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Black Sail

Distance vs. Accuracy

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I remember a story I read. Maybe it was true, maybe it wasn't. There was a point trying to be made. 

A club builder built several of  two, specific drivers. One's loft was geared to to send the ball a long ways, with little built in accuracy. 

The other club was built with more loft, less distance, but  more built in accuracy. 

He had a two day seminar where he let golfers of various talent levels hit the the two clubs.

At the end, he told the participants they could pick which club they wanted, and could keep it. He immediately ran out of the long distance, with little accuracy clubs. This even though most of the participants  missed quite a few fairways, leaving themselves terrible lies. 

His point made was that most golfers didn't care about accuracy. That they wanted the longer ball flight, with little regards to where the ball wound up. 

That "distance over accuracy" thought process seems to be the common thought among most golfers.

I remember a story I read. Maybe it was true, maybe it wasn't. There was a point trying to be made. 

A club builder built several of  two, specific drivers. One's loft was geared to to send the ball a long ways, with little built in accuracy. 

The other club was built with more loft, less distance, but  more built in accuracy. 

He had a two day seminar where he let golfers of various talent levels hit the the two clubs.

At the end, he told the participants they could pick which club they wanted, and could keep it. He immediately ran out of the long distance, with little accuracy clubs. This even though most of the participants  missed quite a few fairways, leaving themselves terrible lies. 

His point made was that most golfers didn't care about accuracy. That they wanted the longer ball flight, with little regards to where the ball wound up. 

That "distance over accuracy" thought process seems to be the common thought among most golfers.

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9 minutes ago, Patch said:

I remember a story I read. Maybe it was true, maybe it wasn't. There was a point trying to be made. 

A club builder built several of  two, specific drivers. One's loft was geared to to send the ball a long ways, with little built in accuracy. 

The other club was built with more loft, less distance, but  more built in accuracy. 

He had a two day seminar where he let golfers of various talent levels hit the the two clubs.

At the end, he told the participants they could pick which club they wanted, and could keep it. He immediately ran out of the long distance, with little accuracy clubs. This even though most of the participants  missed quite a few fairways, leaving themselves terrible lies. 

His point made was that most golfers didn't care about accuracy. That they wanted the longer ball flight, with little regards to where the ball wound up. 

That "distance over accuracy" thought process seems to be the common thought among most golfers.

Huh? No disrespect but this story doesn't make sense or prove a point. Firstly, a driver is designed to hit the ball as far as possible, ideally. Some are more forgiving than others. Adding loft doesn't necessarily add "accuracy". You need to get your club fitted properly for you. I'm tempted to go into a big tirade here about how you should go see a pro with a launch monitor and find out what combination of swing and driver you need to launch your drives at an optimal number... but I'll spare you. 

In this case I'm guessing these "drivers" weren't adjustable. So if people got a fee club, they took the one built more like a driver. No matter what driver you have in your bag. You can always choose to tee off with a 3 wood, hybrid, 4 iron what ever when the situation warrants. Choosing a free driver built like a driver as apposed to a free driver built like a 5 wood, doesn't prove you have a "distance over accuracy" thought process. 

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5 hours ago, Black Sail said:

Focus on getting your numbers dialed in and the consistency will come.

Says who? Amateurs, let's say even a 10 handicapper or so, are inconsistent. That's why they're a 10 handicapper. If I could hit my 7I 150 yards exactly every time, and with pretty good accuracy, and have similar results with all the other clubs, I might never lose a PGA Tour event.

Amateurs benefit tremendously from hitting the ball farther. It helps them be more accurate, because they're making smaller swings with shorter clubs to get the ball onto the green.

5 hours ago, Black Sail said:

Once that happens, the distance will come as well. It's kind of a "one hand washes the other" mentality.

I don't agree at all, and your advice is almost the exact opposite of what Jack Nicklaus and others have espoused, which is: learn to hit it far, and then learn to control it a bit.

You can't easily develop speed in someone who's never had it.

