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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 minutes ago, iacas said:

The full swing.

Pretty big stuff there.

Wow, exactly what I was wondering/looking for. Those 2010/2011 years stand out for me. Top 4 still for approaches but driver noticeably dropped. Back problems related to the driver?

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5 minutes ago, cutchemist42 said:

Wow, exactly what I was wondering/looking for. Those 2010/2011 years stand out for me. Top 4 still for approaches but driver noticeably dropped. Back problems related to the driver?

Might be. Might be more to do with the divorce/sex scandal/etc.

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So I did something interesting with my stats from yesterday. One of my goals for this year is to get my scoring average to around bogey golf. Yesterday, I shot 102 so I lost 12 shots to Bogey (Par 72 course). I went through each hole in where I lost shots and attributed each lost shot to one of the 4 categories listed above plus a bonus category I called stupidity (probably actually should be called gameplanning). It came from trying a recovery shot I should never have tried. It was just one round but here is where I lost my shots to Bogey:

 

Approach Shots: 4

Short Game: 3

Tee Shots: 2

Putting: 2

Gameplanning (Stupidity): 1

LONG GAME TOTAL: 6

SHORT GAME TOTAL: 5

In all Honesty the Gameplanning mistake could also be attributed to the Tee shot before it that put me in that situation. So maybe the actual shots lost was 7-5?. Either way I plan on keeping up this exercise, and hopefully I see it trending in the right direction. 

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5 minutes ago, HJJ003 said:

LONG GAME TOTAL: 6

SHORT GAME TOTAL: 5

The problem there is that you're not thinking of things in partial strokes.

A missed ten-footer might feel like you lost a stroke, but you only lost about 0.4 (actually much less for your handicap level).

You have the LSW badge, so try this instead:

http://lowestscorewins.com/members/assessing-your-sv-results

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For me, the tee shot is everything. Getting it in the fairway sends my chances of making par way up. I hit my irons much better from short grass than from the rough. When I hit my irons better I hit more greens or miss by an amount that gives me easier up-and-downs.

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Each shot sets up the next one. A 100 yard approach shot is easier to make tnan if you were 200 yards away.. Of course if you can't putt worth beans none of that really matters.

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58 minutes ago, The Hook Meister said:

Each shot sets up the next one. A 100 yard approach shot is easier to make tnan if you were 200 yards away.. 

Exactly.

This entire debate, for me anyway, is in improving the full swing not necessarily in becoming much longer. I have a limited potential in how far I'll ever hit each club. But I can work on accuracy until the day I stop playing.

With that in mind, I can play it safe by hitting a mid iron on every shot... OR I can get so good with the driver and longer woods/irons, that I set myself up for an easier next shot by pulling the longest club available.

1 hour ago, The Hook Meister said:

Of course if you can't putt worth beans none of that really matters.

True. No one is saying not to practice the short game. It's all important. If you can't putt worth beans that constitutes a glaring weakness in which case, spend more time on that.

But on average, what requires more time to improve upon... chip shots close to the flag, or a full-swing 5wood close to the green and in-bounds? While I'm not good at either skill, I'm really bad at the latter. So I should be spending a bit more time on that skill which is harder to learn and arguably more important.

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This article may be true in general. But for MY game I find that most of my wasted shots are on or around the green. I can improve a lot faster if I can reduce my three putts and errant chip shots. THEN I can focus on getting more consistent from tee to green. This is probably because I mostly practice full swing shots on the range. So I plan to reverse this and focus on my short game for a while.

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4 minutes ago, tehuti said:

This article may be true in general. But for MY game I find that most of my wasted shots are on or around the green. I can improve a lot faster if I can reduce my three putts and errant chip shots. THEN I can focus on getting more consistent from tee to green. This is probably because I mostly practice full swing shots on the range. So I plan to reverse this and focus on my short game for a while.

Do you know or keep track of your stats like GIR %, putts per GIR, and/or strokes gained?

I could very easily argue that to reduce 3 putts and chips you should improve your proximity to the hole with your approach shots.

 

Edited by klineka

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3 minutes ago, tehuti said:

This article may be true in general. But for MY game I find that most of my wasted shots are on or around the green.

Unlikely.

Highly unlikely.

Yes, you can shave a few strokes the fastest with your short game. But you probably lose more strokes with your full swing than short game and putting.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Unlikely.

Highly unlikely.

Yes, you can shave a few strokes the fastest with your short game. But you probably lose more strokes with your full swing than short game and putting.

I guess I should qualify my statement by saying that I play more on a par 3 course than on a normal par 70-72, so my opportunities for hitting long shots are minimal. 

