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"Putting is a huge part of the game."


MrGolfguy67
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19 minutes ago, MrGolfguy67 said:

Sorry but I'm entitled to believe what I do, I have valid reasons for doing so. If you don't agree with me then fine, you don't have to be a jackass.

PLEASE share your reasons for believing what you believe. Erik has shared his opinions and the data behind the facts that have formulated his (and many others on this site) opinion on this topic. 

I have read the entire thread and you haven't used data and statistics to back up your beliefs, just your opinions based on your experience. 

I'm not trying to change your mind on what you think is more important in regards to scoring, I simply want to understand why (in the numbers and data) you believe that putting is more important than full swing/drives/approach shots.

Can you please share numbers and statistics that support your beliefs? 

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23 minutes ago, JxQx said:

The field for the weekend warrior is everyone with a similar handicap. A lot of that information/stats are gathered with new golf tech (Game Golf, Arccos, etc) and they can derive the strokes gained from that.

I am thinking how many weekend warrior's would actually take the time to look up those stats? My guess is when taking into account how many amature golfers there are world wide, the number using those stats would be quite small. 

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Putting weighs very heavily on the mind for a lot of people. It is the culmination of the hole. Putting is what you do right before you write a number on the scorecard. 

It's actual importance to the score is exaggerated, but I don't think it isn't hard to understand why.

 

 

 

Edited by mcanadiens
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45 minutes ago, MrGolfguy67 said:

To everyone reading this thread:

The note at the top of the first post says that. What you wrote is unchanged.

The discussion was completely off topic in the other discussion, so we created a new topic at a logical breaking point.

Nothing nefarious and again, your posts are unchanged.

1 hour ago, Patch said:

I can agree that a great long game will help a golfer shoot lower scores. I also think that a better than average approach game, will enhance one's long game, and that being a good putter will make one's approach game look good. Those three phase of the game are all interconnected with each other.

It’s possible, and not too difficult, to separate them.

1 hour ago, NEhomer said:

...and yeah, I've been a drive for show putt for dough guy in the past. Clearly that's false. I don't have to die off iacas!

Kudos!!!

53 minutes ago, MrGolfguy67 said:

Sorry but I'm entitled to believe what I do, I have valid reasons for doing so. If you don't agree with me then fine, you don't have to be a jackass.

You’re entitled to “believe” that 2+2=7. Doesn’t mean I don’t get to tell you that you’re wrong, and that it’s 4.

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23 hours ago, MrGolfguy67 said:

Golfer A - hits 14 of 18 greens, gets up & down 3 of 4 times, makes 6 birdies, has no 3 putts, shoots 67 with 27 putts

Golfer B - hits 14 of 18 greens, gets up & down 0 of 4 times, makes 0 birdies, has (2) 3 putts, shoots 78 with 38 putts

I can also cherry pick a scenario that makes my point.

I can easily imagine a way for this to happen, for the same very good golfer on two different days.  Day 1, he's striking the ball consistently well.  When he misses the green, he's still pretty close, and not in a real difficult spot, so the up & downs are fairly simple chips and short putts.  He's hitting it consistently close, and makes 6 birdies precisely because he's hit the ball close to the hole.  He has zero 3-putts simply because he hasn't left his approach shot 60 feet away.

The next day he's struggling off the tee, and his irons aren't solid.  When he misses a green, a couple are by 30 yards, a couple are in bunkers.  The pitches are tough, he just can't get the ball close, and he doesn't make any bombs.  He doesn't hit a single iron shot into birdie range, his average proximity is 10 feet further than the first day, and he 3-putts from 40 or 50 feet away 3 out of the 6 opportunities he has.

Same putting prowess, but ball striking has left him in spots that putting can't save.

Theoreticals aside, I can say that my very best rounds have been excellent ball-stroking days when my putting has been good too.  I've never had what I'd call a "good" score, shooting around my handicap or better, without at least pretty good ball-striking.  Bad ball-striking days have never been turned into one of those "good" scores by great putting, I've lost too many strokes before I get to the green for that to happen.  And I've had plenty of "bad" scores due to bad ball-striking, I've NEVER had one of those due only to bad putting.  I'm starting to get a visual of a dial gauge, like a tach in a car, but with a hinged pointer.  The lower part, maybe 2/3 or 2/4 of the total length, is the full-swing game.  As the base, this determines the relative range for a round   The top bit of the pointer is the putting, that either moves the round a little better or a little worse, but can't override the direction of the "full-swing" portion of the needle.   Nobody says putting isn't important, but its just not near the top of the list, based on solid statistical evidence.

32 minutes ago, Patch said:

I am thinking how many weekend warrior's would actually take the time to look up those stats? My guess is when taking into account how many amature golfers there are world wide, the number using those stats would be quite small. 

