Jump to content
  • entries
    44
  • comments
    744
  • views
    22,877

iacas

3,980 views

When a PGA Tour player shoots a really low round - 61, 63, 59… whatever… ask yourself: did the guy have to get up and down a lot or hole a lot of chips for birdie? Or did he hit a bunch of greens, leave himself short putts, and have a decent day with the putter?

When a PGA Tour player needs to rely on his short game, he probably didn't have a great round. He may have salvaged a decent round, but he didn't have a great round.

Great rounds - and good scoring over the long haul - are a result of the full swing. Hitting greens, and hitting it closer to the hole where you have stress-free pars, are key. The days when you make a bunch of putts or happen to stick it close? Those are your great rounds. The rest are just good rounds.

I'm not sure anyone has ever chipped in six times to shoot a net 65, but they've stuck a bunch of shots close to do it a ton of times.


Your short game is your crutch. It's there to keep a great round going, or it's there to bandage up a bad round and keep it being an "okay" round.

Your full swing is the main determinant of your score. The days you hit it well are the days you have good rounds. If you have a little luck or hole a few putts, they become great rounds.

32 Comments


Recommended Comments



  • Moderator

Well said!

A friend of my dad's use to say that two things don't last long, dogs that chase cars and pros that putt for par ;-)

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment

The classic example is Luke Donald. For two years he was able to bring his long game to the point he was one of the best players in the world. I think he lead the European Tour and the PGA Tour in winnings. He has an amazing short game and his ability to putt is well known. He hasn't really been in contention since. His long game doesn't sustain the high level of play needed to win consistently.

Link to comment

I couldn't agree more.  Going "low" is relative too.  For me, it's low 70's, for a 15 hcp, it might be scaring 80.  In either case, we're not going to do it often without striking the ball well.  My short game is the reason for my handicap.  If I want to improve, it's gotta be by improving my full swing, and hitting more greens.

We need a new saying....maybe "putt for dough, but drive for mo"?!

 ;-) 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment

I think it all depends on how far a person has progressed in terms of skill level and scoring.   This is how I would put it: 

To break 100- hit a good tee shot.  That's the first thing a beginner should learn. 

To break 90- learn to chip and 2-putt.   It's easier than hitting greens in regulation. 

To break 80- hit greens in regulation. 

This is of course very unscientific, and is only based on my own personal experience and observation.   I'm a guy who can break 90 every time out, but can hardly ever break 80.   I can hit my drive in the fairway with good distance, and I can almost always chip and 2-putt for an easy bogey.  But I am not good with my mid and long irons, and that leads to a lot of missed greens.   It's very hard to break 80 without a couple of birdies.  Most golfers like me cannot just par their way around the course like a pro can.   A chip and a one-putt is pretty hard for most people.  Making birdies and easy pars requires hitting greens in regulation. 

Yesterday, I was looking at the scorecard for my lowest round ever, and it looked just like all my other scorecards- lots of pars and bogeys and even a couple of double bogeys, but with one big huge difference- 2 birdies on the back 9. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Marty2019
  • Like 2
Link to comment

the more I play, the more I respect pros for their ability around the green and to read putts in particular.   to be able to play a 15 footer 2 ball widths outside the cup and watch it go in on what seems to be a pretty decent clip is very impressive. I can read break alright, but to get the speed, and the chosen break right amazes me.  even the bad putters on tour are pretty damn good. My best round ever when I was 2 under, but to make that happen, it had to be a shorter course, I think I hit almost every fairway, and the one or two if I did miss I was in intermediate cut. gir was very high, proximity to hole was probably like 20-25 feet and I drove the green on 2 par 4s and 2 putted for my only 2 birdies of the round. the rest were just nice lag putts and short putts for par. I feel like If I was playing best ball with a tour pro that day, they probably would have shot about 15 under par from the positions I was putting it lol

tour pros typically also drain one or two unexpected long putts for birdie in their low rounds too that keep the momentum going, or maybe a nail biter for par. theyre just so good at not making huge errors.  the fact that sand saves is even a stat is mind boggling lol.  when I hit it into the sand I'm basically looking to save bogey by blasting out to within 25 feet.   obviously putting and short game is a feel you acquire after practicing the same shots over and over again for years and years, and that most amateurs could get pretty good if they dedicated themselves to it, but for the weekend warriors out there, the long shots are the sexy ones that make you feel accomplished. I know I'd much rather hit a great drive, and great approach and 2 putt for par, rather than a poor drive, poor approach, great chip, and a tap in for par, despite what walter hagen said in bagger vance

I will argue though that a great short game can overcome pretty crappy driving and approaches depending on what type of low round youre talking about. I'm reminded of the dan plan, and how his instructor wouldnt even let him swing an iron for X amount of time, and made him learn how to putt and chip before anything else.  I legitimately became a very very good putter from what I saw and it allowed him to shoot in the mid to high 70s in spite of a swing that produced misses in both directions.  obviously thats not a 59, but still, short game is the difference between 75 and 65 on any given day for some golfers

Link to comment
  • Administrator
On 9/2/2017 at 8:19 AM, Marty2019 said:

I think it all depends on how far a person has progressed in terms of skill level and scoring.   This is how I would put it: 

Golf doesn't work that way.

