Premium on Ball Striking

At what age do you guys feel like you can’t fake a good round? By “fake” I mean, you can’t get away with poor ball striking and just a good short game (although the short game is the ultimate equalizer and ability to score).



At younger ages, they can just hit the ball, let it roll anywhere near the green and save par or play bogey golf. Younger ages do not have the power for the negative affects of poor ball striking (they are not hitting OB or in bad positions and they are not playing tee boxes where golf architects have designed trouble). I’ve seen a lot of juniors with terrible ball striking be able to just roll balls near the green in two shots and save par. Trajectory or launch angle makes very little difference at a young age bc courses aren’t set up that difficult.



I feel like at 10 the yardages start getting long enough (300+ yard par 4s, 400+ yard par 5s...) where there is a premium on ball striking. Maybe you start seeing it more at 6000+ yard setups. Thoughts? I guess my question is at what age does ball striking make a noticeable difference in scoring?



Comments

  • mrshinsamrshinsa Members Posts: 172 ✭✭
    At least for US Kids' and at age 10, I noticed that if my son miss hit a ball once, then he would not reach the green in regulation.

    At age 9, it was still possible due to much shorter setup.
  • Golfingdawg19Golfingdawg19 Members Posts: 356 ✭✭
    I agree. At 10 the yardage’s are still fairly short. My daughter turns 11 this month and for the big tournaments they back her up to almost the regular women’s tees. That is a huge jump for her. I’ve got her playing the women’s tees at our course and that is 5100 yds. She can’t get to all of the greens in regulation and the ones she can it’s hitting driver-3 wood or driver-hybrid. She can still shoot bogey golf but that is totally different that hitting driver wedge all day in the local stuff. Kids start hitting puberty in the 11-12 range so that is when you see the distances jump and a premium on ball striking occurs.
  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members Posts: 1,043 ✭✭
    This really depends on how you define ball strikes. If you chunk a shot your in trouble at any age. If you define it as accuracy for a chance at birdies I would think teen years is where it really matters.



    This matters much more for boys though then girls because if your not striking the ball and being accurate your going to have a hard time being competitive. For girls I think it just less of an issue as long as your able to still par the hole unless we’re talking about the LPGA.
  • wildcatdenwildcatden China Cat Sunflower Members Posts: 875 ✭✭
    For USKG locals, I think it starts at age 8 where the distances require then to start hitting 8-9 irons into the greens. At age 9, I believe the USKG tapers off a bit since they play the same yardage as 8 year olds. Once your kid is able to drive it 175+ yards (total), it seems that they could actually start to get in severe trouble with wayward shots even though they are teeing off from the fairway.
  • darter79darter79 Members Posts: 698 ✭✭
    It think in the younger ages the premium is on driving the ball long and accurate, being able to hit a sw full and accurate and a good short game. You will score well at those ages. By daughter just turned 8 and has played yardages from 1100- 1800 and the score doesn't change because well in her case distance does matter as she drives it long enough to where at worst she normally only making bogey. My opinion the premiums on ball striking come during the teenage years, I think as they start to hit the ball further you can't get away with bad driving as much as you can when you are younger.



    Even at the younger age groups you hit it very thin and get away with it. You can chuck it and get away with it. I've seen young kids skull one on the tee that landed on the fridge.
  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,067 ✭✭
    edited Sep 3, 2018 #7
    darter79 wrote:
    It think in the younger ages the premium is on driving the ball long and accurate, being able to hit a sw full and accurate and a good short game. You will score well at those ages. By daughter just turned 8 and has played yardages from 1100- 1800 and the score doesn't change because well in her case distance does matter as she drives it long enough to where at worst she normally only making bogey. My opinion the premiums on ball striking come during the teenage years, I think as they start to hit the ball further you can't get away with bad driving as much as you can when you are younger.



    Even at the younger age groups you hit it very thin and get away with it. You can chuck it and get away with it. I've seen young kids skull one on the tee that landed on the fridge.




