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Mr Puddle

Driving for Show, Putting for Dough, or Is It?

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A term I have heard over and over again, but is it actually true. I played a medal on Sunday, and whilst my short game was unusually good, my driving let me down. This is unusual, as my tee shots are traditionally the best part of game, and the following day when I played they were outstanding (I say it myself). I play on a very tight course, and if you don't get your tee shot right, nine out of ten times you will end up in trouble, and almost certainly have to sacrifice a shot. I would say that on the day in question I lost at least ten shots to bad drives and tee shots. Now, as bad as my putting has been on occasions, I don't think I have ever lost that many shots due to what happened on the green I don't think anybody with a handicap above single figures needs to be a big hitter, but if you can't hit the ball straight off of the tee, I would argue it can be worse than putting badly. Your opinion gentlemen !!

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The phrase is "You drive for show, but putt for dough.", and it is false. Putting has far less Separation Value® than the long game, meaning you lose way more shots on the long game than you do putting. Since the total number of shots is what matters, that means you drive for dough. One could even say you putt for show since that's where the crowd is and those are the shots they show on TV.

This is explained in LSW

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The Lowest Score Wins instruction platform is governed by Separation Value. Separation Value is a measure of a skill’s potential to affect your score. Our instruction will show you how Separa…

 

 

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1 hour ago, Zeph said:

The phrase is "You drive for show, but putt for dough.", and it is false. Putting has far less Separation Value® than the long game, meaning you lose way more shots on the long game than you do putting. Since the total number of shots is what matters, that means you drive for dough. One could even say you putt for show since that's where the crowd is and those are the shots they show on TV.

This is explained in LSW

blank.jpg

The Lowest Score Wins instruction platform is governed by Separation Value. Separation Value is a measure of a skill’s potential to affect your...

 

 

Yes, I realised I spelt dough incorrectly but it was to late by the time I realised it. Anyway, I totally agree with your observations. 

Edited by Mr Puddle

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4 hours ago, Mr Puddle said:

A term I have heard over and over again, but is it actually true.

No. The opposite is closer to the truth. Welcome to the 2010s. 🙂

4 hours ago, Mr Puddle said:

I played a medal on Sunday, and whilst my short game was unusually good, my driving let me down. This is unusual, as my tee shots are traditionally the best part of game, and the following day when I played they were outstanding (I say it myself). I play on a very tight course, and if you don't get your tee shot right, nine out of ten times you will end up in trouble, and almost certainly have to sacrifice a shot. I would say that on the day in question I lost at least ten shots to bad drives and tee shots. Now, as bad as my putting has been on occasions, I don't think I have ever lost that many shots due to what happened on the green I don't think anybody with a handicap above single figures needs to be a big hitter, but if you can't hit the ball straight off of the tee, I would argue it can be worse than putting badly. Your opinion gentlemen !!

We don't need opinions: facts are available here.

Do yourself a favor and buy a copy of LSW. In the UK, you should contact Andrew Norrby to get a copy.

You can look at a LOT of the topics here which talk about some of these concepts, but basically, the parts of the game that have the most "Separation Value®" are:

  • Approach Shots (39%)
  • Driving (28%)
  • Short Game (19%)
  • Putting (14%)

Putting matters the least, over the long term.

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IMO The phrase depends on what you mean. 

If you are saying what will lead to a lower handicap, the data clearly shows that better driving and better approach shots will result in lower handicaps and scores.

HOWEVER, if you are looking at the daily variance in score within your range I would suggest that putting/short game are more likely to do it. Before you get upset. I am suggesting that over 18 holes most people's ball striking tends to return to baseline. If you are a 5 Handicap you rarely hit it OB and generally hit 8-10 fairways. When you are off you miss a few more and don't get many wedges inside 15'. If you are an 18 you generally have a few tee shots that cost strokes and some BAD approach shots. Sure you will occasionally stuff one but not all day. But the difference in making a 2-3 putts vs just missing is noticeable in your score THAT day. So if you play off a 12 you are unlikely to suddenly average 20' on GIR approach shots but you might make a few long putts and wins some Skins.

Just now, iacas said:

No. The opposite is closer to the truth. Welcome to the 2010s. 🙂

We don't need opinions: facts are available here.

Do yourself a favor and buy a copy of LSW. In the UK, you should contact Andrew Norrby to get a copy.

You can look at a LOT of the topics here which talk about some of these concepts, but basically, the parts of the game that have the most "Separation Value®" are:

  • Approach Shots (39%)
  • Driving (28%)
  • Short Game (19%)
  • Putting (14%)

Putting matters the least, over the long term.

<Ducking andcovering>

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20 minutes ago, criley4way said:

<Ducking andcovering>

No reason to duck and cover; putting is highly volatile day to day.

But so what?

(Of course, that's for the PGA Tour.)

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32 minutes ago, iacas said:

No reason to duck and cover; putting is highly volatile day to day.

But so what?