Golfers advance at all of the various skills in golf. Not perfectly evenly, of course - they can develop glaring weaknesses - but you don't find guys who have played enough golf that they can hit five GIR who still four-putt three times a round like a beginner.

On 9/2/2017 at 8:19 AM, Marty2019 said:

Yesterday, I was looking at the scorecard for my lowest round ever, and it looked just like all my other scorecards- lots of pars and bogeys and even a couple of double bogeys, but with one big huge difference- 2 birdies on the back 9.

Birdies are over-rated.

I made two the other day and shot 71. Hell, I even hit a ball OB in that round.

But anyway… to the main point, I don't agree that golf progresses in the stages you listed. Improvement comes from improving every skill a little bit.

11 hours ago, downbylaw11 said:

the more I play, the more I respect pros for their ability around the green and to read putts in particular.   to be able to play a 15 footer 2 ball widths outside the cup and watch it go in on what seems to be a pretty decent clip is very impressive. I can read break alright, but to get the speed, and the chosen break right amazes me.

PGA Tour pros make only 23% of the time. Scratch golfers make them 21% of the time. Someone who shoots 90 makes over 1 out of 10.

You're probably over-estimating how good PGA Tour putters are and under-estimating your own ability. They only make about 2 out of 10.

11 hours ago, downbylaw11 said:

I feel like If I was playing best ball with a tour pro that day, they probably would have shot about 15 under par from the positions I was putting it lol

Not even close.

And that's a good thing for you!

11 hours ago, downbylaw11 said:

tour pros typically also drain one or two unexpected long putts for birdie in their low rounds too that keep the momentum going, or maybe a nail biter for par. theyre just so good at not making huge errors.  the fact that sand saves is even a stat is mind boggling lol.  when I hit it into the sand I'm basically looking to save bogey by blasting out to within 25 feet.   obviously putting and short game is a feel you acquire after practicing the same shots over and over again for years and years, and that most amateurs could get pretty good if they dedicated themselves to it, but for the weekend warriors out there, the long shots are the sexy ones that make you feel accomplished. I know I'd much rather hit a great drive, and great approach and 2 putt for par, rather than a poor drive, poor approach, great chip, and a tap in for par, despite what walter hagen said in bagger vance

You should read LSW.

11 hours ago, downbylaw11 said:

I will argue though that a great short game can overcome pretty crappy driving and approaches depending on what type of low round youre talking about.

Not really… no… If you're relying on your short game heavily, you're not shooting a low round that day.

11 hours ago, downbylaw11 said:

I'm reminded of the dan plan, and how his instructor wouldnt even let him swing an iron for X amount of time, and made him learn how to putt and chip before anything else.

That was a really, really stupid approach. Putting has a very low Separation Value™.

11 hours ago, downbylaw11 said:

I legitimately became a very very good putter from what I saw and it allowed him to shoot in the mid to high 70s in spite of a swing that produced misses in both directions.  obviously thats not a 59, but still, short game is the difference between 75 and 65 on any given day for some golfers

No. It's really not. Yes, you can concoct some sort of scenario where that works out, but generally speaking, when a player shoots 65… they hit 12-15 greens. There's almost never a chance, when someone shoots 65, for their short game to be needed - they're hitting greens and looking at a good number of birdie putts.

Pick up a copy of LSW, @downbylaw11, or at least Every Shot Counts.

Link to comment
  • Moderator
1 hour ago, iacas said:

There's almost never a chance, when someone shoots 65, for their short game to be needed - they're hitting greens and looking at a good number of birdie putts.

There's a logic to this, too, isn't there? 65 is six to seven strokes under par on most courses... how many opportunities are out there to get up and down for birdie after missing a green?

A good short game can save a round from blowing up, but it's good ballstriking that puts you in position to score low.

Heck, the stats for the short game are called scrambling and sand saves. That kind of hints at what purpose it serves, no? :-)

  • Like 1
Link to comment

what is lsw?

 

also, im not even sure why i keep coming back to read posts here.  it's like I only come when I need to feel like my thoughts and ideas are completely invalid. 

Link to comment
  • Moderator
10 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

what is lsw?

http://lowestscorewins.com/

10 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

also, im not even sure why i keep coming back to read posts here.  it's like I only come when I need to feel like my thoughts and ideas are completely invalid. 

Alternatively, you can open your mind and you might learn a thing or two :-)

Link to comment
2 hours ago, downbylaw11 said:

also, im not even sure why i keep coming back to read posts here.  it's like I only come when I need to feel like my thoughts and ideas are completely invalid. 

You say this like it's a bad thing.  Finding out I was mistaken about something is a wonderful feeling -- I get to improve my knowledge base.  When I was mistaken about something I thought would improve some aspect of my life, and discover something else can actually get the effect I was going for, that's great news.  For the longest time, I felt that it was my chipping and putting that kept me from better scores.  I stopped full swing lessons and focused on those skills.  My handicap stagnated.  After many years, I learned about the relative importance of the long game, went back to lessons, hit the ball better, and saw a 6-shot improvement in my handicap in a relatively short period of time, even with long breaks in there from the game.  

-----

As for the low rounds (and back to the topic), I've had several good rounds where I was on the second nine and had to chip at one point.  I remember pulling my 50 or 56 and thinking, "now what do I do with this club again?"  It's the rounds where I spend the most time with those clubs that I'm less happy at the end of the day.