    Depends on what you consider bad driving. My kid thought he had a bad driving day (hit 12/14 fairways) today and was still able to go low. He wasn’t putting the ball where he wanted to in the fairway and considered it a bad day driving the ball. Approach shots he was shooting darts.
  • darter79darter79 Members Posts: 698 ✭✭

    darter79 wrote:
    It think in the younger ages the premium is on driving the ball long and accurate, being able to hit a sw full and accurate and a good short game. You will score well at those ages. By daughter just turned 8 and has played yardages from 1100- 1800 and the score doesn't change because well in her case distance does matter as she drives it long enough to where at worst she normally only making bogey. My opinion the premiums on ball striking come during the teenage years, I think as they start to hit the ball further you can't get away with bad driving as much as you can when you are younger.



    Even at the younger age groups you hit it very thin and get away with it. You can chuck it and get away with it. I've seen young kids skull one on the tee that landed on the fridge.




    Depends on what you consider bad driving. My kid thought he had a bad driving day (hit 12/14 fairways) today and was still able to go low. He wasn’t putting the ball where he wanted to in the fairway and considered it a bad day driving the ball. Approach shots he was shooting darts.




    I'm more referring to the younger groups hitting on top of the ball watch it roll 50 yards. Once you start playing longer yardage it will take par out of it. Saw it at worlds at longer yards where a girl hit on top of it it goes maybe 30-50 yards she over 125 and can't get home.



    But in older divisions its more of a balance I would think, but I as you know only have experience with the younger age groups.
  • tiger1873tiger1873 Members Posts: 1,043 ✭✭
    darter79 wrote:


    darter79 wrote:
    It think in the younger ages the premium is on driving the ball long and accurate, being able to hit a sw full and accurate and a good short game. You will score well at those ages. By daughter just turned 8 and has played yardages from 1100- 1800 and the score doesn't change because well in her case distance does matter as she drives it long enough to where at worst she normally only making bogey. My opinion the premiums on ball striking come during the teenage years, I think as they start to hit the ball further you can't get away with bad driving as much as you can when you are younger.



    Even at the younger age groups you hit it very thin and get away with it. You can chuck it and get away with it. I've seen young kids skull one on the tee that landed on the fridge.




    Depends on what you consider bad driving. My kid thought he had a bad driving day (hit 12/14 fairways) today and was still able to go low. He wasn⤙t putting the ball where he wanted to in the fairway and considered it a bad day driving the ball. Approach shots he was shooting darts.




    I'm more referring to the younger groups hitting on top of the ball watch it roll 50 yards. Once you start playing longer yardage it will take par out of it. Saw it at worlds at longer yards where a girl hit on top of it it goes maybe 30-50 yards she over 125 and can't get home.



    But in older divisions its more of a balance I would think, but I as you know only have experience with the younger age groups.




    Misshits happen all the time even with older players and many times a good player will be able to recover with a wood or hybrid. I do agree that at some ages though you could literally use a putter down the fairway to get it the green. In a lot cases they don’t have to get the ball in the air. At those ages keeping it in play is what is most important. You still have to hit the ball. If they constantly do misshits with the ball there is no telling where it going to go. I seen that as well with kids and it is tough to watch.
  • kcapkcap Members Posts: 157 ✭✭
    I think 10-12 yrs depending on tournament i.e local, regional or worlds (based on Yardage) is where ball striking becomes really key. I have seen plenty of the local kids develop over the years - at a younger age with slow swing speeds you could get away with a OTT 30 yard fade/slice swing. That same inconsistent swing comes back to haunt you at faster swing speeds as you hit balls from trees, rough etc.



    For us, good ball striking and developing a consistent swing that can survive faster swing speeds has taken precedence over the short game in these formative years.
  • yellowlover519yellowlover519 Members Posts: 299 ✭✭
    A short game really masks a lot. Curious if there are stats on up and down percentage from various lies/distances and whether that mirrors 3-putt avoidance from 40+ feet. I’m sure at the younger levels, there will be a startling correlation. As juniors get better, this goes away and GIR become a premium.
  • kekoakekoa ClubWRX Posts: 8,852 ClubWRX
    I can't say for sure yet, but for those that think 10 yr yardages are short then how far should the course be stretched for this age? I'm just curious because the distance gap from the 8/9 to 10's appears very noticeable.
  • heavy_hitterheavy_hitter Members Posts: 3,067 ✭✭
    kekoa wrote:


    I can't say for sure yet, but for those that think 10 yr yardages are short then how far should the course be stretched for this age? I'm just curious because the distance gap from the 8/9 to 10's appears very noticeable.




