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Mugs050

How to truly measure driving accuracy!

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http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-instruction/mental-game/sanders_gd0809

Doing some research on where you lose the most strokes and what part of the game to work on the most (read a few interesting things here) and I stumbled across this article. Now this article makes complete sense to me. I hear all the time that hitting fairways is key to shooting better scores, and I agree. However does it really help to be using an iron off the tee and being 200-220 down the middle and having to hit the same shot 200-220 on your approach? Yes you may have hit the fairway but now you have a very low % shot to gain that ever important GIR coming into the green.I will admit sometimes I try to out think myself out there and have at times chosen to lay up way back to take the big miss out of play.

Now back to the article. Instead of saying ether fairway hit or not the article gives each tee shot a score. See below:

- a tee shot that lands into the first cut or a good lie in which it does not affect your ability to hit your second shot to the green (pretty much the same as hitting in a fairway) = 0 points

- a tee shot that lands off the fairway into rough or a other lie that you would have to hit a excellent tee shot to make the green = 1 point

- a tee shot in which lands in a spot where you would simply have to punch out = 2 points

- a tee shot which lands in a water hazard or one stroke penalty = 3 points

- a tee shot that lands OB = 4 points

The author then asks you to tally up your scores and divide by 2, then reference a chart he has created to indicate how much your drives affect your score vs handicap averages.

Interesting read! what say you?

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I would rather be further ahead and in the rough (not US Open rough).

130 from the rough is a way easier shot for me than 160 from the fairway.

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I would rather be further ahead and in the rough (not US Open rough). 130 from the rough is a way easier shot for me than 160 from the fairway.

You don't have to stipulate for you bud it's easier for everyone. I don't ever remember playing a course where you would give up 50 yards to be in the fairway instead of the rough.

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- a tee shot that lands into the first cut or a good lie in which it does not affect your ability to hit your second shot to the green (pretty much the same as hitting in a fairway) = 0 points

- a tee shot that lands off the fairway into rough or a other lie that you would have to hit a excellent tee shot to make the green = 1 point

- a tee shot in which lands in a spot where you would simply have to punch out = 2 points

- a tee shot which lands in a water hazard or one stroke penalty = 3 points

- a tee shot that lands OB = 4 points

Fairways are overrated.

The drive is near your max distance in good position fairway: +1

The drive is near your average, but not in a position that would hurt you (fairway, rough): 0

The drive is in a bad position that would require a low percentage chance to make the GIR or has already cost you a stroke (Fairway bunkers, Water, OB, behind a tree): -1

Overall goal is to never have -1's and get a few +1's. Mostly you will be around zero.

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I keep track of fairways hit, but more importantly is... do I have a shot at the green. I'd prefer to be in the fairway to have a nice clean lie, but it typically doesn't matter as long as I have a line to the green. In some instances, missing a fairway can give one a better line at the green or a specific flag location.

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Too much emphasis on FIR. We have holes where I intentionally avoid the fairway because the rough isn't enough to worry about and the hole plays easier from the side. Honestly the fairway on one hole at the course I play most is more risky than the left rough because it slopes to a hazard. Anything that lands right of center is gone if the rough doesn't slow it down. Even if it does playing from right rough is tricky because the green is behind a mound on that side with deep bunkers under the mound. Given the amateur golfer short miss tendency having a ball roll down into the bunkers is a likely outcome. I've never gotten up and down from there. My scoring average on this hole is probably under par playing from left rough. I rarely if ever make bogey there and birdie it more than any other hole.

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Seconding Dave's comment. I can think of three holes on my home course where I'd prefer left rough to right fairway -- and I take my line off the tee accordingly. Just because the course maintenance staff uses different lawnmower settings doesn't make one position a better result than another.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mugs050

- a tee shot that lands into the first cut or a good lie in which it does not affect your ability to hit your second shot to the green (pretty much the same as hitting in a fairway) = 0 points

- a tee shot that lands off the fairway into rough or a other lie that you would have to hit a excellent tee shot to make the green = 1 point

- a tee shot in which lands in a spot where you would simply have to punch out = 2 points

- a tee shot which lands in a water hazard or one stroke penalty = 3 points

- a tee shot that lands OB = 4 points

Fairways are overrated.

