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Mr Puddle

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

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3 hours 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.

50% is about 8' for PGA Tour pros.

3 hours ago, edomingox said:

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

Let's look at it from another angle.

How many strokes can you realistically lose with your worst drive? Two. Pretty hard to make par hitting your third off the tee.

How many strokes can you realistically lose with your worst putt? Less than one. You hit your lag putt to 10' instead of 3' or something. Barring a rare circumstance where you rolled it off the green or something, you're still putting with some chance to hole it.

3 hours 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.

That kind of math is a flawed way to evaluate the importance of skills in golf. Something like 40% of all putts are tap-ins. It's a larger percentage than putts from 30' or more. Would you say tap-ins are more important to work on than lag putting because you face more of them in a round? No, because you're likely not losing many strokes on tap-ins.

3 hours ago, edomingox said:

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

Dave Pelz has a financial interest in promoting the short game and putting while downplaying the importance of the long game. He's not out there supporting objectivity because he's biased.

I look at his studies with the same skepticism I do health studies published by candy manufacturers.

3 hours ago, edomingox said:

Tiger Woods made more putts at 10 feet to stay with the leaders and missed fairways on a regular basis.

Strokes gained driving is more than hitting fairways.

3 hours 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?

This is an incomplete question. I'd rather play a 25 handicap who is a good putter than Dustin Johnson.

3 hours ago, edomingox said:

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

Another flawed question. Unless you sucked at green reading or aim, you'd literally never hole a single putt if you missed every line.

3 hours ago, edomingox said:

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'm not even sure how to address this one.

If you teamed up with a PGA Tour player and had the choice between letting him hit all the shots from tee to green and you did all the putting, or you hitting all the shots from tee to green and he did all the putting, which would you choose?

3 hours ago, edomingox said:

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.

They're not.

3 hours 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 true. Short game and putting are both easier and quicker to improve than long game.

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Another way to look at it, from the tour pros' and audience's entertainment perspective. 

"Drive for show". Folks love the pros "showing" them those long, some what accurate drives. Everyone loves to see  a 300+ yard drive. Even if it lands in the next county. A "wow look at that one" moment. 

"Putt for dough" pretty much (entertainingly) says if the pro putts well, they have a good chance at getting a larger pay check that week. If they putt poorly, below their average, even after those stroke saving drives, and approaches, the chances of getting a more decent pay day that week, are much slimmer. 

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4 hours 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.

 

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

If you take 36 putts for 18 holes, chances are that you'll make 14 or 15 of them, or more, from inside 3 feet.  Becoming a better putter won't make much of a difference on those, you already make nearly all of them.  That leaves 20 to 22 putts, most of which will be from outside 15 feet, the kind even the best players hardly ever make.  THAT leaves you with just a few putts between 3 feet and 15 feet.  The way you can save a few strokes in putting is by eliminating 3-putts (for decent players probably no more than 2 or 3 per round, and zero in your example) and by making more in the 5 to 15 foot range, and you'll probably gain no more than a stroke or two that way.  If you keep one tee shot in play instead of OB, or keep two out of the trees, you'va already saved those 2 strokes.

And Dave Peltz has made a fortune by telling people how to improve their putting and short games, of course he's going to tell people that short game is the most important thing.

Edited by DaveP043

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On 6/27/2019 at 1:02 PM, iacas said:

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. 

Is this true for the average league golfer (bogey or worse) as well as the pros?  In my limited golfing exposure it seems like driving is more important for the average league golfer because those wayward tee shots are extremely difficult to recover from. 

A league golfer can have the best approach game in the league, but hitting 3, either off the tee or from the rough, multiple times in a round, it won't matter how great his approach shots are.

Am i missing something?

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3 minutes ago, Zekez said:

Is this true for the average league golfer (bogey or worse) as well as the pros?  In my limited golfing exposure it seems like driving is more important for the average league golfer because those wayward tee shots are extremely difficult to recover from. 

A league golfer can have the best approach game in the league, but hitting 3, either off the tee or from the rough, multiple times in a round, it won't matter how great his approach shots are.

Am i missing something?

