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Killa

Expanding on realistic expectations

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I got inspired by the post in swing thoughts and being a newbie I don't really know what to expect or what is "good" and what is "bad" for a player. 

 

For arguments sake let's divide all golfers into 4 levels - high hcp (over 35), mid hcp (15-35), low hcp (0-15) and pro. 

 

How would a shot zone be for each of those groups from like 100y out and with a driver shot. (I would be adding more categories but that would probably add to less appeal to this post) 

 

So my guess would be (and as I'm typing this I realize that I must be way off)

high hcp - 100y -15 yards radius  / driver 20 yards

mid hc - 100y - 10 yards / 15 yards

low hcp - 5 yards / 10 yards

pro - 1-2 yards / 5-10 yards

 

I recall reading somewhere that a pro is somewhere in the 5% to 9% range on accuracy. But what is reasonable to expect for an amateur of different levels - that is the main question.

 

I consider myself a high hcp (and am a high hcp) so when I practice and I hit my 100 yard shots I'm pretty bummed if they are more than 10 yards left/right of the target (especially on the range where you repeat the same shot over and over), I'm nowhere near that with the driver just because I'm all over the place as of now, but my 5 iron is somewhere in that range (20 yards). 

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I'm right in the middle of your low handicap category. It's hard to avoid thinking only of the great shots and guessing what a reasonable average for me would be, but here goes:

From 100 yds. out, I'd guess my average is about 20 feet at best, so let's say a 7 yd. radius. 100 yds. for me is my 48 degree wedge. I feel great if I have a 10 foot putt or less, OK inside 20 feet, and not too bad as long as I hit the green or can putt through a little fringe.

Keep in mind that I'm quite capable of blading it into the next county or chunking it into the trap or the pond. A shot like that would significantly distort the calculation of my average distance from the pin, so when I say a 7 yd. radius, I'm thinking more of a median distance than a mean distance. (I apologize for the statistical detail.)

With my driver, I'm happy if I hit the fairway. My home course has narrow fairways with a lot of tight landing areas and out of bounds threats. I haven't tracked it for a while, but the last time I checked a bad day was hitting less than 50% of the fairways and a great day was hitting 12 of 14, so about 85%. Average was closer to 60% or 65%.

I'm not sure what that means about shot radius, but given the width of my fairways and my hit rate, a 15 yard radius is a very good day for me. I'd hate to guess at my average driver dispersion. I'd probably be way off and it would also be depressing. It's hard to get an accurate figure for that drive into someone's back yard or the one that nails a buck on the other side of the game fence. I've done both.

Finally, if I'm on the range hitting shot after shot under the same conditions, I can get a pretty tight pattern with most clubs. It's when I've got 1 shot at it with changing lies, wind, elevation changes, and my own mental gyrations for each shot that things get interesting.

 

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I have a great read for you...find "Lowest Score Wins" by @iacas  (Barzeski & Wedzik).    In it you will find a lot of answers to this question and many answers to questions you haven't even given consideration.  It is a great informative read.  

Chapter 26 - #DeadCenter  deals extensively with this issue.   Most mid to high handicap players are better to focus on hitting the green than worrying about their shot zone. 

Edited by dennyjones

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Isn't the best wedge player on tour an average of about 25ft from the flag from about 130 yards out.  if we want to be realistic we need to understand what the upper limit is.  

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52 minutes ago, Lazarus said:

Isn't the best wedge player on tour an average of about 25ft from the flag from about 130 yards out.  if we want to be realistic we need to understand what the upper limit is.  

Isn't that the truth! Watching the pros I see plenty of great shots, plenty of mediocre shots and a fair amount of shots that end up in jail, tough lie, etc.

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On 5/8/2017 at 7:51 PM, dennyjones said:

Most mid to high handicap players are better to focus on hitting the green than worrying about their shot zone.

My game plan every time:  Aim for the center of the green unless I have a short chip.