Link to comment

theres being mistaken and learning things, and theres basically being told your opinion is the wrong opinion. 

 

iacas quoted a handful of things and basically just said 'no, no, not quite, not even close'  for what were mostly just my opinions.  but oh well, it's his world, im just livin in it

 

also just noticed in my reply that i said re: the dan plan, 'i became a really good putter' when i meant to say 'he'.  i contend that his putting was saving him 10 strokes a round, and iacas poo pood it saying that the dan plan was a really stupid approach.  that part i actually agree with, but we're talking about low rounds, not the approach taken in the dan plan. 

i'd love to learn things from this forum, but learning takes dialogue and discussion, sometimes conflicting ideas and most importantly listening.  but all i see from this forum is a god, his disciples, and a bunch of worshipers that refuse to believe that maybe he doesnt always have the answers. 

Link to comment
  • Moderator
29 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

also just noticed in my reply that i said re: the dan plan, 'i became a really good putter' when i meant to say 'he'.  i contend that his putting was saving him 10 strokes a round, and iacas poo pood it saying that the dan plan was a really stupid approach.  that part i actually agree with, but we're talking about low rounds, not the approach taken in the dan plan. 

i'd love to learn things from this forum, but learning takes dialogue and discussion, sometimes conflicting ideas and most importantly listening.  but all i see from this forum is a god, his disciples, and a bunch of worshipers that refuse to believe that maybe he doesnt always have the answers. 

I can understand a bit of your frustration, I had the same feeling a couple of years back when I joined here.  I've stuck around, and I've learned a lot.  I'd never known about the statistical side of golf, and what it can tell us about our own games.  I don't always agree with the application of the statistics to any individual golfer, but its nearly impossible to argue about the numbers themselves.  I hope you'll keeping posting and contributing, and that you'll read the rest of the posts with an open mind.

And to weigh in on the original topic, I have to say I agree.  I posted in another thread about my season-best round.  I got up and down on 3 of 5 opportunities, which is pretty good.  More importantly, I hit 13 greens, and was near or on 17 of them.  I had 3 birdies, the longest putt was about 10 feet.  I had a really good round if had done nothing special with putting and short game, equal to my best to that point, it was ALL full swing stuff.  The short game and putting was the icing on the cake, taking it from very good to excellent.  Based on my experience, I don't think short game and putting can ever take an average round into the excellent range.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
  • Administrator

@downbylaw11, if you stick around you'll find I'm simply a pretty direct, honest person. My main goal with almost everything I share here is to help other people get better. I'm pretty confident in what I know, but only after I've done my due diligence.

I come from a background in the sciences, and scientists really like finding out that they're wrong, because as I've said before being told "you're wrong, here's why" is an instant opportunity to learn something and improve as a scientist and a person.

Opinions can't really be right or wrong, but when we venture into the land of what I consider to be facts, they can be "right" or "wrong." It's a personal failing of mine, but I've never understood how emotionally attached some people get to their "facts" or thinking something is true when it's not. 

Also, I do apologize for the brevity of my posts. If you can try to understand from my shoes, I've answered the same types of questions hundreds of times, maybe thousands. No, perhaps none of them are by you, but it just gets tedious sometimes and I respond more briefly than I would if I hadn't written a book about it all, hadn't explained it all in depth hundreds or thousands of times, etc. I say this not as an excuse, but simply so that maybe you can understand why sometimes my posts are pretty on-the-nose/to-the-point.

1 hour ago, downbylaw11 said:

theres being mistaken and learning things, and theres basically being told your opinion is the wrong opinion.

Please take this as nicely as possible, given the above… but these things aren't really "opinion" anymore. We are starting to really understand, generally speaking*, where people score in golf.

* I say "generally speaking" because without an individual assessment, we can't necessarily apply the same things to each individual. Some people have glaring weaknesses, and one person's glaring weakness might be totally different than another's.

1 hour ago, downbylaw11 said:

iacas quoted a handful of things and basically just said 'no, no, not quite, not even close'  for what were mostly just my opinions.  but oh well, it's his world, im just livin in it

Here's the other thing… come back at me with something. I like debate, discussion, disagreement. What's the worst thing that happens? We don't end up agreeing? One of us learns something?

At the end of the day, man, it's just golf. I don't take any of this stuff that seriously.

1 hour ago, downbylaw11 said:

also just noticed in my reply that i said re: the dan plan, 'i became a really good putter' when i meant to say 'he'.  i contend that his putting was saving him 10 strokes a round, and iacas poo pood it saying that the dan plan was a really stupid approach.  that part i actually agree with, but we're talking about low rounds, not the approach taken in the dan plan. 

Here's the thing about all that, though… you seem to be assuming that Dan had a great short game or was a great putter. I've never seen any evidence of that.

And the truth is… Dan spent a lot of time working on a part of the game that matters the least. Putting.

As for your last paragraph… phooey. I'm not a "god" - if this involves dialogue and discussion, you posted something, I replied, and now you're calling me names or whatever. Where's the dialogue or discussion there? Where's the listening?

I've never seen a 65 shot where I think the short game is what got the guy a 65.

Yes, you could turn a 65 into a 75 by three-putting, failing to get up and down a few times from the few greens you miss, etc.