Imagine you have two students. One hits his 7I 180 when he hits it well. The other hits it 150 and not very well (consistently) either. I'd wager that I could get the 180-yard guy to hit his 7I 150 yards and accurately faster than I could get the 150-yard guy to improve his accuracy. After all, the 150-yard guy has work to do. The 180-yard guy might just need to make smaller swings or something. And then that time you're spending on the 150-yard guy to make him accurate, you can spend making the 180-yard guy be accurate at 180 yards.

5 hours ago, Black Sail said:

The PGA Tour season is very young. Most of the top players don't have data in the system yet. I actually started this post with the current data and got ate up pretty good. These guys are on their game in here and I love it. I learn something new every day.

Dude, he was clearly talking about last year's stats, the 2018-19 season.

Again, too, I have something to show you:

This shows that as players improve, their distance AND accuracy improve. This makes sense, but of course, duh.

I don't give many lessons where we're focusing on ONE thing or the other. The "vs." in the title was a poor choice or something.

21 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Huh? No disrespect but this story doesn't make sense or prove a point. Firstly, a driver is designed to hit the ball as far as possible, ideally. Some are more forgiving than others. Adding loft doesn't necessarily add "accuracy".

Agree with all of that. Not sure what you were after, @Patch, but I don't think you succeeded.

22 hours ago, iacas said:

It’s really easy to have a discussion when you just make up whatever straw man you want.

You glossed over this.

You're making up these golfers that you imagine, that nobody else is going to imagine exactly like you are. So of course you're "right" because you're talking about something only you can "see." Everyone else is conjuring up something different, somehow. And, even amongst your students, it's not like all or even possibly a majority are this way, where they just care about distance and aren't "consistent."

(BTW, virtually all golfers are consistent.)

So, it's not really possible to even have this conversation.

Another fact: distance and accuracy are intertwined. I've almost never worked on one without the other being affected, being altered, being improved… etc. I don't understand the "vs." in the title.

Anyway…


Here's my request:

In one or two sentences, please state your theory, hypothesis, statement, whatever you have here. Summarize what you intended for this topic to discuss, clearly and simply.

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5 hours ago, iacas said:

Says who? Amateurs, let's say even a 10 handicapper or so, are inconsistent. That's why they're a 10 handicapper. If I could hit my 7I 150 yards exactly every time, and with pretty good accuracy, and have similar results with all the other clubs, I might never lose a PGA Tour event.

Amateurs benefit tremendously from hitting the ball farther. It helps them be more accurate, because they're making smaller swings with shorter clubs to get the ball onto the green.

I don't agree at all, and your advice is almost the exact opposite of what Jack Nicklaus and others have espoused, which is: learn to hit it far, and then learn to control it a bit.

You can't easily develop speed in someone who's never had it.

Imagine you have two students. One hits his 7I 180 when he hits it well. The other hits it 150 and not very well (consistently) either. I'd wager that I could get the 180-yard guy to hit his 7I 150 yards and accurately faster than I could get the 150-yard guy to improve his accuracy. After all, the 150-yard guy has work to do. The 180-yard guy might just need to make smaller swings or something. And then that time you're spending on the 150-yard guy to make him accurate, you can spend making the 180-yard guy be accurate at 180 yards.

Dude, he was clearly talking about last year's stats, the 2018-19 season.

Again, too, I have something to show you:

This shows that as players improve, their distance AND accuracy improve. This makes sense, but of course, duh.

I don't give many lessons where we're focusing on ONE thing or the other. The "vs." in the title was a poor choice or something.

Agree with all of that. Not sure what you were after, @Patch, but I don't think you succeeded.

You glossed over this.

You're making up these golfers that you imagine, that nobody else is going to imagine exactly like you are. So of course you're "right" because you're talking about something only you can "see." Everyone else is conjuring up something different, somehow. And, even amongst your students, it's not like all or even possibly a majority are this way, where they just care about distance and aren't "consistent."

(BTW, virtually all golfers are consistent.)

So, it's not really possible to even have this conversation.

Another fact: distance and accuracy are intertwined. I've almost never worked on one without the other being affected, being altered, being improved… etc. I don't understand the "vs." in the title.

Anyway…


Here's my request:

In one or two sentences, please state your theory, hypothesis, statement, whatever you have here. Summarize what you intended for this topic to discuss, clearly and simply.

