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65/20/15 Practice Ratios: Where to Devote Your Practice Time - Page 5

post #73 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

 If you want to practice putting, do it on 3-5 footers, were pro's can make over 90% of them easy. 

 

 

I agree that it is very useful to practice 3 to 5 footers, but most pros make less than 90% of these during PGA Tour events.  Oosthuizen, Keegan Bradley and 30 others fall into the group above 90%.  A handful of guys, including Padraig Harrington are below 80% this year.

 

http://www.pgatour.com/r/stats/info/?02427

2012 PGA TOUR PUTTING FROM 3-5'
Select Year: ----201220112010200920082007200620052004200320022001
Y-T-D statistics through: CVS Caremark Charity Classic Jun 19, 2012
RANK
THIS
WEEK
RANK
LAST
WEEK
PLAYER ROUNDS % MADE ATTEMPTS PUTTS MADE
1 1 Louis Oosthuizen  titleist_38x11.gif 33 95.35 86 82

 

 

 

32 32 Keegan Bradley 56 90.06 171 154

 

 

 

178 178 John Merrick  titleist_38x11.gif 48 79.73 148 118
179 179 Troy Matteson  titleist_38x11.gif 54 78.98 157 124
180 180 Padraig Harrington  titleist_38x11.gif 39 78.51 121 95
181 181 Ricky Barnes 54 77.64 161 125
182 182 Nick O'Hern  titleist_38x11.gif 47 76.64 137 105
183 183 Greg Owen  titleist_38x11.gif 56 76.16 151 115
184 184 Lee Janzen 28 75.81 62 47
post #74 of 479

Originally Posted by jshots View Post

 

Another huge thing that I've realized, rounds where I am tapping in pars rather than getting up and down and having to make longer than 3 foot putts for par are about a bazillion times easier mentally than rounds where I am constantly having to get up and down. I actually notice more fatigue when I am not hitting my long shots well, does anyone else notice this?

 

Yes.  While very taxing during the round, I feel pretty good at the end if I have been successful in actually getting the ball up and down.  I want to drown my clubs in a pond when I haven't.  I am with you on easy two putts for par being a less "stressful" way to play.   As I have said earlier, I have a decent enough short game that lets me shoot mid 70s when it's on.  It's mid 80s when it's not.  Overall it maakes for a frustrating experience having to score ugly all the time.

post #75 of 479

I'm not going to quote Erik's huge post but this is in reference to that.

 

I don't know if that is a valid reason of why short game is less important.  Not many people have the capability and time to play that kind of golf.  You have worked 100s (probably 1000s) of hours on getting better.  You and yourr situation is unique.

 

The reason I still agree with you is the short game takes less time to keep in check.  Mine is always there.  I've never lost my ability to pitch and putt the ball well regardless of how bad my long game is.  I'd say that is true with mid handicappers and down.  And some days, regardless of how hard you work at it, you just don't have control of the ball and aren't going to hit it where you are looking consistantly.  The short game is going to save you there.  You can't always count on it, but when you need it, it sure helps to have the ability to get up and in consistantly. 

 

How many greens does a average scatch player hit.  I believe it is 9.  The ones they miss are usually in good spots but they still have a good short and long game.  It takes less time to have a good short game therefore in order to improve, I think your ratio makes sense.  Hit it in better spots and you will have better scores.

post #76 of 479

Erik-

 

Do you think putting (strokes gained/lost) or GIR is more important for a PGA Tour player?  I don`t know the answer to this, but with a look at the 2011 stats, it seems to me that they are likely pretty close.  Here is a quick summary:

 

Top 10 in GIR averaged just under $2.3 M in winings

Top 10 in Strokes Gained Putting over $2.7

 

Bottom 10 in GIR 549 K

Bottom 10 in Putting 613 K

 

Weekley, Durant and Els were Top 10 in GIR and bottom 10 in Putting and won just under $1.6 M combined.

