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Is the average tour pro golfer a better putter than generations before? - Page 2

post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post
 

 

 

Don't forget about hitting the line you want. You can read every putt right, but if you constantly push or pull putts off that line, you'll be missing a lot of putts. :-D

 

 

 

 

Good point. I forgot about technique since mine is so flawless. :-$ 

post #20 of 24
post #21 of 24
post #22 of 24

I have to disagree that the argument Epstein is making in the TED talk applies to putting.  He is addressing the incremental performance improvements that result from pushing the efficient frontier of athletic performance.  In golf, that efficient frontier (where equipment, practice, physique, etc. are the limits on performance) is, in a nutshell, the full swing.  Things like driving distance, clubhead speed, etc.  Neither putting nor the short game in any sense lie on the efficient frontier of athleticism in golf.

post #23 of 24
That is just one of several points he makes. There are others.

1. There are more golfers in the world. This means there are more people trying to get on the PGA, which means the PGA will be more selective and the average will be better over time.

2. People have tried many different putting strokes, types of putters, etc. Over the last few decades. New golfers have a lot more knowledge to draw from when learning how to putt.

3. People have a better understanding of how to practice, how much you need to practice, how young to get kids started, etc. So people are spending a higher number of total hours with quality practice.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnaygs View Post

That is just one of several points he makes. There are others.

1. There are more golfers in the world. This means there are more people trying to get on the PGA, which means the PGA will be more selective and the average will be better over time.

2. People have tried many different putting strokes, types of putters, etc. Over the last few decades. New golfers have a lot more knowledge to draw from when learning how to putt.

3. People have a better understanding of how to practice, how much you need to practice, how young to get kids started, etc. So people are spending a higher number of total hours with quality practice.

The thing is, a lot of your points don't make a difference.

 

1) The PGA tour is dominated by superb ballstrikers. Putting needs to be decent, but it doesn't have to come close to great for someone to make a good living on the tour. One example of this is Matt Every. He is ranked #1 currently in Strokes Gained Putting (at .911) while being only ranked 24th in the FedEx Cup standings (and slipping). However, Jim Furyk and Bubba Watson (the best at Proximity to the Hole and Driving Distance) are ranked 2nd and 6th respectively.

 

2) You can only change a putting stroke so much before you're just doing the same thing with minor tweaks that don't make a difference. The only reason pros now have difference putting strokes than those of old is because their greens roll true and are significantly faster than what Nicklaus and Palmer putted on. The only "different" putting strokes created in the last 50 years (that have been used with some level of success) are the sidesaddle stroke and the idea of using a belly putter. One of them was used (by Sam Snead) because a similar stroke was ruled illegal and the other has since been ruled illegal.

 

3) You can get a kid to putt every bit as well as a PGA Tour pro because it doesn't take as much practice. Case in point: On a vacation to the Bahamas (with slower greens) Tiger Woods' 5-year old son almost beat him in a putting contest. The faster greens can be harder for young kids to handle (because it's hard for them to make the needed small adjustments until they get older) but they can still putt every bit as well. I played in a scramble with my teaching pro, his 10 year old son, and another high school golfer and the son whipped us all when it came to putting.

 

Putting has a low separation value. You will never see someone become a professional solely due to their putting while they miss 10 greens a round. You have to be decent (but not great) at putting to get on the PGA tour, but the important part is to have phenomenal ballstriking day in and day out.

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