I'm sure you're right.  But the number of golfers who participate in forums like this one is also a pretty small minority of the golfing world.  I think we tend to be more avid than the rest, and more interested in the back-story of our own particular interests (like golf travel, clubs, instruction, or analysis).  That doesn't mean we're any better at playing the game, just perhaps a bit more knowledgeable.  

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33 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I'm starting to get a visual of a dial gauge, like a tach in a car, but with a hinged pointer.  The lower part, maybe 2/3 or 2/4 of the total length, is the full-swing game.  As the base, this determines the relative range for a round   The top bit of the pointer is the putting, that either moves the round a little better or a little worse, but can't override the direction of the "full-swing" portion of the needle. 

Stolen. ;-)

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16 hours ago, MrGolfguy67 said:

Fact:  I'm new to golf, only having played for 41 years, but my best scores are when I putt well. Far & away. When you putt well you are making birdies or saving pars.

Driving good (into the fairway) guarantees nothing, you've still got to get it into the hole. Good approach shots guarantee nothing, you've still got to get it into the hole.

 

"Golf is one whole game. It is true that if you cannot putt you cannot win, for no hole is won until the ball is down--but good scores are only made possible but good play up to the green."

Percy Boomer, On Learning Golf, 1946.

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5 minutes ago, The Recreational Golfer said:

"Golf is one whole game. It is true that if you cannot putt you cannot win, for no hole is won until the ball is down--but good scores are only made possible but good play up to the green."

Percy Boomer, On Learning Golf, 1946.

Boo Weekley is the exception to that one. :-) But great quote yes.

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All the shots are important, but it comes down to how do you stand out and get better.  Putting is part of my score because it's pushing half my strokes in any round.  But there's not much I can do about that number frankly unless I start hitting it closer on my approach...

Good approach shots give you more opportunities.  Even better approach shots gets me shorter putts.  Each putt counts, but you reach a point where, if you are REALLY good, you eliminate 3 putts (mostly).  ie. you get good enough that your lag putts on long putts are decent enough to avoid three putts, and medium putts occasionally go in, and I don't tank short putts much.  Beyond that, there's little gain for effort.  And, frankly, it's not too hard to reach that point.

If I want more of those short putts, I have to get closer on my approach.  then the next level applies, I get better approach shots if I drive it better.....

I shot in the high 80's.  I improved my putting a LOT and got into the mid 80's.  yay.

But when I improved my striking, I broke par, I started hitting in the mid 70's more often. 

While I was tracking stats,on my very best rounds (even par and even a couple below) my GIR were personal bests.  I'd rank the best bang for the buck for improvement as follows:  approaches, drives, scrambling/specialty, putts

but that's me.  I'm sold, I want to hit greens....

(Putting?  If one is throwing 3 and 4 putts out all the time?  great - fix that and get a quick boost from the easy fix.  But I don't see a lot of payoff beyond that)

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Just to play a little Devil's advocate here, I believe Mark Broadie did show that putting contributes more to a PGA Tour tournament winner's score than the top 40 golfers which suggests that getting hot with the flagstick can lead to lower scores. So in theory, having a good putting round can be a contributor to a low scoring round, but it's also important to remember that scoring fluctuates more as handicap goes up - the average golfer will be more affected from round to round by their ballstriking than the average PGA Tour pro. There's a difference between putting being a factor in scoring (which nobody will argue) and putting being a "huge part" of the game.

Just anecdotal FWIW, but my best putting round (strokes gained on PGA Tour average, as noted by @RandallT) resulted in a score of 92. I hit 31 putts that round (4 below my average) and still scored 10 strokes higher than my personal best 82 round (where I hit 35 putts), which means in my best scoring round I was 14 strokes better from tee to green over my best putting round. I'm never going to gain 14 strokes on the putting green in any round, period.

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I recently golfed four rounds using the same caddy. We actually discussed the long game being more important to "most" golfers. This guy sees 100s of different golfers every year. There was no disagreement that given the right circumstances, the tee shot was more important than a putting stroke. We both remembered the old "bomb and gouge" scenario the pros use to talk about. 

We agreed that my long game wasn't long enough to be much of a factor in me shooting my lowest scores. Especially on par 5s and longer par 4s. 

Myself, I have  relied on my short game to shoot my lowest scores. That's why it takes up most of my practice time. However, being the open minded guy I am, I asked for, and received his comments on my game. 

Hitting good chip shots was a big part of my game. My caddy showed me that by beefing up my approach game in accuracy, and a little added distance, I could do away with some of those chip shots. This included pitch shots too. According to him I could save any where from 3-5 shots per round, once I became a better approach shot player. That was the part of my game that would reward me most with better play.

