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

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16 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

You get close and think it ought to be easy. The green is just a few yards away. The hole is just sitting there. Just a little nudge with the ole iron or wedge and it will be a tap-in. Then you skull it or chunk it and still aren't on the green. It really comes off feeling like you missed the ball entirely. It's a stroke where you haven't even managed to get the ball closer to the hole. That's hard to take emotionally.

Even better players make these kinds of mistakes. . .

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Making bogey from the collar or something is pretty deflating. I hate it. I feel like i lose two shots to the field every time i do that. A short game is important scoring tool.  Because lets face it, most amateurs only hit 4 or 5 greens in regulation a round. And realistically, most of us wont improve on that. I only hit like around 9 on average. So you're spending most of your time recovering and putting. And i think alot of it is kind of philosophy more than mechanics, per sea. I think a good rule of thumb is if you miss greenside - get on the green with your next. Then take your chances with a putt, however long it might be.  Most of them outside 5 feet you'll miss. But you'll get up and down more often with a 20 foot putt than with another chip or pitch from the other side of the green. Keeps big numbers off the card, too.

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I get what everyone is saying but sometimes people really lacking the basics of short games. Especially pitching and chipping techniques.

I know in the long run you have to work on your swing the most but identifying the holes of your game and the priority to work on are important too. 

Nowadays it is very easy to access to new informations and new theory ( like LSW) but there are also too much informations for everyone to know which ones is right. 

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21 hours ago, Slugox said:

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.

This is where I am.  I just started the game about 3 weeks ago and played my first 18 yesterday.  There were holes where I should have carded a par, or bogey but instead because I'm really bad at chipping (and mostly everything else at this point), I could have erased a few strokes by being able to chip on to the green.  I skulled so many chip shots yesterday it was frustrating seeing the ball go from one side of the green to another, still not on the green.  Was a huge learning experience but really frustrating knowing I could have shot better than 107 on my first round.

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8 hours ago, mcanadiens said:

In my case, bad days can start at the tee and work their way down to the green. Good days nearly always mean fairways and few to no penalty strokes off the tee. 

It's almost as though many of us at bogey and above have a grasp of what costs us strokes. :whistle:

Honestly, I don't think misconceptions are as bad as some think. I've had this discussion with others from off this site. They'll talk about the importance of the short game but realize their full swing needs more work and practice that much more frequently.

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52 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

Honestly, I don't think misconceptions are as bad as some think. I've had this discussion with others from off this site. They'll talk about the importance of the short game but realize their full swing needs more work and practice that much more frequently.

I think that, in the general world of golf, putting and the short game are still seen as contributing FAR more to the score than they do.

Ask them to assign percentages and they'll often be way off.

I don't think anyone's saying that people blame the short game exclusively.

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I feel that the short game, as well as other parts of their game, is holding them back. For whatever reason they just ascribe more importance to the short game. All parts of the game are important.

For instance, Let's say you hit a nice drive, long and in the middle of the fairway. Your approach leaks a bit and puts you in heavy greenside rough. You chunk your first pitch and leave it in the rough. You skull your next shot across the green into more rough! Which part of your game has hosed up this hole?

But, as mcandiens said, it's a short shot. But I don't think most believe that it should be easy, it's that they try to get too "cute" with it! They try to hit shots that they are not capable of! That's what send that hole into the scrap pile!

Realize your capabilities! Just get the ball on the green somewhere so that you can putt at the hole!

I saw this firsthand at the YSU (Youngstown State University) Women's Invitational in September. Many of these ladies had swings and ball striking abilities that I envied! Yet, I saw so many of them make the same mistake when missing a green, particularly on the short side. They'd try to be too cute, and chunk it short. The greenside rough was particularly thick and vicious that week, and it cost a lot of players strokes!

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

I think that, in the general world of golf, putting and the short game are still seen as contributing FAR more to the score than they do.

Ask them to assign percentages and they'll often be way off.

I agree. I know this is true from talking to the professionals and better players I know from outside this site. Then you have the Dave Peltzs of the world.... So, of course, the guys I play with hear or read that the short game is more important and regurgitate it during conversation. Why wouldn't they?

Yet, I see those same guys still practicing their full swings more often. It's like they're repeating what they've heard in general conversation, but in the back of their minds don't really believe it.

You see many more players practicing than I do, Erik. Do you think I'm off-base? Do you see a disproportionate amount of short game practice?


Another point I'd like to make is that those of us lucky enough to be on this site may be a bit more thoughtful about our game (I hope that doesn't sound too conceited). We're exposed to more and better information. We then apply it to our own game.

So if a high capper from TST states their short game is lacking, it may be a legitimate assessment and not because of something Dave Peltz published.

Edited by JonMA1

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11 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

I saw this firsthand at the YSU (Youngstown State University) Women's Invitational in September. Many of these ladies had swings and ball striking abilities that I envied! Yet, I saw so many of them make the same mistake when missing a green, particularly on the short side. They'd try to be too cute, and chunk it short. The greenside rough was particularly thick and vicious that week, and it cost a lot of players strokes!

I could argue that it wasnt the thickness of the rough that cause the players to lose strokes, it was the fact that they were missing the green is what really caused them strokes. Is it realistic to never miss the green? no. But had they hit the green more often then that greenside rough wouldnt have been an issue.

