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

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40 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

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.

That’s not what I said. And I’m not sure why when I say putting more effort into the short game will allow me to gain a couple strokes people come to the conclusion I think that alone will get me down to single digits.

I don’t disagree with you as much as you think I do. I just believe that my skills should remain closer than they have been in the past. I also believe that for some of us the ceiling is a bit lower for getting good at the full swing. Doesn’t mean I shouldn’t apply the 65/20/15 rule when the skills are in line, only that I have a pretty good handle on how much it will help.

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21 hours 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. 

@TRUCKER, three things.

First
We cover the situation when you have what we call a "glaring weakness." If your putting is so bad as to constitute a glaring weakness - and actual statistics would be needed to know this over just assuming based on what you think is happening - then you should absolutely devote more time to putting.

Second
"Long game" does NOT mean "distance" entirely or even mostly. It means "full swing" stuff. The driving and approach shots. You can be longer than someone else but still have a worse "long game."

Third
If you're at the limit of how far you can drive the ball, you can still improve your full swing. You can hit it straighter. Your irons can be more consistently flighted and travel the same distance or straighter. You can still get better. But, if you're just a great ball striker that's at the limit of your ability, maybe because you're 65, then yeah, the 65/20/15 might get shifted around a little… but those people are rare.

16 hours ago, NM Golf said:

NEWS FLASH: the best putters on the PGA Tour make well less than half their putts from 5-10'.

You may have meant different distances, because the 50% mark for the average PGA Tour player is 8'.

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One thing is damn sure. Golf is a lot more fun when you're hitting the 1W decent. 

Came out of the blue for me last week. Most fun I had all year.

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19 hours ago, iacas said:

 

You may have meant different distances, because the 50% mark for the average PGA Tour player is 8'.

Its the combined average for all 1 putts between 5-10 feet. 

https://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.421.2018.html

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2 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

Its the combined average for all 1 putts between 5-10 feet. 

https://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.421.2018.html

You're mis-reading the statistic. That statistic measures the percentage of each player's one-putts that occur from within 5-10'.

In other words… Brian Gay had 686 one-putts in 2018. 194 of them occurred from within 5-10', for a percentage of 28.3%.

It's a pretty worthless stat, as you can see the percentages are all about 25-32%.

You wanted this stat: https://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.404.2018.html. The leader was at 65.9% and the median at 56.12%.

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16 minutes ago, iacas said:

You're mis-reading the statistic. That statistic measures the percentage of each player's one-putts that occur from within 5-10'.

In other words… Brian Gay had 686 one-putts in 2018. 194 of them occurred from within 5-10', for a percentage of 28.3%.

It's a pretty worthless stat, as you can see the percentages are all about 25-32%.

You wanted this stat: https://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.404.2018.html. The leader was at 65.9% and the median at 56.12%.

Yes I was misreading, but what I said still hold pretty true, 56.12 is about half. So if you were an absolutely fantastic putter you would make slightly more than 6 out of ten putts from 5-10'. Thats not a lot considering 10' is pretty close to the hole relatively speaking. 

Thats a whole different subject though. Have you ever noticed when people talk about putts they missed they often under exaggerate the distance? For instance the guy I played with the other day after the round told the guys he missed 5 putts under 5'. I don't think he missed any putts under 5', his misses were all 7'-12' or more. I know men are poor judges of length 😏, but I truly think the perception of missing short putts stems from this. I believe the belief that places more importance on the short game comes from common misperceptions:

  1. People have warped perception of how many putts they should/could make from any given distance.
  2. People have warped perception of the short game and believe they should/could get up and down 100% of the time.
  3. People believe they are missing easy 3 footers when in truth they are missing 6 footers which are much more difficult and have a much lower make percentage. 

Am I way off base here?

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4 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

Yes I was misreading, but what I said still hold pretty true

You must define "pretty" very broadly, because you said:

On 10/24/2018 at 11:57 PM, NM Golf said:

NEWS FLASH: the best putters on the PGA Tour make well less than half their putts from 5-10'.

