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Anyone else not impressed with big hitters on Tour? - Page 2

post #19 of 28
Anyone who has a trained eye knows Bubba Watson's wedge game is far more impressive than his driving ability - but it's his ability to hit it long that sets it up. Long and straight is an absolute necessity in today's game. You can win majors with an average putter - you can't win majors playing from fescue. Ask Luke Donald if he'd rather be long and straight with an average short game, or short and crooked with an above average short game.
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post

 
Rory won the Open Championship because of how far he can hit the ball.  It gave him a tremendous advantage on some holes.  I am singularly impressed at this ability coming from a 5' 9" player.


But he was also in the fairway a lot more often than other long hitters. I am impressed by length just like everyone is impressed with it, but I think the premise of the debate is whether length alone can win for a player and I do not believe it can. If the other aspects of the game are not there you can't win. There is a reason every teacher tells you to concentrate on short game. There is a reason why the wedges are the scoring clubs. Finally, there is a reason the expression drive for show putt for dough exists.

Not saying length isn't great, it is, but without the rest it won't matter. 

I know a few excellent instructors who do not recommend concentrating on the short game.... :)

I would post the link to the relevant thread, but I am on my phone.

@9iron, search for practice ratios. 65/25/10
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by 14ledo81 View Post


I know a few excellent instructors who do not recommend concentrating on the short game.... :)

I would post the link to the relevant thread, but I am on my phone.

@9iron, search for practice ratios. 65/25/10

 

 

 

Short game has full swing mechanics on a good percentage of shots. To me, short game includes those 1/2 shot, 3/4 shot swings that Erik talks about. The knock down shots. The long pitch shots. Plus all the shots around the green. So Erik's 65/20/15 probably isn't all that different from what I already do in my practice. I play about 3 rounds per week and I practice about 3 times per week (I warm up before rounds for 40 minutes and do not include this in practice time). On the range I hit very few full drivers. Maybe a dozen, but that is about it unless I am having some sort of issue. About 20% of my full swings are 6 iron or longer. About 20% of my swings are 7 or 8 iron. Everything else is a 9 iron or wedge.

 

BTW, here are some stats from last week's Open Championship.

 

Driving distance - Among the top 10 players only 2 of them, McIlroy and Scott had a large statistically meaningful length advantage from the tees. Sergio had a small length advantage. The other 7 had no advantage length wise and 2 of them drove the ball shorter than the field. There were really only two players that during this week of play hit the ball really long relative to the field.

 

Putting - 9 of the top 10 players had a statistically significant advantage over the field in putting strokes per hole. Most of the top 10 were very close to McIlroy's 1.53 strokes per hole which was much better than the field average of 1.64 strokes per hole. Considering they also hit more greens, the advantage is that much more impressive. I'd cite some other putting stat but this was illustrated on the Open Championship website so it was easy to use. The only player in the top 10 to not have an advantage on the field in putting is Adam Scott, the other long hitter, so his length alone was hardly enough to carry him through.

 

We all want more length, myself included. But don't we all also want more accuracy? Of course we do, but who ever says out loud I want more accuracy? 

post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Infamous 273 View Post

Anyone who has a trained eye knows Bubba Watson's wedge game is far more impressive than his driving ability - but it's his ability to hit it long that sets it up. Long and straight is an absolute necessity in today's game. ...

 

The "new groove rule" from 2010 was supposed to make it more difficult to hit spinning wedge shots out of the rough. But, I wonder how much this has been negated by the new 5-layer balls we now have.

 

Then, there's the issue of distance. We hear all the time how better clubs and physical training have allowed golfers to bomb the ball. Besides getting more distance off the tee, players no longer need to  hit a 1 iron or 2 iron for long shots from fairway: they can hit a hybrid.  

 

One "across the ages" comparison involves the US Opens at Merion, final hole approach shots. From 229* yards out, Hogan hit a 1 iron into the green, whereas Justin Rose in 2013 hit a 4 iron (Rose hit from a few paces to right of the plaque commemorating Hogan's shot, as shown in photo of below article).