LSW collected data on amateur golfers at all levels too. It applies to all of us. Tee shots are really important for lowering scores. Just do a realistic view of your own game. I am a relatively good putter. I rarely three putt unless it is from more than 40 feet or so. I lose most of my strokes from errant tee shots that either force me to hit out of the rough or punch out or bad approach shots.

On par 3 holes and approach shots, missing the greens will more than likely cost me a stroke. Sand? Maybe two strokes. Some would say, get better at sand, which I do work on. But missing the sand and landing on the green will give me a par almost every time. So I work more on my approach shot swings than I do sand.

Basically, I can teach my 86 year old mother to putt well. She could get pretty good because it doesn’t require full swing athletic skill.

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1 hour ago, boogielicious said:

Basically, I can teach my 86 year old mother to putt well. She could get pretty good because it doesn’t require full swing athletic skill.

This says it all.  I agree; my mom is like Steph Curry at mini golf.  Can she play golf?  No.

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2 hours ago, boogielicious said:

LSW collected data on amateur golfers at all levels too. It applies to all of us. Tee shots are really important for lowering scores. Just do a realistic view of your own game. I am a relatively good putter. I rarely three putt unless it is from more than 40 feet or so. I lose most of my strokes from errant tee shots that either force me to hit out of the rough or punch out or bad approach shots.

On par 3 holes and approach shots, missing the greens will more than likely cost me a stroke. Sand? Maybe two strokes. Some would say, get better at sand, which I do work on. But missing the sand and landing on the green will give me a par almost every time. So I work more on my approach shot swings than I do sand.

Basically, I can teach my 86 year old mother to putt well. She could get pretty good because it doesn’t require full swing athletic skill.

So are you saying that driving is more important than approach shots for amateur duffers?

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1 minute ago, Zekez said:

So are you saying that driving is more important than approach shots for amateur duffers?

He’s not.

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Just now, iacas said:

He’s not.

But is it?  He didn't address my question that it seems like driving is more important than approach shots because of the potential for penalties on the tee shot...for league golfers

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14 minutes ago, Zekez said:

But is it?  He didn't address my question that it seems like driving is more important than approach shots because of the potential for penalties on the tee shot...for league golfers

There’s a lot of transferable skills between driving and approach play. While certainly distinct subcategories, they still fall in the ballstriking category. 

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If this premise is "set in stone" how much data was used to make it so? There are some 50-60 million golfers in the world and unless data from at least half that many is used I don't see how anyone can say it is set in stone. If something is set in stone in is completely decided and can not be changed. So is this the case because I don't think that is the case. These is not enough info to support this premise is "set in stone." 

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It's not clear cut.  I find golfers who are more diligent about working on their short game,  end up winning more matches and placing better. I think it breaks down to mental game,  "golf is 90 percent mental". When people are making their short putts,  it allieves their anxieties more than slightly improved ball striking.

Edited by trainsmokegolf

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15 minutes ago, shanksalot said:

If this premise is "set in stone" how much data was used to make it so? There are some 50-60 million golfers in the world and unless data from at least half that many is used I don't see how anyone can say it is set in stone. If something is set in stone in is completely decided and can not be changed. So is this the case because I don't think that is the case. These is not enough info to support this premise is "set in stone." 

Research strokes gained data.  It makes sense.  Go read LSW too.  

 

5 minutes ago, trainsmokegolf said:

It's not clear cut.  I find golfers who are more diligent about working on their short game,  end up winning more matches and placing better. I think it breaks down to mental game,  "golf is 90 percent mental". When people are making their short putts,  it allieves their anxieties more than slightly improved ball striking.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

6 minutes ago, trainsmokegolf said:

It's not clear cut.  I find golfers who are more diligent about working on their short game,  end up winning more matches and placing better. I think it breaks down to mental game,  "golf is 90 percent mental". When people are making their short putts,  it allieves their anxieties more than slightly improved ball striking.

Ball strikers win tournaments.

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10 minutes ago, trainsmokegolf said:

It's not clear cut.

Yes it is. You're choosing to ignore something that has been proven with facts to be true.

