I asked a few people to move this type of discussion over here as I feel it belongs here more. They didn't do it, so I'll quote the relevant post:
Originally Posted by acerimusdux
I thought his formula was interesting.
For all approach shots from between 100 and 150 yards from the green, measure how far away the shot ends from the hole. Divide the remaining distance by the starting distance. Take your median for this ratio (after playing 18 holes), and compare to the following:
5.6% PGA professional
8.7% Low handicap, average score 79
12.0% Mid handicap, average score 90
17.3% High handicap, average score 104
Match your percentage to the closest group and:
- If your 18-hole scores are higher then the group's average score, work on your short game.
- If your 18-hole scores are lower than the group's average, your long game needs more work.
Note that nothing in this formula measures your distance off the tee! Working on the long game here seems to be primarily about improving accuracy. If you aren't accurate on fairways shots from 100-150 yards, you aren't likely going to be accurate off the tee, either.
I'm not sure of the source of this @acerimusdux so perhaps you can clarify. It seems somewhat valid, though, and could be a small step in helping a player to determine their relative weaknesses. In other words, if you're a 12 handicapper but you've got a 14 handicap short game and an 11 handicap long game, getting your short game handicap down would be important. Conversely if you're a 6 handicap short game with a 14 handicap long game, it's off to the range for you.
The median PGA Tour player in 2013 averaged (not median value, average, so that's a difference) 23'1" from 125-150 yards, and 19'9" from 100-125 yards. Averaging those two together you get 21'5", and 125 * 0.056 = 7 yards, so by "PGA Professional" it really means PGA Tour player. And the guy who hopes to break 100, by these numbers, is still 60+ feet away after hitting a 125-yard shot (median shot).
The use of a median shot (and a single round) is somewhat interesting. On the one hand, it throws away any weirdly good or weirdly bad shots, but on the other hand, you can hit a bunch of shots in the 30-60 foot range, but if enough are 30-34' to offset the ones from 35-60' you'll get a median value that's a good bit lower than what your average would be. And one round is a very small sample size.
I've been asked by, among others but primarily @boil3rmak3r to detail what "glaring weakness" I still do not believe there's any real way to do it. By using the word "glaring" I've implied if not come right out with the concept that it should be pretty obvious. If one facet of your game routinely costs you shots - if you dread a certain part of your game because you know you're in trouble before you even hit the shot - that's a glaring weakness. It might be bunkers, it might be tee shots, it might be downhill putts. I don't think you need to study your game in super-fine statistical detail to discover glaring weaknesses.
If your game lacks a glaring weakness, then I think 65/25/10 is a good place to start. 25% of your time spent on your short game is still a LOT of time. So is 10% of your time spent practicing your putting (and by practicing your putting, I don't just mean throwing three balls down and whacking them towards holes). I feel that in most cases of people who don't have a glaring weakness, 65/25/10 will get them back on schedule. If one part of their game is slightly weaker (but again not glaring), 65/25/10 is enough practice time not only to maintain that skill level, but to improve it and bring it in line with the others.
Unless, of course, you're diving your 65/25/10 up amongst 15 minutes a week or something. Even the putting practice at 10% likely requires 15 minutes of focused time itself (for a minimum of about 2.5 hours of practice per week).
Happy to discuss this though, as it's quite relevant to this topic (while being related to the other thread).