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Great Ball Striking

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12 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

Well then you have all the answers then and since you aren't engaging any conversation and simply want to once again try and tell me MY OPINION is wrong I am not going to explain or clarify any further to you as you just simply want to be "right" which I don't believe that you are.  And now you want to discount the opinion of a golfer who played on Tour and them tell him that the way he sees things is wrong also so we are done here. So even when the Tour Pro's opinion is said to be wrong then I as a 5 handicap have no chance.  Once again I am being viewed as a "troll" for simply stating my view on things. I am sure that iacas will do what he often does to me and examine every single sentence that I wrote in my OPINION and then try to tell me that my opinion is wrong also. Fair enough then why even ask for everyone's opinion?  

Well here's the problem. It's not an opinion. An opinion is something like "I like red cars better than blue cars" or "I like pizza better than hamburgers" or even "Adam Sandler is a terrible actor." Those are opinions because there is no way to disprove them using actual facts and data. Your "opinion" about putting being so important in overall score can be disproven using actual data; so its not an opinion, it's a falsehood, a fallacy, an incorrect statement, a fabrication if you will.

And just because your friend who played on the European Tour says its so, gives it no more merit what so ever. Professional golfers are just as likely to be clueless about their game as anyone else. That's why so many of them hire coaches to help them. Your friend is WRONG. You are WRONG. The data PROVES that. 

Edited by NM Golf

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23 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

I consider good ball striking the ability to hit every club in the bag with ball first contact and leverage, more often than not,  in relation to your current skill level.

This thread isn't about good ball striking, its about great ball striking. I am not that big of a fan of undervaluing greatness.

Can a 5 handicap golfer hit a great shot once in a while, sure. That does not make him a great ball striker. It's the high level of consistency that matters more.

Even with good, a 30 handicap golfer does not have good ball striking. Can you say a 30 handicap golfer has better ball striking than others, sure, but it still isn't good.

23 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

Speed, control, trajectory, and direction are not needed to strike the ball purely, but they are needed to be a good golfer.

Umm...Great ball striking requires great precision of strike on the clubface with great consistency in swing path and clubface control. That all produces good control, trajectory and direction.

If you are swinging 16 degrees outside to in you will not be a good ball striker. More often than not you are going to be hitting the ball with a glancing blow.

25 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

If you are not standing over a shot focused on the task at hand, which is to get the ball to fly in a certain way to your target, then you are not playing golf.

I would say a high percentage of golfers do this. From the other thread, a PGA Tour player focuses on about 3 swing thoughts. So, they are not playing golf because they are not focusing solely on getting the ball to the target?

16 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

And now you want to discount the opinion of a golfer who played on Tour and them tell him that the way he sees things is wrong also so we are done here. So even when the Tour Pro's opinion is said to be wrong then I as a 5 handicap have no chance.

PGA Tour players are constantly wrong. Ben Hogan wrote a book on how he swung the club, but that only works for him. His swing was built to not hook the ball. So his swing feels would probably produce many slicers of the golf ball. Just saying, he was right with regards to what he developed for himself, he was completely wrong in what other people need to do with their personal golf swing.

The great instructors were never PGA Tour players and probably were at best low handicap golfers. Oh, PGA Tour players take their advice.

18 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

chance.  Once again I am being viewed as a "troll" for simply stating my view on things. I am sure that iacas will do what he often does to me and examine every single sentence that I wrote in my OPINION and then try to tell me that my opinion is wrong also. Fair enough then why even ask for everyone's opinion?  

No, you are trying to put forth an opinion. This is a good constructive discussion. It just happens that a lot of people might not agree with you. That happens. If you are unwilling to change your opinion, then don't get mad because others don't tell you that you are right.

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On the pro tours I am going to agree that those players who are consistently ranked in the top 10, or 20.....etc are better ball strikers than those players ranked below them. Not by much mind you, as I think any player on the PGA/EPGA/LPGA tours should be considered good ball strikers. Certainly all of them are better ball strikers than most amateurs. 

To me it's all about having a consistent swing, that delivers the club face consistently into the ball, and hitting consistent yardages with the various clubs. 

I don't consider myself a good ball striker because my yardage distances are not consistent with each club. Sometimes I am short, sometimes long, and sometimes right on the money when it comes to my full swing yardages. . 

