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Does Being Short Sided Matter?


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For PGA Tour players, it matters. For amateur golfers, maybe not. First, we do not play courses with that sort of rough or green complexes. Second, our shot zones are much larger, so how we should aim should be a simpler math problem.  

It also reminded me of this thread. 

Know your tendencies, shot zone and aim away from trouble. If you need to bring some of the trouble into your shot zone, maybe error on the side of an easier short game shot. 

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6 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

For amateur golfers, maybe not.

I didn’t watch the video but I think it matters. Shot zone is bigger, right? So if there is a lot of green between the player and the hole, there’s a larger chance of keeping the shot zone out of trouble, on the green, and having the hole within it. Being short sided could mean the hole is never within the shot zone if you’re allowing for a large enough buffer zone to make sure the ball gets on the green.

Bill

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For me: 

1. Never chase a pin that is on side of water or OB. I take my chances with bunkers though, since they are not penalty areas. 

2. If there is no obvious penalty threat (water/OB), then maybe think about giving yourself a position and o a lie (uphill hopefully) for an easier chance to get on the green, even if it is shortsiding myself. I don't care if it rolls out a bit away from the pin but avoid chipping chances from super tight lies is a priority.  

3. Worrying about shortsiding would be the third on my list if I have the luxury of having accounted for the first two. 

Vishal S.

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2 hours ago, saevel25 said:

For PGA Tour players, it matters. For amateur golfers, maybe not.

I think it matters unless the course you are playing is basically a flat chipping zone without bunkers, water, or false fronts. 

My home course is all about not getting short sided. There is nothing like being in the left bunker 6 feet below a green in a bunker with the green sloping away from you with the flag a few paces on with water on the other side of a narrow green. That is our 17th hole and to go for anything but the middle just puts tremendous risk in play. Even going for the middle is tough, because the only good miss is short.  Our first hole is without water but is a super short par 4 with an elevated green that slopes off in every direction. You will have a flip wedge in and you have to play middle because missing on any side is brutal. 

I guess my point is that short siding yourself puts pressure on your game that is self inflicted if you were going for a pin that you statistically had no business going for. There are places to aim for which account for places to miss, because most of the courses I play are like that. To get around efficiently, you have to know your game, your misses, and the golf course.  

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Maybe I should not have said it doesn't matter. 

It might not matter as much in terms of stroked gained and probably avoidance of bunkers trump avoidance of short siding. 

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1 hour ago, TourSpoon said:

I think it matters unless the course you are playing is basically a flat chipping zone without bunkers, water, or false fronts. 

Yea. I’ll often say on the course that sometimes being 20’ away from the hole is a good shot. I did it the other day. I was short sided with a bunker to carry and the green sloping away from the hole from the backside of the bunker. I made it my priority to not get cute with the shot and end up in the rough at the top so I hit it at the center of the green.

If I was on the other side of the green, I could have hit the same shot and it would have released towards the hole instead of away from it.

1 hour ago, saevel25 said:

Maybe I should not have said it doesn't matter. 

It might not matter as much in terms of stroked gained and probably avoidance of bunkers trump avoidance of short siding. 

I can agree with that. You don’t want to risk trouble trying to hit a shot close. Risk management still matters even when you’re close to the green.

Bill

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I think it generally does not matter for us amateurs, but it's context dependent. Some random thoughts on that:

  • I think most of the holes us amateurs play do not have a huge penalty from being short sided. On my normal course, I can only think of a few holes where being short sided is a problem. And that might only be a specific area with a specific pin placement. So it might be something that I'm thinking about once or twice a round. This absolutely changes at harder courses.
  • That said, a bad short sided spot can cost you a shot. I do not like being just off the green with little chance of getting up and down. These spots might be equivalent to a bunker, or maybe worse. At my handicap level, I want to avoid spots like that. 
  • Short sided in a bunker is something I avoid pretty much all the time. I'm not a great bunker player, so I'm a little more cautious about bunkers in general.
  • At other times, being short sided might be better than the alternative. I would rather be short sided than in water, for example (duh).

