# 65/20/15 Practice Ratios: Where to Devote Your Practice Time

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Dave Pelz on why he still thinks the short game is more important than the long game.

Pelz describes the four areas of the golf game, and their relative importance.

His logic is that because you always have another shot the Driver it is the least important. Since putting is the end of the hole it's the most important because if you miss a putt you have to putt again.

This logic fails because not all shots are equal. Lets say you hit a bad short game shot to 40 FT. What's the odds of one putting from 40 FT? In the end that 40 FT putt isn't really that important because you are more likely to three putt than you are to one putt.

What was important is the short game shot before it that put you into that low percentage situation. Also what was more important is the approach shot you hit that forced you to hit that short game shot.

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20 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Dave Pelz on why he still thinks the short game is more important than the long game.

Pelz describes the four areas of the golf game, and their relative importance.

His logic is that because you always have another shot the Driver it is the least important. Since putting is the end of the hole it's the most important because if you miss a putt you have to putt again.

This logic fails because not all shots are equal. Lets say you hit a bad short game shot to 40 FT. What's the odds of one putting from 40 FT? In the end that 40 FT putt isn't really that important because you are more likely to three putt than you are to one putt.

What was important is the short game shot before it that put you into that low percentage situation. Also what was more important is the approach shot you hit that forced you to hit that short game shot.

He says it with such confidence, and his graphics are great. It must be true! (or not)

Couldn't resist.

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I'll just fly off the cuff here... he says: “maybe, like a 5”, “might be a 7”, "putting... it’s gotta be a 9”... c'mon you are Dave Pelz, can you give us some actual research? Can’t blame him for doing this as he’s hitched to short game but wow... just not backed by anything.

Then let's look quickly at his stat re: 60% that tour players get it up and down vs. approx. 10% of 20 handicappers. Without even taking time to look at some of our research to confirm accuracy at this point, if the 20 handicap misses 16 greens and gets it up and down 2 times vs. the tour player 10 times they lose 8 shots... that's still NOTHING compared to what they are losing with the full swing. Tour players are picking up multiple shots EVERY hole on 20 handicappers with the full swing.

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4 hours ago, saevel25 said:

His logic is that because you always have another shot the Driver it is the least important. Since putting is the end of the hole it's the most important because if you miss a putt you have to putt again.

It amazes me that people still believe this. The chances of a high handicap player recovering from a bad tee shot with a good iron shot are very low, not even counting the number of times a poor tee shot puts you into a position that's impossible to recover from. A poor putt costs a stroke. A poor drive can cost two, stroke and distance, then you have to tee it up again.

Obviously Pelz is married to the short game, but seriously this reeks of either desperation or delusion. I actually laughed out loud when I watched the video.

22 minutes ago, david_wedzik said:

Then let's look quickly at his stat re: 60% that tour players get it up and down vs. approx. 10% of 20 handicappers. Without even taking time to look at some of our research to confirm accuracy at this point, if the 20 handicap misses 16 greens and gets it up and down 2 times vs. the tour player 10 times they lose 8 shots... that's still NOTHING compared to what they are losing with the full swing. Tour players are picking up multiple shots EVERY hole on 20 handicappers with the full swing.

Obviously the only difference between me and a tour pro is the 8 strokes I could be making up by getting up and down more often. I better get right on that.

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42 minutes ago, david_wedzik said:

I'll just fly off the cuff here... he says: “maybe, like a 5”, “might be a 7”, "putting... it’s gotta be a 9”... c'mon you are Dave Pelz, can you give us some actual research? Can’t blame him for doing this as he’s hitched to short game but wow... just not backed by anything.

Then let's look quickly at his stat re: 60% that tour players get it up and down vs. approx. 10% of 20 handicappers. Without even taking time to look at some of our research to confirm accuracy at this point, if the 20 handicap misses 16 greens and gets it up and down 2 times vs. the tour player 10 times they lose 8 shots... that's still NOTHING compared to what they are losing with the full swing. Tour players are picking up multiple shots EVERY hole on 20 handicappers with the full swing.

I spotted that too. I would guess that graphic is for marketing purposes. He's a short game guru after all. But ~ 33% contribution to scoring isn't nothing - the short game still does matter.

I think the gap in scrambling ability between amateurs and pros is a roughly accurate graph (in the numbers he provides and the basic shape), but it leaves out the fact that much of the inability to scramble for high HCPs is both poorer short game skills and a lot of holes with awful long game shots that make a scramble virtually impossible (OB + penalty off tee e.g.). Plus while pros are really good at getting up and down it's partly because their long game misses are closer. Pro short game becomes relatively less important because they hit more greens than high HCPs and have fewer U/D chances.

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31 minutes ago, natureboy said:

I spotted that too. I would guess that graphic is for marketing purposes. He's a short game guru after all. But ~ 33% contribution to scoring isn't nothing - the short game still does matter.