 

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45 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

I consider good ball striking the ability to hit every club in the bag with ball first contact and leverage, more often than not,  in relation to your current skill level.  Speed, control, trajectory, and direction are not needed to strike the ball purely, but they are needed to be a good golfer.

I consider distance and direction to be factors in great ballstriking, and I think you're in the minority there if you don't include them.

I could hit a 7-iron absolutely dead flush just about every time if I only hit it 10 feet at a time. And who cares how flush you hit a shot if it's 30 yards OB. That's not "good ballstriking" IMO.

45 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

That is why I said in other threads that "You aren't even playing golf until strike can be almost ignored until after the shot is hit because a beginner is just trying to hit the ball...anywhere..on the planet...solidly, where as the Tour Pro doesn't even have to think about strike and can almost take it for granted because of the sheer number of repetitions.

Yeah, that was another bad (IMO) comment, for reasons I'm not going to get into again here.

34 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

Well then you have all the answers then and since you aren't engaging any conversation and simply want to once again try and tell me MY OPINION is wrong I am not going to explain or clarify any further to you as you just simply want to be "right" which I don't believe that you are.

Your opinion on what "ballstriking" is can be an opinion.

Your opinion on what "leads to scoring" or whatever isn't really an opinion. It's something we have a boatload of data to consider.

And most people consider distance/direction a part of ballstriking, so maybe there's a disconnect there. You then also said that your buddy defined his best ballstriking round as the time he hit all 18 greens and all 14 fairways… which requires distance and direction, too.

34 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

And now you want to discount the opinion of a golfer who played on Tour and them tell him that the way he sees things is wrong also so we are done here.

You don't seem to understand that it's just one guy. Outliers and small sample sizes, and what some former Euro Tour guy says is not gospel. It's not "the truth." It's not "fact." It's just one dude's opinion, and Tour players have been wrong before, and they'll be wrong in the future, too. And they'll have bad opinions based on bad foundations.

34 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

Once again I am being viewed as a "troll" for simply stating my view on things.

IF you're being viewed as a troll, it's because:

  • you ramble on
  • you don't seem to actually read or understand what others are saying because you rarely seem to respond directly to it
  • you continue to repeat small sample size/outlier type stuff
  • you don't address the data
  • you conflict yourself from time to time
  • etc.
34 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

I am sure that iacas will do what he often does to me and examine every single sentence that I wrote in my OPINION and then try to tell me that my opinion is wrong also. Fair enough then why even ask for everyone's opinion?  

I don't do that, and I didn't do that with my earlier response today.

14 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

No, you are trying to put forth an opinion. This is a good constructive discussion. It just happens that a lot of people might not agree with you. That happens. If you are unwilling to change your opinion, then don't get mad because others don't tell you that you are right.

That too.


  • Fact: Ballstriking and handicap or scoring ability are closely and directly linked.
  • Fact: Within a peer group, you'll have a bit of variety - some will be better ball strikers than others.
  • Opinion (my definition): Great ball strikers:
    • Hit the ball solidly, consistently.
    • Hit the ball the direction they want.
    • Hit the ball the distance they want.
  • Both: PGA Tour players are all great ball strikers.

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38 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

I consider good ball striking the ability to hit every club in the bag with ball first contact and leverage, more often than not,  in relation to your current skill level.  Speed, control, trajectory, and direction are not needed to strike the ball purely, but they are needed to be a good golfer.  Are you tracking with what I'm saying Lihu? A ball can be struck pure at any speed, trajectory, or in any direction and it was still struck well. The ability to put it on target is and control the speed, trajectory , and direction is called...playing golf ! That is why I said in other threads that "You aren't even playing golf until strike can be almost ignored until after the shot is hit because a beginner is just trying to hit the ball...anywhere..on the planet...solidly, where as the Tour Pro doesn't even have to think about strike and can almost take it for granted because of the sheer number of repetitions." If you are not standing over a shot focused on the task at hand, which is to get the ball to fly in a certain way to your target, then you are not playing golf. We all fall in between a rank beginner and a Tour Pro and as we move further away from rank beginner the less ball bound we become and the more focus gets devoted to the task at hand of getting the ball to do what we need it to do to score as best we can.  I hope I was clear with my explanation and if not please let me know. 

 

Yes, your arguments make sense given your definition.