 

Chalmers, Na and McCarron were the opposite (good putters, bad in GIR) and won $3.6 M

 

At least at the PGA Tour level in 2011, it seems harder to overcome (relatively) bad putting than (relatively) bad ball striking.

 

So far this year, Ernie Els has improved his putting (from 181st to 69th but seen a drop off in his GIR (7th to 45th).  He has won 1.6 M in 13 events in 2012 compared to under 1 M in 21 events last year.  Na has done the opposite and seen his $ per event go up slightly from last year.  Weekley remains the worst putter on tour and has dropped to 14th in GIR, but has won more this year, so other factors are involved.

 

 Before you say anything, I realize that there is a difference between comparing pros with each other  (where the difference between good and bad putting/GIR is usually less than 2 strokes/GIRs a round ave) vs good and bad golfers (where the differences can be much greater).

 

I realize that ball striking is the most glaring difference between an average scratch golfer and an average 25+ capper, but what do you think is easier for an average 25+ capper to improve?  A 25+ capper should be able to improve in all areas, but if a guy has played for a long time, chances are he is never going to strike it as well as a scratch golfer.   

 

This season, I have averaged 8+ GIR shooting 84 mostly on big bumpy greens taking 36+ putts.  Putting (and the short game) used to be a strength of mine many years ago when I played as low as a 4, but is now a glaring weakness.  What would your advice for me be?  

post #77 of 479
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

Do you think putting (strokes gained/lost) or GIR is more important for a PGA Tour player?

GIR. This has been shown by others to be a better predictor for success.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I don`t know the answer to this, but with a look at the 2011 stats, it seems to me that they are likely pretty close.  Here is a quick summary:

Top 10 in GIR averaged just under $2.3 M in winnings
Top 10 in Strokes Gained Putting over $2.7

Bottom 10 in GIR 549 K
Bottom 10 in Putting 613 K

"Strokes gained putting" is a bit of an odd stat (it only measures by distance - it doesn't care whether the putt is for par or birdie, it doesn't care what course the player's on, what round they're playing, the slope or speed, etc.), and "GIR" is just a measure of hitting greens. A blend of proximity + GIR (which currently doesn't exist) would be a better measure. We can make up examples, but the truth is, someone's already done that - the same guy who came up with "strokes gained" - and calculated average shots gained from various positions on the golf course, and his data shows what it shows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

Weekley, Durant and Els were Top 10 in GIR and bottom 10 in Putting and won just under $1.6 M combined.

Chalmers, Na and McCarron were the opposite (good putters, bad in GIR) and won $3.6 M

PGA Tour averages go from 71% to 59% on GIR.
PGA Tour averages on putts gained go from +0.844 to almost -1.0 (with Boo at -1.1).

In other words, everyone on the PGA tour is closer together on the GIR, but the gap between the best and worst putters is HUGE. If Boo Weekley became even a slightly on the worse side of average at putting he could improve crazy amounts.

71% is 12.78 GIR. 59% is 10.62.

The median player in scrambling is still a good bit north of 50% (~57%), so on the 2.16 GIR the poorest ballstriker fails to hit, he's going to lose only 1.2 strokes (maybe it takes him FOUR strokes to get down occasionally, so call it 1.3 if you want - either way, the worst putter loses nearly TWO full strokes (1.1 + 0.8) to the best putter.

Like I said, a bigger gap. You can't just compare rankings - you have to look at relatively quality.

The good putters are A putters but C or D ballstrikers. The great ballstrikers are all F putters. That's relative to each other. It could speak to their short game, too. The better putters may leave themselves more uphill putts. You make more ten footers uphill than tricky seven-footers across and downhill. Either way, on the PGA Tour, everyone is pretty close to each other in terms of GIR, but the gap between the best and worst putters is MUCH bigger. The worst putters are really, really bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

At least at the PGA Tour level in 2011, it seems harder to overcome (relatively) bad putting than (relatively) bad ball striking.

Yes, because the bad putters are REALLY BAD while the bad ballstrikers are only "kinda bad."