    I think the course yardage for a 10 year old should be right around where they have it for US Kids Worlds which is 5200 yards. Distance also changes with where you are relative to sea level. 5200 yards in S. Florida is not the same as 5200 yards in Texas, Montana, North Carolina, etc. Many people don't take this into consideration.
  • kcapkcap Members Posts: 157 ✭✭
    kekoa wrote:


    I can't say for sure yet, but for those that think 10 yr yardages are short then how far should the course be stretched for this age? I'm just curious because the distance gap from the 8/9 to 10's appears very noticeable.




    For us, the distance jump (for US Kids Locals) from a 8/9 to a 10 was pretty big but I also think depends on individual kid - i.e. long hitter off the tee box or not. If you think he is playing comfortable par or slightly more (for a full round) from a 10yr old local distance then move him longer like HH suggested move to worlds distance. I think distance is balance between teaching them hitting a long approach shot as well taking advantage of short holes.



    I might be stating the obvious, but the total distance never tells the full story i.e every course could have forced layups, elevation changes or really small landing areas since they are designed for adults who drive in 230-250 from the back tees.
  • mrshinsamrshinsa Members Posts: 172 ✭✭
    We're just finishing out our fall season and my son will be moving up in his age group next season.

    Here's what I've observed.

    My 8-year-old daughter just started competing and her yardages are 1500 yards. I see a lot of girls hit driver then wedge unto the green, or even hitting the green in one.

    My 10-year-old son is not the longest nor the shortest. Some of his par 4s are 330~350, meaning if he doesn't hit driver SOLID 180~200, he will be hitting a 3-wood into the green. I've seen lots of his peers, even at Regional, fail to reach the green in regulation.
  • mrshinsamrshinsa Members Posts: 172 ✭✭
    edited Dec 18, 2018 #16
    leezer99 wrote:

    mrshinsa wrote:
    We're just finishing out our fall season and my son will be moving up in his age group next season.

    Here's what I've observed.

    My 8-year-old daughter just started competing and her yardages are 1500 yards. I see a lot of girls hit driver then wedge unto the green, or even hitting the green in one.

    My 10-year-old son is not the longest nor the shortest. Some of his par 4s are 330~350, meaning if he doesn't hit driver SOLID 180~200, he will be hitting a 3-wood into the green. I've seen lots of his peers, even at Regional, fail to reach the green in regulation.


    I can't tell if this is a bad thing or a good thing. I know kids that hit their 3w straighter than my son can hit a six iron so I'm not sure what the relevance is.




    Sorry if it wasn't clear, but to the point of the OP's question. For boys at age 10, it seems like you need solid two shots to be on the green to score.

    If not then short game needs to kick in.



    Just my observation.
  • Golfingdawg19Golfingdawg19 Members Posts: 356 ✭✭
    My daughter is 11 and shot 36 at her last nine hole round for the local US Kids tour. For the regional and state events she plays 18 holes and it’s around 4700yds and Worlds is 5000 yds. I moved her to a different tour this past weekend to start preparing her for the longer distances and she struggled. My guess is she will shoot 85 at best from 5000 yds. She went in expecting to shoot low scores like she did at US Kids and it didn’t happen. She couldn’t get to the par 4’s in regulation. So I would say around 11-12 in girls golf, that it gets real.
  • darter79darter79 Members Posts: 698 ✭✭


    My daughter is 11 and shot 36 at her last nine hole round for the local US Kids tour. For the regional and state events she plays 18 holes and it's around 4700yds and Worlds is 5000 yds. I moved her to a different tour this past weekend to start preparing her for the longer distances and she struggled. My guess is she will shoot 85 at best from 5000 yds. She went in expecting to shoot low scores like she did at US Kids and it didn't happen. She couldn't get to the par 4's in regulation. So I would say around 11-12 in girls golf, that it gets real.




