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mdl

Putts are 1/2 Stroke?

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Can't find a link, but the latest Golf Digest had an interview with a guy who's coached a bunch of mid to top tier pros.  Title was something like Swing Doctor to the Stars or something...

One thing he said I thought was really interesting.  He said putts should be 1/2 stroke.  Presumably he means, to get technical, any stroke on the ball resting on the green counts as 1/2 stroke, any stroke on the ball sitting off the green is 1 stroke.  Let's not get caught up in fringe or links definitional discussions.

The point was by example.  Take a long par 3 with a bunch of water guarding the green.  Player 1 hits a 3i to 20 feet, two putts.  Player 2 bails out away from the water, hits a decent pitch to 8 feet, sinks the putt.  Player 1 did something actually much harder – getting that 3i to 20 feet – than did player 2 – miss with a 3i, then get up and down from relatively close.  Under the proposed system, player 1 cards a 2, player 2 cards a 2.5.

I think this is a cool idea, though of course it would require all new scorecards, slope/rating, and handicapping systems...

Thoughts?

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Think of all the books that will need to be rewritten. Crap, I'd need to update my strokes gained spreadsheets. That sounds like a lot of work. :-D

interesting topic.  I'll ponder as other comments roll in. 

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I always say that golf is a stupid game since a 300 yard drive counts the same as a 2" putt, but that is the game. In your example, hitting a pitch to that range is not what I would call easy and should be worth something. 

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Stuff and nonsense.  A stroke is a stroke.  It isn't how - it's how many.

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Unusual. Does the average beer league really want to deal with fractions in their scoring?

In the OP scenario, I agree the second shot by the guy laying up was much tougher than the other guys 1st putt, but how much better was the first guy's shot to the green that took on the hazard.

It's a game of long and straight and the putting element heavily favors accuracy at a distance, but having to hole out gives shorter, less accurate players a way to hang in there and compete.

Edited by natureboy

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Maybe the guy meant 1/2 stroke in the context of what you gain or what you lose on average vs the field if you make the putt or miss it? Because I doesn't make any sense in any other way that I can think of, and certainly not in the way of changing how a golf score should be counted.

Heck, how about a whiff counts as 0 strokes, since it is real easy, even a total beginner can do it! :beer:

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Maybe I was unclear.  In scenario, player 1 hits 3i to 20 feet, two putts.  Player 1 doesn't hit in the water and hole out.  Player 2 bails away from the water, on dry land, hits a regular pitch as his second shot to 8 feet, one putts.

And I meant 1/2 stroke as the score.  So in above, player 1 takes one shot to get to the green, two shots (putts) from ball sitting on the green, for 1 + 0.5 + 0.5 = 2 total score.  Player 2 hits one shot off the green in the rough, pitches onto the green, drains the putt, for 1 + 1 + 0.5 = 2.5 total score for the hole.

My point about the harder shot is that the 3i to 20 feet was much harder than the combined 3i missing the green, relatively short pitch to 8 feet combined.  Think of the percentages.  The % of time you hit a 3i within 20 feet of your target and then successfully two putt is wildly smaller than the % of time you can hit a 3i within 25-35 yards of your target and get up and down. 

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It's all in the wording. I wouldn't say putts "should" be a half stroke, but it is interesting to think of how the sport would look if they were. 

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3 hours ago, mdl said:

Thoughts?

Poppycock.

2 hours ago, mdl said:

Maybe I was unclear.  In scenario, player 1 hits 3i to 20 feet, two putts.  Player 1 doesn't hit in the water and hole out.  Player 2 bails away from the water, on dry land, hits a regular pitch as his second shot to 8 feet, one putts.

Both players made good shots. The first player did it with his first. Player 2 did it with his pitch and his putt, because even if he pitches to 8 feet every time, he's only going to make about 40-50% of those even if he's a really good putter.

Over more than just the one example here, the guy who hits it to 20 feet kicks the crap out of the other guy.

2 hours ago, mdl said:

And I meant 1/2 stroke as the score.  So in above, player 1 takes one shot to get to the green, two shots (putts) from ball sitting on the green, for 1 + 0.5 + 0.5 = 2 total score.  Player 2 hits one shot off the green in the rough, pitches onto the green, drains the putt, for 1 + 1 + 0.5 = 2.5 total score for the hole.