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8 minutes ago, klineka said:

 Is it realistic to never miss the green? no

I could argue that this is why it’s so important to have a well-rounded game. Especially while we’re developing that 12 GIR game we are all working on ;-).

FWIW and coming from someone with a glaring weakness in putting, practicing the full swing should take up a higher percentage of practice time. Whether we think it’s more important or not (I do think it’s more important, btw), it’s a harder skill to learn and develop than chipping or putting.

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8 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

I could argue that this is why it’s so important to have a well-rounded game. Especially while we’re developing that 12 GIR game we are all working on ;-).

FWIW and coming from someone with a glaring weakness in putting, practicing the full swing should take up a higher percentage of practice time. Whether we think it’s more important or not (I do think it’s more important, btw), it’s a harder skill to learn and develop than chipping or putting.

Exactly. I'm well aware the most significant gains I'll ever make will come because of the full swing. And I don't equate the short game importance to that. However, the type of improvement I am currently seeking at my level is to eliminate shots that are a complete waste.

It's one thing to be in greenside rough because of inaccurate ballstriking, and quite another to be chopping a ball around in the spinach because you don't have a quality/reliable pitch or chip shot that will get you somewhere on the green in one shot with a chance to salvage the hole. That is where I am currently, lamenting the shots that serve no purpose to my game other than to add a "1" to my scorecard.

Edited by Slugox
typo

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12 hours ago, klineka said:

I could argue that it wasnt the thickness of the rough that cause the players to lose strokes, it was the fact that they were missing the green is what really caused them strokes. Is it realistic to never miss the green? no. But had they hit the green more often then that greenside rough wouldnt have been an issue.

You missed my point entirely. It was the players failure to put their FIRST chip or pitch somewhere on the putting surface that cost them extra strokes.

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47 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

You missed my point entirely. It was the players failure to put their FIRST chip or pitch somewhere on the putting surface that cost them extra strokes.

It's also still just one contrived example. You could create a hypothetical situation to support whatever you want.

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10 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

You missed my point entirely. It was the players failure to put their FIRST chip or pitch somewhere on the putting surface that cost them extra strokes.

No doubt that two consecutive pitches or chips greenside cost them a stroke. I dont disagree. 

But had their approach shot ended up on the green, they could have saved 2 strokes (the two chips/pitches it took them to get on the green) 

I notice it in my own game. My lowest round this year since I've started using game golf, I had a 83% GIR, but my scrambling that day was average (33%) relative to my other rounds, and that round tied for the 2nd highest number of putts I had since using game golf (36), yet my score was the lowest I've ever had. Directly related to getting my approach shots on the green. 

Compare that to my most recent round played. I had the best putting round (28) and highest scrambling percentage (45%) since starting game golf, but only had 39% GIR and as a result I shot 4 strokes higher than my lowest round. So I had the best short game round I've had all season, probably the best putting day I've ever had, and still shot 4 strokes higher than my personal best because the approach shots and tee shots were average at best.

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On 10/31/2017 at 9:22 AM, 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

Really bad example: I guarantee you have a much better chance of screwing up that 5 iron into the green than the person who hit it 300 does chipping 3 times and 3 putting. 

On 10/31/2017 at 10:38 AM, Vinsk said:

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.

LWS- An 18 handicap can shave an average 1.6 strokes per round with an extra 20 yards off the tee. 

On 11/1/2017 at 4:49 PM, iacas said:

I think that, in the general world of golf, putting and the short game are still seen as contributing FAR more to the score than they do.

I was walking to the range just the other day when I heard one of the high school coaches talking to his players about how 75% of their time should be spent on short game because it was the most important part of the game. It was all I could do to not say something.

Thinking the short game is most important is a wives tale, something thats been around for so long that everyone just accepts it as truth. Well people, chewing gum doesn't stay in your body for years if you swallow it, you don't catch a cold by going outside in the cold, and approach shots and driving have a much larger affect on your scoring than short game. Join us in the 21st century!

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3 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

I was walking to the range just the other day when I heard one of the high school coaches talking to his players about how 75% of their time should be spent on short game because it was the most important part of the game. It was all I could do to not say something.

Next time, say something. Maybe not right then, but tell him about LSW, or pose to him some of the questions we pose in LSW. Ask him how many putts he takes from 20 feet, and how many a bogey golfer takes, and how many a PGA Tour player takes. Then ask him how many shots it takes each of them to reach the green on a 440-yard par four.

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Just now, iacas said:

Next time, say something. Maybe not right then, but tell him about LSW, or pose to him some of the questions we pose in LSW. Ask him how many putts he takes from 20 feet, and how many a bogey golfer takes, and how many a PGA Tour player takes. Then ask him how many shots it takes each of them to reach the green on a 440-yard par four.

They are done for the fall season, but I will once they start up again in March. Unfortunately none of the high school coaches that practice at my course are even decent golfers, and none of them play competitive golf. They read golf digest and regurgitate it back to their players on the range. 

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On 10/31/2017 at 11:14 AM, Vinsk said:

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. 

Think there is a lot of truth in this.  Lot of people I know say they need to get better at their putting and chipping to bring down their scores, but like you mentioned are often hitting that 150 or 170 yard approach shot 10 or 15 yards short.  

 

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Note: This thread is 1110 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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