The drive is near your max distance in good position fairway: +1

The drive is near your average, but not in a position that would hurt you (fairway, rough): 0

The drive is in a bad position that would require a low percentage chance to make the GIR or has already cost you a stroke (Fairway bunkers, Water, OB, behind a tree): -1

Overall goal is to never have -1's and get a few +1's. Mostly you will be around zero.


They are, otherwise they would be called, "greatways"!

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Fairways are overrated.

The drive is near your max distance in good position fairway: +1

The drive is near your average, but not in a position that would hurt you (fairway, rough): 0

The drive is in a bad position that would require a low percentage chance to make the GIR or has already cost you a stroke (Fairway bunkers, Water, OB, behind a tree): -1

Overall goal is to never have -1's and get a few +1's. Mostly you will be around zero.

I think that under-penalizes OB and if you cross the hazard boundary without much distance gained.

http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-instruction/mental-game/sanders_gd0809

Doing some research on where you lose the most strokes and what part of the game to work on the most (read a few interesting things here) and I stumbled across this article. Now this article makes complete sense to me. I hear all the time that hitting fairways is key to shooting better scores, and I agree. However does it really help to be using an iron off the tee and being 200-220 down the middle and having to hit the same shot 200-220 on your approach? Yes you may have hit the fairway but now you have a very low % shot to gain that ever important GIR coming into the green.I will admit sometimes I try to out think myself out there and have at times chosen to lay up way back to take the big miss out of play.

Now back to the article. Instead of saying ether fairway hit or not the article gives each tee shot a score. See below:

- a tee shot that lands into the first cut or a good lie in which it does not affect your ability to hit your second shot to the green (pretty much the same as hitting in a fairway) = 0 points

- a tee shot that lands off the fairway into rough or a other lie that you would have to hit a excellent tee shot to make the green = 1 point

- a tee shot in which lands in a spot where you would simply have to punch out = 2 points

- a tee shot which lands in a water hazard or one stroke penalty = 3 points

- a tee shot that lands OB = 4 points

The author then asks you to tally up your scores and divide by 2, then reference a chart he has created to indicate how much your drives affect your score vs handicap averages.

Interesting read! what say you?

I'm not sure how he constructed the point system. Broadie's research has found that being in the rough penalizes accuracy (and therefore scoring) of amateurs much less than pros. I'm not sure I see that in the points. Also distance matters for accuracy and the points don't seem to be impacted by differing drive distance. If you use different clubs than driver off the tee then comparing points becomes an apples and oranges situation.

I keep track of fairways hit, but more importantly is... do I have a shot at the green. I'd prefer to be in the fairway to have a nice clean lie, but it typically doesn't matter as long as I have a line to the green.

In some instances, missing a fairway can give one a better line at the green or a specific flag location.

It was eye-opening to see some pros do this very thing at one hole of a tournament early in the year (Cadillac, Honda, or Bay Hill?). They favored left Fwy / rough versus water on right. Some think Seve's 'car park' shot was this kind of thinking in order to give himself a backstop on the green. Here was a fun example today: http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golf-central-blog/creative-crane-cuts-corner-unusual-par/ .Tricky to pull off for a non-pro on a busy course without risking hitting another group.

Seconding Dave's comment. I can think of three holes on my home course where I'd prefer left rough to right fairway -- and I take my line off the tee accordingly. Just because the course maintenance staff uses different lawnmower settings doesn't make one position a better result than another.

Started to play down the right edge of the fairway on one hole on my local course that is adjoins a hole on the right with few trees versus deep woods & steep slope off the left edge. Green long axis points out there (to right) too.

