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


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Since drives didn't matter, you could have shot the same score with any of them.  Did you ever use one of the bad ones?  Why not, if they didn't matter? You have part of it right, you made some s

The stats say that you are wrong. But of those 36 putts, at least 15-16 of those are likely to be within 2 feet, or tap ins, so now that is only 20-21 putts at the very most that require skill/

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 puttin

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47 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

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

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Sitting up nicely....

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33 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Sitting up nicely....

You could always postpone your round of golf, mark the ball and come back in 100 years... after the tree has fallen down.

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8 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

You could always postpone your round of golf, mark the ball and come back in 100 years... after the tree has fallen down.

With my luck it’d be a Bristlecone tree.

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6 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

With my luck it’d be a Bristlecone tree.

No problem.  Then come back to play the shot in 3700 years.  By that time you might even get more handicap strokes on the hole.

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1 minute ago, DaveP043 said:

  You didn't make many long putts, obviously, because nobody makes long ones with any regularity.

Yep. But I’m betting he thinks those 7’ putts should be made 80% of the time.

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5 hours 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.

approach

driving

chipping

putting

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15 hours ago, edomingox said:

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. 

Geeeez -  This is not an opinion up for discussion. There is no "I think" about it. It can be statistically proven that poor driving is a determinant of poor scoring MUCH more than putting. You have to drive the ball into play.  Consider the impact on scoring in these scenarios:

A) If a pro drove the ball you.

B) You putted for a pro

If you have to debate the impacts, you have never seen golf played at a respectable level.

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And no, I don't think 7 footers are made 80% of the time.  I believe 6 footers are close to the 50% mark with the pros.

I'm not saying that driving is not critical.  Just like I'm sure you wouldn't say that putting isn't critical.  I just don't think that driving is as critical as putting could be.  And again, we can argue till the cows come home.  But here are some reason I work on putting more:

Bad driving can be more detrimental than poor putting on paper, given that you can drive it into hazard and all.  Though with putting, you don't have wind, hazards, water, sand, etc., to really factor in your shot as much, but you do need to know which way the break goes.   

If you hit every green in regulation and 2 putted, that would be 36 putts.  On a Par 72, that is 50% of your score.  Using these numbers, I would say you are more likely to knock strokes off of putting than anything else.

Having confidence in your putter can also relieve the pressure from the rest of your game.  I would rather face an opponent who lost confidence in his putter rather than his driver.

I have Dave Pelz's Putting Bible.  I don't think he makes a Driving Bible.   

Tiger Woods made more putts at 10 feet to stay with the leaders and missed fairways on a regular basis.  Tiger lead in putting during his 2003-2008 season.

Putting is also the easiest aspect to improve upon.  If you can eliminate all 3 putts, you can save on average about 3-4 strokes per round.  I am more likely to drive into a hazard more times than I am making 3 putts.  This tells me that my putting practice is much better than driving.  Because I do not practice my driving at all.  I mainly practice putting and wedge shots. 

If you are playing a guy for money, would you be more afraid of a guy who drives it long, or sinks all his 5 foot putts?

Would you rather miss every fairway or miss every line in your putt?

If you were to choose which of the shots to re-hit, would it be a drive or a putt?  And keep in mind with putts, that would include getting a re-hit with your 2nd putt.  If it were my choice, I would rather re-hit every putt I made than every drive I made.

I know that many of the questions may not be fairly comparable.  And to be honest, I believe that every aspect of the game (approach, putting, driving, chipping) are all nearly equally important.  I just think that some might just edge out the other when it comes to lowering scores the quickest and easiest way.

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4 minutes ago, edomingox said:

And no, I don't think 7 footers are made 80% of the time.  I believe 6 footers are close to the 50% mark with the pros.

I'm not saying that driving is not critical.  Just like I'm sure you wouldn't say that putting isn't critical.  I just don't think that driving is as critical as putting could be.  And again, we can argue till the cows come home.  But here are some reason I work on putting more:

Bad driving can be more detrimental than poor putting on paper, given that you can drive it into hazard and all.  Though with putting, you don't have wind, hazards, water, sand, etc., to really factor in your shot as much, but you do need to know which way the break goes.   

If you hit every green in regulation and 2 putted, that would be 36 putts.  On a Par 72, that is 50% of your score.  Using these numbers, I would say you are more likely to knock strokes off of putting than anything else.

Having confidence in your putter can also relieve the pressure from the rest of your game.  I would rather face an opponent who lost confidence in his putter rather than his driver.

I have Dave Pelz's Putting Bible.  I don't think he makes a Driving Bible.   

Tiger Woods made more putts at 10 feet to stay with the leaders and missed fairways on a regular basis.  Tiger lead in putting during his 2003-2008 season.

Putting is also the easiest aspect to improve upon.  If you can eliminate all 3 putts, you can save on average about 3-4 strokes per round.  I am more likely to drive into a hazard more times than I am making 3 putts.  This tells me that my putting practice is much better than driving.  Because I do not practice my driving at all.  I mainly practice putting and wedge shots. 

If you are playing a guy for money, would you be more afraid of a guy who drives it long, or sinks all his 5 foot putts?