@saevel25 linking the dead center thread is important here, too. We should be trying to hit the center of the green the vast majority of the time. That helps a lot with avoiding short sided shots. And it also means you need to ignore the devil on your shoulder telling you to go directly at certain pins. Being on the green, even 40 feet away, is better than not being on it.

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Hmmm. 😉

I'll still watch the video.

But basically… given a shot of the same length, you're better off not being short-sided. But if the choice is having a short-sided 25-foot chip (25 feet ball to hole) versus a 55-footer (ball to hole) with a lot of "green to work with," ams are often better off with the 25-footer.

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I think it depends entirely on what you have to go over after being short sided.  If you have to carry a bunker or possibly some water and drop the ball and get it to stop immediately, then an amateur is better off with the longer shot and green to work with.  Most amateurs are going to struggle to hit a hit lofted shot which stops softly and quickly.  Plus, the fear that you will get of hitting it short and putting yourself in worse trouble will only lead to a funny shot, either a chunk or going long and safe.  If on the other had the short side only involves dropping it in the fringe and running it in, the amateur will be OK.

But overall I would have to say an amateur can hit a pitch a run a lot better than a flighted shot which checks up quickly so short sided is much tougher in general

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At very least in the overall context of the average hack's golf game, being short-sided probably isn't in the top-five things that cause extra strokes. 

You hit to the fat part of the green, three-jack it (which you were going to do anyway) and write the same six on the scorecard.

 

 

 

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The more I think about this the more I realize that this is really hole dependent because there are some places where being short sided is just fine. Even at my home course, which is known for its elevated greens and severe complexes, there are a few pin locations that if missed to the "short side" would give you an opportunity to putt onto the green and its a pretty easy up and down. Then we have the pins where if you miss a few feet in the wrong direction you hit the bank and your ball is now 6 feet below the hill 30 feet away and you have to hit a shot to bounce it into the steep side of the green to even get close. 

Bottom line is that when you want to play your best golf, course management becomes important especially in stroke play. I think this is why playing match play (especially with a partner) or an after hours skins games every now and then can be so much fun because people tend to play a little more aggressive. Golf has always been a sport of risk and reward and trying to figure out what works for you. 

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12 hours ago, iacas said:

Hmmm. 😉

I'll still watch the video.

But basically… given a shot of the same length, you're better off not being short-sided. But if the choice is having a short-sided 25-foot chip (25 feet ball to hole) versus a 55-footer (ball to hole) with a lot of "green to work with," ams are often better off with the 25-footer.

I swear I searched for Short Sided and didn't find any thread on it. 😉

 

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Is really hard to give a general advice on approach shots. It depends on the length of the shot, your ability, wind condition, green softness, slopes, danger around the greens, lie of the ball, etc.

You need to gather information on all of that and then figure out the best club and the optimal aim to give yourselves the best chances in an specific shot. (Is not all about where to aim but also how many yards are you going to play for knowing that you are not going to hit that number very often. 
Aiming at center of the green is sometimes too aggressive, and sometimes too conservative. Aiming at each flag is sometimes the right call and sometime too aggressive.

Nevertheless, this is a good example (only sideways) were you can learn how to avoid the worst danger in the shot. It includes shortsided, trees and water hazard for a flag in both sides of a green. 
You can see this from 2 perspectives, 1: the same shot hit by different players that are badder the lower you go. Or 2: you can see this as the same player hitting the shot but farther away from the green the lower you go. In both cases shot zones are larger when you are a worst player or you are farther from the green. Is vital to know your shotszones for every club to choose the best target possible.
The letter "A" is the center of the shotzone where you should aim your shot in each situation. Look how it differs from shot to shot. 

image.thumb.png.411c004293dacffcd84c176f3f2b0054.png

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5 hours ago, p1n9183 said:

The letter "A" is the center of the shotzone where you should aim your shot in each situation. Look how it differs from shot to shot. 

image.thumb.png.411c004293dacffcd84c176f3f2b0054.png

I disagree with the bottom right two. Particularly the second to bottom one in the right column.