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On 5/6/2017 at 4:24 PM, Killa said:

So my guess would be (and as I'm typing this I realize that I must be way off)

high hcp - 100y -15 yards radius  / driver 20 yards

mid hc - 100y - 10 yards / 15 yards

low hcp - 5 yards / 10 yards

pro - 1-2 yards / 5-10 yards

Read more  

Here's some data that folks here on SandTrap helped me compile last year (or 2 years ago-dunno):

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 2.09.26 PM.png

This chart was for 26 rounds and the average score was 95. Scores of each round ranged from high 80s to 105ish or so. I think that falls in your mid-handicap range.

In the "Reveal Hidden Contents" section below, you'll see a detailed chart, but basically at these 3 ranges, the players only hit the green from the FAIRWAY:

60-120yds: 43%

120-170yds: 32%

170-220yds: 17%

I think those numbers might be even worse than your estimates above for a "mid hc" player.

Spoiler

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 2.09.52 PM.png

 

On 5/8/2017 at 7:51 PM, dennyjones said:

have a great read for you...find "Lowest Score Wins" by @iacas  (Barzeski & Wedzik).    In it you will find a lot of answers to this question and many answers to questions you haven't even given consideration.  It is a great informative read.  

Agreed. There are links on this site to the book, and it's filled with content that puts into perspective what our expectations should be for various skill levels.

But then again, I wouldn't expect a "46 handicapper" like you, @Killa (per your profile) would expect to do the flop shot challenge so well done! :beer: (I have failed miserably thus far)

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15 minutes ago, krupa said:

My game plan every time:  Aim for the center of the green unless I have a short chip.

Second that -- I'm  guessing that the difference between hitting and missing the green at 100 yards is only a couple degrees of club face open/closed, which is a tiny amount.

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Thanks for the input everyone - I basically started this topic because I'm pretty fresh to golf, and most of what I've seen from pros are highlights and that's obviously very tight. I did watch a bit of the masters the past two years but obviously they feature more great shots on tv than the bad ones. So that makes me expect more of my game and striking. 

 

On 08. maj 2017 at 11:18 PM, InTheTrees said:

With my driver, I'm happy if I hit the fairway. My home course has narrow fairways with a lot of tight landing areas and out of bounds threats. I haven't tracked it for a while, but the last time I checked a bad day was hitting less than 50% of the fairways and a great day was hitting 12 of 14, so about 85%. Average was closer to 60% or 65%.

When I see a 7.1 hcp player write that I am a bit stunned. Don't get me wrong, I'm just that far off from realistic expectations :) I mean I'd think that a 0 hcp player would pretty much hit every fairway in regulation (or maybe first cut) and hit most of the greens in regulation. So expanding on that - what is your rationale for hitting a driver in the first place? I mean you can probably smash a hybrid 30-50 yards shorter but be on the fairway much more often than 2/3? 

 

I'm asking because last week was the first time I took my driver on the course. I went specifically to drive on every hole that wasn't a par 3. And I failed miserably. A week before I took only my irons, wedges and a putter and I was playing much much better. But I don't have a hybrid (bought a CHEAP 3 hybrid 10 days back and only got like 20 shots with it on the range) so I'm not comfortable with it) and my 3 wood is also a club I haven't practiced almost at all with. So if I want to go out and put a good round in I have to leave my driver and 3 wood in the bag. And looking at your percentages in correlation with your handicap I would think I still shouldn't use it with your %. (again please don't take this the wrong way I'm just stating my obviously unrealistic expectations).

 

26 minutes ago, RandallT said:

Agreed. There are links on this site to the book, and it's filled with content that puts into perspective what our expectations should be for various skill levels.

 

But then again, I wouldn't expect a "46 handicapper" like you, @Killa (per your profile) would expect to do the flop shot challenge so well done! :beer: (I have failed miserably thus far)

I'm in the process of ordering it from Andrew Norrby but I'm having some issues with my PayPal. 

 

Thanks :) I'm actually kinda ashamed for posting that clip, I'll try to post a higher one but I'm swamped at work and at home so I haven't been to the practice field in a while. 

