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Lihu

Why do so many golfers think short game is holding them back?

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Feel free to post any stories about you and your golfing partners who think this, and why you think it's the case?

I keep reading about people who can "hit solid", but don't play well overall and blame their short games. I don't understand why it seems like 90% of all golfers strike the ball well and chip and putt that much worse than the few 10% remaining folks who attribute their terrible games to long game?

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Most people have been led to believe the old "Drive for show, putt for dough".    People also believe because they see Jordan Speith hit a 25' putt that they have a good chance at that and 8' should be a give-me.   If they can't hit an 8' putt consistently they believe they are a terrible putter. 

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9 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

Most people have been led to believe the old "Drive for show, putt for dough".    People also believe because they see Jordan Speith hit a 25' putt that they have a good chance at that and 8' should be a give-me.   If they can't hit an 8' putt consistently they believe they are a terrible putter. 

This is kind of the thing I read about, but in real life I see almost no one who actually thinks this. It's like, "Oh I missed that 8 footer, next hole. . ."

People seem to be more realistic in real life than on the internet for whatever reason?

 

 

Are there any long hitting solid ball striking people out there who can't putt to save their lives?

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I have always heard people I play around saying "you have to get good at 100 yards and in to be a good player." I have heard that for years and that's where their main focus has always been. It never dawns on them that getting their long game squared away will increase those up and down percentages. It goes right in line with the Putt for dough statement. It's like those things have been burned into their thought process and there is no changing it. And I also see people get so mad about missing a 20' putt when it runs rights by the hole. I'll just ask them, "what do you think your make percentage should be from that range?" Many of them think they should be making those all of the time. I think it's just big misconceptions on their part. It's just what they have been taught along the way.

Edited by TN94z

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Well I think what happens is there a golfers who hit a nice drive, then a certainly respectable approach that's just off the green, or 30' from the pin or let's say 10yds short of the green leaving 2-40yds to the pin. Yet they still almost always take 3 more shots to finish the hole for bogey. It seems much easier to try to improve those up and down skills rather than improve their approach shots. They're probably pretty damn happy with the fact they hit good tee shots and nice irons but struggle with such short shots. I'm an awful putter. I will often 3 putt from any more than 30' which gets aggravating. 

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To be really honest, I don't know anyone in my regular group who feels that their short game hurts their score. It's just the opposite in that they feel their short games are their stronger, stroke saving, part of their game. 

Here's the deal. We are all in our 60s, some in their 70s. We don't have the long games we had 10-20 years ago. Myself, I have lost 50 yards over the years. We are for the most part, some what accurate off the tee, but our distances now suffer. We now rely on our short games. Since we rely more on our short games to save strokes,  we practice that part of our games more often, which makes it the stronger part of our games. 

As for regular, younger golfers who feel their short games hold them back, my guess is they practice their long games more than their short games. That 300 yard drive feels much better to them,  than that missed 5 footer on the green. That 300 yard drive takes the sting out of that missed 5 footer......until they tally up their score csrd. 

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I think Patch summed it up pretty good as I see so many golfers spending all their time on the driver.... that 300yd  drive is more important than anything else.

Not for me.  I spend most of my practice time on bump n runs, flops, chips, pitches and putting.  I would rather hit my 3W shorter and be in the middle of the fairway and have a nice 5i into the green and hope to get up n down that fly a 300yd drive and 3 chip and 3 put for the dreaded Snowman!  My 2C

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Because they believe short game can undo damage done by play before the short game zone.

I don't know but it's like believing that that putting a good heavy top coat is the most important layer and can cure a shitty base primer and paint job on a wall and make it look good..  

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15 minutes ago, Vinny Cap said:

I think Patch summed it up pretty good as I see so many golfers spending all their time on the driver.... that 300yd  drive is more important than anything else.

Not for me.  I spend most of my practice time on bump n runs, flops, chips, pitches and putting.  I would rather hit my 3W shorter and be in the middle of the fairway and have a nice 5i into the green and hope to get up n down that fly a 300yd drive and 3 chip and 3 put for the dreaded Snowman!  My 2C

So you hit your 5i better than your 7 or 8i? Nobody has said accuracy means nothing. But if you think hitting a 3W in the middle of the fairway is better than being 30-40yds closer but in the rough you're probably mistaken on that. 

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I'm kind of this way. I mean, my long game needs work, as does my short game. But fresh in my mind is my most recent round where duffed/flubbed chips dominated my scorecard, to the tune of maybe half a dozen lost shots. I'm not going to become a scratch golfer by addressing only my short game deficiencies, but it will help with the next significant step forward. Of that I am certain. It should also be the quickest way to lower scores as well.

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Because they believe that hitting 3 "solid" drives and 4 mediocre iron shots all day is evidence of a competent long game.  All they think they're lacking is a little consistency.  

They refuse to acknowledge that their consistency lies in the relatively poor shots that they hit so often, and that the few better shots are the actual outliers.