@iacas  Erik....Friend....You and I have clearly had very different experiences in life. You approach things with a scientific mind and it has served you very well. I am well-read on your history and accomplishments in the game. I applaud your multiple degrees and certifications. As such, I am impressed with the amount of data that you have collected over the years and the facts with which you support all of your statements.

I, however, lived on the other side. I have a long and successful career as a U.S. Marine with most of my years of service in Special Operations. Having said that, I have grown accustomed to the need to make sound and timely decisions under great deals of stress. That requires me to keep things as simple and as manageable as possible. Hence, my approach to the game. 

Since you have such a great depth of knowledge, I have come here to learn from you. I appreciate all that you have to teach and look forward to learning all I can from you and all the others here at TST.

All I ask is that you do it with some amount of respect and dignity. You come off as elitist, rude, and narcissistic. I don't know if it stems from sucking at other, more athletic sport. Maybe you were bullied as a youngster. Don't know and don't care. As the owner of TST I expect a lot more. I concede that you know more about the game than do I, I also concede that you have a MUCH greater teaching resume than do I. However, let's tighten it up a bit when it comes to answering the feeds.

I am not offended or hurt...just disappointed. Let bury this and move on. I will read up more on how distance and power translate to the entire long game. I will also likely purchase your book because I have great faith in your knowledge and experience. Just don't be such a dick, Dude. Internet muscles aren't sexy.

Dave 

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7 hours ago, iacas said:

Here's my request:

In one or two sentences, please state your theory, hypothesis, statement, whatever you have here. Summarize what you intended for this topic to discuss, clearly and simply.

It seems as though you are assuming that there is only one way to approach the game of golf and anyone that has a different opinion than you must be "wrong". I'm not doubting your knowledge or saying you are wrong. I'm just saying that this is how I approach things and it works just fine. Clear and simple.

I'm sure you will let me know if you disagree, just don't talk down to me or anyone else because of a different opinion or method.

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39 minutes ago, Black Sail said:

It seems as though you are assuming that there is only one way to approach the game of golf and anyone that has a different opinion than you must be "wrong". I'm not doubting your knowledge or saying you are wrong. I'm just saying that this is how I approach things and it works just fine. Clear and simple.

I'm sure you will let me know if you disagree, just don't talk down to me or anyone else because of a different opinion or method.

Dave I don't see any of what @iacas has posted as being elitist, rude nor narcissistic. I think you're misunderstanding what he has said (written.) He has not in any way stated he feels there is only one way to approach the game of golf. What he has said is what areas of the game of golf hold the most importance when it comes to shooting lower scores. And those statements were supported with facts, research and data. You can teach golf as simply as you choose to do. However, it's the information you're giving that has been shown to be flawed. The greater importance of the long game over the short game when it comes to long term lower scores is not an opinion, it's fact. Your assumption that focusing on driving distance is not as important as accuracy is a bit flawed as it has been shown that improving distance usually leads to improving accuracy as well. 

Your method has not been criticized. It's the information you stated to justify your method that is not entirely accurate. I'm not an instructor and this is a bit out of my realm but I just wanted to add my 1.8 cents. It's all good Dave. It's just golf, and it's just a discussion.

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56 minutes ago, Black Sail said:

It seems as though you are assuming that there is only one way to approach the game of golf and anyone that has a different opinion than you must be "wrong". I'm not doubting your knowledge or saying you are wrong. I'm just saying that this is how I approach things and it works just fine. Clear and simple.

I'm sure you will let me know if you disagree, just don't talk down to me or anyone else because of a different opinion or method.

Even if a method works better than another? Thats why a lot of people don't trust or like instruction. One person says something, they see another for a second opinion and they say the opposite. I don’t want things to work just fine. I want the methods to be the best/what i think is best at that time, for my students.  Methods grow/evolve. 
 

I may say one way now but another way later based on what new information and data comes out. I think, as instructors, we need to follow what is working best at that time. 

Edited by phillyk

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2 minutes ago, phillyk said:

I don’t want things to work just fine. I want them to be the best for my students. 

Out of context, @phillyk. "Just fine" was my way of saying I have success with my method the same way you do with yours. I will be more specific in the future. My apologies. 

