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Relative Importance of Driving/Approach Shots, Short Game, Putting, etc. (LSW, Mark Broadie, Strokes Gained, etc.)

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3 hours ago, Throwback said:

he beat me everytime  with my 280+ yard drives into where ever they felt like going, and scambling to make a rescue Iron shot.

If you're hitting drives all over and they're costing you strokes, you need to either improve your swing to reduce your misses or be more selective about when to use your driver. You should outdrive that gentleman with a hybrid and still have a mid or short iron to the green.

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At the time you are probably correct about my weak iron play, And I've improved as that was almost 30 years ago, but I will still take accuracy, I still hit 280+ drives and have found the gap problem  for me is my short irons are too long, 145  for my PW, 125 for my 56 deg SW. so I play for 150 to 125 yards from the pin any closer it becomes a partial swing situation and that requires a hell of a lot more thought than just ripping as far as I can. AS for what the pros do, let em has nothing to do with what the average Sunday golfer can do, If it did we would all be on the tour.    

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The understanding that the Driving/Approach game is usually the most important aspect of a golfers game to work on (not withstanding a major weakness that they can prove with stats) makes so much sense to me. It is not something that I believed even 6 months ago, but with the statistical evidence and even the simple logic around it, has me convinced. I am excited to see what the new proper focus will do to my scores. 

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28 minutes ago, Throwback said:

At the time you are probably correct about my weak iron play, And I've improved as that was almost 30 years ago, but I will still take accuracy, I still hit 280+ drives and have found the gap problem  for me is my short irons are too long, 145  for my PW, 125 for my 56 deg SW. so I play for 150 to 125 yards from the pin any closer it becomes a partial swing situation and that requires a hell of a lot more thought than just ripping as far as I can. AS for what the pros do, let em has nothing to do with what the average Sunday golfer can do, If it did we would all be on the tour.    

It's not necessarily accuracy against distance. You need both in the right proportions. But the trade off favors distance more than most of us realize in general (there are always exceptions). 

Of course, if you are hitting more than half your drives off the planet, then yes, it's kinda silly to keep searching for newer planets in the galaxy to conquer. Definitely work on reducing your OBs to less than 2 a round or something. But beyond that distance is a great gift and you can really build on that. 

 

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Distance is a prerequisite to play any respectable golf. If you can't get off the tee you can basically forget about playing.

Accuracy is how you go from 90 to 80. 

Putting is how you beat competitors who are on your same skill level.  

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1 hour ago, Throwback said:

so I play for 150 to 125 yards from the pin any closer it becomes a partial swing situation and that requires a hell of a lot more thought than just ripping as far as I can

You'll find that you're likely costing yourself strokes in doing that, too.

I try not to pitch it too much - and, really, I can barely afford a cup of Starbucks from the sale of one copy of the book - but you should check out http://lowestscorewins.com/. It's in the topic title for a reason. And check out ESC while you're at it, too.

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17 minutes ago, Kalnoky said:

Distance is a prerequisite to play any respectable golf. If you can't get off the tee you can basically forget about playing.

Accuracy is how you go from 90 to 80. 

Putting is how you beat competitors who are on your same skill level.  

I'd say that, in general, accuracy – taking distance as non-decreasing as you improve your accuracy – is how you make all improvements, 100 to 90 or 80 to 70.  And I'd say accuracy is more or less how you beat someone with the same "skill level" as you. 

Let's assume that be same skill level, we mean that over the last 20 rounds, you and your competitor have the same strokes gained for all aspects of the game.  Then you're beating that competitor by playing better than them, against your identical expected performance, in at least some aspects of the game.  In that case, accuracy still wins.  If you both play to expectations with approach shots and with short game off the green, you play 20% better than average off the tee, and your competitor plays 20% better than average putting, then you're going to win pretty easily.

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34 minutes ago, Throwback said:

At the time you are probably correct about my weak iron play, And I've improved as that was almost 30 years ago, but I will still take accuracy, I still hit 280+ drives and have found the gap problem  for me is my short irons are too long, 145  for my PW, 125 for my 56 deg SW. so I play for 150 to 125 yards from the pin any closer it becomes a partial swing situation and that requires a hell of a lot more thought than just ripping as far as I can. AS for what the pros do, let em has nothing to do with what the average Sunday golfer can do, If it did we would all be on the tour.    

Its not that your short irons/wedges are too long, its that you cant control the distances with those clubs very well. You said partial wedge shots require more thought than just ripping as far as you can, if you spent some time doing a wedge gapping session, partial wedge swings would take little to no thought at all. Here is a good explanation of the clock method to determine partial wedge distances. Also, if PW and 56 wedge are the only two wedges you have, that could explain part of the problem. Most players have 2-3 wedges in addition to their pitching wedge. I for example, have PW, 50 degree, 56, and 60. The more wedges you have the less partial swings you will have to do.

http://www.castnergolf.com/pdf/golf-tips-clock.pdf

 

 

Things that the pros do absolutely can relate to what the average Sunday golfer can do. We can use the same exact equipment the pros do, and in some cases play on the same exact courses that the pros do, with the main exceptions being the they typically play from further tees, and the green speeds are sometimes quicker for the pros. The point of the game is the same for both pros and amateurs, to get the ball in the hole in the least amount of shots.