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/golf/usopen/10124627/Justin-Roses-four-iron-on-18th-at-Merion-better-than-Ben-Hogans-says-Bernard-Gallacher.html

 

  • Rose's player's cavity TM Rockebladez Tour 4i had 22* of loft; stock shaft is 38.25" long. (Hole length 521 yards)
  • Hogan's blade Ben Hogan MacGregor 1i had a loft of 17*, and was probably 39" long in shaft. (Hole length 458 yards)

 

So, most of today's players have never even seen a 1 iron in person. They likely would take a hybrid for long distance shots from the fairway. So, distance has changed the game, but so have technology upgrades which offer hybrids for 1 irons.

 

Suggestion: to really shake things up, ban all wedges with a loft of more than 56*.

 

-------------------------

* There seems to be disagreement on length of Hogan's (and Rose's) shots. Some sources say 229 yds., others 213 yds.

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post

After watching the Open Championship coverage, I came away weary of "DJ hit that tee shot 364 yds" commentary. Who cares about how far the player hit the ball, when he can't hit a green from inside 100 yds? C'mon, you 've got to be kidding me. Dialing it back would probably void any SLDR ad he has done, but it might win him a few more Tourneys. Tom Watson shot 68 the last day at 64 and should be a wake up call to the egos of the modern Tour.

Tom Watson did not win so what is the wake up call you want sent?
What's impressive is these guys can bash the ball and still be competitive in all other aspects of the game. The remax competitors just bash the ball. These tour players you're hating on have the athleticism to hit a drive 340 and still have enough touch inside 100 yards to finish top 10 in a major. Rory bombs the ball and won. Are you saying he wasn't "playing golf"?

Do you also think the NFL should take out the long bomb and go back to almost entirely run plays. Since that's the original "playing football".

Maybe the pga should reconsider the courses they choose and start holding more pitch and putt tournaments to see who the true golf players are.
post #24 of 28
Driving the ball is the most important part of golf. And most of the guys who hit the ball far have better swings and better bodies. Golf is about getting the ball in the hole the fastest, and it's easier to do with shorter clubs. Especially as courses get harder. I'll bet you 100 dollars I can hit my pw closer to the hole than you can hit your 3 wood. A lot of guys think that they are just as good shooting par from the whites as the blacks but it's simply not the case. Being able to hit the ball far enough to contend is just one part of golf. Granted, guys who can't hit te ball in bounds and swing as hard as they can are not who I'm talking about. I'm more talking about guys like DJ, Rory, etc who get distance from build and their swing.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post
 

 

  • Rose's player's cavity TM Rockebladez Tour 4i had 22* of loft; stock shaft is 38.25" long. (Hole length 521 yards)
  • Hogan's blade Ben Hogan MacGregor 1i had a loft of 17*, and was probably 39" long in shaft. (Hole length 458 yards)

 

So, most of today's players have never even seen a 1 iron in person. They likely would take a hybrid for long distance shots from the fairway. So, distance has changed the game, but so have technology upgrades which offer hybrids for 1 irons.

 

 

One reason they may not see a 1-iron today is that they do not realize that today's 2-iron is probably less lofted than Hogan's 1-iron.  In Rose's set the 3-iron would be 19* loft.  And from one iron to the next there is at least a 3* change, so the 2-iron of that set would be 16* or so.  By today's loft standards (and the lofts are even less in the regular rocketbladez) a 1-iron would have something like 12-13* of loft, not the 17* of Hogan and the other pros who used to play a 1-iron. 

 

That said, you still have a great point on how hybrids have been increasingly used by pros in place of long irons.  This is just another example of what Jack was talking about when he talked about how club technology disproportionately benefits the very good players at the expense of the very best players.

 

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post #26 of 28
Back in the day why did they play with a 1-3 iron and 1-3 wood? Was it because you couldn't hit a wood off the deck very well. And if so that kinda explains why they aren't used. And I think today's players would rather have more wedges
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9iron View Post
 

 

 

 

Short game has full swing mechanics on a good percentage of shots. To me, short game includes those 1/2 shot, 3/4 shot swings that Erik talks about. The knock down shots. The long pitch shots. Plus all the shots around the green. So Erik's 65/20/15 probably isn't all that different from what I already do in my practice. I play about 3 rounds per week and I practice about 3 times per week (I warm up before rounds for 40 minutes and do not include this in practice time). On the range I hit very few full drivers. Maybe a dozen, but that is about it unless I am having some sort of issue. About 20% of my full swings are 6 iron or longer. About 20% of my swings are 7 or 8 iron. Everything else is a 9 iron or wedge.

