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Lihu

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

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Just now, iacas said:

Sad.

You know, I really hope the day I stop learning about things is the day after the day I die.

What is sad ?

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1 hour ago, joro said:

The pros and cons here are amazing.    Bottom line is the short game is touted by all players as very important.    If you hit the Greens in regs that is great, but when you don't ?, then what.

If you are improving your GIR performance that also helps    Even when you don't get a GIR, you are likely to have a MUCH better chance at up and down by missing closer....... 

Get all the GIR's you can.  And if you don't get one, then at least you will tend to have a short chip or putt from fringe, instead of a long chip, awkward pitch, or sand shot......

I spent a lot of time this year on contact so I could get better at hitting greens (cleaner contact more predictability and distance control...)  Other than hitting greens more, I find my misses are closer and I'm getting up and down more often.  I 3 putt a bit more, but I'd rather have a long putt and 3 putt, than a long chip/pitch and still a 2 putt....

It's the first time in my life that I approach a course and fully expect to get pars on every hole as something normal.  Birdies are great and a bonus, put just a regulation par day is a great confidence booster.  And those bogies or worse are few enough that I can actually get a handle on why and practice better.

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Good for you, you are doing well and I hope that get your goal every time you play.

In my case and typical of old hacks we don't hit that many Greens in regs and have to rely on the short game.    In my case I am 78 have had 2 hips, a stroke that took 1/2 my right side and being lefty I need that right side, and last Heart Surgery.    Now in my younger years I was a big strong athlete and Golf was easy.    I never was a great Iron player and my strengths were short game and Putting.    I was a +4 hop at my best and played in a few PGA events and 2 Majors as both an amateur and  s Pro.      So that said I am an old has been.

I had a bad accident that left me with a broken back and neck in 1977 and ended the good playing days so in the next 40 yrs I was a club maker and consultant to mfgrs, and taught as a PGA teacher.    I ended my career as a teacher and club repairman at a local course at 78.     So I feel I have a decent grasp on what the game is about.

And please,  although I am proud of my past I did not say this to brag but to hope people who read this understand where I am coming from.    I don't know it all, and know a lot of those that think they do really have no clue.

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@Oskar and @joro the statistics speak for themselves. Lowest Score Wins and Every Shot Counts have done the research. Being close minded to new ideas just because you've always heard the opposite is just silly. People used to think the earth was flat, thats pretty much been proven false as well. The books mentioned above fly in the face of traditional golf wisdom, yes, but when the data so significantly points in a certain direction you should pay attention.

I guess what I am saying is you are going to get beat up a bit on this site if you come in with the whole "short game is everything" idea, because its been proven that its not. Give one of the two books a read, if you do so with an open mind you might be surprised because they both have good information in them that will help your game. 

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You are right, but if you do not think the Short Game is important you are wrong.     I never said it is everything, but it is a lot because without getting up and down you will not score and anyone who hits every Green in regs is not human.     It is not the whole game but a big part  of it and that is a fact.    And no I do not think the Earth if flat either.     If people want to beat me up on this site so be it, I can take criticism, but I do see some that cannot.    Maybe this site is not for me.

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Just now, joro said:

You are right, but if you do not think the Short Game is important you are wrong.    

I don't think either book says that, they just show that it's not AS important as many thought it was. 

 

2 minutes ago, joro said:

If people want to beat me up on this site so be it, I can take criticism, but I do see some that cannot.   

People don't want to beat you up, but since the owner of this site wrote Lowest Score Wins you will find a majority of the people who post on here are enlightened to the facts in this particular subject.

4 minutes ago, joro said:

Maybe this site is not for me.

Well I hope you change your mind, it's a good site, just don't be close minded. We are all on here to learn.

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6 minutes ago, joro said:

It is not the whole game but a big part  of it and that is a fact.    And no I do not think the Earth if flat either.     If people want to beat me up on this site so be it, I can take criticism, but I do see some that cannot.    Maybe this site is not for me.

You've not criticized anything. Criticism I love. I can dive into it, refute it, discuss it… whatever. You're just saying "short game is important." Nobody's really disagreeing, except with perhaps HOW important you seem to think it is.

Generally speaking, the short game accounts for less than 20% of what separates any two groups of players. Putting less than 15%.

