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

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Just now, boogielicious said:

DJ didn't use a wedge on 18 for his US Open win from 193 out. He put it to 6 feet.

I know.  That's what the wink was for.

I agree with you.  I'm amazed at how long and accurate these guys are with not just their drivers.  Just saying they have another advantage being able to hit it so long and have stopping power from a distance other guys are hitting less-lofted clubs.

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3 minutes ago, NCGolfer said:

I know.  That's what the wink was for.

I agree with you.  I'm amazed at how long and accurate these guys are with not just their drivers.  Just saying they have another advantage being able to hit it so long and have stopping power from a distance other guys are hitting less-lofted clubs.

Of course I would use a 3H from 193 and DJ used a 6 iron I think! :-P

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2 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

Of course I would use a 3H from 193 and DJ used a 6 iron I think! :-P

It was...after a smooth cutting driver off the tee.  191 6-iron uphill covered 484 yards (uphill) total.  I would have been lucky to have hit Driver/4-iron and run it up there.  😀

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, NCGolfer said:

It was...after a smooth cutting driver off the tee.  191 6-iron uphill covered 484 yards (uphill) total.  I would have been lucky to have hit Driver/4-iron and run it up there.  😀

 

 

 

That's a Par 5 for me. :-P

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1 hour ago, NCGolfer said:

I think most here have seen this article about Molinari's distance gain and how it helped him.  Broadie even tweeted about it.  Really good read.

 

107 to 114. Drive for dough. Drive to win, baby.

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Isn't it about time for someone to pop in with their "For me putting and short game is the most important part of golf" argument? We haven't had one for a couple months. I mean, I just love those guys, keep on fighting against all those silly facts because you know your game. Anyone, anyone, Bueller?

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1 hour ago, NM Golf said:

Isn't it about time for someone to pop in with their "For me putting and short game is the most important part of golf" argument? We haven't had one for a couple months. I mean, I just love those guys, keep on fighting against all those silly facts because you know your game. Anyone, anyone, Bueller?

I'll bite - I just love prioritizing the ability to get up and down and save par all day.  So much more fun than setting myself up to hit greens and having a lot of birdie putt opportunties.

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I'll bite also. My son and daughter play USKIDS tournaments and I see all the time where 1-2 kids out of their age group will drive it 20-40 yards further than the rest of the kids and still get the same score as the top 4-5 because the other kids are 1-2 putting. Also I play in a money game every now and then and I will drive the ball 20-30 yards past these old timers and they still beat me or tie. I'm on in regulation and 2-3 putt they get on in 3 and 1-2 putt. 

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27 minutes ago, TRUCKER said:

I'll bite also. My son and daughter play USKIDS tournaments and I see all the time where 1-2 kids out of their age group will drive it 20-40 yards further than the rest of the kids and still get the same score as the top 4-5 because the other kids are 1-2 putting. Also I play in a money game every now and then and I will drive the ball 20-30 yards past these old timers and they still beat me or tie. I'm on in regulation and 2-3 putt they get on in 3 and 1-2 putt. 

If you are 30 yards longer off the tee, and still losing, your short game must be quite terrible.  You should get better at that, because it’s certainly a lot easier for you to improve your short game than it is for them to gain 30 yards. 

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Yeah ok until someone on here will say no keep working on the long game because that's where you will shave strokes.

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But...  that is where you’ll shave strokes.  I was only illustrating the point improving your short game is a much less difficult and time consuming task than improving your full swing.   But the full swing is where the majority of the strokes are. 

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2 hours ago, TRUCKER said:

Yeah ok until someone on here will say no keep working on the long game because that's where you will shave strokes.

Well...you only mentioned your drives. Then there’s your approach. If you’re hitting your approach shots 30yds wide/long/short then that’s a weakness. If you’re striping your drives, nailing your approach but 2-3 putting constantly then your short game is a glaring weakness. It’s not a slam but let’s be honest. The 20hcp player is not striping his drives and hitting accurate approach shots all the time. They think they are. They’re not. I hear way too often a player who hits a decent drive, flubs his approach, then hits a beautiful approach to 20’ then 3 putts and blames his db on his putting. This happens because he believes that crisp iron he hit is the norm and that flub was just a fluke when in reality the poor shot is the norm and the crisp iron was the fluke.

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I got my drives straightened out and started  scoring in the 90’s.  I got my chipping and putting worked out and now score in the 80’s under 6k yards. Further improvement will come from longer drives and closer approaches.  I plan to shoot in the 80’s from 6k+ yards.  That is my goal next year.  

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AND there he is!!! Come on @TRUCKER I was just kidding, don't be that guy, you have to realize your perception is wrong. The facts are overwhelming, the long game is more important. For you, for me, for pretty much everyone. Its all about perception, people only remember the putt they missed or the chip they didn't get close enough to get up and down. They don't realize that it was their long game that got them in trouble in the first place and their expectations for their putting and short game are unrealistic. 

It comes down to this, people seem to have a realistic expectation when it comes to their long game. They expect to hit a couple in the trees, or to miss more than half the greens, they are okay with that. Yet when it comes to putting they expect to make everything. NEWS FLASH: the best putters on the PGA Tour make well less than half their putts from 5-10'. Yet as amateurs playing greens nowhere near as nice we get pissed and blame our putting every time we miss a putt from that distance. GET THIS- no matter how much you practice, no matter how good at putting you become, you will always miss more than half your putts from 5-10'. And from outside 10' the percentage PLUMMETS! 

Also, no matter how much you work on your short game you will be lucky to ever get above 50% scrambling, because 50% is really good.