That isn't the median performer in the stat, and 56% is not "well less than half" by any definition.

Just say you had a brain fart and move on. There are plenty of other stats which show what you're trying to say. Switch to those.

6 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

Thats a whole different subject though. Have you ever noticed when people talk about putts they missed they often under exaggerate the distance? For instance the guy I played with the other day after the round told the guys he missed 5 putts under 5'. I don't think he missed any putts under 5', his misses were all 7'-12' or more.Am I way off base here?

Fairly common for people to be bad judges of distance, yeah. An eight foot putt isn't all that long, and good amateurs make them 45% of the time, and miss 55% of the time (give or take a few % points).

6 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

I believe the belief that places more importance on the short game comes from common misperceptions:

  1. People have warped perception of how many putts they should/could make from any given distance.
  2. People have warped perception of the short game and believe they should/could get up and down 100% of the time.
  3. People believe they are missing easy 3 footers when in truth they are missing 6 footers which are much more difficult and have a much lower make percentage. 

I wrote up more about this in other places, but you're missing a few things, too:

  • People over-estimate how good PGA Tour players are at putting.
  • People give more weight to the last shots they make because they're closer to determining their final score for the hole. Recency bias, kinda.
  • People are really really bad at understanding partial strokes lost. If they're going to average 4.2 on a hole, and they hit their ball into the left rough near the trees so they can't play their normal slice second shot, they might lose 0.5 strokes there. Then they slice one up to the right green side rough, losing another 0.2 strokes. Then they chip it out to 15' and two-putt, losing maybe 0.1 strokes and scoring a bogey. They blame the missed 10' putt because they had a "chance" to save par… never mind that they would have had to hit a stroke gaining shot somewhere in there, because after their tee shot they're staring 4.7 in the face.
  • People like to blame the short game for the same reasons they like to blame the mental game: because it seems like something that if they really wanted to fix, they could do so easily. (Yet they never do.)

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25 minutes ago, iacas said:

You must define "pretty" very broadly, because you said:

That isn't the median performer in the stat, and 56% is not "well less than half" by any definition.

Just say you had a brain fart and move on. There are plenty of other stats which show what you're trying to say. Switch to those.

 

Moving on, and yes I most definitely had the wrong statistical category, but simply saying the correct statistical category didn't change what I was getting at; making putts, even from relatively close to the hole, is difficult and something not done with near the regularity many believe possible.

And yes "pretty' is very broad statement, especially after a few beers if you know what I am saying. 😜

25 minutes ago, iacas said:

 

I wrote up more about this in other places, but you're missing a few things, too:

  • People over-estimate how good PGA Tour players are at putting.
  • People give more weight to the last shots they make because they're closer to determining their final score for the hole. Recency bias, kinda.
  • People are really really bad at understanding partial strokes lost. If they're going to average 4.2 on a hole, and they hit their ball into the left rough near the trees so they can't play their normal slice second shot, they might lose 0.5 strokes there. Then they slice one up to the right green side rough, losing another 0.2 strokes. Then they chip it out to 15' and two-putt, losing maybe 0.1 strokes and scoring a bogey. They blame the missed 10' putt because they had a "chance" to save par… never mind that they would have had to hit a stroke gaining shot somewhere in there, because after their tee shot they're staring 4.7 in the face.
  • People like to blame the short game for the same reasons they like to blame the mental game: because it seems like something that if they really wanted to fix, they could do so easily. (Yet they never do.)

Totally agree on everything on that list. That first bullet point is the one I get the most pushback from. People think PGA players are there because of their putting, it's crazy. I even go with the argument about the PGA pro and the 20 handicap, one playing from 100 yards in and the other from 100 yards out. They agree that you would be better off with the PGA pro playing the long game, but still say the short game is more important, it's ridiculous. Their perceptions are way off base.

I have also tried to explain to people about partial strokes lost. I have just about given up arguing with people at the course about this. One person dead set on debating me is none other that the head pro. He cannot get his head around it so its wrong. It's gotten heated on several occasions. 