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1 minute ago, tehuti said:

I guess I should qualify my statement by saying that I play more on a par 3 course than on a normal par 70-72, so my opportunities for hitting long shots are minimal. 

I still stand by my statement. More GIR and closer proximity to the hole leads to fewer putts and chips. 

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33 minutes ago, klineka said:

I still stand by my statement. More GIR and closer proximity to the hole leads to fewer putts and chips. 

No doubt.

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44 minutes ago, tehuti said:

I guess I should qualify my statement by saying that I play more on a par 3 course than on a normal par 70-72, so my opportunities for hitting long shots are minimal. 

Still the same kind of thinking though. Long game is just referring to full swings off the tee and approach shots. So driver, irons and some distance wedges. Short game is referring to pitching, chipping around the greens and obviously putting.

If you find yourself pitching/chipping a lot, then the long term piece to work on is full swing to hit more greens.

Now obviously if you're hitting a decent amount of greens and when you do miss a green you're chunking and blading a bunch of shots, then yes that would be a glaring weakness and you would need to fix that.

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1 hour ago, tehuti said:

I guess I should qualify my statement by saying that I play more on a par 3 course than on a normal par 70-72, so my opportunities for hitting long shots are minimal. 

The averages are about 28%, 39%, 19%, and 14% for the four categories. So if you eliminate driving, that 28% gets divided out and the new percentages are: 54%, 26%, and 19%.

That still favors the full swing - your "approach shots."

Now, maybe you have a glaring weakness, and like I said, it's true that you can gain a few strokes most quickly with the short game.

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4 hours ago, iacas said:

The averages are about 28%, 39%, 19%, and 14% for the four categories. So if you eliminate driving, that 28% gets divided out and the new percentages are: 54%, 26%, and 19%.

That still favors the full swing - your "approach shots."

Now, maybe you have a glaring weakness, and like I said, it's true that you can gain a few strokes most quickly with the short game.

My whole game is a “glaring weakness”, so I’ll take any opportunity to improve. 

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11 hours ago, tehuti said:

I guess I should qualify my statement by saying that I play more on a par 3 course than on a normal par 70-72, so my opportunities for hitting long shots are minimal. 

FWIW, par 3 holes are not the easiest holes on most courses. People make that assumption because it is a 3 stroke hole. They generally have higher handicap numbers because a hole handicap is a (paraphrasing) rank/measure of the difference between what a scratch and bogey golfer should score on a hole on a given course.

Par 3 courses are a great place to practice approach shots, so don’t discount where you play in terms of getting better. 

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2 hours ago, boogielicious said:

FWIW, par 3 holes are not the easiest holes on most courses. People make that assumption because it is a 3 stroke hole. They generally have higher handicap numbers because a hole handicap is a (paraphrasing) rank/measure of the difference between what a scratch and bogey golfer should score on a hole on a given course.

Par 3 courses are a great place to practice approach shots, so don’t discount where you play in terms of getting better. 

I have a problem with this whole conversation. Why are we assuming that there is 1 answer for everyone or even that everyone is asking the same question.

This is a generalization and should be considered for average golfers as I think it becomes much more personal when you are looking at low single digits.

If the objective to quickly an consistently cutting a few strokes, I would support the idea that the short game (chipping and putting) would have the biggest bang for the buck. These small swings are much easier to improve and often the problems are static issues (Setup and alignment). So if you have limited time work on short game.

Average or beginning golfers often have fundamental flaws in there swing and make inconsistent contact. This leads to 4 way misses, YES 4 way (Long, short, left and right). To improve this inconsistent nature one must work on the swing. This is likely to involve some static factors (alignment, stance, grip, and game planning). These things are easier to change (except planning) than dynamic motions. However, to make them a habit and consistent takes dedication, awareness and repetition. most golfers are not willing to take the time and focus.

Finally making real changes to improve the swing (not just a quick fix) takes time, money and dedication. Every time I have made a fundamental change in my swing it has caused me to spend $ on lessons, time on the range and stress due to the bad shots while I am making the change. 

So assuming that 95% of people here have limited time and conflicting demands including work, family and life. Also most people are more interested in playing and having fun with their friends than shooting par. I say that based not on expressed desire but their actions and choices. Finally most people are not willing to persevere through the change process. 

All of that said I would suggest that for most people who play a few times a month, don't spend hours on the range every week and won't take regular lessons, spending an extra 20 min 3 times a week on short game will have the greatest impact on a consistent basis and when the long game is working will allow for some "good" scores.

Just my 2 cents 

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