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Mr Puddle

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

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Here's how I think this works.  At one time, long, long ago, everyone on the planet thought the earth was flat.  Then better, more scientific information was released (and published in National Geographic).

Also, a long, long time ago... 70 years ago or so, people started using the phrase "Drive for show, putt for dough".  And we all bought into it.  Then, some Broadie guy discovered the methodology/analytics of "Strokes gained" and other stuff and declared that driving the golf ball long and well gains you more strokes than the short game.  I believe his findings were first published in his book "Every Shot Counts".  With an excerpt in National Geographic, of course.

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On 10/10/2019 at 12:52 PM, edomingox said:

I can tell you who is garbage.  All those instructors trying to teach a specific golfer's swing instead of working with the swing the player already has.

 

27 minutes ago, iacas said:

I still don't know who you're talking about here, except that you're definitely not talking about me.

 

I can tell you there ARE those RARE golf instructors who try to teach a specific swing. But @iacas isn't one of them. If you ARE seeing one of those guys, go find somebody else. 

In reality the golf instructors who teaches a very specific swing are pretty few and far between. It's my belief (having had a few REALLY GOOD golf instructors over my golfing life) that what happens is a golf instructor will watch your swing and then they formulate in their minds how they can optimize YOUR swing. Rarely will you get there in one step. You may have a bunch of things that are compensating for a compensation, because of a compensation you've been making.

So the swing coach will have to help you work on it in stages. You work on one piece of your swing at a time. Sometimes the student perceives this as regression. The student gets frustrated. The student PERCIEVES the teacher as trying to fit them into this "specific swing" instead of "working with what the player already has." In reality the coach is trying to take them down a path to improvement. The problem is the student may or may not see the big picture. 

Now here's what the good swing coaches do. They COMMUNICATE with you. They let you know that there are pieces you need to work on. You may not be able to fix everything in one session. The instructor may fix one thing and because of the other parts you've been compensating with for years, your game actually gets worse. A GOOD coach will let you know that's okay. We'll fix one thing at a time. A good coach communicates the big picture with you. Some students and some coaches communicate better than others. I've know guys who go see swing coaches and they want an instant fix. I hear this from them "My brother-in-law was a 35 handicap and went to a swing guru who had him move his thumb like this and now he's a scratch golfer, that coach used what he already had....blah blah blah." Okay, but if your grip, face control, attack angle, path, plane, and footwork are ALL terrible, you are going to have do a bunch of work before moving your thumb is going to make much of a difference. 

Golf is HARD! Coaching golf swings is also hard. There are certain pieces that all good golf swings have. Whether you swing like Cameron Champ or whether you swing like David Toms. 

It's funny because you never hear this complaint with other sports. If I teach somebody the fundamentals of how to hit a baseball or how throw a football, they never complain. "Why can't you use what I already have?!?!" 

Listen, these are the fundamentals. If you want to be good at something, you are going to have to master the fundamentals. I don't care if it's hitting a golf ball, shooting skeet, or playing the violin. 

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On 10/2/2019 at 5:47 AM, DennisMiller said:

Does anyone feel like it might matter where you play? For example, sometimes I play Palmetto, that's pretty open and the rough isn't very penal. There are few trees and a shot in the rough is often preferable to the fairway on a long hole where it takes me a hybrid or 3 wood to have any chance of getting to the green, even from forward tees.

On the other hand, Killian Greens, where I play most, runs through a subdivision of homes and forest land behind the homes. Off the fairway there is almost always going to make you play out with little chance to get on the green.

I'd say at Palmetto, I putt for dough and at Killain Greens, to putt for dough, I definitely need to drive for show first.

I have two courses about 5 minutes from my home. (When I am home). #1 winds through a housing track, #2 plays through a wide open desert. 

#1 inhibits my long game a little. Miss a fairway by much, and your ball is in someone's back yard. Back yards might have people in them, and they all have breakable window glass facing the the course. My pitching, chipping, and putting game saves me strokes on this course, which is the course I play the most of the two. Probably by 3-1.

#2 being a wide open course, although a little longer, allows me to not worry about accuracy, and/or public safety. Missing a fairway, even by alot,  is no big deal. There is usually still a clear path towards the green. I don't lose many strokes with my full swing on this course. The one's I do lose are due to my own lack of distance. I average lower scores (1-2 strokes) on this course.

My short game average is about the same on both courses

I don't play course #2 that much only because of the easier, convience of #1. That and #2 is usually subject to the prevailing winds, and natural wind breaks are sparse. Especially on the greens. 

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On 10/10/2019 at 10:52 AM, edomingox said:

Don't know why you're hating on the golf sidekick by calling him hot garbage.  He's not really teaching anything, but he advocates for stress free golf, which is what I would love to play.  I can tell you who is garbage.  All those instructors trying to teach a specific golfer's swing instead of working with the swing the player already has.

so from the 1st video, the pro saved the 20 handicapper 5.5 shots.

with the 2nd video, the +6 and +17 comparison, that's an 11 shot difference.  

Even as a one time experiment, it seems pretty evident that short game is more important than long game.  I think that is why we even have the saying "Drive for show and putt for dough" in the first place.  I've seen more books on putting and chipping than I do for driving.  Then again, I also see more books on the mental game as well.  

If I was to chose to have either Tiger's long game or short game, I'll take his short game.  Putts wins tournaments.  I seen plenty of videos of Tiger doing just that.