Basically, convincing someone of a misconception is difficult if not impossible.

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35 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

Moving on, and yes I most definitely had the wrong statistical category, but simply saying the correct statistical category didn't change what I was getting at; making putts, even from relatively close to the hole, is difficult and something not done with near the regularity many believe possible.

And yes "pretty' is very broad statement, especially after a few beers if you know what I am saying. 😜

Totally agree on everything on that list. That first bullet point is the one I get the most pushback from. People think PGA players are there because of their putting, it's crazy. I even go with the argument about the PGA pro and the 20 handicap, one playing from 100 yards in and the other from 100 yards out. They agree that you would be better off with the PGA pro playing the long game, but still say the short game is more important, it's ridiculous. Their perceptions are way off base.

I have also tried to explain to people about partial strokes lost. I have just about given up arguing with people at the course about this. One person dead set on debating me is none other that the head pro. He cannot get his head around it so its wrong. It's gotten heated on several occasions. 

Basically, convincing someone of a misconception is difficult if not impossible.

Again,

You cannot reason someone out of something he or she was not reasoned into.

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1 minute ago, Vinsk said:

Again,

You cannot reason someone out of something he or she was not reasoned into.

great quote - timely also considering current events lends us having to listen to a lot of fanatics getting ready to vote Red or Blue

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On 10/25/2018 at 1:08 AM, JonMA1 said:

I agree the full swing is more important than the short game.

After really thinking about this during today's round and assessing each hole, I'm going back on what I said previously. At where my game is and at my level, they are both very close to equally important. Both are bad, both cost a lot of strokes. I just can't see the logic of one being drastically more important than the other.

The only "tie-breaker" might be that really bad full swings can result in penalties - which cost twice as much as a poorly executed putt or chip. 

(I don't mind being ridiculed for this and I'm not trying to start shit with anyone. After all, it's just a game.)

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11 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

You cannot reason someone out of something he or she was not reasoned into.

I am going to have that crocheted into a pillow!

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4 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

After really thinking about this during today's round and assessing each hole, I'm going back on what I said previously. At where my game is and at my level, they are both very close to equally important.

No, they aren't. Not for players at your ability level.

110 shooters compared to 80s shooters lose 8.5 strokes driving, 11.7 strokes on approach shots, and only 9.8 strokes on short game and putting combined.

Maybe your particular game is "equally" as bad, but if your putting and short game is costing you as many shots as your full swing, then your short game and putting are a glaring weakness.

And @JonMA1, these topics are not about your game, or anyone's individual game.

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12 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

After really thinking about this during today's round and assessing each hole, I'm going back on what I said previously. At where my game is and at my level, they are both very close to equally important.

Also, looking at this through the lens of one round by one person is not nearly a large enough sample size to make an educated/data based decision

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7 minutes ago, klineka said:

Also, looking at this through the lens of one round by one person is not nearly a large enough sample size to make an educated/data based decision

That too.

Particularly given how badly average golfers are at understanding partial strokes gained or lost.

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6 minutes ago, iacas said:

then your short game and putting are a glaring weakness.

My entire game is a glaring weakness. I have to improve everything. And I'm not looking to gain 10 strokes. 

1 minute ago, klineka said:

Also, looking at this through the lens of one round by one person is not nearly a large enough sample size to make an educated/data based decision

How about 120 rounds? Is that a large enough sample?

Today's round was very typical. I hit my scoring average exactly and in the same way as normal. The only difference is that while I was playing, I thought a lot more about what cost me strokes, where improved skill could have lowered the score, and how much effort would learning that skill require.

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13 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

My entire game is a glaring weakness.

That's not how that works.

13 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

Today's round was very typical. I hit my scoring average exactly and in the same way as normal. The only difference is that while I was playing, I thought a lot more about what cost me strokes, where improved skill could have lowered the score, and how much effort would learning that skill require.

I don't know that you're qualified to make those determinations. And… again, this isn't about individual players.

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