(Of course, that's for the PGA Tour.)

Because putting is so volatile it is likely to result in winning skins in the local event. Wishing you could make more putts that you miss by a few inches seems much more realistic than actually improving your swing. And people remember the great day they shot net 65 and the great putting they had because of the volatility and the fact that it is the last stroke.

 

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1 minute ago, criley4way said:

Because putting is so volatile it is likely to result in winning skins in the local event. Wishing you could make more putts that you miss by a few inches seems much more realistic than actually improving your swing. And people remember the great day they shot net 65 and the great putting they had because of the volatility and the fact that it is the last stroke.

I'm still not sure what your point is.

The baseline, your average skills, matter more. The volatility happens to everyone. By improving your full swing, you're going to have MORE chances to earn skins because you're going to be putting for birdie or eagle more frequently.

If you don't hit any greens, it doesn't matter if you sub out the world's best putter: you're not going to win many skins. Conversely, if you have four skin chances per round, a relatively poor putter might still make one or two of them.

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You drive for show, but putt for dough

I think it's true.  Though, approach shots I believe are more important.  That is what determines if you have a birdie opportunity or not.

But, if you can't make a 3 foot putt, then you'll never shoot your best.

I would take bad drives (not in a hazard) over missing a 3 foot putts any day.

Though most bogeys can be blamed on any shot, it's more likely blamed on a putt than a drive.  Think about all those people that 4 putt.  Or even 3 putt.  Eliminate all the 3 putts and you'll save strokes. 

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4 minutes ago, edomingox said:

I think it's true.

It’s not.

Putting is the least important of the four skills.

The other three matter more over the long haul.

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9 minutes ago, edomingox said:

You drive for show, but putt for dough

Though most bogeys can be blamed on any shot, it's more likely blamed on a putt than a drive.  Think about all those people that 4 putt.  Or even 3 putt.  Eliminate all the 3 putts and you'll save strokes. 

Eliminate all the errant drives.  Eliminate all the approaches that miss the green.   Eliminate all the chips that end up outside of 10 feet.  and you'll save strokes.  

The pros hit longer drives into better positions, and hit their approach shots into much better and closer places, and if they miss the green with an approach shot, they often chip the ball very close to the pin.   These are the reasons the pros have way fewer putts.   not because they drain way more 20 footers than you.  Drive for dough, approach for dough.  

 

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12 minutes ago, iacas said:

Putting is the least important of the four skills.

I used to think that too.  So I worked on my chipping.  Then I realized during scrambles, we never chipped because someone always hit the green.  Then I noticed that most of our birdies came from sinking short to mid range putts.  Drives were unimportant.

I would rank the 4 skills as such:

  1. approach
  2. putting
  3. chipping
  4. driving

Out of all these skills, putting is the most convenient and easiest to practice.  Bobby Locke was dangerous because of his putting. 

Again, all of this is debatable and not set in stone.  These are just my priorities now, from experience.

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7 minutes ago, edomingox said:

Again, all of this is debatable and not set in stone.  These are just my priorities now, from experience.

It is literally set in stone and there is a ton of Data to back it up. 

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33 minutes ago, edomingox said:

I used to think that too.  So I worked on my chipping.  Then I realized during scrambles, we never chipped because someone always hit the green.  Then I noticed that most of our birdies came from sinking short to mid range putts.  Drives were unimportant.

I would rank the 4 skills as such:

  1. approach
  2. putting
  3. chipping
  4. driving

It’s not subject to debate at this point. It’s pretty much known fact these days.

I’m not talking about any one individual of course, but generally speaking we have so much data that says exactly what I have said here as well as in my book. 

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1 hour ago, edomingox said:

I used to think that too.  So I worked on my chipping.  Then I realized during scrambles, we never chipped because someone always hit the green.  Then I noticed that most of our birdies came from sinking short to mid range putts.  Drives were unimportant.

I would rank the 4 skills as such:

  1. approach
  2. putting
  3. chipping
  4. driving

Out of all these skills, putting is the most convenient and easiest to practice.  Bobby Locke was dangerous because of his putting. 

Again, all of this is debatable and not set in stone.  These are just my priorities now, from experience.

You can't use scrambles as an example. 

It is set in stone because it is verified with hard data. You can't argue against that. 

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1 hour ago, Zeph said:

It is set in stone because it is verified with hard data. You can't argue against that. 

And yet I have a feeling he’s going to....

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3 hours ago, edomingox said:

Drives were unimportant.

Because you were able to pick the best one? That says nothing about the importance of driving.

Try playing a scramble with the worst drive on every hole and see if you still think driving is unimportant.

3 hours ago, edomingox said:

I would rank the 4 skills as such:

  1. approach
  2. putting
  3. chipping
  4. driving

Driving sets up approach shots. You're not going to be very good at approach shots if you're constantly punching out of the woods or hitting from 200 yards out.

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My typically vital approach shot after an unimportant yet awful drive.

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