    I would agree with this. I can't speak on boys but been around girls. For younger girls who can hit their driver well its drive chip and putt. I know some older girls who are 10 who play 5500 in 18 yards and barley brake 90. From where I stand its due because they don't have enough experience hitting other irons outside of a SW into greens. Kids should learn to play longer yardages in order to get experience hitting other irons.
  • hangontighthangontight Members Posts: 543 ✭✭
    leezer99 wrote:

    darter79 wrote:



    My daughter is 11 and shot 36 at her last nine hole round for the local US Kids tour. For the regional and state events she plays 18 holes and it's around 4700yds and Worlds is 5000 yds. I moved her to a different tour this past weekend to start preparing her for the longer distances and she struggled. My guess is she will shoot 85 at best from 5000 yds. She went in expecting to shoot low scores like she did at US Kids and it didn't happen. She couldn't get to the par 4's in regulation. So I would say around 11-12 in girls golf, that it gets real.




    I would agree with this. I can't speak on boys but been around girls. For younger girls who can hit their driver well its drive chip and putt. I know some older girls who are 10 who play 5500 in 18 yards and barley brake 90. From where I stand its due because they don't have enough experience hitting other irons outside of a SW into greens. Kids should learn to play longer yardages in order to get experience hitting other irons.




    My son is 10 and played a 6,450 yard course yesterday. Even with good drives he was hitting hybrids or long irons in to a lot of the par 4 holes. Only had enough time to play 11 holes and finished four over. The key for him right now is to figure out how much roll he is going to get once his approach shot lands and to play it appropriately.




    Does he normally play from that long? Seems that hitting hybrids into more than just a few holes (assuming good drives), then the course is too long. I do stretch it out from time to time on purpose to help force his scrambling short game skills....just the same as we occasionally go shorter than normal to see how well he capitalize with his short wedges.
  • hangontighthangontight Members Posts: 543 ✭✭
    edited Dec 20, 2018 #20
    leezer99 wrote:





    Does he normally play from that long? Seems that hitting hybrids into more than just a few holes (assuming good drives), then the course is too long.




    Too long for what?




    Too long (course length) for the golfers current game/ability/length. If I am driving well and having to hit hybrids into “a lot” of par 4’s, then I’de say I am playing too long (course length) and should move up to where I will be hitting a variety of approach distances- short, med, long irons. I may of missed the context of your comment though? No knock on your boy, ime sure he is an excellent golfer. I was honestly curious if he always plays from 6,450 yards, that is pretty impressive for a 10 year old.
  • kcapkcap Members Posts: 157 ✭✭
    leezer99 wrote:

    darter79 wrote:



    My daughter is 11 and shot 36 at her last nine hole round for the local US Kids tour. For the regional and state events she plays 18 holes and it's around 4700yds and Worlds is 5000 yds. I moved her to a different tour this past weekend to start preparing her for the longer distances and she struggled. My guess is she will shoot 85 at best from 5000 yds. She went in expecting to shoot low scores like she did at US Kids and it didn't happen. She couldn't get to the par 4's in regulation. So I would say around 11-12 in girls golf, that it gets real.




    I would agree with this. I can't speak on boys but been around girls. For younger girls who can hit their driver well its drive chip and putt. I know some older girls who are 10 who play 5500 in 18 yards and barley brake 90. From where I stand its due because they don't have enough experience hitting other irons outside of a SW into greens. Kids should learn to play longer yardages in order to get experience hitting other irons.




    My son is 10 and played a 6,450 yard course yesterday. Even with good drives he was hitting hybrids or long irons in to a lot of the par 4 holes. Only had enough time to play 11 holes and finished four over. The key for him right now is to figure out how much roll he is going to get once his approach shot lands and to play it appropriately.


    Playing 4 over as 10 year old on a 6,450 course is very impressive. That is much longer than US Kids worlds, Hurricane, FJT s for 11 and 12 years.. Was it intentional to play that long or just for fun and if not do you do it often.?
  • yellowlover519yellowlover519 Members Posts: 299 ✭✭
    If you can’t land on a par 3 green with a fairway wood, course is too long. I guess it makes sense to play that way once in a while to challenge a junior to see how many one putts he can have in a round, but, unless you have an off-the-chart kid in size (we know which current 10 year old fits that description), my take is 5500 as a 10-year old is probably as long as a course at sea level should be played and probably 6000 as an 11-year old. But those yardages even seem long by 250 yards or so IMO. I am just stretching bc I know stronger 10-year olds can drive legit 200 and 11-year olds 210-215 (not counting the ones that are playing with shafts that come to their neck).
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