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My buddy Lou shared earlier today a thing we've talked about the past few weeks re: short-siding yourself on the PGA Tour.

The image:

G-Rat.jpg

In chart form:

G-Rat-Chart.jpg

At first glance this flies a bit in the face of the idea that "being closer is better," but that really only holds if you insist on taking this literally and completely disregarding the shades of grey. We've never said that being buried in a deep bunker 15 yards from the flag is better than having a 60-foot putt (or even a chip from off the green).

And clearly, short-siding yourself on the PGA Tour can present some problems. (Though, in a brief aside, you'll note that Tour players average 8.0 feet with 40-50% Green, but don't get below 8.0 feet from 26-30 yards until they have 80%+ Green.)

Now… I've previously posted this:

The main audience of that article is average golfers playing regular golf courses. Those golf courses, in comparison to the PGA Tour courses:

  • Have lighter rough.
  • Have slower greens.
  • Have softer greens.

Dave and I still stand by the previous topic because we feel that short siding yourself is much less dangerous on a typical golf course than it is on the PGA Tour. The greens are softer and slower and the rough is shorter.

But, ultimately, this topic should serve as a reminder that not all situations are created equal. A 12-yard chip shot from rough with 6 yards to the green and another 6 to the pin (50%) might be easier, the same, or more difficult than another shot - including a long putt - from somewhere else. It depends on the unique and specific circumstances.

Hell, sometimes a short-sided miss will be a 15-foot putt from the fringe.

Judge the situations uniquely. Use the Shades of Grey, which on approach shots and greenside shots includes all of the factors that affect your next shot.

And, should you get out on Tour, give this stuff even more consideration, because the chart is pretty definitive. 🙂

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25 minutes ago, iacas said:

But, ultimately, this topic should serve as a reminder that not all situations are created equal.

I think this stands true and is most important when making a strategical decision. I imagine at the tour level and maybe elsewhere you may even find yourself considering this from the tee. An example would be a fairway that is designed where the safe side to land your tee shot forces you to be short-sided to the green (tree line).  If it's a severe short-side situation (deep nGr rough and a steep downhill to pin) then you may have to decide if the risky tee shot is worth it to avoid the short-side. Just a thought.

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Ultimately the only control we have over these type of situations is with our approach shots. For most of golfers, I think maximizing the GIR % will trump thinking much about a short sided shot.

Yea, I rather have a 15 FT birdie putt from the fringe than a 40 FT putt from the green.

Know the shot zone and take on what ever risk is necessary.

 

Edited by saevel25

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2 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Ultimately the only control we have over these type of situations is with our approach shots. For most of golfers, I think maximizing the GIR % will trump thinking much about a short sided shot.

Right. If a PGA Tour player hits 13 greens in a round, by going at a few more pins, they'll occasionally short-side themselves, but they'll also put themselves inside a reasonable birdie range a few times.

Short siding sometimes happens when you're being appropriately aggressive. Just don't short-side yourself often, on the PGA Tour.

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Let's not forget that the pros are consummately skilled, play super spinny, cover grabby, golf balls that can stop really fast if the golfer has the skill to hit that kind of shot. We shlubs generally do not! I live in fear of short siding myself on a course with quick greens with a lot of slope. 

Just look at the coverage of the Farmer's Insurance tourney at Torrey Pines. The pros were throwing darts into corners of greens where the pins were tucked! But, that's what they have to do to give themselves a chance to win, and they are good enough to do so! 

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47 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

! But, that's what they have to do to give themselves a chance to win, and they are good enough to do so! 

Sometimes yes. But the pros have to be cautious too. Throwing darts certainly happens but it’s not every tournament that this is being done. 

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11 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Let's not forget that the pros are consummately skilled, play super spinny, cover grabby, golf balls that can stop really fast if the golfer has the skill to hit that kind of shot. We shlubs generally do not! I live in fear of short siding myself on a course with quick greens with a lot of slope.

  1. Short-siding will almost always place the PGA Tour players in the rough, which reduces spin.
  2. The shot will be shorter and as such the required clubhead speed is slower which produces lower spinning shots.
  3. Short game is the 2nd easiest skill to learn in golf. It wouldn't take much to teach an amateur to have a pretty good short game.
  4. Amateurs can buy premium golf balls and good wedges.

 

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As amateurs with our big shot zones aiming at the middle of the green is the rigth play in almost every approch shot over 100 hundred yards. Aiming away from the flag to avoid shortside yourself could lead you to even more troubles if you miss to far away in the long side.

This weekend I shoot 70(-2) at my home course hitting 15 GIR and aiming every shot to the middle of the green. 0 pin hunting.  

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11 minutes ago, p1n9183 said:

As amateurs with our big shot zones aiming at the middle of the green is the rigth play in almost every approch shot over 100 hundred yards. Aiming away from the flag to avoid shortside yourself could lead you to even more troubles if you miss to far away in the long side.

Precisely.

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rose2.jpg

Mark Broadie uses his new 'short sided index' PGA Tour statistic to explain the difference between good and bad misses.

This article brought this thread to mind.

 

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I'm going to say this because it needs to be said:

I don't buy into this "he's got only 15 feet of green to work with, for this pitch shot" talk. You may have 15 feet of green between the edge of the green and the pin. But you still have green beyond the hole, you can work with. So you have a say 12 yard chip or mini pitch. Your telling me the best in the world average 8 feet from the hole? (rhetorical)

Here's my question @iacas, a) How many of those 12 yard chips with 5 yards of green would come up short? b) With your best guess as that shot gets longer the pros have say a "buffer zone" past the hole that they would still consider hitting a good shot? 

In my experience and with practice, if I'm chipping short-sided, I make sure I'm not chipping again and give myself a reasonable par putt... If I'm chipping to a crowned green to a green that runs away, I'll try to pitch it high and and land it around the distance of the hole, knowing I might have a 20 footer coming back.

Edited by onthehunt526
forgot my b)

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On 4/25/2019 at 2:18 AM, onthehunt526 said:

I'm going to say this because it needs to be said:

I don't buy into this "he's got only 15 feet of green to work with, for this pitch shot" talk. You may have 15 feet of green between the edge of the green and the pin. But you still have green beyond the hole, you can work with. So you have a say 12 yard chip or mini pitch. Your telling me the best in the world average 8 feet from the hole? (rhetorical)

Here's my question @iacas, a) How many of those 12 yard chips with 5 yards of green would come up short? b) With your best guess as that shot gets longer the pros have say a "buffer zone" past the hole that they would still consider hitting a good shot? 

In my experience and with practice, if I'm chipping short-sided, I make sure I'm not chipping again and give myself a reasonable par putt... If I'm chipping to a crowned green to a green that runs away, I'll try to pitch it high and and land it around the distance of the hole, knowing I might have a 20 footer coming back.

 

Hooray for you! I also notice that your index is 3.9, so you are a much better golfer than most of us! Do whatever you want. Your way is NOT the smart way for most of us! 

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