11 minutes ago, trainsmokegolf said:

I find golfers who are more diligent about working on their short game,  end up winning more matches and placing better.

Do you have research to support this? What is your sample size? What is your source to support this claim?

12 minutes ago, trainsmokegolf said:

 I think it breaks down to mental game,  "golf is 90 percent mental".

FFS man, not this again. This is straight up wrong. Dustin Johnson with the worst mental state of his life would still beat me on my best day in my best mental state. 

 

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People who think the short game and/or putting is the big key aren't lazy or stupid.  They're misinformed and don't accurately perceive reality.  They see those classic round saving up and downs after hitting the ball all over God's green earth.  They feel those personal experiences, anecdotes, and television coverage of Tour pros getting out of jail make all the difference in golf.  It doesn't.  

Really this staunch belief in the short game and putting does is cripple people.  It makes people think they are better than they are and blinds them to the fact they suck at ballstriking.  "Gosh, if I could only putt!"  Yeah, whatever.  Building athletic ability is hard; it takes a lot of hard work, technique, skill, strength, and God-given genes.  Just like no one thinks they can compete with MJ or LeBron, due to lack of athletic ability, we cannot compete with Tiger, BK, and the like for the same reasons.  The golf swing, at its best, requires athletic ability.  Putting does not.  Any one can learn to putt, and that's largely the reason why people go with the putting and short game addage--to pad their ego, to make them think they're not far away and that great golf is only a few more putts made away. 

Truth is, the only way to have sustainable, great golf that travels to any course is through ballstriking.  Great ballstiking yields the very opportunity in which to even make a putt.  The long game is like trying to score a touchdown with linebackers coming at your or trying to make a contested shot over a 7' defender.  Putting is merely a free throw; and is at best, a crapshoot outside of 10'.  A hot putter can win when ball striking is already in place- see any Tour player because at that level, of course you need a lot to go right to even win.  Ballstrikers always lurk.  When's the last time you saw a guy with sub 160 ball speed, but with "great putting" win?  Putting is merely the icing on the cake.  If you build a cake out of only icing, it will taste good for a few bites, but you will never be completely satisfied; you need cake.  Cake=ballstriking.

Those who think the mental game makes the big difference... whew.  I'll leave that one alone.  It's all ability-based.  I'll grant course management, keeping your swing thoughts, and maybe not having a Sergio-type temperament; nonetheless, ability is the key, not the mental game.  That's a lazy way to excuse poor performance and it is a crutch many need to give up.

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5 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

When's the last time you saw a guy with sub 160 ball speed, but with "great putting" win?

This is the problem. Watch. Someone is gonna chime in and tell their story of ‘ a guy they know’ who they think does or did this. 

The only time the naysayers demand proof it’s for the arguments from the opposing side. When it comes to their opinion they will disregard any request for proof or facts and simply say, ‘I know it from my own experience.’ Pretty typical and quite maddening really.

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5 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

This is the problem. Watch. Someone is gonna chime in and tell their story of ‘ a guy they know’ who they think does or did this. 

The only time the naysayers demand proof it’s for the arguments from the opposing side. When it comes to their opinion they will disregard any request for proof or facts and simply say, ‘I know it from my own experience.’ Pretty typical and quite maddening really.

And that's what's crippling about it.  You never see through the veil of your own ego-protecting false sense of your lack of ability.  That guy probably keeps it together in the long game better than they realize because they likely only see that guy when they meet on the green after they've hit it all over the place.  Thus, they missed all the great shots in between and only saw him make a few putts or get up and down here or there.  Plus, they forget how this plays out over an entire season; one round of great short play doesn't mean that should be the basis for your game!  There's more strokes to be had in the long game than in the short game, but long game takes a lot of work.

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13 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

This is the problem. Watch. Someone is gonna chime in and tell their story of ‘ a guy they know’ who they think does or did this. 

The only time the naysayers demand proof it’s for the arguments from the opposing side. When it comes to their opinion they will disregard any request for proof or facts and simply say, ‘I know it from my own experience.’ Pretty typical and quite maddening really.

But Vinsk, you're a scientist.  The rest of us can't see past our own little sphere and our own limited experiential situations.  😏

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