Most people, here at least, define what you defined as hitting solidly, and good ball striking as solid and with the desired trajectory, direction and spin to stop where desired.

But I get your arguments now...

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15 hours ago, Lihu said:

Yes, your arguments make sense given your definition.

Most people, here at least, define what you defined as hitting solidly, and good ball striking as solid and with the desired trajectory, direction and spin to stop where desired.

But I get your arguments now...

EUREKA!! The only thing is that I'm not trying to argue a point...I am just stating my thoughts on what solid ball striking is to me. Trajectory, direction, and spin are not necessary to strike a ball solidly though...they are necessary to play good golf.  The first thing that must be learned in golf is to make ball first contact with all of your clubs. Where the ball goes is irrelevant because if the golfer can figure out how to get their body positioned to strike the ball first and hit the shot with leverage, minor adjustments can easily be made to put shots on target. 

A beginner is not concerned with trajectory, distance, and spin. They are simply trying to hit the ball solid...anywhere.  I tell my 11 year old Son good shot when he simply hits the ball solid...it doesn't matter where it went. I then tell him to do it again...and again.  Once I see he is in a groove I then tell him to hit it at a certain flag and make it stop as close as he can...then I watch him become a "golfer" while trying to control all the variables like trajectory, direction, and spin, that can one day make him a good golfer. You can immediately see the difference in his attention to detail when goes from just hitting the ball to trying to get the ball to go a specific distance. I know that he will spend the next 45 mins trying to hit his driver to a 100 yard flag after I just watched him hit it 150 yards...he is now teaching himself how to play golf without knowing it, but to him all he is doing is trying to be able to say "I did it dad" when he finally figures out how hard he needs to hit the ball to take 50 yards off of his driver.  You are not playing golf until you believe that you are going to make solid contact and your focus is on the task of getting the ball to fly to a target. 

The bar moves as you get better at the game though. I wouldn't tell a scratch golfer good shot just for hitting the ball solid because I didn't know their intentions on the shot.  I would expect a scratch golfer to be able to tell me trajectory, shot shape, and distance they are planning prior to hitting the shot.  The game is the same, it's just more advanced. Just my two cents Lihu. 

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15 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

I am just stating my thoughts on what solid ball striking is to me.

No, you're not "just" doing that.

If you had only "just" shared your definition of "ballstriking," people might disagree with it, and they might still respond to you, but that's not "just" what you're doing here. You're doing more than that.

15 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

A beginner is not concerned with trajectory, distance, and spin. They are simply trying to hit the ball solid...anywhere.

Not true.

I know a lot of beginners - hell, I know a lot of Tour players - who would much rather thin a ball onto the green than to absolutely flush a ball 30 yards left of the green.

15 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

You are not playing golf until you believe that you are going to make solid contact and your focus is on the task of getting the ball to fly to a target. 

Yeah, sorry, but that's BS. If that's your definition, very few people are "playing golf."

Hell, I've told the story before, but I went through a period where I don't remember hitting a shot solid - everything was a little thin - and my index dropped from two-point-something to 1.4. I was "playing golf" better than you ever have yet had no belief that the next shot was going to be solid.

And I talk with and teach plenty of golfers who play golf and know that they only catch one or two shots per round reasonably solidly. Yet they're playing golf and enjoying it and working to get better.


Stick to talking about what you think is the definition of "ballstriking."

I disagree with your opinion that it doesn't include distance or direction - that it only includes hitting the ball flush, basically. A player who flushes the ball 30 yards left of his target is not a "great ball striker" IMO.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

No, you're not "just" doing that.

If you had only "just" shared your definition of "ballstriking," people might disagree with it, and they might still respond to you, but that's not "just" what you're doing here. You're doing more than that.

Not true.

I know a lot of beginners - hell, I know a lot of Tour players - who would much rather thin a ball onto the green than to absolutely flush a ball 30 yards left of the green.

Yeah, sorry, but that's BS. If that's your definition, very few people are "playing golf."

Hell, I've told the story before, but I went through a period where I don't remember hitting a shot solid - everything was a little thin - and my index dropped from two-point-something to 1.4. I was "playing golf" better than you ever have yet had no belief that the next shot was going to be solid.

And I talk with and teach plenty of golfers who play golf and know that they only catch one or two shots per round reasonably solidly. Yet they're playing golf and enjoying it and working to get better.


