Originally Posted by riddenhard
Deryk, Where did i say Tiger was a bad ballstriker? I did not even infer he was, I said he covered his errors with a magical short game, and I believe we can all agree he is missing too many 4-8 footers. My Tiger comparison was in response to the post that a pro could still score from some of the places an average players may hit.
This is what you said:
"Tiger is no longer superman, when he was winning it was because he dropped impossible long putts, and never missed a short one. He chipped close or in. Even when he was winning he missed fairways but recovered. Now his magic short game is average and he can't cover his errors, just like us amateurs"
Sorry. I didn't mean to imply that you actually said that so for that, I apologize. However, to me, I feel like you overly underestimated Tiger's ballstriking and also underestimated how much his ballstriking helped keep the other areas of his game stitched together. In my opinion, he recovered from his errors due to his ballstriking ability and it was dazzling when he would pull off iron shots from the rough, behind a tree, etc. That is a level of ballstriking that very few have and is WHY he won. But also keep in mind that it wasn't "all that bad" either. Tiger has won many tournaments where he striped the ball from round 1 to round 4. So it's interesting to me that everyone forgets that.
There are many VERY good putters and short game players on the PGA tour, even when Tiger was dominating. I would agru that right now, Tiger isn't winning mostly due to his ballstriking being off vs. his short game being off. Actually in fact, because his ballstriking is off right now, it has clearly put massive amounts of pressure on his short game.
My absolute best rounds to date have all been when I struck the ball the best. My proximity to the hole was better (which improved my putting) and my chips were just off of the green (which improved my ability to get up and down). There are only so many poor mid & short iron shots you can recover from before your game starts to slide or fall apar despite having a good short game. When Tiger gets back to striping his irons like he used to, he will win again and also putt and chip better. Not the other way around.
So, in going back to the OP, I am a firm believer that becoming a better ballstriker is an absolute MUST if you want to improve. Another good example is a very good friend of mine who's a PRO who averages under 29 putts a round and has a SOLID, and I mean SOLID short game (chippping, pitching, sand saves, etc). Last summer, his handicap index ballooned from a +1 to a 3.5. Why because he lost his ballstriking all last summer. He was fighting with his swing all summer and despiate a magical short game, raised his index by 2.5 strokes (his highest in 5 years). His drving was still "ok" but his irons left him...and left him fast. When I talked to him this winter on what he is working on? The only word he said was Ballstriking...