But you really can't turn a 75 into a 65 with a short game. A 65 is the result of a few putts going in after a great day hitting the ball well.

You disagree? Continue the dialogue. Discuss. Debate. Disagree.

20 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I can understand a bit of your frustration, I had the same feeling a couple of years back when I joined here.  I've stuck around, and I've learned a lot.  I'd never known about the statistical side of golf, and what it can tell us about our own games.  I don't always agree with the application of the statistics to any individual golfer, but its nearly impossible to argue about the numbers themselves.  I hope you'll keeping posting and contributing, and that you'll read the rest of the posts with an open mind.

That is an important point, and unless we have a good amount of information, we don't apply the stats to individuals, because they may be the exception. They may have a glaring weakness (or a "glaring strength").

That's why I try to say things like "generally" or "I'd wager that…" (because I might lose the single bet in the short term, but overall, if it's "generally" true, I'll win more than I'll lose).

20 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

And to weigh in on the original topic, I have to say I agree.  I posted in another thread about my season-best round.  I got up and down on 3 of 5 opportunities, which is pretty good.  More importantly, I hit 13 greens, and was near or on 17 of them. I had 3 birdies, the longest putt was about 10 feet. I had a really good round if had done nothing special with putting and short game, equal to my best to that point, it was ALL full swing stuff.  The short game and putting was the icing on the cake, taking it from very good to excellent.  Based on my experience, I don't think short game and putting can ever take an average round into the excellent range.

Pretty true, generally speaking. Low Rounds come from good ballstriking rounds. From LSW:

In 1997, during the second round of PGA Tour Q-School, Dave Wedzik shot a new course record 63 at Southbridge Golf Club in Savannah, GA. Dave had won the previous two tournaments leading up to Q-School and was playing great. His preparation was focused, he had gotten into tournament mode at the proper time, and he was ready to slip into the zone on the golf course. That day he was on. He hit all 18 greens in regulation. He hit it inside 12 feet nine times, and made every one of those putts. The other nine greens he simply two-putted. 18 GIR, 27 putts, and a course record 63.

On first thought, it may seem as though Dave’s hot putter is what allowed him to shoot nine under. But a deeper look at the stats reveals otherwise. Of Dave’s nine putts inside of 12 feet, he’d be expected to make about four of them if he putted as well as the PGA Tour average. So of the nine shots he saved to par, five came from putting, right? Not so fast, as Dave would have also made two of the putts he faced from 12 to 30 feet (he didn’t make any of those). This means, relative to par, Dave saved only three shots with his putting. The other six shots came simply from hitting every green and hitting it close.

After the round Dave was asked in interviews what the difference was between his first-round 71 and second-round 63. His answer was that he hit four more greens in regulation and stuffed it a bunch. He understood how much better he had hit the ball. That was the difference maker. Though the ability to make the putts he left himself lowered his score even further, Dave was able to shoot the course record (one he still holds to this day) because he hit every GIR.

Dave didn't need his short game to shoot a 63.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment

dan plans last stats update had him with a 1.6 putting average which would put him around the top 50 on tour, though I hardly can compare putting scenarios at the local course vs tour conditions.  his putts per gir was 1.9 which doesnt seem bad though I can't find a pga comparable.  I would imagine he would have lowered that had he been a better ball striker.  

Im just trying to say that putting carried him to scores that made him seem much better than he actually was. 

there are so many great strikers of the golf ball who were done in by shitty putting that I think would disagree with a lot of what you say. 

is it possible that driving and iron play matters more than putting when youre learning the game, but when youre already in the top tier of players, putting makes more of a difference between strokes gained or lost? 

Link to comment
  • Administrator
1 hour ago, downbylaw11 said:

dan plans last stats update had him with a 1.6 putting average which would put him around the top 50 on tour, though I hardly can compare putting scenarios at the local course vs tour conditions.  his putts per gir was 1.9 which doesnt seem bad though I can't find a pga comparable.  I would imagine he would have lowered that had he been a better ball striker.

Putts per hole is a poor stat. If you miss a lot of greens, you're coming into the greens with chip shots instead of the 7-iron you might have used to hit the ball.

It's relatively easy to average 1.6 putts per green when you face a lot of 8-footers after an adequate though not spectacular chip or pitch.

PPGIR stats are here on the PGA Tour: http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.104.html . The text at the bottom explains why total putts or PPG are a bad stat:

Quote

The average number of putts per green in regulation. By using greens hit in regulation, we are able to eliminate the effects of chipping close and one-putting in the computation.

The worst player on the PGA Tour is under 1.85.

1 hour ago, downbylaw11 said:

Im just trying to say that putting carried him to scores that made him seem much better than he actually was.

I don't know if that's true. I haven't analyzed his game at that level. I will say that just because his swing looked odd doesn't mean it was that bad. I mean, you can hit a few GIR, be near the rest, and break 80 pretty easily.

1 hour ago, downbylaw11 said:

there are so many great strikers of the golf ball who were done in by shitty putting that I think would disagree with a lot of what you say.

Like whom?

Hell, by PGA Tour standards or even a scratch golfer's standards… Boo Weekley is a lousy putter, but he's a great ballstriker, and he's won three times on the PGA Tour and nearly $15M.