Nobody's saying it doesn't matter. But it doesn't matter more than driving and approach shots. It matters less.

31 minutes ago, natureboy said:

I think the gap in scrambling ability between amateurs and pros is a roughly accurate graph (in the numbers he provides and the basic shape), but it leaves out the fact that much of the inability to scramble for high HCPs is both poorer short game skills and a lot of holes with awful long game shots that make a scramble virtually impossible (OB + penalty off tee e.g.). Plus while pros are really good at getting up and down it's partly because their long game misses are closer. Pro short game becomes relatively less important because they hit more greens than high HCPs and have fewer U/D chances.

Yeah. It's an incredibly shallow look at stats.

Like we pointed out, roughly 12.5% of a pro's strokes are tap-ins, but they should spend 0% of their time working on those tap-ins.

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2 minutes ago, iacas said:

Nobody's saying it doesn't matter. But it doesn't matter more than driving and approach shots. It matters less.

I do not disagree. I'm just cutting him some slack for hawking his wares. But your twitter post was a fair critique of that graphic.

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2 hours ago, bobby14HC said:

Limit practice to chipping 70% and putting 20% and long clubs 10%.   If you swing intentionally at 75%, your long clubs will be under control.

Please don't do that. I moved my response to your post to this thread… If you go back to the first post, you'll see why.

@bobby14HC, tagging you to help make sure you see this.

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Confidence and graphs = truth - plus bacon = irrefutable proof

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6 hours ago, uitar9 said:

Confidence and graphs = truth - plus bacon = irrefutable proof

mmmm....bacon!

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Good read... But I've got a couple of cousins who are head pros in South Florida who would say just the opposite and have said it to me multiple times.  They have told me to spend 70% of my time chipping and putting and the other 30% on the range.  Getting up and down around the green is what makes average golfers become really good golfers.

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18 minutes ago, CoachKG1984 said:

Good read... But I've got a couple of cousins who are head pros in South Florida who would say just the opposite and have said it to me multiple times.  They have told me to spend 70% of my time chipping and putting and the other 30% on the range.  Getting up and down around the green is what makes average golfers become really good golfers.

can you elaborate on what you mean by average golfer and when he becomes a really good golfer where would he be?

right now I'm a mid 90 player, if I worked 70 percent on my chipping and putting what would you expect me to become?  90 player?  85 Player?

I can tell you what would happen in reality, I would probably become a 100+ player again.

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I have begun working on my full swing driving because I know that if I can produce a better drive that my second shot, on par fours, and third shot on par fives would be easier to execute and would result in better scores. My full swing is lacking but I am seeing improvements as I continue working with it.

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56 minutes ago, Abu3baid said:

can you elaborate on what you mean by average golfer and when he becomes a really good golfer where would he be?

right now I'm a mid 90 player, if I worked 70 percent on my chipping and putting what would you expect me to become?  90 player?  85 Player?

I can tell you what would happen in reality, I would probably become a 100+ player again.

That can be viewed a bunch of different ways.  No matter how much you practice, at the end of the day most of your ability is God given.  Some people have it and some don't.  He was saying that if you spend the majority of your time working on short game, you can pretty much eliminate 2 chips and 3 putts.  So... Analyze your 2 chips and 3 putts and then subtract those strokes.

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6 minutes ago, CoachKG1984 said:

That can be viewed a bunch of different ways.  No matter how much you practice, at the end of the day most of your ability is God given.  Some people have it and some don't.  He was saying that if you spend the majority of your time working on short game, you can pretty much eliminate 2 chips and 3 putts.  So... Analyze your 2 chips and 3 putts and then subtract those strokes.

What you said was average golfers can become great golfers if they practice 70% short game and 30% long game according to your cousins.  I'm asking for a clarification of the distinction between the two, i.e. What level is this average golfer and what kind of player he will become if he does that.

This conversation isn't about anyone's God given ability, it's about where to assign practice time and the benefits of doing so..

by they way, no one will argue against the short game being the fastest way to drop a stroke or 2 or even 3 rather quickly.. But for some one to ever reach their true potential they need to work on their long game most of the time..

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I have been playing golf since before 1960 and more or less following your suggestion.

It occurs to me that the weakness in my game has always been from 40 yards in, not ball striking, so now I am going to turn your numbers upside down and spend the vast majority of the practice time on wedges, chipping and putting.

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1 hour ago, ppine said:

I have been playing golf since before 1960 and more or less following your suggestion.

It occurs to me that the weakness in my game has always been from 40 yards in, not ball striking, so now I am going to turn your numbers upside down and spend the vast majority of the practice time on wedges, chipping and putting.

You may not be as weak in that area as you seem to think.

How do you know that you're weak there? Have you done some comparative looks at your stats?

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