ten feet, and most were six and in because I could chip it so close. If I couldn't chip and putt well, and I was hitting like garbage I would have hit over 50 on the front nine. As it was I broke 90 for the first time Thursday. Not bad for someone who has been playing four months. I really think if folks would learn the game from the green and out instead of just blasting away at the range we'd have a lot more good golfers than what we do right now....
This probably sums up the two approaches to lower scores.

1) Work mainly on your full swing, so you can hit it straighter, farther, better.
2) Work mainly on your short game, so you can get it up and down and makes more putts.

Shanks is certainly an advocate of #1, as he has said many times that he spends almost every day at the driving range. Nuck likes #2, as he has seen that you can still score even when you aren't hitting your best.

From my experience, the first step is to be able to make decent contact. Not perfect contact, just decent enough so you can hit the ball and know where it's going. Find the fairway off the tee. Then, get it semi-close if not on the green. Once you can do that, then concentrate on your putting and short game. On your best holes, you'll get your par, or maybe even a rare birdie with a great approach shot or putt. At worst, you'll get a bogie.

I see so many new and intermediate players that think that distance equals good golf, so they swing out of their shoes and the ball goes all over. They never give themselves the chance to play good golf because they are constantly having to dig another ball out of their bag. If they could just scale back a little, make better contact and put the ball in play, they could actually make a decent score. By and large, these are younger golfers who hit nothing but drivers on the range, swinging as hard as they can from the first ball of the bucket to the last.

Hats off to Nuck81, who has realized early in his golf career that the short game rules. The better your short game, the better your long game will become. Control is so much more important than distance. Well Done!
post #210 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Golf Handicaps are too complex to be dispatching general advice about what will improve people. If you took parts of my game in isolation and put a HC approximation against them you would say driving 10-12 HC/Irons 7-9/Chipping 4-5/Putting 13-15. So I don't believe generic advice can be easily applied to every person. Take the long game. A player who reaches every green in regulation (assuming par 5s are not reachable in less) stands to gain mainly from short game practice. Where he has 2 regulation putts but the opportunity to hole in one he can gain a stroke but he isn't going to ever reach the green in better than regulation no matter how hard he practices.

Another example would be a bogie golfer equally good/bad at both long game and short game. For me he should practice long game. The reason is that while he might make an equal number of errors in both, errors in long game only are liable to be punished by penalty strokes for OOB/lost balls. This cannot happen in the short game. Hence beginners who strive to just keep their ball in play. Taking 3 or 5 off the tee is literally the worst thing that can happen and there is no feasible short game scenario which is equally common.

Lastly- it would be interesting to know just what are the solid arguments for a player, say a 12 HCer who is equally good/bad at long game and short game- to focus on the short game. Many people do suggest this will yield better results. The only thing I can think of is that either the short game is easier to waste shots and therefore easier to get them back by practicing while the long game is something which does not lend itself to fast development/improvement. So if someone wanted to do some quick practice for a tournament you might advice them to hit the practice green/chipping and pitching areas rather than expect major ball striking improvements in a short period of time.

I hope that makes sense.
post #211 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by Rugger View Post
I still don't understand why so many people have a hard time believing that others can hit 250-300+, especially those with higher handicaps. Maybe it's just the people I play with and I'm not used to the 'regular' golfer? I can hit 280 with a nice easy swing and have regularly gone 300+ when I really try and rip it. Of course accuracy suffers.

Today I played with a group of friends and one kid hit one 320 according to the yardage books provided by the course, and I KNOW for a fact that it was all carry because he was about a foot long of a 30yrd long bunker. I never ever ever would have believed him had he simply told me but I saw it with my own eyes.

Of our group there was a 2, 3, 13 handicap and me at around 25. I hit just as far as the 2 and 3 and out drive the 13 every time. Now I am not very consistent with the driver, but when I catch a good one I am right around the 280-290 mark and over 300 when it's wide and I just let loose. My other clubs average 3i 250, 4i 235, 5i 210, 6i 200-210, 7 195-200, 8i 185, 9i 175, pw 160, 52 140-150, 60 135.

If anyone has a good idea on how to prove to the internets that a high handicapper can hit it long I am all ears!

Also, who ever dismisses long drive claims from high handicappers are simply mistaken. You do realize that most shots in golf are from close range and that some people have no problem ripping it, yet don't have touch and fall apart when they have to place a ball? Then there's putting. You're dismissing the athletic ability of a lot of people based on a number that isn't relevant to driving yardage, as evidenced by low handicappers with short driving averages. That would be like saying baseball players with sub 200 batting averages can't hit homeruns.
I'd love to see a swing that can hit a 3 iron 250 yards, that's probably asking too much I'm sure.
post #212 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by mck View Post
I'd love to see a swing that can hit a 3 iron 250 yards, that's probably asking too much I'm sure.
I have a video of a 4i swing posted in the instructional forum. My 3i is out of service for a loose club head right now but I was consistently hitting my 4i 230-235 today.
post #213 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by mck View Post
I'd love to see a swing that can hit a 3 iron 250 yards, that's probably asking too much I'm sure.

whats up, you dont come here for the humor? lol...
post #214 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by Rugger View Post
I have a video of a 4i swing posted in the instructional forum. My 3i is out of service for a loose club head right now but I was consistently hitting my 4i 230-235 today.
I was amused at your distance claims, but I have to give you credit for posting your swing. Out of curiousity, I checked it out, just to see what kind of swing produced a 235 four iron. Sorry, but Youtube must have switched videos on you. The swing I saw could never have produced a 235 yard four iron. And 280-290 drives? C'mon, guy.
post #215 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by Harmonious View Post
I was amused at your distance claims, but I have to give you credit for posting your swing. Out of curiousity, I checked it out, just to see what kind of swing produced a 235 four iron. Sorry, but Youtube must have switched videos on you. The swing I saw could never have produced a 235 yard four iron. And 280-290 drives? C'mon, guy.
I don't really care what you think, honestly. You're free to believe what you want. I know what I hit and that's what matters. And like I said, if there is a way to prove what I hit without having to hire a professional to follow the ball in the air I am all ears...You low handicappers look down on a lot of people for no reason. Perhaps the thought of someone worse than you hitting farther than you irks you a bit.
post #216 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by Rugger View Post
I don't really care what you think, honestly. You're free to believe what you want. I know what I hit and that's what matters.
Hey, guy. You're the one who came on here and posted your outrageous distances, then attempted to "prove" them by posting your swing. As one who has played with professionals who do hit their drives 280-290, I am pretty familiar with what is needed to move the ball that far. Without stealing any of Shanks' thunder, your swing, my friend, doesn't fall into that 280-290 category. Sorry. But you, too, are free to believe what you want.
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