 

BTW, here are some stats from last week's Open Championship.

 

Driving distance - Among the top 10 players only 2 of them, McIlroy and Scott had a large statistically meaningful length advantage from the tees. Sergio had a small length advantage. The other 7 had no advantage length wise and 2 of them drove the ball shorter than the field. There were really only two players that during this week of play hit the ball really long relative to the field.

 

Putting - 9 of the top 10 players had a statistically significant advantage over the field in putting strokes per hole. Most of the top 10 were very close to McIlroy's 1.53 strokes per hole which was much better than the field average of 1.64 strokes per hole. Considering they also hit more greens, the advantage is that much more impressive. I'd cite some other putting stat but this was illustrated on the Open Championship website so it was easy to use. The only player in the top 10 to not have an advantage on the field in putting is Adam Scott, the other long hitter, so his length alone was hardly enough to carry him through.

 

We all want more length, myself included. But don't we all also want more accuracy? Of course we do, but who ever says out loud I want more accuracy?

 

I don't agree that 1/2 swings, or even 3/4 swings, have the same mechanics of full swings. That's one aspect of Dave Pelz, the short game "guru", that I still agree with. I don't coil my body much at all, like he says you shouldn't. Only when I am hitting my wedges to their max distances do I swing like I would with a 7-iron, for instance.

 

I also think that people tend to think of short game and long game, and length vs. accuracy in general, as mutually exclusive, when they are not. It's not "length" vs. "short game and accuracy." There's a very good section of the book "Swing Like a Pro" that talks about the distance vs. accuracy myth. In reality, a good, strong full swing will generally improve BOTH for most players. Moreover, 65/20/15 allows you to still develop an excellent short game while requiring that you improve the most important part of your game - GIR.

 

Also, "working" on your swing should not mean hitting balls at the range, IMO. I agree, when I warm up for a round, I hit far more wedges and short irons, plus more pitches and chips, than I do drives. I'll probably hit 3 or 4 drives tops before teeing off. When I'm "working" on my swing at the range, though, it requires much more effort and attention for me to practice full swing things than short game. I've been playing for about 4 years, and for the first 3 my long game practice was to hit balls on the range. I didn't improve for 3 years. Only over the past couple of months have I been paying attention to the serious flaws in my swing, and now I'm actually "working" on something. Working on a heck of a lot, actually, because my ingrained swing is pretty ugly!

post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick1998bunker View Post

Back in the day why did they play with a 1-3 iron and 1-3 wood? Was it because you couldn't hit a wood off the deck very well. And if so that kinda explains why they aren't used. And I think today's players would rather have more wedges

 

In his time, Nicklaus and some big hitters carried:  Driver, 3W, 1 - 9 iron, plus PW and SW and putter.

 

Others carried 1 and 3-9; or 2-9, and added a 4W or 5W as club # 14.

 

Those who carried a 1i, 3i used the 1i primarily as a driving iron, much as some current day players used the Callaway and other utility irons in the British Open.

 

Nicklaus and stronger players of the era often would play cut shots with the long irons, and were able to stop them quickly.

-----------------------------

 

In early-mid 1970s, persimmon-headed 3W loft ranged from 15-17 degrees / 4W 18-20 degrees/ 5W 21-22 degrees.

     In today's lofts, 17* = 4W / 19* = 5W / 22* = 7W.

 

Persimmon-headed woods had some variation in quality in part from hidden knots in the wood. As a caddie, I more than once saw a decent playing member bring a FW to the pros and say it "flew strange." The pro and his assistant would take it out to the first tee and try it out. (I would chase down the balls). Neither got a decent shot off off, either from the grass or off a tee. The pro returned the FW to the manufacturer for a replacement.

 

Also, clubmakers for modern metal woods can vary the positioning of the vertical center of gravity (high vs. low / forward vs. backward) much better than the persimmon-club designers could.

____________________

Above info from Ralph Maltby (1995) Golf Club Design, Fitting, Alteration and Repair / 4th ed., pp. 843-5.

-------------------------------

 

Until early 1980s, PW and SW were the two wedges. Today we have a much wider array of wedges, 


Edited by WUTiger - 7/29/14 at 11:12pm
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