or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › how to shoot lower scores?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

how to shoot lower scores? - Page 5

post #73 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

I disagree about the "complete" do-over part.  There are little pieces here and there wrong with my swing, and one at a time I'll pick them off and the swing will improve each time.  I think that is true about everybody.

 

And as far as most amateurs not having enough time to get better ... well, then there is really no good answer.  If you don't have time to practice the things you need to work on, you will not get better.  If somebody really wants to get better they will make time.  (I don't have a lot of free time right now with little toddlers running rampant at home all the time, so I practice at lunchtime during work 2 or 3 times a week.)

 

And if I was you, since your short game is already your strength, I'd start working on something else.  That's why I practice my long game when I practice.  Specifically because it is my biggest, most glaring, weakness.  It's not hard to get the ball on the green from 50-60 yards and in (or whatever you would define as the "short game"), and putting ain't that hard either so why waste too much time on them?  I mean, I don't practice putting at all and over the course of those same 11 rounds I've averaged 31.5 putts per round.  How many strokes could I possibly save by practicing putting and chipping?  One, maybe 2 a round?  Conversely, how many strokes can I save by figuring out how to keep the ball in the fairway?  Like I said, 4 penalties a round, figure most are lateral hazards, so I'd estimate somewhere in the vicinity of 6 shots a round, just on those alone.  Nevermind the fact that the better swing is going to also bring more of the less wayward tee shots into the fairway, its going to bring more of those approach shots onto the green for those precious GIR's.  Once I start nailing fairways and greens, then it's time to really fine tune that short game because it'll be those last few strokes needed to get down to scratch.

 

Thinking of practicing short game, short game, short game, to lower scores reminds me of that silly Prilosec OTC commercial where Larry the Cable Guy says "taking medicine for heartburn after you have it is like checking on your burgers after they're burnt."  Same is true for short game practice when your struggling to get to the green.  So what if you are good at getting up and down if its always for bogeys and doubles?

That's what I thought last season and my short game went straight to hell. I learned a hard lesson. There is no part of the game that you can always have an innate grasp of and I prefer to KEEP the short game as a strength. And I totally disagree with your thoughts about practicing putting. Now, there is a place you can really shave strokes.

 

I always hit drivers and irons when I practice, but I spend more time on the short game. I hit drivers on the range before I play and try to keep a single swing thought to take to the course.

 

JMO.

post #74 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post

And I totally disagree with your thoughts about practicing putting. Now, there is a place you can really shave strokes.

How exactly?  Tour pros average, what, 27-28 putts per round?  Even if I putt as well as a tour pro then I would chop 4 strokes off my game.  And since we are talking about limited practice time - obviously I could never practice nearly as much as them - so only 2 or 3 strokes, realistically?  That is still much less than what I am losing to penalties and missing greens.  And it is still, in my opinion, putting the cart before the horse.

 

Now, somebody who averages 40 putts a round or more, that might be a different story.  They are going to want to get a handle on that.

post #75 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post

And I totally disagree with your thoughts about practicing putting. Now, there is a place you can really shave strokes.

How exactly?  Tour pros average, what, 27-28 putts per round?  Even if I putt as well as a tour pro then I would chop 4 strokes off my game.  And since we are talking about limited practice time - obviously I could never practice nearly as much as them - so only 2 or 3 strokes, realistically?  That is still much less than what I am losing to penalties and missing greens.  And it is still, in my opinion, putting the cart before the horse.

 

Now, somebody who averages 40 putts a round or more, that might be a different story.  They are going to want to get a handle on that.

If you're missing greens and putting as well as a tour pro, then you're probably in the low 20s per round. They make < 30 putts per round while hitting > 60% GIR. They're really good.

 

A good putting day reduces the importance (i.e. reduces the stress on) every other component of the game. I can take less club off the tee, aim for the fattest par ot the green and all the other things people suggest amateurs should do. When the putter is balky I take more chances in order to get the ball closer to the pin which can sometimes lead to blowup holes.

post #76 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

If you're missing greens and putting as well as a tour pro, then you're probably in the low 20s per round. They make < 30 putts per round while hitting > 60% GIR. They're really good.

 

A good putting day reduces the importance (i.e. reduces the stress on) every other component of the game. I can take less club off the tee, aim for the fattest par ot the green and all the other things people suggest amateurs should do. When the putter is balky I take more chances in order to get the ball closer to the pin which can sometimes lead to blowup holes.

I'm not trying to suggest that putting isn't important, certainly it is, but I (obviously) buy into Erik's 65/25/10 theory that much more time should be spent practicing the long game.

 

And, I also get that pros putting numbers are skewed up because they are hitting a lot more greens.