@downbylaw11, did you know that the average 80s golfer putts better than an average PGA Tour player in 20% of their rounds played? That's according to Mark Broadie. The average 90s golfer putts better 10% of the time. A scratch golfer? 30% of the time.

I'm of the opinion that PGA Tour players are on the PGA Tour largely because they're great ball-strikers.

1 hour ago, downbylaw11 said:

is it possible that driving and iron play matters more than putting when youre learning the game, but when youre already in the top tier of players, putting makes more of a difference between strokes gained or lost?

Not according to Mark Broadie. Or me. Putting remains about 14% of what separates one level of player from another, regardless whether you're comparing a scratch golfer to a 100s golfer, or an elite PGA Tour player to a borderline PGA Tour player. Driving and the approach shots are about 67%. Again, that's a generality… Dustin Johnson, for example, gains more with his driving than his short game and putting combined.

Off the Tee: 1.010 - http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.02567.html
Approach the Green: 0.755 - http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.02568.html
Around the Green: 0.206 - http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.02569.html
Putting: 0.292 - http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.02564.html
Total: 2.263

That total means:

Off the Tee: 44.6%
Approach the Green: 33.4%
Around the Green: 9.1%
Putting: 12.9%

Dustin's full swing accounts for 78% of his strokes gained.

If you want to counter with, say, Jordan Spieth…

Driving: 0.208 (11.2%)
Approach: 0.912 (49.0%)
Around Green: 0.393 (21.1%)
Putting: 0.348 (18.7%)

Jordan's full swing accounts for 60.2% of his strokes gained.

Tiger Woods, for example, won so often primarily because of his ballstriking. Check out this post:

Are there counter-examples? Sure. There are always exceptions. But that's what they are… exceptions. They're not the general rule.

"Drive for Show, Putt for Dough" is bogus. The opposite is generally much more accurate.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment

pretty much every player ever their putting is what leaves them in their 40s

things i've never heard anyone say, 'if only player 'x' could get his approach shots under control, he would win again on tour, because he certainly still has his putting stroke down' 

 

anyways, that stat you mentioned about average 80's player putting better than pga pros 20% of the time is the weirdest thing i've ever heard.  

for starters, I don't think you can even compare the 2 types of players because the average 80's player and up, is putting at the local public course which run pretty low on the stimpmeter with probably not very challenging breaks, while the tour pros are playing at the best courses in the world on what sometimes seem like glass on huge undulating greens.  there is really no comparing the 2.  from personal experience I can say that the one time I played on a course where a tour event was held, I putted much worse than usual and those werent even under tour conditions.  every putt seemed blazing fast, and the amount of break was unreal.  the fact that they putt better 20% of the time, still means 80% of the time they are worse, which is a very significant number. I'm not sure why you quoted that stat as it doesnt even really seem to back up your point, and I'm not even sure how that type of data was collected.  what did they do, follow around a bunch of hackers and track all of their putts?  do a survey?

 

anyways, boo weekley is a great example of why putting matters soooooooo much.  the guy is regular one of the best drivers of the ball including being 4th in accuracy this year and 20th in gir. he's a 3 time winner yes, but likely because, 'i started to hole a few putts', and the last was in 2013, and before that it was a 5 year stretch.  by your logic, given his 4th in driving accuracy and 20th in gir, he should be a very good player on tour, or at least competing on a weekly basis to win tournaments, but hey, the guy just lost his card and finished 173rd on the fed ex cup list.  he's been fighting tooth and nail to keep his card every year he didnt have a victory despite always being in the top 10% or so in driving and gir. 

 

graham delaet is another example.  the guy is almost always near the top in ball striking statistics, and is generally considered a nightmare around the green.  people continue to say it's only a matter of time before he wins, but his chipping was so bad at one point last season that he had to take a leave of absence from the tour because he had the yips

 

then on the flip side, you have phil mickleson, who this season has been an absolute disaster in ball striking stats finishing 176th in accuracy and 175th in gir. and here he is still in the playoffs, in contention to win, and his overall putting average is 9th

 

justin thomas however, who is a player of the year candidate is riding a great balancing act of an overall game with fantastic length off the tee overcoming his lack of accuracy which allows him to be top 60 in gir, but the key stat being in putting average, he is ranked 1st

ricky fowler 3rd in putting average

jordan spieth 2nd

matsuyama 9th

 

yeah there are exceptions to this, dustin johnson appears to get by more on pure ball striking, but he certainly won't win a tournament unless he gets hot with the putter, and his putting average is still 40th, though he still suffers from inconsistent results throughout his career. he'll win 4 times, but also be a non factor many times as well.

 

tiger is another example of guys who just arent the same without the hot putter. he used to look down at 10-15 footers for par, hit them with the speed of a 25 foot put and just smash them through the break and seemingly make an endless amount of them, coincidently, he seemed to win a lot too I heard. the last 5 years, his confidence with the putter has been shattered and he's now missing those par putts, and sometimes his bogey putt as well. obviously tiger has a million other issues as well, but his once stone cold ability to drain huge putts has left him, and with it, his entire game. 

 

 

Im not sure why I bothered to look up all these stats, because I imagine I could never change your mind on this, but I'm not sure how anyone could argue with these stats.  drive for show, putt for dough.

Link to comment
40 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

I'm not sure how anyone could argue with these stats.  drive for show, putt for dough.