Yeah, I agree with the others: that's dumb.

2 hours ago, mdl said:

My point about the harder shot is that the 3i to 20 feet was much harder than the combined 3i missing the green, relatively short pitch to 8 feet combined.

It's not harder once you add the putt. They're both equally hard. You got the same score.

Over the long haul the guy who missed the green is going to score quite a bit higher. On average, probably close to 0.6 to 0.7 strokes higher (depending on the miss).

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4 hours ago, mdl said:

Can't find a link, but the latest Golf Digest had an interview with a guy who's coached a bunch of mid to top tier pros.  Title was something like Swing Doctor to the Stars or something...

One thing he said I thought was really interesting.  He said putts should be 1/2 stroke.  Presumably he means, to get technical, any stroke on the ball resting on the green counts as 1/2 stroke, any stroke on the ball sitting off the green is 1 stroke.  Let's not get caught up in fringe or links definitional discussions.

The point was by example.  Take a long par 3 with a bunch of water guarding the green.  Player 1 hits a 3i to 20 feet, two putts.  Player 2 bails out away from the water, hits a decent pitch to 8 feet, sinks the putt.  Player 1 did something actually much harder – getting that 3i to 20 feet – than did player 2 – miss with a 3i, then get up and down from relatively close.  Under the proposed system, player 1 cards a 2, player 2 cards a 2.5.

I think this is a cool idea, though of course it would require all new scorecards, slope/rating, and handicapping systems...

Thoughts?

Kudos for throwing out the idea but ... I agree with others that it's got little merit. :)

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I think it is kind of interesting. In bowling two guys can take down the same number of pins and wind up with different scores and few in that realm have a problem with that system. I wouldn't see this scoring system as an improvement or detriment to the game of golf, just something fundamentally different. Perhaps something to implement for a new betting game to mix things up  

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Just to be clear, I'm not super gung ho about this idea. I just think it's interesting.  Basically I'm intrigued by what @shortstop20 and @SavvySwede were referring to, that this would make golf a bit of a different game with much increased premium on full shot ball striking.  I guess I find it interesting because I think that's the most fun and challenging part of the game, something backed up by the strokes gained stats, which show the best players gain the most strokes over the field on full shots, so I'm intrigued by weighting scoring even more towards that.

Though of course @iacas is right that in the long run the current scoring already advantages a player with a tighter long shot dispersion over a player with a tighter short game.  I guess I'm intrigued by making it explicit in the scoring. 

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Shouldn't you be penalized more for missing that easy 3-foot putt, than for a less than great result on a difficult approach?

Silliness.

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I have a vague memory that Ben Hogan suggested something similar.  Of course, putting was the weakest part of his game, so its logical that he'd prefer to de-emphasize the importance of it.

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On 1/20/2017 at 6:57 PM, mdl said:

Can't find a link, but the latest Golf Digest had an interview with a guy who's coached a bunch of mid to top tier pros.  Title was something like Swing Doctor to the Stars or something...

One thing he said I thought was really interesting.  He said putts should be 1/2 stroke.  Presumably he means, to get technical, any stroke on the ball resting on the green counts as 1/2 stroke, any stroke on the ball sitting off the green is 1 stroke.  Let's not get caught up in fringe or links definitional discussions.

The point was by example.  Take a long par 3 with a bunch of water guarding the green.  Player 1 hits a 3i to 20 feet, two putts.  Player 2 bails out away from the water, hits a decent pitch to 8 feet, sinks the putt.  Player 1 did something actually much harder – getting that 3i to 20 feet – than did player 2 – miss with a 3i, then get up and down from relatively close.  Under the proposed system, player 1 cards a 2, player 2 cards a 2.5.

I think this is a cool idea, though of course it would require all new scorecards, slope/rating, and handicapping systems...

Thoughts?

@GolfLug mentioned  this the other day while we were playing when he sank a long putt to save par after a ho-hum chip and my birdie putt lipped out and we made the same score.  It's an interesting idea, but probably never going to get much traction.  

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