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Lihu

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

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5 hours ago, scotth said:

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.  

 

Yeah. And the the ones who hit a lousy drive which makes them take 3 to get on the green.(if they’re lucky)..they’ll miss the 8’ putt to save par and say, “damn putting...that’s where the money is”.....lol. 

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18 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Yeah. And the the ones who hit a lousy drive which makes them take 3 to get on the green.(if they’re lucky)..they’ll miss the 8’ putt to save par and say, “damn putting...that’s where the money is”.....lol. 

And meanwhile, they're punching out from the trees, and wedging on the green in three. They should consider themselves damn lucky to have a par putt. 

As @iacas stated in a previous post, it's the last thing in your mind on a hole. A lot of golfers, don't look at the cause of the bad hole, they only see missing an 8-foot putt for par and making bogey. They don't say, "Oh well, bad tee shot there, actually made a good bogey." No, it's "F$@& I missed an 8 foot putt, I should have made"

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Of all the hackers I've played with over the years, I can't remember a single instance of one missing an 8' putt and saying they need to work on their putting. Sounds like it happens all the time to others :whistle:

Actually, most feel ok about their putting (especially after witnessing mine). Now, turning an 8' 1st putt into a 5' 2nd putt, and then missing that might be a different story...  they'd be right to work on their putting.

In my limited experience, the importance of the short game is usually overstated by PGA instructors and better players. I'll share my opinion but have to be diplomatic. A 23 capper lacks the credibility to tell a 2 he's wrong about how to get better.

I lost my first copy of LSW by loaning it to the local PGA pro who was all about the short game and putting. To his credit, he was actually very impressed and receptive to the information because it was based on statistics. Unfortunately, he was so impressed he loaned it to another employee who never returned it.

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3 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

Of all the hackers I've played with over the years, I can't remember a single instance of one missing an 8' putt and saying they need to work on their putting. Sounds like it happens all the time to others :whistle:

Short game includes chipping and pitch shots. . .

 

3 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

Actually, most feel ok about their putting (especially after witnessing mine). Now, turning an 8' 1st putt into a 5' 2nd putt, and then missing that might be a different story...  they'd be right to work on their putting.

Do you have some statistics to back this claim that you're the worst putter that you know?

A typical score of 120 with 60 putts would definitely convince me. . .

Edited by Lihu

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Just an example, I just shot 88 with 46 putts yesterday and consider myself a pretty respectable putter. The greens were just aerated and some greens were soaked with water and sand and others were not. Chip shots weren't getting close, etc.

I typically have 38 to 40 putts and have some low rounds with 32 putts on easier greens. My average score is dropping below 85 at this point, but it's not my putting that's holding me back. Possibly could be a bit better with my scrambling percentage?What's holding me back is me not hitting enough greens closer to the pin. I see myself 2 tiers below the hold or above it, with weird triple breaking putts left and right. To be specific, I'm in a terrible position at San Dimas Canyon or Brookside course 2 hitting 6-7 greens while at Whittier Narrows GC or Brookside course 1 those same approach shots score better. Knollwood is really tough to get on the greens because of the narrow tree lined fairways, and the greens are not easy there either. Angeles National kills me because my approach shots roll off unless I'm less than 100 yards.

I don't consider myself a bad putter, and I'm not. I don't consider myself bad at chipping or pitching as of last month either. My game can only be improved by hitting more greens where I need to hit them.

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@Lihu I don’t believe 40+ putts per round is good putting. If so, I’m completely wrong in my assessments.

I’ll respond to your earlier post and provide the data you requested when I’m done working, but my stats are a bit off topic. Perhaps MySwing thread would be more appropriate?

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2 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

@Lihu I don’t believe 40+ putts per round is good putting. If so, I’m completely wrong in my assessments.

I’ll respond to your earlier post and provide the data you requested when I’m done working, but my stats are a bit off topic. Perhaps MySwing thread would be more appropriate?

Unfortunately, high 30s is about right for someone shooting approaches like me. I hit a lot of greens or get close to them, but not anywhere close to where I need to be. On easier greens I've hit 10-12 greens, but not on average. We're talking about average.

If you and I played closest to the pin on a practice putting green, I'm guessing you'd never think that I'm averaging high 30s on the course. I'm actually a pretty decent putter now. Last months, different story, but now that I be had 2 clinics and 2 lessons, my putting is pretty good.

As far as short game is concerned, I agree that I could use a little more distance control on my chips and better slight better judgement on my pitch shots, but in general, I'm not too bad. Again, on the practice fields, I'm not too bad. If you and I went head to head on closest to the pin from 10 to 50 yards you'd think I have a decent short game.

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5 hours ago, Lihu said:

Do you have some statistics to back this claim that you're the worst putter that you know?

Spoiler

https://www.gamegolf.com/player/JonMa1/insights/share/24857a2121

I don't mind discussing my game (and would welcome any criticism), but would prefer it be kept to MySwing thread, if that's ok.:-) 

I don't remember making that claim about being the worse, but it might be true. 