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

I realize that ball striking is the most glaring difference between an average scratch golfer and an average 25+ capper, but what do you think is easier for an average 25+ capper to improve?  A 25+ capper should be able to improve in all areas, but if a guy has played for a long time, chances are he is never going to strike it as well as a scratch golfer.

See the bold sentence in the first post. He should do the same things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree View Post

This season, I have averaged 8+ GIR shooting 84 mostly on big bumpy greens taking 36+ putts.  Putting (and the short game) used to be a strength of mine many years ago when I played as low as a 4, but is now a glaring weakness.  What would your advice for me be?  

See the bold part. a1_smile.gif One of the parts of your game is out of whack with the others. For awhile, it deserves more attention. a3_biggrin.gif
post #78 of 479

GIR is the #1 key to the most scoring opportunities - but if you can't putt then you have a problem throwing away shots!

 

Fairways - Tee shots and/or well executed layups set up the best scenario for GIR - so they are important too.  Hitting a fairway, but short and being stressed out trying to reach a green is no fun however.

 

Basically all this is saying if you are 100% Fairways and 100% Greens you'll score better (and will make putts and short game shots less important) - DOH!

 

I'm usually tracking at around 75% Fairways and 50% greens and 32 putts.  

Keeping those stats and short game stats (sand, short chips, and trends like misses on the short side etc)  will help a player see where they are in need of most improvement.  

 

In the end - it's every single aspect of my game that COULD be better - but often my game is very good - sometimes.

Yes, More often than not - I hit a very good shot, but if I miss shots badly 5% of the time it can cause BIG trouble.

 

Consistency is the thing to practice.  It doesn't matter what distance or what club you have in your hand - having full control over it does.  :-)

post #79 of 479
The only thing I would change is to bump up slightly the time spent on short putts. If nothing else, missing a lot of those can get inside your head, and can ruin enjoyment of the round, much like crappy driving can.
post #80 of 479

Just a thought:

 

For someone like me who only really started playing golf two years ago (and I'm 37), I think the 65-25-10 ratio should be slanted more toward short game and putting initially. Maybe around 40-40-20. I got a hold of the "Dave Pelz Putting Bible" and it inspired me to really concentrate on short game, and even though I've come to disagree with several of the techniques advocated in that book, developing my short game early on built a solid foundation for me so that now I only really need to practice my relatively solid short game minimally to keep it sharp. This point really hit home for me when I was playing a 9-hole executive course about a year ago with this big, strong 20 year-old kid. The kind of kid who hit 7-iron at a 200 yard uphill flag, but if he missed the green by 10 yards, he would chili-dip his first chip and two-putt to make double-bogey while I would hit a weak fade with a 3-iron, end up 30 yards short, but then pitch to within 15 feet or closer to have a good chance at par. On the 9th hole - a 320 yard par 4 - this kid drove his tee shot OVER the green, hit a handicap sign in the parking lot, had the ball bounce back into play and land on the fringe. I hit a hybrid about 190 yards with my weak fade just off the fairway. To make a long story short, he skulled his chip and ended up with a bogey and I parred the hole. I was very proud of my short game work on that day.

 

Anyway, my point is that I think putting and short game are two building blocks that are invaluable when one is just starting out, and should be emphasized early on. Furthermore, I think my proper ratios will change in the near future as well. Now, my ratio is probably right around 65-25-10, but I think that when I become more consistent in the power game, I will probably spend far more time fine-tuning my putting stroke, as going from 32 to 29 putts a round will be a big deal as my handicap shrinks. 

post #81 of 479

I only really started playing golf two years ago (and I'm 42). Spent almost all of my time working on the full swing and was regularly breaking 80 well before I managed to get my average putts per GIR under 2.0.

 

Not discounting your argument, just saying there are many paths up the mountain. :)

post #82 of 479

I think where most are getting side tracked is theory and reality.  Im sure we all understand that the only way you'll turn a 20 marker into a scratch player is by improving their long game. 