In reading your response, I have to wonder:  do you know what "strokes lost" and "strokes gained" mean?  Because it sounds like you're trying to argue against the statistics that measure golf success and in reading your comments, I'm left trying to figure out if you even know what the category means. 

If you're interested, please check out the Broadie book.  You asked about his methodology.  Guess what?  He published his methodology.  It's available for any member of the public to read, view, and critique.  That's what Erik was trying to point you towards too.  

You might discover there's plenty you can take away from this conversation that will improve your golf game and your enjoyment of both playing and following the professionals.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
  • Administrator

In the interest of trying not to write another book, I'm gonna skip over a few things. Like your first paragraph, about how "pretty much every player ever" (?)… I like to deal in facts when possible. Not anecdotes.

Johnny Miller won the AT&T at age 46 with a horrible putting stroke that looked like he was yipping putts all over the place. Players have won PGA Tour events LOSING strokes gained putting.

Putting is important, but relative to the other skills… it's the least important.

9 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

anyways, that stat you mentioned about average 80's player putting better than pga pros 20% of the time is the weirdest thing i've ever heard.

It's not my stat. It's from the guy who helped come up with the entire "Strokes Gained" concept.

3 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

for starters, I don't think you can even compare the 2 types of players because the average 80's player and up, is putting at the local public course which run pretty low on the stimpmeter with probably not very challenging breaks, while the tour pros are playing at the best courses in the world on what sometimes seem like glass on huge undulating greens.

Two quick things to that…

  • given a little time to adjust, golfers of every ability level putt better on faster greens. They tend to be smoother (so putts hit on a line stay on the line) and the faster greens require a shorter stroke, so less can go wrong.
  • A lot of players will tell you the flatter greens are the tougher ones to putt. You play a putt right edge because it looks like it breaks a little left, and it breaks half an inch right, and you miss. Putts that obviously break left are more easily played to the right.

So regular players putting on slower, flatter greens may be to their disadvantage.

At any rate, it's not my stat, and if you want to take it up with Mark Broadie, be my guest. But like me, he's done a LOT of studying of this stuff, and I think you'd find he knows his stuff.

3 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

the fact that they putt better 20% of the time, still means 80% of the time they are worse, which is a very significant number. I'm not sure why you quoted that stat as it doesnt even really seem to back up your point, and I'm not even sure how that type of data was collected.  what did they do, follow around a bunch of hackers and track all of their putts?  do a survey?

I believe Mark has thousands and thousands of rounds in his database and pulled the information from there.

And of course they putted worse 80% of the time. They're 80s golfers playing against PGA Tour players! And 80% of time doesn't say how MUCH worse they putted. If you plot a bell curve, which is a reasonable assumption, you're only talking about 1-2 strokes lost to a PGA Tour player (despite shooting 10-15 strokes worse).

And… you know what they did worse way, way more than 80%? Driving. Approach shots. They almost NEVER had a round where they did better at that than a PGA Tour player.

3 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

anyways, boo weekley is a great example of why putting matters soooooooo much.

I think the opposite is more true. The guy's a HORRIBLE putter, and yet… he's won on the PGA Tour. He's won $15M.

And he's talked about winning enough money to retire and fish all day. He's not practicing much, not playing much.

Charlie Wi? Great putter. Zero PGA Tour wins.

21 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

graham delaet is another example.  the guy is almost always near the top in ball striking statistics, and is generally considered a nightmare around the green.  people continue to say it's only a matter of time before he wins, but his chipping was so bad at one point last season that he had to take a leave of absence from the tour because he had the yips

Graham DeLaet?

Driving: 18th at +0.541
Approach: 14th at +0.576
Around Green: 194th at -0.541
Putting: 34th at 0.357

Where did he finish in scoring average this year, despite having nearly the worst short game on the PGA Tour?

35th: http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.120.html . He finished ahead of… Phil Mickelson. Zach Johnson. Luke Donald. Jim Furyk.

The guy won $1.6M this year alone.

25 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

then on the flip side, you have phil mickleson, who this season has been an absolute disaster in ball striking stats finishing 176th in accuracy and 175th in gir. and here he is still in the playoffs, in contention to win, and his overall putting average is 9th

Phil's SG numbers:

Driving: 134th at -0.134
Approach: 10th at +0.615
Around Green: 51st at +0.159
Putting: 39th at +0.331

So… Full swing: 0.481 strokes gained, putting and short game combined: 0.49.

Despite a bad year driving, Phil gained 0.615 strokes per round from his approach shots.

25 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

justin thomas however, who is a player of the year candidate is riding a great balancing act of an overall game with fantastic length off the tee overcoming his lack of accuracy which allows him to be top 60 in gir, but the key stat being in putting average, he is ranked 1st

ricky fowler 3rd in putting average

jordan spieth 2nd

matsuyama 9th

Before I show you Justin Thomas's numbers, did you see my post about Jordan Spieth above?

1 hour ago, iacas said:

If you want to counter with, say, Jordan Spieth…

Driving: 0.208 (11.2%)
Approach: 0.912 (49.0%)
Around Green: 0.393 (21.1%)
Putting: 0.348 (18.7%)

BTW, 0.348 in putting ranks him 36th in putting. His SG Approach of 0.912 ranks him 2nd.