 

If I got to play a round of golf with a random tour pro with one quirk ... and that quirk is that after we got the balls up close to the green we switched and played the other ball, I would bet that 9 times out of 10, the ball I finished with would win the round.  Basically, I will cost him a lot more strokes getting to the green than he would save me at and around the green, thus my reasoning for thinking that the long game holds the key.

post #77 of 88

Golfindad,

 

As a <10.0 index golfer, your putting improvement may only help you a few strokes, like you said. Erik's 65/25/10 practice ratio makes sense for you to improve our game. But think back to when you were a 20 handicap and you want FAST improvement. Keeping the ball in play could save lots of strokes regardless of how far you hit it. Sure, a nice straight 230 tee ball would be nice but is not likely to happen FAST. Putting distance (as Erik suggested) is a wonderful suggestion. And having a game around the green that does not through away strokes is often the difference between a 90 and 99. Getting into trouble off the tee, including penalty strokes, cost the high cappers in my group 5-10 strokes every week.

 

As for the pros putting stats, most of us can not imagine how hard it is to putt the greens they play. I've played twice with greens that were the days after a pro event. It is crazy how hard it was to make putts. Played a scramble the day after Anika won an LPGA event and because of rain, the pins were not moved. I recall watching on TV as she hit and approach shot to 3 feet and the announcers gave her the event because making that putt would give her the win. She made the putt like it was a gimme and did win. The skies opened up and it poured until the next morning. When we got to that 18th hole, we all went to the spot where she had that putt. Four players each missed two putts and on our ninth putt we made it. It was only 3 feet but was downhill and broke about 8 inches. Or 10 inches. or 5 inches, depending on speed. And if you missed the hole, it rolled out to at least five feet. And this was after 14 hours of hard rain.

post #78 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by rustyredcab View Post

Golfindad,

 

As a <10.0 index golfer, your putting improvement may only help you a few strokes, like you said. Erik's 65/25/10 practice ratio makes sense for you to improve our game. But think back to when you were a 20 handicap and you want FAST improvement. Keeping the ball in play could save lots of strokes regardless of how far you hit it. Sure, a nice straight 230 tee ball would be nice but is not likely to happen FAST. Putting distance (as Erik suggested) is a wonderful suggestion. And having a game around the green that does not through away strokes is often the difference between a 90 and 99. Getting into trouble off the tee, including penalty strokes, cost the high cappers in my group 5-10 strokes every week.

That is a fair point.  I am looking at this from my own point of view, so I have no doubt that for me, straightening out the long game is where my biggest drop would come from.  But for higher handicappers, you guys are probably right.  I play a lot with my dad and father-in-law, both of whom are 25-30 ish handicappers who have been playing a long time with a lot of really bad hard to correct swing flaws.  (In their cases, phan22 is right ... their swings need a compete overhaul basically)  But, if they wanted to lower their scores a limited amount in the fastest possible time, then yes, I would agree that working on their short games would help.

 

My father-in-law is the only person I've ever played with who has visible, horrendous putting "yips."  He'll miss 2 or 3 putts inside of 4 feet every time out.  And both of them have a lot of trouble getting onto the green in one shot from 100 and in.  I would bet that if they could just get to the point where there are usually getting down in 3 from within 40 yards of the green, they would both lower their handicaps by 5 strokes at least.  (Or in my dad's case, his vanity 21 would become a legit 21)

 

But then they are now 20's or 18's or whatever, and if they are happy with that, then great.  but if they want to keep going, they got to work on those long games too.

post #79 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by dash1988 View PostOk putter, mediocre short game, terrible bunker player.

Theres your answer right there.  Improve your putting, short game and bunker play and your scores will drop fast.

post #80 of 88

get a DAMN short game!!

 

a2_wink.gif

post #81 of 88

The single best tip that I have received and share with golfers over-and-over is a putting tip.  It's to change your thought process on the green.  On putts longer than 15 feet for a 12 hcap or lower, or on putts longer than 9 feet for 12+ h'capers, stop focusing so much on your line (or the break) and focus more on distance.  Our goal on putts from these lengths should be more about lagging the ball within a 12" radius from the cup.  This tip helps us to keep from 3 putting which kills our scores. 

 

More info: I'm a real big believer in looking at numbers to back up tips.   I constantly tell people to look at the putting stats for % of putts made from 15-20 feet on the PGA Tour.  The average PGA Tour player only makes about 17% of the the putts between 15-20'.  If the average PGA Tour player doesn't even make 2 of 10 putts from this length a high handicapper might want to look at their game and rethink how they should game plan on the green.

post #82 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

If you're missing greens and putting as well as a tour pro, then you're probably in the low 20s per round. They make < 30 putts per round while hitting > 60% GIR. They're really good.

 

A good putting day reduces the importance (i.e. reduces the stress on) every other component of the game. I can take less club off the tee, aim for the fattest par ot the green and all the other things people suggest amateurs should do. When the putter is balky I take more chances in order to get the ball closer to the pin which can sometimes lead to blowup holes.

And when your overall swing improves and you hit more greens, you will find that you are putting from a greater distance in most cases. Now, three putts will become more common as you struggle to get the first putt into the circle of friendship. Personal experience. That's when I started practicing putting more and it really has paid off.

post #83 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

If you're missing greens and putting as well as a tour pro, then you're probably in the low 20s per round. They make < 30 putts per round while hitting > 60% GIR. They're really good.

 

A good putting day reduces the importance (i.e. reduces the stress on) every other component of the game. I can take less club off the tee, aim for the fattest par ot the green and all the other things people suggest amateurs should do. When the putter is balky I take more chances in order to get the ball closer to the pin which can sometimes lead to blowup holes.

