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

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It's a mixture of different things.

 

First off, if you have a solid long game, and hit around 10 greens a round, you're an above average striker. A better short game in the end will lower their score, because if you can't get up and down on 8 greens, you make bogey or worse, causing your scores to rise. If you can get up and down on those greens, say, around 6 of them, your scores will be around 6 shots lower.

 

If you're not a solid striker, and you have a poor short game, you're probably a 100 shooter.

 

To put it plainly, I think you're downplaying the short game a bit, which is the wrong way to look at golf. All aspects are equal, in terms of relevance. 

 

Another thing is course management. If you don't leave yourself in good spots to get up and down, you're unlikely to do so. I had plenty of easy bunker shots today and I played them well, because I wasn't short sided. Bunkers are easy regardless, but if you only have 10 feet of green to work with, and you're in a bunker, it's not as easy as say, a 10 yard shot from that same bunker with 25 feet of green. Keep in mind your position.

 

Overall the short game is where people need to most work, because most people are already good enough strikers to expect themselves to hit around 7-9 greens, so getting up and down consistently will bring your score down to low 70's, if you get up and down around 80% of the time. And if a few of those birdie putts drop on those 7-9 greens, say, two, then you're likely to shoot even par or better.

 

Don't look down on players with a good short game, they deserve just as much due as someone who can blast 320 yard drives and hit low rising irons that fall dead on target.

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29 minutes ago, Jacktgolf said:

First off, if you have a solid long game, and hit around 10 greens a round, you're an above average striker. A better short game in the end will lower their score, because if you can't get up and down on 8 greens, you make bogey or worse, causing your scores to rise. If you can get up and down on those greens, say, around 6 of them, your scores will be around 6 shots lower.

Of course, the best PGA Tour players typically scramble at only about a 2/3 rate, so 6/8 or 75% would be pretty damn remarkable, really.

29 minutes ago, Jacktgolf said:

To put it plainly, I think you're downplaying the short game a bit, which is the wrong way to look at golf. All aspects are equal, in terms of relevance. 

That's not really true. The short game and putting "matter" the least.

You're new to the site, but it's been covered about a thousand times. The full swing (driving, approach shots) account for about 2/3 of the differences in scores between groups of players.

29 minutes ago, Jacktgolf said:

Bunkers are easy regardless, but if you only have 10 feet of green to work with, and you're in a bunker, it's not as easy as say, a 10 yard shot from that same bunker with 25 feet of green. Keep in mind your position.

Bunkers are easy? Said nobody not on a pro tour, ever.

29 minutes ago, Jacktgolf said:

Overall the short game is where people need to most work, because most people are already good enough strikers to expect themselves to hit around 7-9 greens, so getting up and down consistently will bring your score down to low 70's, if you get up and down around 80% of the time.

I don't think that's at all accurate.

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You hardly can be scratch with mediocre driving and approaches and excellent short game; you can easily be scratch with excellent driving and approaches and mediocre short game.

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I'm a mediocre player, but I can say that those rare occasions when I shoot a really good score are almost always due to hitting more greens in regulation. If I were really serious about improving my game, I would work on my iron shots -- long, mid-, and short irons. Getting even a long putt close enough to hole out is so much easier than getting up and down from off the green. I think the "drive for show, putt for dough" idea really only applies to near-scratch golfers, all of whom are hitting way more greens than the average duffer like me.

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