Stick to talking about what you think is the definition of "ballstriking."

I disagree with your opinion that it doesn't include distance or direction - that it only includes hitting the ball flush, basically. A player who flushes the ball 30 yards left of his target is not a "great ball striker" IMO.

I am not trying to get into any arguments as I rather enjoy this websites as opposed to the others that only talk about clubs and shafts and such.  That doesn't mean that I have to go along with the flock and think like everyone else does.  You insist that EVERYTHING that I saw on your site is wrong and I've never even seen you say to anyone's post "you know what I see what you are saying...let me take a look at that from a different perspective." I am not on here saying to everyone else that they are wrong...I simply interjected my opinion as that is the point of asking for people's opinion on what great ball striking is.  If we all agreed on what it is they why even ask the question to begin with? 

How can you even be in the least bit concerned with distance, trajectory, and control as a beginner golfer when you literally can't hit the ball remotely solid?  That is borderline ridiculous that you even said that I am wrong for this assertion. And to further say that a Tour Pro would rather thin a shot on the green rather than flush a shot off target means that they aren't great ball strikers if that was their belief. Hitting a ball flush and off target is only a problem if you don't realize that you are striking it pure and learn to aim it and put it on target.  It should only be 30 yards right for a time before hopefully the golfer realizes they they are hitting it flush, have a predictable pattern to their shots, and adjusts to put it on target. If I am repeatedly getting 1.50 smash factor (Great Ballstriking...and a lucky find to get a maxed out driver!)  out of my driver and it is repeatedly missing the target 20 yards right and the strike, shot shape, and launch conditions are what I'm looking for, the logical thing to do is to recalibrate my aim, put it on target, and then go play golf.  

You always talk about how you have to be a good/great ball striker to be a good golfer.  Well you are a scratch golfer...and you say that you where able to play good golf and lower your handicap even while hitting one or two shots solid throughout any given round.  Well then you have just in fact admitted that ball striking and being a good golfer are two completely separate things which is exactly what I was saying all along. You can strike it good or bad and still score.  I am a 5 handicap and I hit the large majority of my my shots solid and with leverage.  If you are are only hitting one or two shots solid throughout a round then you should reanalyze your own methods and thoughts because I would quit the game if I only hit 2 shots solid during a round of golf. I am addicted to impact and I can feel it in my hands before I even hit the shot. I am surprised by poor impact because I am so convinced that I will hit the ball solid.  I haven't played golf in 4 months because I'm pinned up in Iraq and I'll bet my life savings that I can walk on golf course right now and hit more than two shots solid in an round of golf.  Now if you are talking about PERFECT...then that is a completely different story.  A perfect shot will goes in the hole in my opinion.  

 

Edited by Righty to Lefty

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2 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

I am not trying to get into any arguments as I rather enjoy this websites as opposed to the others that only talk about clubs and shafts and such.  That doesn't mean that I have to go along with the flock and think like everyone else does.  You insist that EVERYTHING that I saw on your site is wrong and I've never even seen you say to anyone's post "you know what I see what you are saying...let me take a look at that from a different perspective." I am not on here saying to everyone else that they are wrong...I simply interjected my opinion as that is the point of asking for people's opinion on what great ball striking is.  If we all agreed on what it is they why even ask the question to begin with? 

How can you even be in the least bit concerned with distance, trajectory, and control as a beginner golfer when you literally can't hit the ball remotely solid?  That is borderline ridiculous that you even said that I am wrong for this assertion. And to further say that a Tour Pro would rather thin a shot on the green rather than flush a shot off target means that they aren't great ball strikers if that was their belief. Hitting a ball flush and off target is only a problem if you don't realize that you are striking it pure and learn to aim it and put it on target.  It should only be 30 yards right for a time before hopefully the golfer realizes they they are hitting it flush, have a predictable pattern to their shots, and adjusts to put it on target. If I am repeatedly getting 1.50 smash factor (Great Ballstriking...and a lucky find to get a maxed out driver!)  out of my driver and it is repeatedly missing the target 20 yards right and the strike, shot shape, and launch conditions are what I'm looking for, the logical thing to do is to recalibrate my aim, put it on target, and then go play golf.  

