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Pathetic Short Games

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Check out this attachment. I ran a scholarship for the members of my high school golf team, and the results were pretty pathetic. So that the challenges make a little sense to you, here they are (and how they were scored):
  1. Lag Putting: three long putts on different greens. Holed putts count as 0’0” and the player is given a Holed Shot Bonus. Rank determined by total distance of all three putts from the hole.
  2. Short Putts: hole the most consecutive 5-foot putts from a location and to a hole of your choice. Players have one attempt at this challenge. Rank is determined by # of consecutive putts holed.
  3. Driving: three tee shots are hit. The player can choose their longest, straightest single drive and it will count towards both categories and will be ranked relative to the other players’ drives.
  4. Chipping: chip to three hole locations. Rank: total distance of all three balls.
  5. Pitching: pitch to three hole locations. Rank: total distance of two best balls.
  6. Bunker Shot: hit three different bunker shots. Rank: total distance of two best balls.
  7. Par Three: hit from three locations on a par three. Rank: total distance of two best balls.
  8. 150-yard Shot: hit three approach shots from 150 yards. Rank: total distance of two best balls.
  9. 100-yard Shot: hit three approach shots from 100 yards. Rank: total distance of two best balls.
  10. 75-yard Shot: hit three approach shots from 75 yards. Rank: total distance of two best balls.

I'll summarize the results in the next post.

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These golfers all break 50 regularly. Well, the #11 guy (out of 11) on our team doesn't break 50 often, but he's never carded a score higher than 60, at least. For nine holes, obviously...

Lag Putting
Admittedly, this was without a ton of practice doing long putts this day, but 18'10" short? The putt was barely 40' long and he didn't even get it halfway there! out of 18 putts, only three managed to get inside of FOUR feet.

Short Putts
The most made in a row was five. Two missed their first putt and two others made one or two. This was a putt they chose and practiced prior to the challenge.

DA/DD
To get any points, you had to get the ball in the fairway. Two missed the fairway completely with three attempts. Of the 18 balls struck, less than half found the fairway.

Chipping
25' was as far as we could measure, so anything that says 25' from here on out means "25' or longer." Several people chipped OFF the green (the "X"s). The best three-chip total was 13'2" - which isn't bad, except that two chips were inside of two feet and the third was 13'2" away. Very few chips were inside of four feet.

Pitching
The best two scores counted here, and again, there were several Xs where people didn't make or keep the ball on the green. The pitches weren't difficult to tucked pins, but they did require more loft than the chips. 5' and 2'3" were the two best pitches, and only one of those is even close to gimme range.

Bunker
Five of the 18 shots didn't even find the putting surface. The best shot was to just over 4', and the average shot was somewhere around 12 feet or so. They were pretty easy bunker shots, but having watched these kids all year, I'm fairly surprised their average was as low as it was. I think, as a team, they had about four sand saves in 100 attempts this year.

Par 3
Nobody even managed to hit the green on par 3s measuring 180 yards, 135 yards, and 210 yards. Not a single ball on the greens. It was a windless day.

150 Yard
18 balls fired from 150 yards, and only four managed to find the putting surface. Yow. And with those chipping and pitching stats, you start to wonder how they ever make pars!

100 Yard
This one is even worse. My circle from 100 yards is about five feet in radius. If I'm outside of that circle, I'm disappointed. Not these kids. They were 9 of 18 in hitting the green from 100 yards, and several (most) shots that held the green were well outside of the 25' limit.

75 Yard
Almost as bad as the 100 yard shot, 9 of 18 again failed to even hit the green. The average is a little better, but that's mostly because a slope carried balls closer to the hole on the third 75-yard shot.

So, well, whatever. There you have it - the pathetic short game and iron play of a high school golf team. A team that went 8-9 overall this year, including losing a match they should have easily won and including playing twice against a team that could very well send three kids to the State Championship.

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Well, at least Eric knows what the team needs to work on next year. I have a feeling he didn't need the competition to figure that out though.

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Might be interesting to begin the next season with a challenge like this to identify potential team, and individual, weaknesses.

I loved the anecdote from a Ben Hogan bio I finished up a few weeks ago where Hogan was dejectedly talking with his wife about how his putting was ruining his chances for winning tournaments early on. Tee to green he was as good, or better, than anyone on tour but he just couldn't close the door in competition.

His wife, Valerie, said, "Well, Ben, dear, why don't you just hit the ball closer to the hole?"

Silly as it sounded, Hogan viewed his wife's advice on the level of an epiphany and, dedicating himself to that end, went on to become one of the most ruthlessly accurate ball-strikers in the history of the game.

Rick

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Might be interesting to begin the next season with a challenge like this to identify potential team, and individual, weaknesses.

I don't think the high school kids quite have the drive Hogan did.

And you can harp on them about the short game, but good luck getting anything productive out of it. I may or may not be an assistant coach next year. It's a lot of time (and gas money) away from my family just to help kids that don't want any help and for no monetary reimbursement. We'll see.

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I don't think the high school kids quite have the drive Hogan did. And you can harp on them about the short game, but good luck getting anything productive out of it.

Frustrating as it must be, you could harp on 90% of the golfing public about the "short game" and not get anything productive out of it.

Hard to make the sacrifice in time and money to help those who won't do anything with the assistance they're given. You've got the right to assume a certain amount of "drive" to improve and achieve. Rick

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The short iron shots are really dissapointing. I wish we had something like this, when I was playing in high school...I think this should make it easy for your to create a practice strategy for next year. You should offer some sort of prize for the most improvement during the off-season. When I played high-school golf, our team leaders were shooting UNDER PAR.

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Note: This thread is 5383 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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