My current HC index is 22.8, down from an unofficial 24 in 2016 and what would have been a higher index in 2015. 

For several years, I felt poor putting really hurt my scores. I was hitting a lot of greens for someone of my scoring average but would fail to 2 putt many of those.

In 2016 I started tracking almost all of my rounds. At the end of the season, GameGolf and Erik both confirmed what I'd suspected... putting was a glaring weakness. I spent much of the winter working more on my putting and improved slightly.

In 2017 (I did not record many rounds), the combination of that slight putting improvement with a decline in accuracy with my driver and fairway woods meant putting - though not at the average of 2 per hole I'd hoped for - was no longer what I felt was the most damaging to my score. 

In regards to how bad my putting has been the last two years, see the graphics below. I not only lost strokes to bogey golfers (while doing better at approach shots), I was worse than the average 25 capper.

59fe1e4e57084_ScreenShot2017-11-04at3_46_15PM.thumb.png.e911b899865cab0261bec8c6a91f25e1.png

59fe1e60b327f_ScreenShot2017-11-04at3_46_01PM.thumb.png.0a55bea7eb834f5c1c1515634af8b860.png

 

 

Edited by JonMA1

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41 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:
  Hide contents

https://www.gamegolf.com/player/JonMa1/insights/share/24857a2121

I don't mind discussing my game (and would welcome any criticism), but would prefer it be kept to MySwing thread, if that's ok.:-) 

I don't remember making that claim about being the worse, but it might be true. 

My current HC index is 22.8, down from an unofficial 24 in 2016 and what would have been a higher index in 2015. 

For several years, I felt poor putting really hurt my scores. I was hitting a lot of greens for someone of my scoring average but would fail to 2 putt many of those.

In 2016 I started tracking almost all of my rounds. At the end of the season, GameGolf and Erik both confirmed what I'd suspected... putting was a glaring weakness. I spent much of the winter working more on my putting and improved slightly.

In 2017 (I did not record many rounds), the combination of that slight putting improvement with a decline in accuracy with my driver and fairway woods meant putting - though not at the average of 2 per hole I'd hoped for - was no longer what I felt was the most damaging to my score. 

In regards to how bad my putting has been the last two years, see the graphics below. I not only lost strokes to bogey golfers (while doing better at approach shots), I was worse than the average 25 capper.

59fe1e4e57084_ScreenShot2017-11-04at3_46_15PM.thumb.png.e911b899865cab0261bec8c6a91f25e1.png

59fe1e60b327f_ScreenShot2017-11-04at3_46_01PM.thumb.png.0a55bea7eb834f5c1c1515634af8b860.png

 

 

If you compare yourself to scratch on your last 10 rounds, your worst SG seems to be approach.

I have a similar pattern, even though my actual strokes are different.

One thing you could work on is your iron accuracy. Distance seems okay, but dispersion is pretty high. You should be able to get below bogey if you could tighten up approaches.

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23 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Yeah. And the the ones who hit a lousy drive which makes them take 3 to get on the green.(if they’re lucky)..they’ll miss the 8’ putt to save par and say, “damn putting...that’s where the money is”.....lol. 

Most Golfers what think their short game is holding them is true because the work on the long shots rather than what counts.    As we get older and the long game becomes a pain the short game is more important all the time, as it is for most Golfers, the scoring shots.     Working on the long game, buying Drivers and strong lofts does not help like a good short game.    It is the important part of scoring.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, joro said:

Most Golfers what think their short game is holding them is true because the work on the long shots rather than what counts.    As we get older and the long game becomes a pain the short game is more important all the time, as it is for most Golfers, the scoring shots.     Working on the long game, buying Drivers and strong lofts does not help like a good short game.    It is the important part of scoring.

Yes, I’ve seen this as well. But the best “old guys” still have good technique and reasonable distances. They tend to be more accurate albeit shorter than their heyday.

One of our regular groups has low single digit players, all over 65 years. I don’t ask, but one of them still hits 250 with a long rolling drive told me he’s 79 years old. He confided in me that as he loses distance he’ll simply increase strokes 

That’s why it’s so impressive to see 80 year old bogey golfers. They almost never miss fairways and hit 3W approaches that roll onto the greens.

My coache’s best friends dad has been playing over 45 years, And said he’s now a 20 handicap. Once he was near the greens he was pretty decent, but it always took him an extra shot to reach the greens. Nice high drives.

I just played with my coach and his other best friend’s dad. That 75+ year old still has some distance as well. That’s why he’s still a 14 or better handicap. Perfect Swing and nice high ball, but shorter than when he was 50.