You always talk about how you have to be a good/great ball striker to be a good golfer.  Well you are a scratch golfer...and you say that you where able to play good golf and lower your handicap even while hitting one or two shots solid throughout any given round.  Well then you have just in fact admitted that ball striking and being a good golfer are two completely separate things which is exactly what I was saying all along. You can strike it good or bad and still score.  I am a 5 handicap and I hit the large majority of my my shots solid and with leverage.  If you are are only hitting one or two shots solid throughout a round then you should reanalyze your own methods and thoughts because I would quit the game if I only hit 2 shots solid during a round of golf.  I haven't played golf in 4 months because I'm pinned up in Iraq and I'll bet my life savings that I can walk on  golf course right now and hit more than two shots solid in an round of golf.  

 

Distance control in golf is very, very important in golf for all levels. I don't see how you can discount that even for a beginner. A beginner is not going to hit driver on a 110 yard par 3 just because they make better contact with it. They want to hit the club they can hit 110 yards with consistency.

One of the first things we discuss with new players on this site is about determining their distances with each club and understanding their shot zones, which are the +/- of distance and left/right of direction. Then pick the club for which your shot zone will give you the best chance to have a good result.

Ball striking is about flush contact, distance and direction control. The better players are better at it. You can use your own arbitrary definition, but most all on this thread see your definition as being incomplete.

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55 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

That doesn't mean that I have to go along with the flock and think like everyone else does. 

That's unnecessary and rude. Other people disagree with you; doesn't mean they're sheep or something.

55 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

You insist that EVERYTHING that I saw on your site is wrong and I've never even seen you say to anyone's post "you know what I see what you are saying...

No, I don't, and once again I'm going to remind you to learn to separate facts (which can be right or wrong) from opinion (which, basically, cannot be).

The rest of your paragraph just rambles on without saying anything.

55 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

How can you even be in the least bit concerned with distance, trajectory, and control as a beginner golfer when you literally can't hit the ball remotely solid?

Because you're still playing a hole, with a target that's 171 yards away (or whatever) in a very specific direction.

Duh.

55 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

That is borderline ridiculous that you even said that I am wrong for this assertion.

Once again, I never said you were wrong for that. I don't agree with your opinion. It's a "bad" opinion, not an incorrect fact.

You were wrong about ballstriking's contribution to scoring, but even that definition includes directional and distance control, and we have the facts that back that up. It's not an opinion.

55 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

And to further say that a Tour Pro would rather thin a shot on the green rather than flush a shot off target means that they aren't great ball strikers if that was their belief.

Of course a PGA Tour player would rather thin one on the green than flush one 30 yards right of it. Hell, they'd rather thin it right into the hole than to flush it to 20 feet, too. Playing for a score and a million bucks, virtually everyone would.

55 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

Well you are a scratch golfer...and you say that you where able to play good golf and lower your handicap even while hitting one or two shots solid throughout any given round.  Well then you have just in fact admitted that ball striking and being a good golfer are two completely separate things which is exactly what I was saying all along.

Two things…

  • My quote here about one or two shots is this: "And I talk with and teach plenty of golfers who play golf and know that they only catch one or two shots per round reasonably solidly. Yet they're playing golf and enjoying it and working to get better." Please don't misquote me again.
  • Ben Hogan said that he hit a few great shots per round, if he was lucky. Better players have different standards for what they consider "solid" or "flush" or "nutted" or whatever you want to say. If I play golf with a 10 handicapper he's going to think every shot I'm hitting is solid because they're almost all better than his, while I might notice that tee shot on two was a bit in the heel, the wedge after was a tad thin, the putt on the next hole was a touch off the toe, or whatever. It's all relative.

It's funny because I imagine you celebrating having "caught me" here or something, but I've not said anything that argues against myself at all. As ballstriking improves - so do scores. Why? Because a "bad ballstriking round" for me is, on average (not using one-off examples), still probably better than the average ballstriking round of a 5 handicapper and is almost certainly guaranteed to be better than a 10 handicapper's round.

Because… ballstriking is not only hitting the ball reasonably solidly, but also controlling the distance and direction of the ball.

1 hour ago, Righty to Lefty said:

You can strike it good or bad and still score.

No, that doesn't track. And you've again ventured outside of opinion territory and into facts.