Jordan ranks highly when you look at his "Putting Average" because he hits the ball closer to the hole than many other PGA Tour players. That's why his SG Approach is 0.912, and his SG Putting is about 1/3 as high.

Consider a course of 18 holes, all 150-220 yards. Consider two PGA Tour players. Player A hits the ball to five feet on average but is a lousy putter per PGA Tour standards and makes only 60% of those putts. That means he averages 2.4 or shoots 43.2. Player B hits it to 30 feet on average and is a phenomenal putter. As such he MAKES 30% of the putts he looks at from 30 feet and never three-putts. He averages 2.7 on these holes, and 48.6.

This is why "Putting Average" is a poor stat to show putting. The first putter is poor by standards, but would average 1.4. The second putter is phenomenal, but his putting average is 1.7.

Putting is heavily, heavily influenced by the distance of the putt. Nobody can be such a good putter that they make 30% of their 30 footers. Getting the ball close to the hole (and giving yourself a lot of birdie putts) is more important, even on the PGA Tour.

Justin Thomas:

D: 44th at 0.358
A: 9th at 0.616
G: 25th at 0.270
P: 41st at 0.326

Justin Thomas gained more strokes with his approach shots than his short game and putting combined (0.616 to 0.596).

Matsuyama? Ranked 9th in Putting Average, but yet…

D: 12th at 0.620
A: 12th at 0.598
G: 15th at 0.340
P: 147th at -0.171

Also, note…12th in Driving and Approach shots are around 0.6 (0.620, 0.598). 12th in Around the Green and Putting are 0.398 and 0.488. Two and one tenths of a stroke lower.

25 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

yeah there are exceptions to this, dustin johnson appears to get by more on pure ball striking, but he certainly won't win a tournament unless he gets hot with the putter, and his putting average is still 40th, though he still suffers from inconsistent results throughout his career. he'll win 4 times, but also be a non factor many times as well.

Putting average is a poor stat. I'd rather be a poor putter with five footers than a great putter with 30 footers.

I know guys who can't break 80 who take 28 putts per round. Why? Again, because a lot of their first putts are from 5 or 10 feet after they miss the green and have a chip shot, while a number more of my first putts are from 40 feet after I hit the green from 167 yards.

Dustin Johnson:

D: 2nd at 1.010
A: 4th at 0.755
G: 43rd at 0.206
P: 50th at 0.292

And yeah, what a down year for poor Dustin. He only managed to win $8.4M this year despite being 50th and 43rd at the short game and putting. Oh, and yeah, to be the #1 ranked player in the world.

When a player wins on the PGA Tour, putting typically contributes about 35% of their wins. But putting fluctuates quite a bit.

Generally speaking… Ballstriking determines who finishes in the top 20. It's the hot putter out of those 20 who win. But poor ballstriking means you're slamming your trunk Friday night, or at best you've got an early tee time on Saturday morning.

25 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

tiger is another example of guys who just arent the same without the hot putter. he used to look down at 10-15 footers for par, hit them with the speed of a 25 foot put and just smash them through the break and seemingly make an endless amount of them, coincidently, he seemed to win a lot too I heard. the last 5 years, his confidence with the putter has been shattered and he's now missing those par putts, and sometimes his bogey putt as well. obviously tiger has a million other issues as well, but his once stone cold ability to drain huge putts has left him, and with it, his entire game.

I don't feel that's backed up by the stats. Tiger has suffered the last few years because his long game has eroded.

Did you look at that chart? Tiger finished an average of second in approach shots and finished outside the top three only THREE times in ten years. And he was 4th, 4th, and 5th in those years.

He finished in the top three in putting only THREE times, and finished as low as 91st. 2010 and 2011, you'll recall, were years immediately following his 2009 "issues" and yet another swing change (Haney to Foley).

In 2013, Tiger was the Player of the Year. He won five times.

D: T127 at -0.142
A: 1st at 1.533
G: 32nd at 0.247
P: 23rd at 0.426

Full swing: 1.391 - 67.4%
Short Game+Putting: 0.673 (32.6%)

25 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

Im not sure why I bothered to look up all these stats, because I imagine I could never change your mind on this, but I'm not sure how anyone could argue with these stats.  drive for show, putt for dough.

Show me a better argument and I'll change my mind in a heartbeat.

As for not being sure how anyone could argue with the stats… there you go. It's all right there.

Dustin Johnson. Hideki. Jordan. They all gain a ton of strokes with their full swing. Hideki actually LOSES strokes putting.

Hideki ranks 9th in putting average… because he sticks his approach shots really close to the hole.

  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment

@Shindigit probably would have taken 30 seconds out of your life to explain how that guy got his stats, yet you referred me to his book, which you say is available for the public to read.  what does that mean? is it an ebook i can download for free? buy it on amazon? borrow from a library?   or like i mentioned, maybe it would be easier for all involved if you just told me the gist of it

 

@iacas is it also a coincidence that delaet finished 35th in scoring the same year he finished 34th in putting?  also, those 4 names you mentioned, did you come up with them because they were directly behind delaet on the list, or because they are 'big names' that he finished ahead of, because if thats the case, I will counter by saying who cares since 2 of those guys are in their late 40s and are no longer the world beaters they once were, one of them in luke donald I believe relies mostly on his putting to survive is no longer very relevant on tour, and zach johnson despite having some decent finishes lately, is also not the guy he was 4/5 years ago.  maybe their names ties in the statistics point your making and it went right over my head.  i heard graham also finished ahead of brandel chamblee in scoring average. 