Numerous studies have shown the closer you are to the hole on your approach shot, on average, the closer the ball ends up to the hole. That is a fact. That fact is true regardless of if you are an amateur or a pro. Why wouldnt you want as much distance as possible? 

Since you dont want to use pro golfers as examples, lets use myself. According to my GameGolf data, from 125-150 yards, I get within 15 yards or ~45 feet 31% of the time. From 100-125 yards, that jumps to 62%, from 75-100 yards, up to 72%, and from 50 to 75 yards, 77%. Anything less that 90-100 yards are partial shots for me, and that 77% from 50 to 75 is double what my percentage is from 125-150 yards. 

Guess what? The data is the exact same when compared to PGA tour players (proving my point that thoughts and ideas used by tour players are relevant for amateurs). The best player for proximity to the hole on approaches 125-150 in 2017 averaged 20'1" from the hole (Rory Sabbatini). From approaches 50-75 yards, that same player averaged 10'3". 50-75 yards is a partial wedge of some sort for every PGA tour player, yet on average he was 10 feet closer on his approach shots. 

I am curious to hear your thoughts, why dont you think what pro players do matters for average Sunday golfers?

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7 minutes ago, mdl said:

I'd say that, in general, accuracy – taking distance as non-decreasing as you improve your accuracy – is how you make all improvements, 100 to 90 or 80 to 70.  And I'd say accuracy is more or less how you beat someone with the same "skill level" as you.

Ah, @mdl, but isn't it true that someone who hits it as far, putts as well as you do, etc. but is more accurate… is actually a higher skill level than you are? :-)

As your ballstriking improves, your full swing, your accuracy tends to improve too. Depending on how you measure accuracy. My daughter, @NatalieB, can hit 14 fairways in a round… because when you hit the ball 180 off the tee, it's tough to miss the fairway. The same angular measure of accuracy with added distance is still an advantage, too, but will result in what appear to be lower accuracy numbers if you go by things like "fairways hit."

7 minutes ago, mdl said:

Let's assume that be same skill level, we mean that over the last 20 rounds, you and your competitor have the same strokes gained for all aspects of the game.  Then you're beating that competitor by playing better than them, against your identical expected performance, in at least some aspects of the game.

If that was the case, the same strokes gained in all aspects, you'd be shooting the same scores, and nobody would be winning.

That's how that whole thing works.

If you have a hole that's 4.2 strokes, and both players play it in 4 because they both gain 0.1 strokes on their tee shot, 0.1 stroke on their approach shot, and 0 strokes on their short game or putts, then… they hit the ball into equivalent positions.

For the longer player that may be 280 off the tee in the rough (gaining 0.1 strokes), while for the more accurate player that may be 250 off the tee in the fairway (gaining the same 0.1 strokes off the tee).

7 minutes ago, mdl said:

In that case, accuracy still wins.

I don't know what that means. If they're shooting identical scores, accuracy will tie.

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Next thing You guys will tell me is to get one of them toyotos on a stick they call drivers these days and put up my powerbilts citations on the shelf. I simply stated that distance without accuracy is useless, and the short game is just as important as the long. Statistics can prove anything including that the world is flat. 

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8 minutes ago, Throwback said:

Next thing You guys will tell me is to get one of them toyotos on a stick they call drivers these days and put up my powerbilts citations on the shelf. I simply stated that distance without accuracy is useless, and the short game is just as important as the long. Statistics can prove anything including that the world is flat. 

 

No. You didnt state distance without accuracy is useless. You stated "the key word is accuracy NOT distance" 

6 hours ago, Throwback said:

Both are equally important, the key word is accuracy not distance, most consistant player I ever new was a 70 year old 5' tall Japanese gentleman never hit a drive over 200 yards but straight as an arrow, fairway wood to the green and a put or two, he beat me everytime  with my 280+ yard drives into where ever they felt like going, and scambling to make a rescue Iron shot. It at least taught me how to use my irons.

nuff said  

 

Also, the short game is not just as important as the long game. The long game is far more important and has been discussed many times in great detail on this site.

Although you have yet to answer any of the questions I have posed to you thus far, I'll ask another. Which of these two scenarios would give you a better score?

  1. Your current long game (all shots outside of 50 yards to the pin) and Dustin Johnson's (or any PGA players) short game
  2. Dustin Johnson's long game (all shots outside of 50 yards) and your short game

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I think golf is divided now into two eras.  There was the era (BDDJ) and after (ADDJ) where DJ means Dustin Johnson and BD means BEFORE the 420 yard DRIVE to 4 inches short of the hole during the Sentry tournament, and AD is after that. 