When I was dropping my handicap to 1.4 not hitting anything solid (to my standards), the guys I was playing with didn't know every shot was half a groove to a groove thin. They just saw me hitting a lot of greens and if I played with them a lot, maybe not seeing as many divots as they were used to seeing from me. Shot were mostly out of the horizontal center of the clubface, just a bit low vertically, and I controlled the face angle and path enough that the shots still went toward the target.

Relative to a 10, my ballstriking was great. I was probably an outlier for a 1.4, catching everything a bit thin, but my consistency in being able to do so was probably slightly better than most 1.4s, so that aspect of ballstriking made up for the contact location being a bit thin.

And, unless your putting and/or short game are terrible, or you truly don't care about distance or direction, you're probably not hitting the ball solidly as often as you think, by my standards. I play a lot of golf with a five handicapper, and to my standards, she hits it less solid on average than I do. She does, however, hit it more solidly more often than her 15 handicap friends, and she controls the distance and direction better than them, too. And she's not "long" for her handicap, either, so she's not just getting away with it due to distance like a lot of kids can.

It's all relative, man. Ben Hogan was a better ball striker than you (or me), and he says he hit a few good shots per round.

1 hour ago, Righty to Lefty said:

I am a 5 handicap and I hit the large majority of my my shots solid and with leverage.

Then one of three things must be true: your short game and/or putting must be bad, or b) you have a lower standard than I do for "solid and with leverage," or c) you truly don't care about distance and direction… even though virtually everyone else does.

1 hour ago, Righty to Lefty said:

If you are are only hitting one or two shots solid throughout a round then you should reanalyze your own methods and thoughts because I would quit the game if I only hit 2 shots solid during a round of golf.

I'm still not sure where you're getting that I said that.

But let's imagine that I did say something like that; is it not possible for you to conceive of how I mean it in the same way Ben Hogan said a very similar thing? And that my standards are different than yours, and include trajectory, distance, and direction?

1 hour ago, Righty to Lefty said:

Now if you are talking about PERFECT...then that is a completely different story.  A perfect shot will goes in the hole in my opinion.

Dude, c'mon. I've seen people blade the ball into the hole.

1 hour ago, boogielicious said:

Ball striking is about flush contact, distance and direction control. The better players are better at it. You can use your own arbitrary definition, but most all on this thread see your definition as being incomplete.

Exactly. And it's not because they're a "flock" of sheep or something, it's because you're telling the vast majority of golfers (including you, because relative to a Tour player, I'd wager a ton of money that you don't hit it as solidly as they do every time) that they "aren't playing golf" because of your bad definition(s).

It's relative. A great ballstriking round for me would probably send most PGA Tour players to the range for several hours.

2 hours ago, iacas said:

Stick to talking about what you think is the definition of "ballstriking."

I disagree with your opinion that it doesn't include distance or direction - that it only includes hitting the ball flush, basically. A player who flushes the ball 30 yards left of his target is not a "great ball striker" IMO.

Stick to that.

And since we already have your definition, which doesn't include distance or direction, you've really got little more to add here.

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20 hours ago, Lihu said:

Yes, your arguments make sense given your definition.

Most people, here at least, define what you defined as hitting solidly, and good ball striking as solid and with the desired trajectory, direction and spin to stop where desired.

But I get your arguments now...

His way of defining things doesn't work.

Let's say you have 100 golfers who average 110 per round . They will have a distribution on how well they strike the ball with the average being around 17 strokes worse compared to scratch.

Lets say the best might be someone who shoots 10 strokes worse than scratch.  That just means that golfer has a ball striking of a golfer who averages around 90 per round. Still that is 7 strokes better than his counterparts. That means he has to have a horrendous shortgame, putting and sand game compared to his counterparts.

Again, is that guy who saves 7 strokes a great ball striker? No, he's better than first guy, but way worse than a scratch golfer.

If you want to define greatness, you have to define it with the baseline that only the top percentage of all golfers are the greats and it goes down from there. PGA Tour players are great ball strikers.

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5 hours ago, Righty to Lefty said:

EUREKA!! The only thing is that I'm not trying to argue a point...I am just stating my thoughts on what solid ball striking is to me. Trajectory, direction, and spin are not necessary to strike a ball solidly though...they are necessary to play good golf.  The first thing that must be learned in golf is to make ball first contact with all of your clubs. Where the ball goes is irrelevant because if the golfer can figure out how to get their body positioned to strike the ball first and hit the shot with leverage, minor adjustments can easily be made to put shots on target. 