 

Link to comment
  • Administrator
8 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

@Shindigit probably would have taken 30 seconds out of your life to explain how that guy got his stats, yet you referred me to his book, which you say is available for the public to read.  what does that mean? is it an ebook i can download for free? buy it on amazon? borrow from a library?   or like i mentioned, maybe it would be easier for all involved if you just told me the gist of it

Maybe you could look some of the information up yourself?

Why should @Shindig, who knows this, take the time if you're unwilling to do so? But here you go. This took all of a few seconds, and was the top Google result for "every shot counts":

http://amzn.to/2ewSlqv - Hardcover
http://amzn.to/2vXtgLM - Kindle

8 minutes ago, downbylaw11 said:

@iacas is it also a coincidence that delaet finished 35th in scoring the same year he finished 34th in putting?

Uhm, yes.

Your response to my posts, particularly this last one, makes it pretty obvious to me that you're simply not willing to consider anything but your opinions and maybe a poor "Putting Average" statistic.

Heck, your own examples work against you. Hideki had NEGATIVE strokes gained putting for crying out loud, but succeeded due to a good performance off the tee and on his approach shots.

I'd offer to agree to disagree, but again, this isn't really opinion.

But hey, I like the Simpsons too. And golf. So we've got that in common.

Link to comment
  • Moderator
6 hours ago, downbylaw11 said:

i guess youre right then. i concede defeat

Instead of acting like it is a contest, try and learn. Many of us, including me, fell into the trap of anecdotal "facts" in golf. The biggest one is "drive for show, putt for dough." Erik has helped hundreds on this site alone focus on what will really improve their game. Most have improved a lot by learning what is important to work on, their full swing.

I am a really, really good putter. I would challenge anyone on this site in a putting contest. But I am less than average off the tee and less than average for approach shots. So my handicap is where it is. If I hit more fairways and greens, my HC would be a lot lower with no change in my putting.

Lastly, most of us came to this site talk golf and to learn how to be a better golfer. But if you come in with the notion you already know everything, what is the point of posting? Take a step back and try and understand what other posters are saying before formulating a response. We can all learn from each other and become better players.

Link to comment
15 hours ago, downbylaw11 said:

i'd love to learn things from this forum, but learning takes dialogue and discussion, sometimes conflicting ideas and most importantly listening.  but all i see from this forum is a god, his disciples, and a bunch of worshipers that refuse to believe that maybe he doesnt always have the answers. 

I would address you by name-But you do not share that. So @downbylaw11 have you ever considered that a guy who wrote a book on this (LSW) and devoted his life to helping golfers improve may know a thing or two about this topic?

What are you? What are your credentials?

I am not saying that to be obnoxious-Or confrontational. But you are arguing against the information provided by experts. Deep down I know Erik likes being challenged here.-If he did not he could just not respond at all. But deep down you have to know you are really up against it too.

Related to this topic kind of I found this interesting.

nortrust.png

OTT is Off the Tee. T2G is Tee to Green. ARG is Around Green.

So Jordan gained about 0.8 strokes per round on Dustin in Putting and another .25 around the greens but still only tied and then lost because Dustin gained so many strokes off the tee and in his approach shots he made up the difference.-And it is not like Jordan did a lousy job with his approach shots or off the tee they just were not huge numbers like Dustin.

 

 

Link to comment
2 hours ago, boogielicious said:

Instead of acting like it is a contest, try and learn. Many of us, including me, fell into the trap of anecdotal "facts" in golf. The biggest one is "drive for show, putt for dough." Erik has helped hundreds on this site alone focus on what will really improve their game. Most have improved a lot by learning what is important to work on, their full swing.

I am a really, really good putter. I would challenge anyone on this site in a putting contest. But I am less than average off the tee and less than average for approach shots. So my handicap is where it is. If I hit more fairways and greens, my HC would be a lot lower with no change in my putting.

Lastly, most of us came to this site talk golf and to learn how to be a better golfer. But if you come in with the notion you already know everything, what is the point of posting? Take a step back and try and understand what other posters are saying before formulating a response. We can all learn from each other and become better players.

i dont know everything, heck i barely know anything. i will try to learn.  get off his nuts 

 

oh, and one question, how many strokes have you shaved off your handicap since coming to this site?  im hoping youre one of the hundreds who Erik has helped?

Edited by downbylaw11
Link to comment
11 hours ago, downbylaw11 said:

@Shindigit probably would have taken 30 seconds out of your life to explain how that guy got his stats, yet you referred me to his book, which you say is available for the public to read.  what does that mean? is it an ebook i can download for free? buy it on amazon? borrow from a library?   or like i mentioned, maybe it would be easier for all involved if you just told me the gist of it

Broadie also has a monthly column in GOLF magazine called Every Shot Counts.  He explains some of his methodology there, what it means and what it doesn't mean, how it's useful to understand the pros' games and how it applies to a hacker like me.  This month, he replied to Twitter questions from Hank Haney and Brandel Chamblee to clarify some scrambling and short game stats. I don't have Broadie's book.  But reading one article a month?--I can do that.

Link to comment

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...