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1 minute ago, David in FL said:

Because they believe that hitting 3 "solid" drives and 4 mediocre iron shots all day is evidence of a competent long game.  All they think they're lacking is a little consistency.  

They refuse to acknowledge that their consistency lies in the relatively poor shots that they hit so often, and that the few better shots are the actual outliers.

LOL! Beautiful. Yeah I've actually heard quite often something like this after watching them spray their drives or irons way off or ob, " Damn it! I have to take a db all for missing a stupid 7' foot ...I've GOT to work on my putting!".....This after they hit their drive OB and were excited they hit their next drive fine, followed by a good approach which was their 4th shot.

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26 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

So you hit your 5i better than your 7 or 8i? Nobody has said accuracy means nothing. But if you think hitting a 3W in the middle of the fairway is better than being 30-40yds closer but in the rough you're probably mistaken on that. 

Yes, my 5i is my favorite club.  I have it dialed in pretty good with full, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4 and stinger type shots.

If you ask the average bogey golfer that question, most would rather be in the fairway than 30 yds closer and in the rough.

Not all bogey golfers can hit the driver 300yards never mind in the middle of the fairway.  When I started I would hit the 3w in the fairway instead of the driver longer and in the woods.  Now I hit D all the time and try Iron to green and if I miss I got a pretty good short game to get me close to the pin.

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1 hour ago, Lihu said:

This is kind of the thing I read about, but in real life I see almost no one who actually thinks this. It's like, "Oh I missed that 8 footer, next hole. . ."

I've seen it. There has been more than one occasion on the course where I had to explain to someone even PGA Tour pros are only 50% from 8'. There are plenty of people out there who think they should be making everything inside 10' regularly.

35 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

Because they believe short game can undo damage done by play before the short game zone.

Yea I think this is part of it, too. I see people miss greens, chip on, and 2-putt for bogey, then lament that they didn't get the chip closer (or make the first putt) so they could save par. They never acknowledge that missing the green in the first place cost them some fractions of a stroke. Recency bias, maybe.

I also think another part of it is people seem to be resigned to the current state of their long game because they don't, won't, or can't take the steps needed to improve that, so they depend on their short game as a crutch. Not that their short game is improving from lack of practice, either...

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28 minutes ago, Vinny Cap said:

If you ask the average bogey golfer that question, most would rather be in the fairway than 30 yds closer and in the rough.

Well I guess 'rough' is the real factor here. Obviously blocked by trees or deep bunkers would be unfavorable but otherwise, choosing fairway over 30yds is not the wisest choice.

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From my experience the short game helps you when you don't have your A game that day. As you get older, say in your 60's and beyond, you will find you don't have the game you had when you were younger. You may hit more fairways because you aren't as long but now you are hitting the straighter. However now you are not able to consistently hit greens in regulation as often. Having a short game is imperative to scoring at that point. I see guys my age getting near the green in regulation and then making bogey or worse simply because they can't get it up and down. Most people love to go to the driving range and pound the driver or hit their irons and fairway woods. They almost never work on their short game. If you can perfect your short game it will take strokes off your score no matter what your age. 

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Years ago I read an article in one of the then prominent golf magazines. I forget which one, or if it was even a serious, truthful article. The article went something like this.

A club maker built several clubs of two designs. One was much longer, and a lot less accurate than the other. The club maker had 20(?) golfers, of various handicaps hit both clubs. After a few days of trying out these clubs, where lower scores were recorded with shorter distance, more accurate club, the club maker told the golfers they could take their pick, and take one club for free. 15(?) of the 20 golfers chose the longer, less accurate club. 

So in essence, the larger majority of these golfers preferred the excitement of distance over accuracy. 

This might relate to some feeling their short games let them down because their short games were not stellar enough to get them out the places their longer, but more in trouble next shots were located.

 

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13 minutes ago, shanksalot said:

From my experience the short game helps you when you don't have your A game that day. As you get older, say in your 60's and beyond, you will find you don't have the game you had when you were younger. You may hit more fairways because you aren't as long but now you are hitting the straighter. However now you are not able to consistently hit greens in regulation as often. Having a short game is imperative to scoring at that point. I see guys my age getting near the green in regulation and then making bogey or worse simply because they can't get it up and down. Most people love to go to the driving range and pound the driver or hit their irons and fairway woods. They almost never work on their short game. If you can perfect your short game it will take strokes off your score no matter what your age. 

You still have to have nGIRs or better fairly consistently to reap the benefit of a good short game. Nobody is saying to just go 'pound' your driver/irons on the range or that you do not need at least decent mechanics for short game. 

A chip/pitch ANYWHERE on a green and two putt or a good chance at a single putt should be the goal of most high mid handicappers and even most single mid digit cappers.    

24 minutes ago, shanksalot said:

I see guys my age getting near the green in regulation and then making bogey or worse simply because they can't get it up and down. 

As in stub or chunk their chip/pitch? Yeah they should definitely work on having at least a manageable stroke so can at least get on the green. I did it this year. 

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