The short game is important, but let's not over-state its importance, or how much it should be practiced:

35% of your time spent on putting and the short game is about right. If you lack a glaring weakness, that is.

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28 minutes ago, joro said:

You are right, but if you do not think the Short Game is important you are wrong.     I never said it is everything, but it is a lot because without getting up and down you will not score and anyone who hits every Green in regs is not human.     It is not the whole game but a big part  of it and that is a fact.    And no I do not think the Earth if flat either.     If people want to beat me up on this site so be it, I can take criticism, but I do see some that cannot.    Maybe this site is not for me.

You only get beat up by others if you let them beat you up.  Myself, I tend to lean a little bit to your way of thinking about the importance of one's short game. I get along just fine on this site. Then again I am one of those "outliers" who's game requires a better short game to consistantly score well.  My (shortened) long game requires this.

 The importance of the long game in golf has been around for quite a while. Harvey Pinnick touched on it's importance in his Little Red Book. That was what, 50-60 years ago? 

Everyone has their own golf beliefs based on their own perception of their own  game. Nothing wrong with that. What ever works for them. 

As for leaving this site, the bigger loss would be yours. There is alot more to this site than just the importance of the long game vs the short game. The long vs short ideology is just a small part of the overall info available to TST members. 

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On 10/31/2017 at 8:59 AM, 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.

This for sure.  Lots of people think hitting some not tiny percentage of their long shots well means they hit it solid.  People ignore that hitting it solid in golf is as much or more hitting it solidly and within a reasonable dispersion cone of their target almost all the time, not some not tiny percentage.

I've said this around here before, but I think there's a psychological element from the other direction as well.  If you expect to hit a few tee shots in jail and miss a reasonable percentage of approach shots pretty badly, you don't remember those as noteworthy.  But the short game is easier to at least be decent at, and it's less complicated, so everyone expects to be able to sink some longer putts and get up and down a decent percent of the time and not get nGIR and then skull a pitch, hit a mediocre chip, then two putt for a double bogey (or then three putt for a triple!).  So everyone remembers those!

Like, you shoot 95 and legitimately lose 5-6 shots with a poor short game and hit 4 good drives and 3 great approach shots.  You've got the long game to shoot in the 70s, remember those drives on 4 and 8 and 15!  You lost so many shots around the green.  But you don't consider that you're losing double or triple the shots in the long game...

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33 minutes ago, Patch said:

Then again I am one of those "outliers" who's game requires a better short game to consistantly score well.  My (shortened) long game requires this.

Thing is too, as you probably sense @Patch, that nobody is saying you have to achieve things you're not capable of achieving. If you can only ever drive the ball 190 yards, and right now you drive it 175, those 15 yards would save you a shot or two, but if you have to devote 90% of your practice time to achieving it, you'll lose that shot or two and probably more from lack of attention to the other parts of your game.

People sometimes take what has to be general advice and apply it to their specific case. If your full swing is maxed out and you're getting all you can out of it, absolutely you should devote more attention to your short game and putting. It's the only areas left where you can improve, maintain, etc. So long as you are capable of maintaining the full swing to a good level, yes.

33 minutes ago, Patch said:

The importance of the long game in golf has been around for quite a while. Harvey Pinnick touched on it's importance in his Little Red Book. That was what, 50-60 years ago?

FWIW the book was published in 1992. 25 years ago.

33 minutes ago, Patch said:

Everyone has their own golf beliefs based on their own perception of their own  game. Nothing wrong with that. What ever works for them.

Well, there can be things wrong, and people can learn to do things differently. Many here have, as you've seen. The key is "whatever works for them" and many people aren't aware of what works for them, they're just aware of what they've always done or what they have always heard.

12 minutes ago, mdl said:

Like, you shoot 95 and legitimately lose 5-6 shots with a poor short game and hit 4 good drives and 3 great approach shots.  You've got the long game to shoot in the 70s, remember those drives on 4 and 8 and 15!  You lost so many shots around the green.  But you don't consider that you're losing double or triple the shots in the long game...

Yeah. Big psychological thing to it. Absolutely.

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50 minutes ago, Patch said:

Everyone has their own golf beliefs based on their own perception of their own  game. Nothing wrong with that. What ever works for them. 