I tend to agree with this one part. Solid strikes means different things to different people.

For instance, to a 20 handicap, a solid strike is one where he hits the ball before the ground. An 11 handicap it's that plus closer distances and some semblance of the desired trajectory. That is, hitting the approach shots close to the green at least half the time or more.

To a 3.6 handicap, it's more "better ball striking".

The better a golfer gets, the higher his expectations are for a solid shot.

 

5 hours ago, Righty to Lefty said:

A beginner is not concerned with trajectory, distance, and spin. They are simply trying to hit the ball solid...anywhere.  I tell my 11 year old Son good shot when he simply hits the ball solid...it doesn't matter where it went. I then tell him to do it again...and again.  Once I see he is in a groove I then tell him to hit it at a certain flag and make it stop as close as he can...then I watch him become a "golfer" while trying to control all the variables like trajectory, direction, and spin, that can one day make him a good golfer. You can immediately see the difference in his attention to detail when goes from just hitting the ball to trying to get the ball to go a specific distance. I know that he will spend the next 45 mins trying to hit his driver to a 100 yard flag after I just watched him hit it 150 yards...he is now teaching himself how to play golf without knowing it, but to him all he is doing is trying to be able to say "I did it dad" when he finally figures out how hard he needs to hit the ball to take 50 yards off of his driver.  You are not playing golf until you believe that you are going to make solid contact and your focus is on the task of getting the ball to fly to a target. 

The bar moves as you get better at the game though. I wouldn't tell a scratch golfer good shot just for hitting the ball solid because I didn't know their intentions on the shot.  I would expect a scratch golfer to be able to tell me trajectory, shot shape, and distance they are planning prior to hitting the shot.  The game is the same, it's just more advanced. Just my two cents Lihu. 

Even a beginner is concerned with distance, but again, to what degree? Most beginners still want the ball to go in the generally correct direction and have their better shots reach the green.

 

3 hours ago, boogielicious said:

Distance control in golf is very, very important in golf for all levels. I don't see how you can discount that even for a beginner. A beginner is not going to hit driver on a 110 yard par 3 just because they make better contact with it. They want to hit the club they can hit 110 yards with consistency.

One of the first things we discuss with new players on this site is about determining their distances with each club and understanding their shot zones, which are the +/- of distance and left/right of direction. Then pick the club for which your shot zone will give you the best chance to have a good result.

Ball striking is about flush contact, distance and direction control. The better players are better at it. You can use your own arbitrary definition, but most all on this thread see your definition as being incomplete.

Totally agree, even most high handicap players won't hit a 180 yard club to reach 150 yards. They'll generally just hope they hit a decent shot to reach their target.

 

46 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

His way of defining things doesn't work.

Let's say you have 100 golfers who average 110 per round . They will have a distribution on how well they strike the ball with the average being around 17 strokes worse compared to scratch.

Lets say the best might be someone who shoots 10 strokes worse than scratch.  That just means that golfer has a ball striking of a golfer who averages around 90 per round. Still that is 7 strokes better than his counterparts. That means he has to have a horrendous shortgame, putting and sand game compared to his counterparts.

Again, is that guy who saves 7 strokes a great ball striker? No, he's better than first guy, but way worse than a scratch golfer.

If you want to define greatness, you have to define it with the baseline that only the top percentage of all golfers are the greats and it goes down from there. PGA Tour players are great ball strikers.

I think the sliding scale applies to "solid" as opposed to ball striking which at least the way we define it as meaning hitting good shots.

It's just like if you ask a 30 handicap how many good shots did he hit in a round? Why, he hit 4 good shots that round, and his definition is he didn't chunk it, it went more or less where he wanted to 20% of the distance the club hits on the driving range on average.

Ask a 20 handicap, and he'll possible say 3 good shots with his definition being that he actually made decent contact and trajectory for those shots.

Similarly, ask a 10 handicap, and he'll say maybe none or one with the stipulation that that one shot is even close to what he can hit on the driving range a few times out of hundreds.

I'd imagine that even better golfers are even more critical of their shots even though they are much better?

So, the definition of solid is very much subjective, even though most instructors know what entails an actual solid strike and furthermore a good strike.