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That's great they still can play.    I play with one 77 yr. old that still hits it good although he has no short game, never had an injury.     My game at 78 is going rapidly downhill thanks to 2 hips, a broken back and neck a few years ago, a Stroks 2 years ago and Heart Surgery last Dec.    I still play though although not so good, but I still love the game and my short game saves me.     I was a +4 at one time and played a few PGA Tournaments and 2 Majors, but it is what it is and I am not quitting.      I am an 18 and the "Boys" put me on the Green Tees now.     But I am still playing.

My point is enjoy now while you are healthy and try to stay that way.   Work on the short game because you will need it. and above all enjoy the game.     Best to you.   But, I am still trying, lol.

 

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6 hours ago, Lihu said:

Just an example, I just shot 88 with 46 putts yesterday and consider myself a pretty respectable putter.

I don't consider anyone who can take over 40 putts - ever, really - a "pretty respectable putter."

44 minutes ago, joro said:

Most Golfers what think their short game is holding them is true because the work on the long shots rather than what counts.    As we get older and the long game becomes a pain the short game is more important all the time, as it is for most Golfers, the scoring shots.     Working on the long game, buying Drivers and strong lofts does not help like a good short game.    It is the important part of scoring.

The full swing is still the most important thing.

Now, if they are pretty much maximizing their full swing (i.e. getting the most out of it that they can), then yeah, they should work on maintaining their short games and putting, as that doesn't require a 15+ MPH increase in swing speeds.

But the bulk of the game is decided by the full swing. The bulk of scoring is decided by the full swing. If that's better - if you hit more greens or get more nGIRs, your scores go down fastest or farthest.

That doesn't change when you're older; only your ceiling for how much you can reasonably expect to get out of your full swing changes.

Short game/putting are not the "important parts" of scroring.

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@Lihu, @JonMA1, if you find yourself repeatedly wanting to post the entire post in spoilers when they're not actually spoilers… take it to PMs or a different topic entirely.

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On 11/2/2017 at 10:19 PM, iacas said:

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

Contrived my rear end! I watched it happen, before my eyes, over and over!

As I said before, many of these young ladies would just smoke me head to head. But, I have eyes and a brain, and I saw them repeatedly make the same mistake! They could post better scores by not doing so!

Look, golfers have figured any number of ways to fritter away strokes. This is just one more! Don't get all whacked out by my citing it!

As Benjamin Disraeli said, "There are three kinds of lies. Lies, damned lies, and statistics!"

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2 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Contrived my rear end! I watched it happen, before my eyes, over and over!

It's contrived. You made up a situation. I could make up others that make whatever point I want, too.

2 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

As I said before, many of these young ladies would just smoke me head to head. But, I have eyes and a brain, and I saw them repeatedly make the same mistake! They could post better scores by not doing so!

:sigh: Maybe they were AJGA players. :-P

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5 hours ago, Lihu said:

If you compare yourself to scratch on your last 10 rounds, your worst SG seems to be approach.

I have a similar pattern, even though my actual strokes are different.

One thing you could work on is your iron accuracy. Distance seems okay, but dispersion is pretty high. You should be able to get below bogey if you could tighten up approaches.

I'm sorry @Lihu, I couldn't disagree more. I think you are interpreting the information incorrectly. But you're entitled to your opinion the same as me. Maybe I'm wrong with what (I think) I see almost every time I play.

There are many reasons why players fall short of their goals. EVERYONE can benefit from better approach shots, even the best players in the world. That doesn't exclude other areas from holding one back.

You might want to consider that some of us recognize where we're bleeding strokes, that we actually think for ourselves. Most of the time it falls inside the same needs as most others. Sometimes special attention needs to be given to a specific weakness that lies outside the norm.

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5 hours ago, iacas said:

I don't consider anyone who can take over 40 putts - ever, really - a "pretty respectable putter."

I have to admit it sounds really bad, but the green conditions were pretty horrible and ever changing.

The greens keepers were still working on them as we played in the early morning. Some were really soaked and muddy and some of varying degrees of dryness with speed changing in different directions, but since we were playing for skins everyone just kind of suffered through it.

 

1 hour ago, JonMA1 said:

I'm sorry @Lihu, I couldn't disagree more. I think you are interpreting the information incorrectly. But you're entitled to your opinion the same as me. Maybe I'm wrong with what (I think) I see almost every time I play.

Not an expert at all, and if you think putting and short game are your glaring weaknesses, you should just work on that instead of arguing with people on the internet so that it is no longer a glaring weakness. You seem to care more about overall score than me, so it's probably exactly what you should work on.

I'm also continuously working on those short game skills because they are actually a glaring weakness for me just like the rest of my game. So, I'm certainly not going to stop someone from working on what they feel will reduce their scores the most.

However, I still see my long game as one of my largest weaknesses. I see glimpses of success, but not enough for my taste. When I am able to strike the ball on the course like I do on the driving range, I'll be happy enough with it to move on to reducing strokes through other means. I still put myself at 0 solid strikes with 0 sweet spot on the course.

Edited by Lihu

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