 

But when a 20 marker has taken all the lessons they can and practiced 2 hours a day and still can only get their handicap down to 18 and there long game is about as good as its going to get, then the short game is where there is usually 5 or 6 shots to be made up.  Getting out of bunkers in one shot, not skulling chips across greens.....just the basics.  With just a moderate amount of practice on the short game the 20 handicapper with the stalled long game can get down to the 12-13 range, and any improvement after has to be from the long game.

post #83 of 479

Erik mentioned this in the OP.  If you have a serious weakness, work on it. A beginning golfer can take <50 hour of practice and get to the point where most chips, pitches and sand shots end up on the green and where you can lag putt to with in 6 feet from within 40 feet or so.  A lot of golfers never spend that time though and spend a career worrying about chips. And for what it is worth, it sounds like your kids long game is needs work. Shooting a ball over the green into a parking lot has to be an error of like 30 yards on most courses.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmoan2 View Post

Just a thought:

 

For someone like me who only really started playing golf two years ago (and I'm 37), I think the 65-25-10 ratio should be slanted more toward short game and putting initially. Maybe around 40-40-20. I got a hold of the "Dave Pelz Putting Bible" and it inspired me to really concentrate on short game, and even though I've come to disagree with several of the techniques advocated in that book, developing my short game early on built a solid foundation for me so that now I only really need to practice my relatively solid short game minimally to keep it sharp. This point really hit home for me when I was playing a 9-hole executive course about a year ago with this big, strong 20 year-old kid. The kind of kid who hit 7-iron at a 200 yard uphill flag, but if he missed the green by 10 yards, he would chili-dip his first chip and two-putt to make double-bogey while I would hit a weak fade with a 3-iron, end up 30 yards short, but then pitch to within 15 feet or closer to have a good chance at par. On the 9th hole - a 320 yard par 4 - this kid drove his tee shot OVER the green, hit a handicap sign in the parking lot, had the ball bounce back into play and land on the fringe. I hit a hybrid about 190 yards with my weak fade just off the fairway. To make a long story short, he skulled his chip and ended up with a bogey and I parred the hole. I was very proud of my short game work on that day.

 

Anyway, my point is that I think putting and short game are two building blocks that are invaluable when one is just starting out, and should be emphasized early on. Furthermore, I think my proper ratios will change in the near future as well. Now, my ratio is probably right around 65-25-10, but I think that when I become more consistent in the power game, I will probably spend far more time fine-tuning my putting stroke, as going from 32 to 29 putts a round will be a big deal as my handicap shrinks. 

post #84 of 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by x129 View Post

It is more that you need to leave the driver in your bag when you go to the tee until the driving range sessions suggest that you can keep it in play.

Working on your weakness matters but you have to think also of how important they are. My sand game is good enough to get out the bunker but expecting the ball to stop within 15 feet of the hole is a stretch. Should I work on that? Nope. I am in 2-3 bunkers a round. Compared to the missed driver/approach shots, it isn't worth the time right now. 

Before I comment on the OP's practice breakdown, I wanted to say this about your sand post:

- I expect to get within 6 feet of virtually every greenside bunker shot except when I've put myself in an impossible short side position. It's a result of practicing my short game a disproportional amount of time when I was playing and practicing every day. I think that if your expectation is getting within 15 feet, some time spent on the beach might shave a couple of strokes off your score.

Now onto the OP:

I love to practice my short game. I'd spend hours and hours chipping, pitching, and putting. I developed a very solid sg, but I could only get down to a 5-6 even when I seemed to be able to get up and down a very strong percentage of the time (for an amateur).

It wasn't until I started devoting the majority of my time to driver/iron play that I was able to shave the last strokes off of my handicap, and even then I couldn't stay at scratch for more than a couple of cycles because I'd revert back to practicing short game skills an inordinate amount of the time. Coming back to the game after a long layoff, my short game is back, my long game isn't, and it's absolutely because I don't spend enough time whacking driver and practicing approach-length shots. Once one becomes a decent putter/pitcher of the golf ball, that skill isn't going to diminish as quickly as one's full swing....at least not for me.