So, with his tuition, most of my practice time now will be "beefing up" my approach game. Once, I get reasonably well at it, it will show dividends on par 3s, shorter par 4s, and most par5s. 

I guess this makes me an outlier since my game does not fit into the statistical categories. I also suspect there are more golfers like me out there than one might imagine 

I recently golfed four rounds using the same caddy. We actually discussed the long game being more important to "most" golfers. This guy sees 100s of different golfers every year. There was no disagreement that given the right circumstances, the tee shot was more important than a putting stroke. We both remembered the old "bomb and gouge" scenario the pros use to talk about. 

We agreed that my long game wasn't long enough to be much of a factor in me shooting my lowest scores. Especially on par 5s and longer par 4s. 

Myself, I have  relied on my short game to shoot my lowest scores. That's why it takes up most of my practice time. However, being the open minded guy I am, I asked for, and received his comments on my game. 

Hitting good chip shots was a big part of my game. My caddy showed me that by beefing up my approach game in accuracy, and a little added distance, I could do away with some of those chip shots. This included pitch shots too. According to him I could save any where from 3-5 shots per round, once I became a better approach shot player. That was the part of my game that would reward me most with better play.

So, with his tuition, most of my practice time now will be "beefing up" my approach game. Once, I get reasonably well at it, it will show dividends on par 3s, shorter par 4s, and most par5s. 

I guess this makes me an outlier since my game does not fit into the statistical categories. I also suspect there are more golfers like me out there than one might imagine 

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3 minutes ago, Patch said:

I recently golfed four rounds using the same caddy. We actually discussed the long game being more important to "most" golfers. This guy sees 100s of different golfers every year. There was no disagreement that given the right circumstances, the tee shot was more important than a putting stroke. We both remembered the old "bomb and gouge" scenario the pros use to talk about. 

We agreed that my long game wasn't long enough to be much of a factor in me shooting my lowest scores. Especially on par 5s and longer par 4s. 

I think its important to draw a distinction between "long game" and "full swing" game.  For many of us, big distance gains may not be likely.  I'm certainly in the shorter-hitting range of my handicap group.  But we can still improve our "full swing" games by making more consistent contact, and tightening shot dispersion.  To me, the full-swing game becomes even more important on longer holes, if I can hit it a reasonable length and in short-enough grass, and then make solid contact on my second, I can survive those longer holes just fine.  Even if I don't putt that well :whistle:

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2 hours ago, klineka said:

PLEASE share your reasons for believing what you believe. Erik has shared his opinions and the data behind the facts that have formulated his (and many others on this site) opinion on this topic.  

I have done that, if they are not adequate for you then im not sure what to tell you. We are just going to have to agree to disagree.

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5 minutes ago, Patch said:

I recently golfed four rounds using the same caddy. We actually discussed the long game being more important to "most" golfers. This guy sees 100s of different golfers every year. There was no disagreement that given the right circumstances, the tee shot was more important than a putting stroke. We both remembered the old "bomb and gouge" scenario the pros use to talk about. 

We agreed that my long game wasn't long enough to be much of a factor in me shooting my lowest scores. Especially on par 5s and longer par 4s. 

Myself, I have  relied on my short game to shoot my lowest scores. That's why it takes up most of my practice time. However, being the open minded guy I am, I asked for, and received his comments on my game. 

Hitting good chip shots was a big part of my game. My caddy showed me that by beefing up my approach game in accuracy, and a little added distance, I could do away with some of those chip shots. This included pitch shots too. According to him I could save any where from 3-5 shots per round, once I became a better approach shot player. That was the part of my game that would reward me most with better play.

So, with his tuition, most of my practice time now will be "beefing up" my approach game. Once, I get reasonably well at it, it will show dividends on par 3s, shorter par 4s, and most par5s. 

I guess this makes me an outlier since my game does not fit into the statistical categories. I also suspect there are more golfers like me out there than one might imagine 

I recently golfed four rounds using the same caddy. We actually discussed the long game being more important to "most" golfers. This guy sees 100s of different golfers every year. There was no disagreement that given the right circumstances, the tee shot was more important than a putting stroke. We both remembered the old "bomb and gouge" scenario the pros use to talk about. 

We agreed that my long game wasn't long enough to be much of a factor in me shooting my lowest scores. Especially on par 5s and longer par 4s. 

Myself, I have  relied on my short game to shoot my lowest scores. That's why it takes up most of my practice time. However, being the open minded guy I am, I asked for, and received his comments on my game. 

Hitting good chip shots was a big part of my game. My caddy showed me that by beefing up my approach game in accuracy, and a little added distance, I could do away with some of those chip shots. This included pitch shots too. According to him I could save any where from 3-5 shots per round, once I became a better approach shot player. That was the part of my game that would reward me most with better play.