I've been with enough instructors with their students who have said their student hit a "solid" strike just to encourage them to hit more shots like that. If you had to stipulate all kinds of conditions every time you spoke to your student, it would only encourage that glassy eyed look from the student. Instead, they simple state "solid". Later, as the student progresses, they know that when the instructor said "solid" before that that was utter BS. :-D

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4 hours ago, Lihu said:

It's just like if you ask a 30 handicap how many good shots did he hit in a round? Why, he hit 4 good shots that round, and his definition is he didn't chunk it, it went more or less where he wanted to 20% of the distance the club hits on the driving range on average.

That isn't great ball striking. There is a difference. It seems like that is being confused here. It seems like the two definitions are being merged together.

Can a 30 handicapper hit the ball solid, center of the clubface, sure. They are still probably hitting the ball with an extreme clubpath that causes a big curve that saps distance due to it being a more glancing blow and because the ball is curving excessively.

In the end, that isn't good ball striking even thought it felt solid.

4 hours ago, Lihu said:

I've been with enough instructors with their students who have said their student hit a "solid" strike just to encourage them to hit more shots like that. If you had to stipulate all kinds of conditions every time you spoke to your student, it would only encourage that glassy eyed look from the student. Instead, they simple state "solid". Later, as the student progresses, they know that when the instructor said "solid" before that that was utter BS. :-D

Solid isn't the same as great. This thread is about great ball striking.

Edited by iacas
fixed by request

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7 hours ago, iacas said:

Because… ballstriking is not only hitting the ball reasonably solidly, but also controlling the distance and direction of the ball.

@Righty to Lefty I can’t imagine how this statement needs to be argued? I understand this may seem relative to the context (watching my 8 year old hit the ball straight and 50yds is amazing...) But we’re talking about great ball striking as it pertains to this game, golf. There are long drive champions who deliver the club with enormous speed and direction as well as hitting the clubface at the best place possible. But, they have to hit the ball within the boundaries or it’s simply no good. Why? Because that’s an important criteria, a basic requirement of golf! What good is a bowler who can hurl the ball faster than anyone but throws it in the gutter every time? I think you’re being to literal in this. Great ball striking isn’t just making great contact with all else thrown to the side. Again we get that it can be discussed relative to the subject, such as a child or a 20+ hcp, but we’re discussing great ball striking as it separates a tour player from a top ten tour player. Either way, direction and distance is paramount in golf and to claim it plays no part in judging the quality of a strike is pretty silly no?

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5 hours ago, saevel25 said:

That isn't great ball striking. There is a difference. It seems like that is being confused here. It seems like the two definitions are being merged together.

Completely agree.

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@Righty to Lefty If I may say it again, as one who taught research and making research show a conclusion: anecdotal evidence, or observational moment, by itself, is not enough.

Opinions, as well, may not be an indicator of direction the results will prove as fact.  So when you combine opinion with an observation you run the risk of insisting it is of more worth than what it is.  This is what commonly ends up being seen as trolling for many topics on the web, especially in politics.

@iacas has both observation and a wealth of information on which to draw conclusions.  I am more than willing to place solid money, that if I were to look at his data, I will find outliers. But his writings are extensive; his conclusions are based on solid research.

This is not to diminish the reality of your observations or conversations.  But your reality is not necessarily a full study of facts. In terms of true study, you may have something great for an appendix but not for the main body.

Now back to golf.  If one were to look at the pressure tapes I put on my clubs, one would observe I almost always (about 85%+) hit the sweet spots of the clubs.  But, if you studied my shots as a whole, one could not consider them close to being solid strike.  But IF you were to define a solid strike, as was done here, as hitting the sweet spot. I would be a solidly developing master.

As well, I could quote a US Open and other tournaments and well as top 10 results winner I know as wishing he hit more solid strikes per round. Does that clearly show he was not a solid striker? Or does it mean HIS definition is more likely narrower than most? 

Your definition seems to be rather wide.  At best, you have a collection of opinions, not facts, unless  your comments were based on true research. If you want it to be seen as fact, showing 1 or 2, or maybe even 20, observations is not enough.

What I am stating is a fact on drawing conclusions from research as opposed to single observation.  THAT is not just my opinion.

 

Edited by DrMJG

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