That's the thing, in "real life" on the course, I don't know anyone under a delusion that their long games are great and their short games are holding them back. If someone misses an 8 foot putt, they don't usually say they have to practice putting to improve their scores. Not one person I've actually played with and met on the course has said this. Yet, on the internet, there are so many people saying this, it just completely boggles my mind? It's a complete statistical anomaly. Unless, most of the people blogging on a website are gleaming their experience from playing golf video games?

 

29 minutes ago, mdl said:

Like, you shoot 95 and legitimately lose 5-6 shots with a poor short game and hit 4 good drives and 3 great approach shots.  You've got the long game to shoot in the 70s, remember those drives on 4 and 8 and 15!

Guessing you meant that the golfer in question delusion-ally thinks he can shoot in the 70s? I've never physically met nor played with anyone who thinks this, that's the basis of this thread.

 

29 minutes ago, mdl said:

You lost so many shots around the green.  But you don't consider that you're losing double or triple the shots in the long game...

Yes, that's well put, and everyone I meet on the course will up and say "my tee shot sucked", or "my tee shot and approaches sucked". They never say "Well, I have to work on my putting" after hitting OB on a hole and shank the ball up to the green thinking their long game was great and all they have to do is work on their putting.

I've never met this person who's so prolific on the internet?

 

11 minutes ago, iacas said:

People sometimes take what has to be general advice and apply it to their specific case. If your full swing is maxed out and you're getting all you can out of it, absolutely you should devote more attention to your short game and putting. It's the only areas left where you can improve, maintain, etc. So long as you are capable of maintaining the full swing to a good level, yes.

"more" is a really conservative way of putting it, but I'm not sure I've ever met anyone who's said they've maxed out on their long games. In fact, I meet many seniors on the driving range trying to get more out of their long games and rarely see them practicing their short game.

If anything, they've "got" the short games from many years of experience, but there they are hitting balls on the driving range hoping to beat "father time". Those are the real people I meet, not the ones on the internet who seem to feel that short game is king for seniors.

I just asked one senior about a month ago,  who's turning 80 this month, how much time he devotes to short game? He told me something like "After playing over half a century, do you really think I need 'work' on my short game?", and there he was on the driving range with other aging single digit players practicing their long games. Two of them were even filming each other with their iPhones.

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14 minutes ago, Lihu said:

Guessing you meant that the golfer in question delusion-ally thinks he can shoot in the 70s? I've never physically met nor played with anyone who thinks this, that's the basis of this thread.

 

Yes, that's well put, and everyone I meet on the course will up and say "my tee shot sucked", or "my tee shot and approaches sucked". They never say "Well, I have to work on my putting" after hitting OB on a hole and shank the ball up to the green thinking their long game was great and all they have to do is work on their putting.

I've never met this person who's so prolific on the internet?

Yes I meant that's the wrong thinking from that golfer.  My point isn't that people hit a drive in jail, punch out, miss the green, then chip on and two putt and say the real problem with that hole was not getting up and down, in that moment.  My point is that someone who shoots in the 90s expects there to be holes like that, but also expects, because it is in fact (somewhat) easier, to have a good to great short game.  So the three putts and skulled pitches stick more in the mind than the expected poor long shots.  That plus the fact that the group of legitimately good to great long shots do in fact stick in the mind is what I'm proposing leads to people thinking their long game is better than it is and thinking they could score much better than they would in fact by improving their short game.

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I believe and @iacas will correct me if I am wrong, but it's all about perception. Someone hits a poor tee shot, chunks an iron then blades another iron over the green, then hits a poor chip and three putts and blames the 7 on their short game being bad. I have done the same thing hit a bad approach shot leaving myself an impossible 60 foot putt, and then I blame my putter for the resulting three-putt. Its ridiculous!

Short games are the ugly stepchildren of golf, they get all the blame and none of the love!

Edited by NM Golf

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32 minutes ago, mdl said:

Yes I meant that's the wrong thinking from that golfer.  My point isn't that people hit a drive in jail, punch out, miss the green, then chip on and two putt and say the real problem with that hole was not getting up and down, in that moment.  My point is that someone who shoots in the 90s expects there to be holes like that, but also expects, because it is in fact (somewhat) easier, to have a good to great short game.  So the three putts and skulled pitches stick more in the mind than the expected poor long shots.  That plus the fact that the group of legitimately good to great long shots do in fact stick in the mind is what I'm proposing leads to people thinking their long game is better than it is and thinking they could score much better than they would in fact by improving their short game.

