Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
onthehunt526

The Pros of Old Knew Lowest Score Wins

8 posts / 1430 viewsLast Reply

Recommended Posts

@iacas,

I think I found a topic we can agree on... and I think you'll like it.

Background: I love to watch old Shell's Wonderful World of Golf videos from the 1960s. Whatever I can find on YouTube, Shell, All-Star Golf, Challenge Golf, Big 3 Golf any of those. I mostly have noted some of the strategy differences between now and then.

Short Par-4s: In the old days almost all pros used driver on these holes... as a matter of fact on every Shell match I've watched all but a couple pros hit driver on every non-par 3. (Jack Nicklaus used a 3-wood or 1-iron off the tee a couple times when he played Sam Snead at Pebble Beach)

Par 5s (most of them), On their second shots most would use whatever there second longest club was, there were still a few WWII era players that would hit a 2-wood but most of the time it was a 3-wood... Sam Snead used his driver off the fairway a few times during his matches on the aforementioned series.

Par-3s and approach shots (most of them)... Players seemed to note where the flagstick was, the general slope of the green, and hazards when they chose there club and type of shot and shot for the lightest shade... If pin-high was safe they would try to get there, if not it seemed they tried to stay below the hole quite a lot.

They were all decent lag putters, and in those days you could be more aggressive with short putts because the greens were slower...

You also didn't automatically see players pull sand wedge on short shots. They would chip with 7, 8, and 9 iron a lot more, mostly trying to get into a circle with about a 4 or 5 foot radius...

I think there was a lot of GamePlanning going on even in the 1950s and 60s.... definitely with some elements of Lowest Score Wins... but this has probably been going on since the days of the King outlawing golf in 1457.

What do you fellow golfers think? Has this been going on all along? It seems to me like it has.

Just a thought. It did seems woods were used a lot more 50-60 years ago than there is now... Most of the time the only time a pro lays up on a par-5 is when they can't reach it or hit into trouble... and usually it's with an iron... Another note, it seemed that back then (at least from the footage I've seen), a lot of players were feel players. For instance, say they had 150 yards... They know they can get a good 7-iron there, but maybe with the way the wind is or general slope... they take maybe a 5-iron and chase it... or a 6-iron and hold it off... There were a lot of pros that played feel golf back then, but the premise they played by remained the same.

LET THE DISCUSSION BEGIN!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Register for free today and you won't see this ad spot again!

My gut feeling is that they may have done more back then. But who knows - in watching something that wasn't PGA Tour golf (the second place finishers were guaranteed a lot of money in the Shell's matches) - you're not comparing apples to oranges.

I do think, though, that the idea of "laying up to a comfortable yardage" is more of a 90s-era thing. Kind of about when Tom Kite and Dave Pelz started to have some influence on the set makeup of pros and their wedges.

But even with their influence, it's not like every or even necessarily the majority of PGA Tour players are laying up. I still think the majority, and the large majority even, go for it when they can.

A better example might be when Billy Casper laid up all four rounds on a par three. That may be a great example of understanding Shot Zones and Decision Maps pretty well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Yesterday's pros knew what to do to play competitive golf. What ever knowlege, and coaching used back then, worked for them. I suspect some of that knowlege, and coaching would still work today. 

Today's pros are doing the same thing with updated knowlege, and coaching. 

I don't think the game has changed that much over the years. The pro still has to put the ball in the hole in the lowest number of strokes to win, or at least finish in the money.

Yes, today's golfer hits the ball farther, and the courses are much longer than yesteryear's golfers' played on. One thing I think still remains the same, is there are still only a few golfers' who continue to win on a consistent basis in each era of golf. 

I too miss those old Shell Matches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

@Patch, I would assume you've not read LSW, so I don't know that you really "get" what the OP was saying.

And just because a Tour player did or does something, doesn't mean it's what's right, best, easiest, etc.

I agree, very generally, that the game hasn't changed much, except that we continue to gain knowledge. We continue to better understand scoring. Old pros may have actually believed "drive for show, putt for dough" while modern day pros know that's not the case. At least most of them do.