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12 hours ago, iacas said:

I disagree with the bottom right two. Particularly the second to bottom one in the right column.

3b and 4b? why? 

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13 minutes ago, p1n9183 said:

3b and 4b? why? 

Actually 2b, too.

Why? Because they include bunker over fairway. They should be shifted to the right.

You should read my book. 😉

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18 hours ago, p1n9183 said:

Is really hard to give a general advice on approach shots. It depends on the length of the shot, your ability, wind condition, green softness, slopes, danger around the greens, lie of the ball, etc.

You need to gather information on all of that and then figure out the best club and the optimal aim to give yourselves the best chances in an specific shot. (Is not all about where to aim but also how many yards are you going to play for knowing that you are not going to hit that number very often. 
Aiming at center of the green is sometimes too aggressive, and sometimes too conservative. Aiming at each flag is sometimes the right call and sometime too aggressive.

Nevertheless, this is a good example (only sideways) were you can learn how to avoid the worst danger in the shot. It includes shortsided, trees and water hazard for a flag in both sides of a green. 
You can see this from 2 perspectives, 1: the same shot hit by different players that are badder the lower you go. Or 2: you can see this as the same player hitting the shot but farther away from the green the lower you go. In both cases shot zones are larger when you are a worst player or you are farther from the green. Is vital to know your shotszones for every club to choose the best target possible.
The letter "A" is the center of the shotzone where you should aim your shot in each situation. Look how it differs from shot to shot. 

image.thumb.png.411c004293dacffcd84c176f3f2b0054.png

Maybe I'm not quite understanding the point you're trying to make, but what do those shotzones have to do with the topic of this post which is does being short sided matter?

Based on these images we can't tell how sloped the fairway is off the green, how sloped the green is, etc. If the fairway sits 4 feet under the level of the green and the green runs downhill away from the fairway in the B scenario then that's a significantly different short sided scenario compared to if it's a relatively level fairway to the right of the green and it's a flat, even slightly uphill chip shot.

Just because you choose an optimal shotzone doesn't mean you won't ever be short sided. If you shifted 3b shotzone to the right to eliminate the bunker, that would leave nearly half of their results being shortsided. Even 2b when slid slightly further right would have like what, 20% of their shots ending up short sided? And 4b at least 50% as well if not more being short sided?  

I think in the majority of circumstances for most golfers on most holes it's better to aim away from hazards even if it means you're bringing more short sided chances into play compared to aiming away from short sided chances but bringing a hazard or two into play.

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18 hours ago, p1n9183 said:

Is really hard to give a general advice on approach shots. It depends on the length of the shot, your ability, wind condition, green softness, slopes, danger around the greens, lie of the ball, etc.

You need to gather information on all of that and then figure out the best club and the optimal aim to give yourselves the best chances in an specific shot. (Is not all about where to aim but also how many yards are you going to play for knowing that you are not going to hit that number very often. 
Aiming at center of the green is sometimes too aggressive, and sometimes too conservative. Aiming at each flag is sometimes the right call and sometime too aggressive.

Nevertheless, this is a good example (only sideways) were you can learn how to avoid the worst danger in the shot. It includes shortsided, trees and water hazard for a flag in both sides of a green. 
You can see this from 2 perspectives, 1: the same shot hit by different players that are badder the lower you go. Or 2: you can see this as the same player hitting the shot but farther away from the green the lower you go. In both cases shot zones are larger when you are a worst player or you are farther from the green. Is vital to know your shotszones for every club to choose the best target possible.
The letter "A" is the center of the shotzone where you should aim your shot in each situation. Look how it differs from shot to shot. 

image.thumb.png.411c004293dacffcd84c176f3f2b0054.png

I would shift everything right, even the bottom two for each column. Odds are, you are not blocked out by the tree. You can possibly hit a low runner onto the green. You can leave the ball in the bunker for many shots, especially for a bad golfer. 

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