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@natureboy Its not perfect but is fairways hit ether? I mean you could take a 9 iron and besides the odd forced carry hit 14 out of 14 fairways. I think to your comment about distance, let's say the hole is a long par 4 450 you sky your drive 200 down the middle in the fairway and your second shot has 250 left. At that point I think you could safely according to the point season call it a 2 pointer requiring an amazing shot to get the gir even though your in the fairway.

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I do a simple +1, 0, -1 system for all shots.

I use the following categories:  Driver, fairway woods (big for me because I use a 7 & 9 wood), irons, wedges, pitches/chipping, putting, and greenside bunker play.

+1 is a good shot (for my level), 0 average, -1 poor.

I don't penalize myself extra for hazards or OB, because I'm always keeping those in mind when I play a shot.  If a hole has OB right, and trees left, I'm not trying to hit it in the trees.  So a bad ball to the left is just as lousy as one to the right, IMO.  It's not where I intended to hit it.

But the OPs article is a decent measurement, I think.

EDIT--A +1 drive could be in the rough if I hit it well.

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I believe trying to implement a "poor man's" version of strokes gained system is a good idea.  But it needs to kept simple or just taking the data will become a distraction on the course.  I like the +/-1 & 0 technique.  Keeps it simple and meaningful at the same time.

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@natureboy Its not perfect but is fairways hit ether? I mean you could take a 9 iron and besides the odd forced carry hit 14 out of 14 fairways. I think to your comment about distance, let's say the hole is a long par 4 450 you sky your drive 200 down the middle in the fairway and your second shot has 250 left. At that point I think you could safely according to the point season call it a 2 pointer requiring an amazing shot to get the gir even though your in the fairway.

No, I agree fairways hit can be misleading. There is a benefit to being on the fairway. Quite large for pros, but much less for amateurs. The stats I saw indicated it is ~10 yards worth of equivalent accuracy for ams so not worth taking much less club just to hit the short grass. The penalty is much greater if your position prevents you from going at the green, but that is due to an obstacle, not the rough per-se. The article's higher penalty for being blocked out makes sense. I see your point about adjusting the scoring, but that adds a bit of a subjective element to the rating of the shot. See my idea in the response below.

I believe trying to implement a "poor man's" version of strokes gained system is a good idea.  But it needs to kept simple or just taking the data will become a distraction on the course.  I like the +/-1 & 0 technique.  Keeps it simple and meaningful at the same time.

I agree. I think the 'poor man's version' should be percent of hole covered on the drive.

You basically just measure the length of the drive (based on your estimated approach). If the drive's in the fairway you get the full value of the drive in terms of the distance closed on the pin. If you hit the first cut of rough you subtract about 7 yards. If you hit the primary rough you subtract about 13 yards (or just 10 yards for each). If you are blocked out on the approach, you subtract the distance of your shot after the recovery from the drive. If you have to chip out sideways you subtract the full yardage of the subsequent shot from the drive distance since this is about where you would have been hitting if you were in the fairway, but with one extra stroke taken. If you can advance it a significant amount on the recovery, the shot afterward will be much less of a subtraction off the driving distance. Now if you are great at recovery shots this may underestimate how bad the drive was in terms of where it landed versus the expected 'baseline' result for your handicap (the 'field') - but it's a fairly simple approach on the course since you are estimating the distance to the pin (or your layup area) for the next shot anyway.

So the procedure I am going to try a bit this season will be to start from pacing off the tee location from the reference marker & record it, hit the drive, get to the ball, record whether fairway or rough, estimate my approach distance & record it | or | if I have to hit a recovery estimate & record the distance of the third shot & record that. If it takes me multiple recoveries to move the ball forward or reach the fairway, I would subtract multiples of the resulting approach. Later at home I just enter the values in a spreadsheet (or do by hand) to see what percent of the hole was covered by the drive minus the penalties for being in rough or by having to hit a recovery shot. I would then have a stat by hole and for the round of percent of hole distance covered on the drive.