 

And my HCP is officially -46. Over here pretty much only tournaments count for HCP purposes and I've only ever posted one 9 hole round result with the pro to qualify for HCP in the first place. I think my realistic HCP is somewhere in the 30's right now and I'm supposed to be playing a tournament (Stableford) on the 21st so if I don't play like a complete dimwit it should fall a bit. But it will only be my second round of 18 holes in my life :) 

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6 hours ago, Killa said:

When I see a 7.1 hcp player write that I am a bit stunned. Don't get me wrong, I'm just that far off from realistic expectations :) I mean I'd think that a 0 hcp player would pretty much hit every fairway in regulation (or maybe first cut) and hit most of the greens in regulation. So expanding on that - what is your rationale for hitting a driver in the first place? I mean you can probably smash a hybrid 30-50 yards shorter but be on the fairway much more often than 2/3? 

I probably could hit the fairway more often with a hybrid, but the yardage I'd give up would make that a bad trade in most cases. I often miss the fairway with driver but still have a more than reasonable shot to the green. For example, in most cases I'd rather have a 7 iron from the rough than another hybrid from the fairway but 40 or 50 yards farther out. Other times the hybrid off the tee might not get me to a dogleg or carry a hazard, so once again the risk of a fairway miss is much better than the shorter hybrid alternative.

With regard to 0 hdcp players and hitting fairways and greens, take a look at the pros stats. They don't hit every fairway and green. In fact, they often sacrifice driving accuracy for distance when they think they are likely to be in a playable spot with a shorter club. They have infinitely more control than I do and are much better able to execute a plan, but they still miss.

Of course, there are times I hit 3 wood or hybrid off the tee and there are times in retrospect it's obvious I should have. But there are other times I hit my 3 wood into just as much trouble as I would have hit my driver. The "safe" club isn't always so safe.

The chart @RandallT posted above looks pretty reasonable to me. Based on my guess that I hit within a 7 yd. radius of the pin about 50% of the time from 100 yds,, I'd guess my average (mean) distance would push out to 40 or more feet when I average in the other 50% of my shots. These would include some pretty bad misses, and my average score is somewhere in the low 80's rather than the 95 in the chart.

And don't worry. I didn't take your comments wrong. No offense taken. Good luck in the Stableford match. I play in a Stableford league most Mondays. It's a fun format.

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The difference between 0 and 15 handicap is hugh! they cannot be in the same category. Maybe 0-5 category.

To be scratch your dispersion must be arround 60 yards wide at 270 yards in average and arround 18 yards wide from 100 yards. 
 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Killa said:

I mean I'd think that a 0 hcp player would pretty much hit every fairway in regulation (or maybe first cut) and hit most of the greens in regulation.

 

The best PGA percentage is Dustin Johnson with 75% greens hit, there is a guy with a PGA tour card who is just barely over 50%, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.103.html

It's good to have high expectations, and to put in the work and the thought to improve, but don't beat your head against the wall. Maybe there is other stuff in your game that has more room for improvement for the effort you are putting in. Is missing greens wide costing you the most strokes? 

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2 minutes ago, Moppy said:

I mean I'd think that a 0 hcp player would pretty much hit every fairway in regulation (or maybe first cut) and hit most of the greens in regulation.

FIR are not that important. Tour Pro averages 60% FIR.
Tour pro averages 12 GIR = 66%

To shoot even par consistently in average you have to hit 12 GIR, make 2 birdies, and 4/6 up/down 66%, that in general will give U an index of +2,5 so been a scratch it´s a bit easier. less GIR, less birdies, less up/down percentage.

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On 10. maj 2017 at 8:18 PM, RandallT said:

But then again, I wouldn't expect a "46 handicapper" like you, @Killa (per your profile) would expect to do the flop shot challenge so well done! :beer: (I have failed miserably thus far)

 

On 10. maj 2017 at 9:00 PM, Killa said:

Thanks :) I'm actually kinda ashamed for posting that clip, I'll try to post a higher one but I'm swamped at work and at home so I haven't been to the practice field in a while. 

@RandallT Actually I just found the time to go to the practice range and I recorded a proper flop shot for the challenge :) 

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3 hours ago, Killa said:

 

@RandallT Actually I just found the time to go to the practice range and I recorded a proper flop shot for the challenge :) 

I saw your video.   Great job.   Congratulations.   

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