Sometimes I make a shot-by-shot record of a round I just played. I dug into those sheets and found four complete rounds and a nine-holer from about ten years ago that averaged 90 (93, 87, 88, 91, 46). These are the average numbers of long shots, short shots and putts in those rounds (there were also four penalty strokes).
Long - 34.7; Short - 21.8; Putts - 32.7
Then I found notes on 45 holes where I averaged 79 (80, 76, 41), from seven years later.
Long - 36.0; Short - 12.0; Putts - 30.8
This is a small sample, and you could put +/- a stroke or two behind each one.
The biggest change by far is the number of short shots, dropping by almost ten strokes. The reason why is the improvement in my swing, which led to more greens hit, and, therefore, no short shots on those holes. I hit about the same number of long shots, but they were better shots.
There was a contribution due to short game improvement in that I would not take more than one short shot to get the ball on the green so often. But most of that ten-shot difference is swing improvement.
Heck, a few weeks a go, I played nine holes and on the last four, hit every fairway and every green and got four pars. Who needs a short game when you hit it that straight? (And yes, I know you don’t always hit it that straight. Just sayin’.)