And when your overall swing improves and you hit more greens, you will find that you are putting from a greater distance in most cases. Now, three putts will become more common as you struggle to get the first putt into the circle of friendship. Personal experience. That's when I started practicing putting more and it really has paid off.

I found out long ago that distance control is the key from the tee, from the fairway, and on the green. More often than not (at the courses I play), a 10 yard miss left or right is not penalized as harshly as a 10 yard miss long (or short when attacking a sucker pin - and learn to recognize and avoid attacking sucker pins).

post #84 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post

And when your overall swing improves and you hit more greens, you will find that you are putting from a greater distance in most cases. Now, three putts will become more common as you struggle to get the first putt into the circle of friendship. Personal experience. That's when I started practicing putting more and it really has paid off.

Absolutely.  This is basically what I am saying.  Practice the long game to hit more greens.  Once you do that, then, yeah, maybe the putting is going to be more of a glaring weakness if you are three putting all of the time.  But until you are hitting more greens, work on that long game!

post #85 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post

And when your overall swing improves and you hit more greens, you will find that you are putting from a greater distance in most cases. Now, three putts will become more common as you struggle to get the first putt into the circle of friendship. Personal experience. That's when I started practicing putting more and it really has paid off.

Absolutely.  This is basically what I am saying.  Practice the long game to hit more greens.  Once you do that, then, yeah, maybe the putting is going to be more of a glaring weakness if you are three putting all of the time.  But until you are hitting more greens, work on that long game!

Of course brand new golfers need tor work on their long game. Where does that start though? The driver? Approaches with long irons? Mid-irons? Wedges? They need to work on getting a go-to tee shot of course, and a reliable fairway shot, and a couple money recovery shots. A tidy game with a flub here and there is easy on the nerves.

 

It's a lifelong process, and in the meantime they can lower their scores almost immediately with a few minutes of daily chipping and putting practice. How to ration our dwindling practice time can be debated, but the simple fact is learning to hit reliable lag putts and chips is the fastest way to drop a few strokes. The player will plateau of course, but it might keep them coming back - or rather, it might keep them getting invited to play if they don't bog down the group once everyone is near the green. Maybe that's my point - learning how to finish efficiently from around the green and you'll get more chances to play (and get better). Nothing is more frustrating than looking for someone's ball on every tee shot . . .then watching them chase their ball back and forth past the cup.

post #86 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

Of course brand new golfers need tor work on their long game. Where does that start though? The driver? Approaches with long irons? Mid-irons? Wedges? They need to work on getting a go-to tee shot of course, and a reliable fairway shot, and a couple money recovery shots. A tidy game with a flub here and there is easy on the nerves.

 

It's a lifelong process, and in the meantime they can lower their scores almost immediately with a few minutes of daily chipping and putting practice. How to ration our dwindling practice time can be debated, but the simple fact is learning to hit reliable lag putts and chips is the fastest way to drop a few strokes. The player will plateau of course, but it might keep them coming back - or rather, it might keep them getting invited to play if they don't bog down the group once everyone is near the green. Maybe that's my point - learning how to finish efficiently from around the green and you'll get more chances to play (and get better). Nothing is more frustrating than looking for someone's ball on every tee shot . . .then watching them chase their ball back and forth past the cup.

Yeah, OK, I buy this.  Obviously, I'm biased towards long game because that is my biggest weakness, and I am also looking at it for the long term.  But, I agree, the fastest way to shave a few strokes would be improvements in putting and chipping for a lot of people.

 

And as far as where to start ... I am looking at it simply as the full swing.  It's basically the same swing anyway, so everything from 90 yds (for me) and out would be what I call the long game.  (I spend most of my long game practice time with a 7 iron.)  Everything below that involves partial swings, and various types of pitches, chips, etc, so that would be what I refer to as the short game.

post #87 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Absolutely.  This is basically what I am saying.  Practice the long game to hit more greens.  Once you do that, then, yeah, maybe the putting is going to be more of a glaring weakness if you are three putting all of the time.  But until you are hitting more greens, work on that long game!

The vast majority of people who play golf have handicaps of 17 or above (if they carry handicaps at all). And I am fairly certain that a vast majority of the shots they hit are from 70 or so yards in. I usually play with guys with handicaps of 12 or below who are fairly certain to hit it in play off the tee (maybe not far, but in play). When I play with people with higher handicaps it always strikes me that they can routinely keep the ball in play until they get close to the green. Then they hit it all over the place and three-putt from 20 feet.

post #88 of 88

Answering your question about getting better:

 

Write down on your scorecard what club you hit and what happened to it.

Obviously, some kind of dots and stars for shorthand.

 

What I quickly found is that 4-9 times a round I take more than one shot into the green with a wedge.

I either chunk it, overshoot, or short and have to take a 2nd shot.

 

Try it, you’ll find out pretty quick what you need.

 

As far as the topping I noticed when first started doing this, I stopped that when I relaxed and quit trying to kill it.

 

Happy Holidays.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Golf Talk
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › how to shoot lower scores?