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# Switcheroo

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Game 1: PGA Tour Player Switcheroo
Imagine a game in which you pair two average PGA Tour players with two average 80s golfers.

• Team A: the pro hits every shot that requires a Full Swing Motion (roughly every shot from 65+ yards), and the 80s golfer will play every short game shot and hit every putt.
• Team B: the 80s golfer hits every Full Swing Motion shot, and the pro plays every short game shot and hits every putt.

On a typical 7000-yard golf course, what might you expect these teams to score? Which team would win?

Game 2: Personal Switcheroo
Imagine a game in which you play two golf balls.

• Ball 1: You hit every full swing shot the way you normally hit them (righty if you're right-handed), and every short game shot/putt opposite handed (lefty if you're a righty).
• Ball 2: You hit every full swing shot opposite handed, and every short game shot and putt normally.

With which ball will you end up shooting the lower score?

I got tired of finding this from LSW and quoting it (often to have it completely ignored), so I made it a blog post, and now can just refer to this.

Yep. Such a beautiful explanation that anyone should be able to get. I've used this many times and it seems to drive the point home pretty well.

I believe I've finally convinced my golfing 4 some of the importance of the long game.  in the past, it has always been "Drive for show, putt for dough".      They have finally realized that the longer drive, the better approach shot leaves a shorter putt and leads to better scores.

Quote

On a typical 7000-yard golf course, what might you expect these teams to score? Which team would win?

I think Team A wins on any length course. If you took their additional length out of the equation, their precision with the full swing would still be a huge advantage. Even I can two-putt from 15' most of the time.

My interpretation of this may be wrong, but improving one's full swing does not necessarily mean trying to squeeze more distance. To me, it means learning to hit a 3 wood as accurately as I currently hit a 4 iron. That's not to say I'd hope to be hitting greens regularly with those clubs, only that I need to be able to keep it in play.

Right now, the knowledge that I'm likely going to lose a ball by pulling a longer club prevents me from getting closer to the green with too many shots.

5 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

I think Team A wins on any length course. If you took their additional length out of the equation, their precision with the full swing would still be a huge advantage. Even I can two-putt from 15' most of the time.

I think team A could even do better on a shorter course.  After all, how many short game shots will you have to hit if the pro is playing from 6200 yards?

5 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

My interpretation of this may be wrong, but improving one's full swing does not necessarily mean trying to squeeze more distance. To me, it means learning to hit a 3 wood as accurately as I currently hit a 4 iron. That's not to say I'd hope to be hitting greens regularly with those clubs, only that I need to be able to keep it in play.

Right.  And as you improve you will certainly have more average distance even if your swing speed and max distance stays the same.  Perhaps you currently hit good drives 240, mediocre ones 210, and poor ones 180.  Improve your swing and those numbers may change to 240, 230, and 220.  You'll have the same results in a long drive contest, but your golf game will improve a lot.

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Or, instead of the full switcheroo, try only one half of the experiment and end up with a stupid conclusion:

What a dumbass.

• Moderator
1 hour ago, Hardspoon said:

Or, instead of the full switcheroo, try only one half of the experiment and end up with a stupid conclusion:

What a dumbass.

Experiment design matters.

• Moderator

Maybe people are in denial of how not good their long game actually is.

3 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

Or, instead of the full switcheroo, try only one half of the experiment and end up with a stupid conclusion:

What a dumbass.

It will be a lower score. It's also a bit contrived because by hitting the third shot on par fours… the guy may be dropping near a hazard and playing in from 168 yards or something.

More immediate gains can definitely be made in the short game. But the full swing has much larger gains to be made.

I want to see a golf pro salvage a par 5 after I've hit two tee shots in a row into the woods.

For the last few years I thought my poor putting was a glaring weakness (it was), but as I found out this year, the damage caused by poor putting is nothing compared to losing control of your driver.

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8 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

Or, instead of the full switcheroo, try only one half of the experiment and end up with a stupid conclusion:

What a dumbass.

Fortunately, some of the commenters at the end of the article saw the problem. One even proposed the setup of "game 1" of this thread.

19 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

I want to see a golf pro salvage a par 5 after I've hit two tee shots in a row into the woods.

This made me laugh.  I'm picturing you firing two tee shots into the woods, and doing a club/mic drop.  "Try to make par now, DJ!!!"

19 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

This made me laugh.  I'm picturing you firing two tee shots into the woods, and doing a club/mic drop.  "Try to make par now, DJ!!!"

Ha ha.

After losing 2 in a row off the tee I'd be dropping something... probably a few F-bombs.

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20 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

I want to see a golf pro salvage a par 5 after I've hit two tee shots in a row into the woods.

For the last few years I thought my poor putting was a glaring weakness (it was), but as I found out this year, the damage caused by poor putting is nothing compared to losing control of your driver.

Or as paralyzing.  I've been pulling my driver the past ... month or so.  There are three tee shots on my home course where this is deadly as it significantly risks O.B..  I've debated hitting as low as hybrid off those tees (I haven't yet gone to that level).  A missed 3' putt probably doesn't cost you two strokes, or make you lose a partial in fear of it, and it almost definitely won't hit a passing car.

57 minutes ago, Shindig said:

A missed 3' putt probably doesn't cost you two strokes

Exactly.

I know this is basically rhetorical at this point and the point is proven, but just for some partial experimental evidence -- I did putt righty (I'm lefty) for a full round because I forgot my putter and it had little to no impact on my score. I did a claw/hockey-style stroke and it was just fine -- with zero practice ever.   I actually throw a righty putter in my bag once in a while just to mix things up now.

I would definitely have the pro laying up to 70 yards in almost all circumstances. All my money on team A all of the time. And short game is identified as a glaring weakness in my game.

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