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On 10/10/2019 at 9:52 AM, edomingox said:

Don't know why you're hating on the golf sidekick by calling him hot garbage.  He's not really teaching anything, but he advocates for stress free golf, which is what I would love to play.  I can tell you who is garbage.  All those instructors trying to teach a specific golfer's swing instead of working with the swing the player already has.

so from the 1st video, the pro saved the 20 handicapper 5.5 shots.

with the 2nd video, the +6 and +17 comparison, that's an 11 shot difference.  

Even as a one time experiment, it seems pretty evident that short game is more important than long game.  I think that is why we even have the saying "Drive for show and putt for dough" in the first place.  I've seen more books on putting and chipping than I do for driving.  Then again, I also see more books on the mental game as well.  

If I was to chose to have either Tiger's long game or short game, I'll take his short game.  Putts wins tournaments.  I seen plenty of videos of Tiger doing just that.

Here's a little experiment. Hit your tee shot with the longest club that you know will get it into the fairway. Say for example your 3 wood, your 3 hybrid, whatever. Say for example you hit it 210 yds. Now when you get to your ball, hit your approach shot. After you've done that walk up another 60 yds., drop another ball, now hit a 2nd approach shot. This will replicate where you would have been had you hit 270 yd drive. Which approach shot had a better result? Which drive would you rather have hit? Do this for 9 holes.

On 420 yd par 4s a lot of players end up hitting 3W or 3H approach shots. If they could only hit their drivers further. 

Crossfield pointed this out in a 2018 video commenting about when he played against Lee Westwood. Crossfield was hitting his 5H into the greens while Westwood was hitting 8 and 9 irons. Needless to say Crossfield lost the matches.

You see a lot of books on the short game and putting because it's the easiest part of the game to get quick results. You can go out on the practice green a few times and almost eliminate 3 putting by learning how to lag putt and read the breaks in the greens. Just practice lag putting and 3' putts. Practice 3' putts until you don't miss and get good at distance control. Two putting isn't a bad thing. Then practice chipping and pitching. It's not that hard to get good enough to where you won't blow up your round there. It just takes learning a technique and some practice. Putting is easy compared to hitting the green from 200 yds away.

It takes a lot more work to get the long game solid, and most people don't have that kind of time. Drive for show, putt for dough is a myth. 

  1. Practice your approach shots over 100 yds. - most important
  2. Practice with your driver. - 2nd most important
  3. Practice your short game shots inside 100 yds.
  4. Practice your putting.

You'll see stuff how pros practice a ton of time with their wedges and with their drivers. Not much with their mid-irons. Remember - on a 440 yd par 4, a 310 yd drive leaves only 110 yds.

I urge you to pick up a copy of Lowest Score Wins. 

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On 10/18/2019 at 7:56 PM, DrvFrShow said:

Here's a little experiment. Hit your tee shot with the longest club that you know will get it into the fairway. Say for example your 3 wood, your 3 hybrid, whatever. Say for example you hit it 210 yds. Now when you get to your ball, hit your approach shot. After you've done that walk up another 60 yds., drop another ball, now hit a 2nd approach shot. This will replicate where you would have been had you hit 270 yd drive. Which approach shot had a better result? Which drive would you rather have hit? Do this for 9 holes.

On 420 yd par 4s a lot of players end up hitting 3W or 3H approach shots. If they could only hit their drivers further. 

Crossfield pointed this out in a 2018 video commenting about when he played against Lee Westwood. Crossfield was hitting his 5H into the greens while Westwood was hitting 8 and 9 irons. Needless to say Crossfield lost the matches.

You see a lot of books on the short game and putting because it's the easiest part of the game to get quick results. You can go out on the practice green a few times and almost eliminate 3 putting by learning how to lag putt and read the breaks in the greens. Just practice lag putting and 3' putts. Practice 3' putts until you don't miss and get good at distance control. Two putting isn't a bad thing. Then practice chipping and pitching. It's not that hard to get good enough to where you won't blow up your round there. It just takes learning a technique and some practice. Putting is easy compared to hitting the green from 200 yds away.

It takes a lot more work to get the long game solid, and most people don't have that kind of time. Drive for show, putt for dough is a myth. 

  1. Practice your approach shots over 100 yds. - most important
  2. Practice with your driver. - 2nd most important
  3. Practice your short game shots inside 100 yds.
  4. Practice your putting.

You'll see stuff how pros practice a ton of time with their wedges and with their drivers. Not much with their mid-irons. Remember - on a 440 yd par 4, a 310 yd drive leaves only 110 yds.

I urge you to pick up a copy of Lowest Score Wins. 

Only to add, Kevin Na was the first person in history (of record) to win a tour event with a negative strokes gained tee to green stat.  It took him making over 550 ft of putts to do so.  So, not only is it incredibly rare to play great golf with terrible ballstriking, it takes nearly perfect putting performance (like on those Tiger Woods PGA Tour games where your putting stat is maxed out and you use "Tiger Vision" to read those hard putts) to overcome your lack of ballstriking.

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6 hours ago, ncates00 said:

Only to add, Kevin Na was the first person in history (of record) to win a tour event with a negative strokes gained tee to green stat.  It took him making over 550 ft of putts to do so.  So, not only is it incredibly rare to play great golf with terrible ballstriking, it takes nearly perfect putting performance (like on those Tiger Woods PGA Tour games where your putting stat is maxed out and you use "Tiger Vision" to read those hard putts) to overcome your lack of ballstriking.

Yep, -0.084 strokes T2G.

And 14.176 putting.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Yep, -0.084 strokes T2G.

And 14.176 putting.

See. Putting is the most important.🙄

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