So, with his tuition, most of my practice time now will be "beefing up" my approach game. Once, I get reasonably well at it, it will show dividends on par 3s, shorter par 4s, and most par5s. 

I guess this makes me an outlier since my game does not fit into the statistical categories. I also suspect there are more golfers like me out there than one might imagine 

Driving and approaches are more important than what some golfers realize. 

Everyone at the course, was trying to tell me. "Shane, you'd be really good, if your short game was better." My short game does need a little work. But if you've read my blogs and posts in the "5 Minutes Daily" thread. Most of my practice has been approaches and making my short game shorter. 

The old "Drive For Show, Putt For Dough" affirmation should read: 

"Hit your drives and approaches well, so you can putt for dough."

See @MrGolfguy67 it is important... What gets you to the green is more important. Yes, you use your putter more than any other single club in the bag, but being on in 2 is different than being on in 4.

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

You’re entitled to “believe” that 2+2=7. Doesn’t mean I don’t get to tell you that you’re wrong, and that it’s 4.

I never said anything close to that, nor did I say something about the earth is flat. Please stop putting words in my mouth that you then attack to make me look bad.

4 minutes ago, onthehunt526 said:

 See @MrGolfguy67 it is important... What gets you to the green is more important.

In your opinion

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13 hours ago, CR McDivot said:

I agree that ball striking is huge, but in Rory's case I believe his ball striking was merely competitive with the field.

His putting won it!

Well, yes, but worth remembering he was #1 in Driving Distance, Approach the Green, and Short Game for the week. That definitely helped get him in range for more birdie putts!

1 hour ago, billchao said:

Just to play a little Devil's advocate here, I believe Mark Broadie did show that putting contributes more to a PGA Tour tournament winner's score than the top 40 golfers which suggests that getting hot with the flagstick can lead to lower scores. So in theory, having a good putting round can be a contributor to a low scoring round, but it's also important to remember that scoring fluctuates more as handicap goes up - the average golfer will be more affected from round to round by their ballstriking than the average PGA Tour pro. There's a difference between putting being a factor in scoring (which nobody will argue) and putting being a "huge part" of the game.

Ok, a few observations here: @MrGolfguy67 and @billchao (although I know you're acting as devil's advocate)

  1. All PGA Tour players are excellent ballstrikers (there is some separation still, though, e.g. Dustin, Rory, Justin Thomas).
  2. Bear in mind make percentages. On the PGA Tour - FYI, pros who spend their entire lives practising and were damn good to begin with... - the make rates are: 96% at 3 feet, 50% at 8 feet, 40% at 10 feet and 23% at 15 feet. Therefore, being closer more consistently (better long game), makes a huge difference. 
  3. GIR percentage currently ranges from 72% to 56% (worth bearing in mind that 56% is Padraig Harrington, who is struggling to reach a few greens due to ageing!)
  4. Therefore, most players are on the greens and holing a putt looks like it matters more, whilst if you're close and miss, it looks worse (perhaps consider this the Rory effect - whilst he isn't great, he's not a bad putter, but he has a lot more close putts than most players. This means that you see him miss more of the close putts that are statistically normal. It's still though, the long game that makes a bigger difference (see point two).

With us, the effects are even more pronounced. The target is GIR, as this has the greatest correlation with scoring. Compare some of my recent rounds, for example:

image.png

image.png

It's pretty clear that the biggest correlation to scoring is not my putting - it's my GIR percentage. Take the August 26th round at Burnham and Berrow. 1.67 putts per hole is fantastic (28 putts total), but 33% GIR got me +14 as my putts weren't for birdie or par, they were for par or bogey. Compare with today's - I putted pretty poorly at 1.89 putts per hole (34 putts total), but scored +8 due to a better long game. Even today, I missed some close putts I would have hoped to make (I'd have hoped for at least half of the putts on 3, 4, 6, 11, 12 and 15), so yes, I need to work on my putting, but it's the long game, (58% fairways with driver at an average of 235 yards on a wet and windy day) and being able to trust my irons that is getting my scores down. 

Worth noting that I also holed three birdie putts - my putting is variable and I am working on it. But as a long term, consistent solution, I'll take my long game.

Today's round:
https://www.gamegolf.com/player/benpage101/round/2062278

Edited by b101
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@MrGolfguy67,

It's not just my opinion, Erik has shown you statistical proof of the difference between a Tour Pro and an amateur. 

Putting is relatively simple motion. Why practice it 50% of your time? 

If you have an hour to practice. Take about 39 minutes on the full swing, 12 minutes on the short game, and 9 minutes on putting. Unless there is a glaring weakness that needs more work than the general 65/20/15 rule. 

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Note: This thread is 1262 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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