So how do you get better and drop strokes? You hit more greens and you hit the ball closer to the hole on the greens you hit. Then the averages for making putts is more in your favor. Its as simple as that. The perception that you must become a better putter or must get your short game more on track is backwards. What you need is to get a better long game so you don't have to rely so much on the other two, because there is no separation value in them, the improvement possibilities are finite.

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I agree the full swing is more important than the short game. It's the hardest skill to learn and those who are very good at this game are very good ball strikers.

8 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

You hit more greens and you hit the ball closer to the hole on the greens you hit.

But there are a lot of us who, for a number of reasons, will never in a million years become good ball strikers. We aren't going to hit 12 GIR much less get the ball within 5' on a very high percentage of the few greens we do hit with a full swing. That is just a fact.

If I hired the best instructor, practiced properly for 4 hours a day working strictly on my full swing, I'd still never come close to those numbers.

Knowing this, I can approach improvement a bit more realistically. I can disregard what's needed to get to scratch and concentrate more on the best I can do with what I have. That means bringing my full swing to the level of keeping it in play and getting it close to the green. With that may come hitting 5 or 6 greens.There will be rounds where there won't be any realistic birdie chances. Sadly, this is the best many of us will be able to accomplish with our full swing.

With that in mind, wouldn't I want to get as good as I possibly could at the short game? I can't completely disregard the full swing practice to accomplish that because I'd then be sacrificing my potential described above. But at some point, it makes sense to devote a lot of practice time to develop those skills because of the strokes that can be gained.

My full swing relative to your game is a joke @NM Golf. But my full swing relative to the rest of my game is a slight strength.

I'm not going to pretend to know as much about golf as you guys, but improving the short game sometimes has merit, IMO.

While I may not be the average golfer, I don't think a weakness in the short game is as rare as many think. It's also likely improvement there can come easier and require less maintenance than the full swing.

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15 hours ago, TRUCKER said:

 I'm on in regulation and 2-3 putt they get on in 3 and 1-2 putt. 

GIR is king.  If you are doing well with GIR, then.....SURE..... fix your putting.  It's easiest to improve  - can't wait to hear about how your scores improve

Those other guys are the ones being mocked.  They may be good at getting up and down to SAVE PAR or bogie.  But they are not getting birdie opportunities - and that's the real goal.  They need to work on their striking - obviously.

The whole post is about the biggest bang for the buck is getting on in regulation more.  Better drives gives easier approach shots.  Great approach shots leads to more makable birdie putts.

There's a reason why people are usually most happy when they are 'throwing darts' 'hitting it close', etc....they realize this is the hardest part to get good at and it's the biggest chance for going low.

I prioritize as follows:

  • Approach shots #1 - get on the green.  It gives you a chance to putt for birdie.  Get better at approaches?  you get easier chances to putt for birdie.  you can hit good approaches from the fairway or the rough.  Get good at both (really, why is Tiger so good).  See #2.
  • Drives and layups #2 - The better you are at this, the better your setup is for the approach.  I'd rather hit my approach from closer, and a good lie.
  • Short game - make more of the birdies, or recover from missed approaches - necessary and helps always

 

 

9 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

but improving the short game sometimes has merit, IMO.

improving your weaknesses always has merit - the post is about what gives the best returns.  A great short game is cool.  But a great short game that exploits a great approach game is lethal

Edited by rehmwa

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9 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

I agree the full swing is more important than the short game. It's the hardest skill to learn and those who are very good at this game are very good ball strikers.

But there are a lot of us who, for a number of reasons, will never in a million years become good ball strikers. We aren't going to hit 12 GIR much less get the ball within 5' on a very high percentage of the few greens we do hit with a full swing. That is just a fact.

If I hired the best instructor, practiced properly for 4 hours a day working strictly on my full swing, I'd still never come close to those numbers.

Knowing this, I can approach improvement a bit more realistically. I can disregard what's needed to get to scratch and concentrate more on the best I can do with what I have. That means bringing my full swing to the level of keeping it in play and getting it close to the green. With that may come hitting 5 or 6 greens.There will be rounds where there won't be any realistic birdie chances. Sadly, this is the best many of us will be able to accomplish with our full swing.

With that in mind, wouldn't I want to get as good as I possibly could at the short game? I can't completely disregard the full swing practice to accomplish that because I'd then be sacrificing my potential described above. But at some point, it makes sense to devote a lot of practice time to develop those skills because of the strokes that can be gained.

My full swing relative to your game is a joke @NM Golf. But my full swing relative to the rest of my game is a slight strength.

I'm not going to pretend to know as much about golf as you guys, but improving the short game sometimes has merit, IMO.

While I may not be the average golfer, I don't think a weakness in the short game is as rare as many think. It's also likely improvement there can come easier and require less maintenance than the full swing.

No one ever said to disregard the short game. I am not sure why when I say long game is more important, people immediately jump to the conclusion I mean they should never practice their short game. Personally I try to get as good as I possibly can at all aspects of my game. I practice putting, short game, and long game. When I practice I try to follow @iacas 65%-20%-15% guideline. You've read LSW, there are several reasons you don't need to spend as much time on putting and the short game as you do on the long game. First, you can hit as many putts in 15 minutes as you can hit balls in 65 minutes. And second, the putting and chipping motions are far simpler than the full swing so they require less practice time. I mean putting is easy. My 6 year old can putt!

People who believe they are going to pick up a bunch of strokes by getting really good at putting and chipping are lying to themselves. It's not going to happen. You could be the best putter on the planet and you cannot reasonably expect to make 50% of your putts from 10 feet. You can work on your short game until the cows come home and if you get REALLY, REALLY good at it you might get up and down 50%-60% of the time. There are minimal strokes to be gained even if you become really good at the short game. 

Edited by NM Golf

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