And at some point, whether it was Pelz or just a fad or what… pros started to espouse "laying up to a yardage" when in many cases that was a costly thing to do, score wise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

5 hours ago, iacas said:

I do think, though, that the idea of "laying up to a comfortable yardage" is more of a 90s-era thing. Kind of about when Tom Kite and Dave Pelz started to have some influence on the set makeup of pros and their wedges.

Yet it seems like every week I still hear the announcers talk about players picking a comfortable yardage. :doh: Mix that with Peter Kostis' spot on swing analysis and you have a gold mine of golfing wisdom. :-P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

The yardage thing was definitely a Pelz brain child.

We have a lot more technology and analysis of different facets of the game than we had back then.

Maybe the pros didn't have sophisticated charts or shaded shot zones or what not. But they probably at least had them in their head. Remember in those days, your caddie was picked in a lottery. You didn't have the same caddie every week. 

Pros did most of this themselves. I watched Gene Littler hit Driver, 8-iron to the Drive and pitch 17th at Pine Valley. 

Not a bunch of people driving the green... Pine Valley is a great example of darker shades and lighter shades. I believe to this day they do not rake the fairway bunkers. Nelson couldn't make a putt in that match... But you could see where he was shooting at the lighter shades and giving himself safer leaves.

Casper laid-up on the 3rd hole at Winged Foot all 4 rounds in 1959 and made 4 par-3s. Why? Because above the hole at Winged Foot is suicide. So he hit a club to the approach and got up-and-down all 4 days. 

The concept of GamePlanning and Shot Zones isn't a new thing... It's just more available now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 3/1/2018 at 6:22 PM, iacas said:

@Patch, I would assume you've not read LSW, so I don't know that you really "get" what the OP was saying.

And just because a Tour player did or does something, doesn't mean it's what's right, best, easiest, etc.

I agree, very generally, that the game hasn't changed much, except that we continue to gain knowledge. We continue to better understand scoring. Old pros may have actually believed "drive for show, putt for dough" while modern day pros know that's not the case. At least most of them do.

And at some point, whether it was Pelz or just a fad or what… pros started to espouse "laying up to a yardage" when in many cases that was a costly thing to do, score wise.

The statistics prove that you score better from closer to the hole than from further away. 

This is the whole laying back vs laying up argument. 

I'd be willing to bet that if you were to give a tour pro 20 shots from their favorite wedge yardage in the fairway and 20 50-yard shots from light rough, they'd take fewer strokes on average to hole out from the 50-yard shot from the light rough than from their favorite wedge in the fairway. 

Yes you don't want to bring trouble into play, but these guys get paid the big bucks to finesse shots.

Edited by onthehunt526
Grammar and didn't complete my sentence

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 3/4/2018 at 4:24 PM, onthehunt526 said:

The statistics prove that you score better from closer to the hole than from further away. 

This is the whole laying back vs laying up argument. 

I'd be willing to bet that if you were to give a tour pro 20 shots from their favorite wedge yardage in the fairway and 20 50-yard shots from light rough, they'd take fewer strokes on average to hole out from the 50-yard shot from the light rough than from their favorite wedge in the fairway. 

Yes you don't want to bring trouble into play, but these guys get paid the big bucks to finesse shots.

Things change for pros when you add roughly to the mix. They give up a little control there.

But for the average golfer, closer is better if you're only talking about fairway 70%/rough 30% of the time at 100 yards versus rough 70%/fairway 30% from 50 yards. (And similar.)

PGA Tour from 100 yards fairway: 2.80, from 50 rough: ~2.84. The control they gain from a clean lie in the fairway makes up for the lack of control from the rough. But that's if your shots are always fairway and always rough. If you're 70/30 and 30/70 (and a PGA Tour player):

0.7 * 2.8 + 0.3 * 3.02 = 2.863
0.3 * 2.65 + 0.7 * 2.84 = 2.783

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...