GIR, for me, is the best indicator of my final score. I just wish I liked hitting driver/approach irons more on the range.

A lot of folks make fun of people who go to the range and smash buckets of drivers, and I'd agree that those folks probably need to practice more short game, but at this stage of my game, I wish I had their passion for hitting the big stick. My handicap would love me for it.
post #85 of 479
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sac1 View Post

But when a 20 marker has taken all the lessons they can and practiced 2 hours a day and still can only get their handicap down to 18 and there long game is about as good as its going to get, then the short game is where there is usually 5 or 6 shots to be made up.  Getting out of bunkers in one shot, not skulling chips across greens.....just the basics.  With just a moderate amount of practice on the short game the 20 handicapper with the stalled long game can get down to the 12-13 range, and any improvement after has to be from the long game.

 

I addressed that in the first post:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Unless you have a glaring weakness or a facet of your game which far outshines the others, you should spend 65% of your time practicing the full swing, 25% of your time practicing the short game, and 10% of your time practicing putting.

 

Your mythological 18 handicapper with an awesome long game has a disproportionately bad short game. So the rule doesn't apply to him. I unbolded the rest of the text I bolded in my first post.

 

BTW, I called your guy mythological because he simply doesn't exist. I know you were exaggerating to make your point, but don't exaggerate so much your example becomes silly. A guy whose long game is "as good as it's going to get" is a 13 handicapper who plays to an 18 because of his short game? It's got to be disheartening to this guy (who practices two hours a day!) that the best he'll ever be is a 13.

post #86 of 479

I think the conventional wisdom of "practice your short-game for lower scores" was and is a short-term solution in order to pick some "low hanging fruit". For the average 18 handicapper, having a practice routine is better than no practice routine and short game is an easy way to pick up a few strokes. Just avoiding 3 putts could help the average player, but like it has been pointed out, this is easily remedied with some putting practice. The same goes for basic chips, pitches and bunker play. Once you learn a decent bunker shot, it requires very little maintenance to keep it decent (ie: bunker to green - 2 putts). The real gains come from putting the ball in play off the tee and then hitting the green or missing it close in the correct area. On my best days I am able to hit greens or miss fractionally so that my up/downs are easy. Putting from the fringe (missed GIR) is any easier up/down that pitching from 20 yards (also a missed GIR). When you are hitting the ball well, you are taking bigger numbers out of play allowing for those smaller numbers to appear.

 

Recently, I switched to a belly putter. I put in a lot of time to get it up to snuff and over the course of 10 rounds have dropped my total putts almost 2 strokes from almost 32 to almost 30 (putts per GIR, putts missed GIR are down, distance made is up, while proximity to hole is virtually the same).  One would think that my handicap would reflect this (it did drop half a point to a 4.9), but it is now back to 5.2 because of a neglected area. The difference? Off the tee, in the same time that my putting has been saving me 2 strokes, my penalties assessed have gone up which means that my tee game is suffering. It's hard to tell from my stats as I am hitting about the same number of fairways, but it is the missed fairways that are really missed to the point where I cannot have a go at the green and over the last 5 rounds whether from the right or left, GIR from missed fairways is half of what it is normally. So instead of practicing more 8 irons I really need to be hitting more drivers and 3 woods so that when I do miss the fairway I am back to having a chance at hitting the green. If I had had this part of my game solid (over the last 5 rounds), I would have been able to take advantage of my solid putting and would have been able to improve my scoring immensely by hitting 3 more greens and eliminating 2 penalty shots on average. 