I'm going to try to do a strokes gained calculation side by side to see if they jibe.

My score and GIR/nGIR stats tell the story of how well I drive the ball.

I agree. GIR or GIRP for amateurs is much more statistically significant to scoring. My fairway % is low for my handicap per the statistical profiles, but my GIR and GIRP are better than my handicap. I have decent distance so my good drives gain significantly for me. My primary weakness relative to my handicap appears to be short game. What my lower fairway % indicates is a consistency issue with driver. I've worked to tighten up my dispersion so a wayward drive is more likely to be in rough than lost in the woods or deep grass. Also my bad driver swings tend to also be shorter (more curve) as well as further offline so they cost me both for the small rough penalty and increased distance from the pin.

The percent of hole covered method I am going to try described above may still be less significant than GIR or GIRP, but I expect it will be much better than Fwy%.

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On a short par 4, I drove my ball off the tee with my 5 wood and hooked it through the trees on the left side of the fairway. It came to rest on the adjacent fairway leaving me a 98 yard shot to the flag (80 to the green) so I hit a 56 wedge onto the green and it bounced once and stopped 5 feet from the flag. I birdied the hole. How many points does that get?

1. Duffing your drive and reaching the fairway = -2 (yes this happens, and you essentially hit your wedge shot first and now your approach shot requires a frelling miracle) - this is where a FIR doesn't matter.

2. Having your ball come to rest on the fairway or in the first cut as a result of a good drive with solid contact = +1

3. A tee shot that is in the 2nd cut and requires a more difficult shot out. = 0 (however, with driver results we usually get pretty good at these shots)

4. A tee shot that ends up requiring a punch out back to the fairway to continue. = -1

5. A tee shot that requires more than one punch out back to the fairway to continue = -2 (come on, you've had these, I know you have. Kevin Na has had this happen)

6. A tee shot that goes into a hazard or OB = -2 (I say -2 because the lie from the drop out of the hazard usually sucks)

But then on the 10th hole par 5 I rolled my drive and barely made the fairway with it, then hit a 5W about 210, and that left the flag about 205 away. I hit another 5W that rolled pin high onto the green about 20 ft from the flag. GIR. So I essentially hit my "wedge" shot first and hit a great third shot.

What minimizes how bad a lot of my drives are is that I've had a ton of practice hitting recovery shots. Tall trees are my bane.

But I need to work on driving accuracy on the course, and playing my league tees aren't helping me there since I only get to use my driver about six times. I'll have to try playing "white" tees for practice rounds. The red tees are too tight.

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interesting. dont hink it suits me though.

for me the tee shot is for the next shot.

on par 4 : some second shots call a short wedge (hazard front of green, green downhill slope) some are long 2nd shots,(5 PAR4 holes over 440 yards at home) so no matter the huge drive I will play form far so I care a lot of getting a good lie and prefer not ripping hit from the tee. some fairway are very harder to find than the green and safe arround. I sometimes hit shorter from the tee than towards the green.

most par 5 : hit it big and see. if big and strait maybe get close on the next, if poor lie lay up etc. I can hit it big with a hybride if the FW is tricky. the shot is still big.

I've had high rounds with many FW and very low rounds with few and even penalties.

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@natureboy Its not perfect but is fairways hit ether? I mean you could take a 9 iron and besides the odd forced carry hit 14 out of 14 fairways. I think to your comment about distance, let's say the hole is a long par 4 450 you sky your drive 200 down the middle in the fairway and your second shot has 250 left. At that point I think you could safely according to the point season call it a 2 pointer requiring an amazing shot to get the gir even though your in the fairway.

I have a system for measuring the effectiveness of my drives.

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

For it to make any sense, you'll want to get the LSW badge beneath your signature… (which means you've bought the book).

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