Would you rather miss every fairway or miss every line in your putt?

If you were to choose which of the shots to re-hit, would it be a drive or a putt?  And keep in mind with putts, that would include getting a re-hit with your 2nd putt.  If it were my choice, I would rather re-hit every putt I made than every drive I made.

I know that many of the questions may not be fairly comparable.  And to be honest, I believe that every aspect of the game (approach, putting, driving, chipping) are all nearly equally important.  I just think that some might just edge out the other when it comes to lowering scores the quickest and easiest way.

Seperation value, Homie.  that is clearly what you are missing. 

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5 minutes ago, lastings said:

Seperation value, Homie.  that is clearly what you are missing. 

How so?  I stated that I believe that every aspect of the game (approach, putting, driving, chipping) are all nearly equally important.
 

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1 minute ago, edomingox said:

How so?  I stated that I believe that every aspect of the game (approach, putting, driving, chipping) are all nearly equally important.
 

They aren't.   We literally have Strokes gained statistics.   they exist.  they are measured.  

A scratch golfer gains more stokes on a 10-handicap off the tee than on the green. 

A Pro golfer gains more strokes on a scratch golfer off the tee than on the green.   

Again, we know this.  there is statistical evidence to back it up.   it is not an opinion.  

 

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here's a nice little article that compares 8,360 rounds of scratch golfers compared with 14,557 PGA pros from the same season.  

The PGA players gained 2.5 strokes on the scratch golfers off the tee.   The PGA players only gained 1 stroke on the green.   on average.  

On Average, Driving is 2.5 times more important than putting.   

Scratch_Tour_Pro.png

You might ask: How would I know the differences between a scratch golfer and a PGA Tour player? Well, it is my full-time job to know these type of things about golf. I have been studying the game from a statistical...

 

And, that is the difference between PGA players and scratch golfers.   When you compare scratch golfers to 10-handicaps, those figures are wildly inflated (in favor of off the tee).   

 

 

 

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32 minutes ago, edomingox said:

I have Dave Pelz's Putting Bible.  I don't think he makes a Driving Bible.

Dave Pelz is a short-game guy.  He pretty much says so in his Chipping and Putting books. 

 

29 minutes ago, lastings said:

If you are playing a guy for money, would you be more afraid of a guy who drives it long, or sinks all his 5 foot putts?

The guy who drives it long. He's going to have easier/closer approach shots which means he'll be at or inside 5 feet more often than me.

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50 minutes ago, edomingox said:

I just don't think that driving is as critical as putting could be.  

The stats say that you are wrong.

50 minutes ago, edomingox said:

 If you hit every green in regulation and 2 putted, that would be 36 putts.  On a Par 72, that is 50% of your score.  Using these numbers, I would say you are more likely to knock strokes off of putting than anything else.

But of those 36 putts, at least 15-16 of those are likely to be within 2 feet, or tap ins, so now that is only 20-21 putts at the very most that require skill/practice.

52 minutes ago, edomingox said:

Tiger lead in putting during his 2003-2008 season.

This is straight up wrong. If you are going to make claims, at least make sure they are factually accurate. Can you cite your source? This table suggests otherwise, and actually indicates Tiger never lead the field in putting in any season from 2003-2012.

 

55 minutes ago, edomingox said:

If you are playing a guy for money, would you be more afraid of a guy who drives it long, or sinks all his 5 foot putts?

The guy that drives it long, because he is going to be hitting a 7 iron into the green when I'm hitting a 4 iron. He's reaching a par 5 in 2 shots while I'm laying up. He's hitting a mid iron into a long par 3 when I'm hitting hybrid. He's carrying bunkers that I have to play around.

The guy that hits it way past me would have an advantage on every single hole. He might only have 2-3 5 footers over his entire round. Over the entire round, the 20+ yds extra on each hole would add up to more of a gain for him than it would for the guy who makes 3 5 footers.

59 minutes ago, edomingox said:

And to be honest, I believe that every aspect of the game (approach, putting, driving, chipping) are all nearly equally important. 

They aren't. The stats prove it. There have been entire books about this topic. Just because you believe it doesn't mean it's true.

1 hour ago, edomingox said:

I just think that some might just edge out the other when it comes to lowering scores the quickest and easiest way.

This is correct and accurate, and much different that what you have been stating before. Nobody here will disagree with this one. It is quicker and easier to lower your score via putting/short game, but you can lower your score more over the long term by improving your full swing including approaches and drives. 

Please do some research and learn more about strokes gained data and how important driving and approach shots are, it's only going to help your game

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At the danger of sounding like a troll:

Any klutz can learn how to putt.

Klutz = Unathletic.  Grew up not particularly enjoying sports nor playing them.  Couldn't make a 3 point shot if his mother's life depended on it.  Has to ask, "What is a 3 point shot?"

A klutz can have fun (and frustration) playing golf but he/she will rarely drive the ball down the middle 260 yards.  And when they do they will tell friends at that evening's dinner party that they hit a 300 yard drive.

I have some klutz golf friends.  Love 'em all.

There will be exceptions...

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