I agree with this, the only thing is I've never actually met anyone who says that their bad score was the result of a bad short game. Most will admit they were in jail off the tee, and lucky to even be on the green in as few shots as they were.

Maybe the first hole they might mutter something, but after playing a few holes, most people shooting in the mid 90s and above admit their long game sucks. Very few people are delusional in real life, just on the internet.

 

24 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

I believe and @iacas will correct me if I am wrong, but it's all about perception. Someone hits a poor tee shot, chunks an iron then blades another iron over the green, then hits a poor chip and three putts and blames the 7 on their short game being bad. I have done the same thing hit a bad approach shot leaving myself an impossible 60 foot putt, and then I blame my putter for the resulting three-putt. Its ridiculous!

Short games are the ugly stepchildren of golf, they get all the blame and none of the love!

That's the thing, I've never met someone who actually thinks their long games are great and their short games could use improvement after something happens as you described?

Most will say, they need more time on the driving range so they don't hit a bad tee shot and chunk an approach. In fact, if anything they might blame those two poor long game shots affecting their mood which made their short games even worse. I'd tend to believe that.

Edited by Lihu

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1 hour ago, Lihu said:

I don't know anyone under a delusion that their long games are great and their short games are holding them back

I've known many.

35 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

I believe and @iacas will correct me if I am wrong, but it's all about perception. Someone hits a poor tee shot, chunks an iron then blades another iron over the green, then hits a poor chip and three putts and blames the 7 on their short game being bad. I have done the same thing hit a bad approach shot leaving myself an impossible 60 foot putt, and then I blame my putter for the resulting three-putt. Its ridiculous!

Short games are the ugly stepchildren of golf, they get all the blame and none of the love!

No, that's pretty accurate.

This is a bit more accurate, too, or more common:

  1. Not great contact off the tee shot costing them 20+ yards, but the ball finds the right side of the fairway and they have an open shot to the green from a medium lie.
  2. They have a 6-iron when they should have an 8 or a 9, but they chunk that thing and catch it a little off the toe, so it's short and left a bit beside a bunker. Their stance is awkward and their lie isn't great.
  3. They hit a reasonable chip out of there to 10 feet.
  4. They miss the ten footer, hitting it too firmly on a bad line, and shake in the three-foot come-back putt for a bogey.

They actually didn't lose many shots on the short game and putting. They may have even almost broken even there. They lost the bulk of that shot lost to the full swing: both on the mis-hit driver and the mis-hit approach shot.

Multiply stuff like that by 18 holes and you get what separates the guy who shoots 90 from the guy who shoots 72.

12 minutes ago, Lihu said:

That's the thing, I've never met someone who actually thinks their long games are great and their short games could use improvement after something happens as you described?

I have.

And if you've read all the posts here over the years like I have, we often get these 15 handicappers who think they're great ball strikers.

The people who think they'd be scratch with a better short game/putting are beaten down only by the people who think they'd be scratch with just a better mental game.


Now, I will add this: most people don't practice their short game and putting even the 35% we recommend. Whether they just have more fun hitting drivers on the range, or whether deep down they know what to actually blame, I don't know.

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12 minutes ago, iacas said:

 

Now, I will add this: most people don't practice their short game and putting even the 35% we recommend. Whether they just have more fun hitting drivers on the range, or whether deep down they know what to actually blame, I don't know.

I'm kind of guilty of this, but it hasn't really limited my game so far. I am practicing it more and taking bi-weekly classes and clinics for short game and also long game.

The scratch player I played last week said my short game and putting have improved vastly as of the last time we played together, but obviously is not even close to his level.

17 minutes ago, iacas said:

I've known many.

Yes, I suppose as an instructor, they might come to you with what they feel are their "weaknesses", but as a fellow player I've not met many. Maybe it's because I complain about my long game shots so much that they don't want to discuss short game shortcomings? :-D

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Note: This thread is 1104 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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