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54 minutes ago, Black Sail said:

It seems as though you are assuming that there is only one way to approach the game of golf and anyone that has a different opinion than you must be "wrong". I'm not doubting your knowledge or saying you are wrong. I'm just saying that this is how I approach things and it works just fine. Clear and simple.

I'm sure you will let me know if you disagree, just don't talk down to me or anyone else because of a different opinion or method.

Why did you quote Erik's request of you to clearly state your hypothesis/ purpose for the topic but then decide to ramble on about your assumptions regarding his approach to the game instead of clearly stating your hypothesis/theory/purpose for this topic like you were asked to do?

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7 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

It's just golf, and it's just a discussion.

I agree and I just want to keep it that way. As stated, I am here to learn. I am NOT a top 100 instructor and I have been absent for most of the past 15 years on deployment. What I have done to this point is based on my own reality and as I learn I am sure I will catch up with the more modern and educated coaches out there. 

4 minutes ago, klineka said:

Why did you quote Erik's request of you to clearly state your hypothesis/ purpose for the topic but then decide to ramble on about your assumptions regarding his approach to the game instead of clearly stating your hypothesis/theory/purpose for this topic like you were asked to do?

Do you do everything you are asked to do if you have something further to say on a particular topic? This is an open forum for all of us to discuss our theories, hypotheses, purposes, and the lot. I am doing just that. I never said he was wrong, I am just supporting my stance and letting him know that there is more than one way to our objective of shooting lower scores. Please, Sir, don't make it more than it is. 

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5 minutes ago, klineka said:

Why did you quote Erik's request of you to clearly state your hypothesis/ purpose for the topic but then decide to ramble on about your assumptions regarding his approach to the game instead of clearly stating your hypothesis/theory/purpose for this topic like you were asked to do?

I think the intent was to say if one thinks they can already hit the ball a mile then working to hit even further is a waste of time. Work on getting it consistent and dialed in. There’s a small percentage that would fit in that category. 

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3 minutes ago, phillyk said:

I think the intent was to say if one thinks they can already hit the ball a mile then working to hit even further is a waste of time. Work on getting it consistent and dialed in. There’s a small percentage that would fit in that category. 

I would consult with Erik on that if I were you. I can only hope it's that simple. All I am defending at this point is that there are thousands of us coaches east coast to west and we all have our way of doing things. At the end of the day the highest percentage of us are looking out for the best interests of our students and want the best for them. I truly believe we are all chasing the same goal. I really believe in Erik's methods. I've just been out of the loop for a while. 

My bottom line lies with the condescension. Let's keep it classy. 

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3 minutes ago, Black Sail said:

My bottom line lies with the condescension. Let's keep it classy. 

@Black Sail, the only rude or condescending remarks in this topic came from you when you assumed I sucked at other sports or was bullied as a kid or some such shit.

Spoiler
2 hours ago, Black Sail said:

You come off as elitist, rude, and narcissistic.

This is not remotely accurate.

2 hours ago, Black Sail said:

I don't know if it stems from sucking at other, more athletic sport. Maybe you were bullied as a youngster. Don't know and don't care.

You care(d) enough to make those comments. Funny how people will accuse me of something, while name-calling or tossing out insults themselves…

I played varsity soccer as a freshman. I was on the All-Star team and was MVP the four years I played Little League (ages 12-15). I started on my college rec inline hockey league, and scored the winning goal in OT in the league championship game after leading my team in scoring as the first-line center as an adult.

Nothing I said was rude, elitist, or narcissistic. The same cannot be said of your off-base assumptions.

2 hours ago, Black Sail said:

However, let's tighten it up a bit when it comes to answering the feeds.

You say this and then completely fail to answer my question.

I can say without any doubt whatsoever that whatever tone you read into that post was completely of your own invention.

1 hour ago, Black Sail said:

It seems as though you are assuming that there is only one way to approach the game of golf and anyone that has a different opinion than you must be "wrong".

That makes no sense. I didn't assume that at all.

If I think you're wrong, I'll say so. I didn't use the word "wrong."

1 hour ago, Black Sail said:

I'm not doubting your knowledge or saying you are wrong. I'm just saying that this is how I approach things and it works just fine. Clear and simple.

Another assumption, this time that what I teach isn't "clear and simple," apparently? Huh?