 

So, what have I learned? Instead of being a guy who goes out and hits a ton of short irons on the range, I need to be practicing my tee game more. Using Erik's suggested guideline along with some statistical analysis and common sense will make for smarter practice and something that I plan to take more notice of. If something is suffering, I will spend some time on it, but this thread has made me think about how I practice.  

post #87 of 479
Well..until I find a "putting range" I can't do much about my putting except my little putting cup inside my home. Carpet is not the green..but its a nice casual activity.
post #88 of 479

The point was that the strokes I can save are very limited . I coud spend 1000 hours practicing my bunker play and the most I can hope to save is 2 shots. Or the same as one OOB shot. As a high-mid handicapper, it isn't a place where I am losing strokes. I would be better off spending that time on the driver or putting.  I still put in sand time but not a lot. If I am still at the 15' mark when I am shooting in the 70s, then yeah it will get more focus. But right now it isn't worth the time. Now if I had infinite practice time......

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinItAll View Post


Before I comment on the OP's practice breakdown, I wanted to say this about your sand post:
- I expect to get within 6 feet of virtually every greenside bunker shot except when I've put myself in an impossible short side position. It's a result of practicing my short game a disproportional amount of time when I was playing and practicing every day. I think that if your expectation is getting within 15 feet, some time spent on the beach might shave a couple of strokes off your score.
post #89 of 479

Thats a good point, you really want to practice the shots that have the most.

 

If you shoot even par, your looking at

 

14 drives

22 approach shots, assuming lay up on par 5's

If you hit the average 12 greens, then your looking at 6 short game shots.

Thats 42 shots

For par, your looking at 30 putts..

 

So roughly,

Driving: 20%

Approach: 31%

Short Game: 8%

Putting: 41%

 

But really you can put driving and approach in the same category because there full swings. thats 51%

 

If you look at what this thread is asking for 65% on full swing, thats only 14% more than 51%, which if you include the fact that so much more can go wrong with a full swing shot than a short game shot. Like yesterday, i'm laying up to a par 5, i push the shot right and it hits a tree, i was lucky it bounced to a place i had a shot at the green. If not i just wasted 1 shot, isntead i was able to have a birdie putt. If i miss hit a chip, i would have a chip or a putt, it would be a easier chip probably, or a longer putt than i would want, but its not like i would end up in some high rough or behind a tree that could cost me another shot and force real pressure to get the ball on the green to just have a chance at par.

 

You might say, that putting might be the most important, its just its really hard to make putts outside of 10' consistantly. The hole 4.25" in diameter. If you look up the thread, Putting Capture Speed, you will see that the relative hole size diminishes as the speed of the putt increases. Of course slope of the green effects that, i have had putts that curl around the top and fall in from the backside before. But the harder you hit the putter relative size of the hole decreases. Unless your able to have your putts die in the front edge with perfect speed, your never really putting to a 4.25" golf hole. So really, putting is very very difficult to master, and keep consistant round per round. Thats why hitting greens is so important, your more likely to two putt than any other putt. So if you hit a green your probably going to end up with par, and at least have a chance for birdie at a much higher percentage than with your short game. 

 

I would say, if you want to practice your short game, practice to the point so your not wasting shots, like duffing a chip or skulling chips, getting out of bunkers on the first try, ect.. From there you at least your not waisting shots in your short game. From there just work on your full swing game. As for putting, get to the point you can two putt consistantly, that means you have mostly easy tap in's for 2nd putts, you will start making more putts because your speed is right. From there you can really hone in the feel of reading putts. If your blasting the ball past 5-7 feet, you will never learn how to read a putt because you wont get the right residual memory of how that putt broke related to how the green looked.

post #90 of 479
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

Putting: 41%

 

But really you can put driving and approach in the same category because there full swings. thats 51%

 

Right. Good post. I just wanted to add this re: the 41% putting:

 

Nor can you practice your putting 41% of the time because 18 times a round (or 16 or so), you're just tapping in, so what, you're gonna spend 20% of ALL of your practice time hitting tap-ins? No.

 

In other words (as you said saevel), you can't just look at "what percentage of your shots are of a certain type" because, like I said, putting is simple, and if you followed that rule to the law you'd spend 20% of your practice time working on your tap-ins.

 

Good post saevel.

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