So, this is the 0th century, year one ADJD.  No pro on tour will ever not think about that Drive.  That image will burn into the subconscious and life there and even Tiger will feel the fear.  Even Rhambo.  I don't care how tough Speith or Thomas is mentally, they are now whistling in the dark, trying not to think about that drive.

It like the book says, driving is SV4.  I say its SV5. 

 

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43 minutes ago, Throwback said:

Next thing You guys will tell me is to get one of them toyotos on a stick they call drivers these days and put up my powerbilts citations on the shelf. I simply stated that distance without accuracy is useless, and the short game is just as important as the long. Statistics can prove anything including that the world is flat. 

@Throwback, read what @klineka said.

Of course when you say things like "distance without accuracy is useless" then that can be true, but so is accuracy without distance. That kind of discussion doesn't advance the understanding at all.

This is a long topic. You should pick up a copy of LSW, or at least read the many free posts here that talk about it, or the free Blog over there at the LSW site.

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On 1/7/2018 at 10:09 PM, iacas said:

@MuniGrit, @kpaulhus could have putted for DJ and won the event. :-)

h/t to @mvmac for that one.

He didn't three putt either! I'm going to still stand by my he isn't winning with an 8 handicap putting for him. I agree that ballstriking is king, it's just that mediocre putting by a tour player is way better than an 8 handicap.

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56 minutes ago, MuniGrit said:

He didn't three putt either! I'm going to still stand by my he isn't winning with an 8 handicap putting for him. I agree that ballstriking is king, it's just that mediocre putting by a tour player is way better than an 8 handicap.

It’s not way better. It’s marginally better.

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On 1/11/2018 at 12:14 PM, iacas said:

It’s not way better. It’s marginally better.

DJ 6th out of the field in strokes gained putting is WAAAAAYYYY better than an 8 handicap player. You mentioned you thought he putted bad but he was 6th last week. He only won by 8 and an 8 handicap would have had probably 8 3 putts at min.

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26 minutes ago, MuniGrit said:

DJ 6th out of the field in strokes gained putting is WAAAAAYYYY better than an 8 handicap player. You mentioned you thought he putted bad but he was 6th last week. He only won by 8 and an 8 handicap would have had probably 8 3 putts at min.

Look, you're operating based on some faulty assumptions, maybe even your own putting. I don't know.

I don't know what to tell you. The stats say an average 8 handicap could have still won the tournament - by a few shots - if they putted for Dustin Johnson. It's not going to happen every time. The 8 could have a bad few rounds putting. But if they putted in about the top 70th percentile for an 8 handicapper, he could have still won the event.

DJ gained fewer than one stroke per round putting. Fewer than 3 for the entire event. He won by… 8. Someone could have taken nearly two more putts per round than him and still won.

Quickie math there, but it's close. I know it's not above 90th percentiles and it's not below the 35th.

Here's one of the rounds he played, chopping off inches. The number in parentheses on two-putts is the distance of the putts he holed.


Hole 1: 2 putts from 27' (2'1")
Hole 2: 1 putt from 4'
Hole 3: 2 putts from 19' (2'9")
Hole 4: 2 putts from 48' (2'3")
Hole 5: 2 putts from 10' (1'6")
Hole 6: 2 putts from 7' (1'4")
Hole 7: 2 putts from 43' (2'6")
Hole 8: 2 putts from 20' (4")
Hole 9: 1 putt from 3'

Hole 10: 2 putts from 14' (1'2")
Hole 11: 2 putts from 12' (10")
Hole 12: 0 putts (holed out for eagle)
Hole 13: 2 putts from 55' (2'4")
Hole 14: 1 putt from 3'
Hole 15: 2 putts from 35' (10'*)
Hole 16: 2 putts from 5' (3'3")
Hole 17: 1 putts from 13' (13'8")
Hole 18: 2 putts from 49' (5'10")

So what's that? Over 17 holes (the 8 handicapper would not have putted on the 12th either), he one-putted four times for a total of 30 putts. Putts where he gained more than a tiny amount on an 8 handicapper: 4, 7, 13, 17, 18. Holes where he lost more than a tiny amount to an 8 handicapper: 5, 6, 16.

* Not a typo. He ran a 35' putt 10' past the hole and made the come-backer.

That's not an altogether impressive showing. I know plenty of 8 handicappers capable of pulling that off the majority of the time, and the average 8 handicapper can pull that off more often than you seem to realize.

And no, I don't expect you'll be convinced even in the slightest. I'm posting this here so others with open minds can see, and learn.

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Assumptions all over the place. I do not 3 putt very often, and yes, I’ve played on plenty fast greens. Like @iacas says, the most important aspect of a tour players game is his long game. Even I could make the 4” eagle putt he almost made for a 1. He holes out for eagle. No putter needed. Long game > putting every day of the week. 

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