1 hour ago, Black Sail said:

I'm sure you will let me know if you disagree, just don't talk down to me or anyone else because of a different opinion or method.

Stop reading a tone that isn't there. I didn't talk down to you.

I will if you continue to have these meta discussions. Have a thicker skin against the (assumed/invented) tone, and talk about the actual topic instead of this meta bullshit.

I asked you a question; you've not answered it. I'll ask it again:

In one or two sentences, please state your theory, hypothesis, statement, whatever you have here. Summarize what you intended for this topic to discuss, clearly and simply.

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11 hours ago, Black Sail said:

@iacas  Erik....Friend....You and I have clearly had very different experiences in life. You approach things with a scientific mind and it has served you very well. I am well-read on your history and accomplishments in the game. I applaud your multiple degrees and certifications. As such, I am impressed with the amount of data that you have collected over the years and the facts with which you support all of your statements.

I, however, lived on the other side. I have a long and successful career as a U.S. Marine with most of my years of service in Special Operations. Having said that, I have grown accustomed to the need to make sound and timely decisions under great deals of stress. That requires me to keep things as simple and as manageable as possible. Hence, my approach to the game. 

Since you have such a great depth of knowledge, I have come here to learn from you. I appreciate all that you have to teach and look forward to learning all I can from you and all the others here at TST.

All I ask is that you do it with some amount of respect and dignity. You come off as elitist, rude, and narcissistic. I don't know if it stems from sucking at other, more athletic sport. Maybe you were bullied as a youngster. Don't know and don't care. As the owner of TST I expect a lot more. I concede that you know more about the game than do I, I also concede that you have a MUCH greater teaching resume than do I. However, let's tighten it up a bit when it comes to answering the feeds.

I am not offended or hurt...just disappointed. Let bury this and move on. I will read up more on how distance and power translate to the entire long game. I will also likely purchase your book because I have great faith in your knowledge and experience. Just don't be such a dick, Dude. Internet muscles aren't sexy.

Dave 

Dave, I think you are just trolling now. You are the one being rude and condescending. Be careful how you respond next, more trolling and you will be warned.

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On 10/11/2019 at 8:23 PM, Black Sail said:

Internet muscles aren't sexy.

Like Taylor Swift’s song...

”Say it in the street it’s a knockout. Say it in a tweet it’s a cop out...” 😁

In this case, the data shows that he’s correct.

I could manufacture all kinds of stories and the like to prove my point, but I don’t have to. All the “internet instructors” who spout distance helps more are taking into account that longer distances usually result from faster swings with better strikes. Better strikes usually end up with better accuracy too. Hitting consistently long takes both. We’re definitely not talking about that kid who hits 350 yards then 220 slice next hole...

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I'm older and not playing that long, 8 years. I have concentrated on accuracy as that seemed to me, how I could improve faster. Finally broke 20 this year.

But...my accuracy has maxed out. I need to make more GIR's. I am often 20 to 50 yards short

Bought LSW...read it...made no changes.

End of season, read it again...gonna buy a can of Eric's foot spray...work on speeding up my back swing...and finding the sweet spot.

 

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2 hours ago, uitar9 said:

I'm older and not playing that long, 8 years. I have concentrated on accuracy as that seemed to me, how I could improve faster. Finally broke 20 this year.

But...my accuracy has maxed out. I need to make more GIR's. I am often 20 to 50 yards short

Bought LSW...read it...made no changes.

End of season, read it again...gonna buy a can of Eric's foot spray...work on speeding up my back swing...and finding the sweet spot.

 

Speeding up the backswing is not going to help at all. Everything else sounds reasonable.

If you’re always 20-30 yards short, you can look into hitting more woods. I know quite a few who use 7W and even higher? Just practice a ton with those woods. Some of my range rat buddies are much older and do exactly that.

Edited by Lihu

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3 minutes ago, Lihu said:

Speeding up the backswing is not going to help at all.

Not necessarily, depends how fast it is now.  Really slow backswings typically lead to bad tempo, at least from what I've seen.  I don't mean people to speed up the backswing to fix everything, but it shouldn't be "slow."  Pro's generally have a fast paced swing from backswing to finish.

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