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Short Game Practice Without Real Grass

agolf1agolf1 Advanced Members Posts: 530 ✭✭
Obviously, improving from 100 yards in will do more for most than banging away endlessly with a driver.



But what do people do when you can't practice off of real grass or pitching / chipping to a real green?



During the week, I only have access to a range with mats. I usually alternate between a) hitting pitch shots / partial wedges anywhere from 30-80 yards and b) full swings with the lowest lofted iron in my set (i.e. I practice with a 5 iron and 6 iron is usually the lowest one in the bag).



At the course on the weekend, there is a practice green where I could theoretically chip / practice 5-20 yard pitch shots. However, I don't spend much time here as the green is really like a fairway (or worse).



My thoughts are:

a) As a 9 handicap, I miss more greens than I hit and an erratic driver means I'm not even greenside on several holes per round. From 30-80 yards I'm trying to make sure I take no more than 3 the vast majority of the time, and get up and down every now and then. I don't have the skill to get the ball inside 5 feet consistently. I'm more trying to get within reasonable, low-stress two-putt distance (20 feet) with the occasional kick-in or making a 4-10 footer.



b) So much of greenside shots are judging the lie and how the ball is going to release once it hits the green. Of course, there are some technique issues for flops and differences between a normal pitch and the low runner. I think I have the basics here relative to my handicap (rarely chunk it at my feet or blade it over the green). But since I can't judge the lie and how the ball will run on a real green I kind of think spending time here isn't that worthwhile. I guess I could still practice how far I am carrying the ball on these pitches and aiming for landing spots on the course?



c) Other area I spend time on is practicing 3 footers and 4-6 foot range.



Any good ways others improved their short game given the facility constraints above.
Titleist 910 D2 11.25*, Diamana Ilima R-Flex (tipped 1')
Callaway X Hot Pro 19* Fairway, Project X Velocity 6.0
TaylorMade Raylor 22*, Raylor RE*AX S-Flex
Ping G25 5-PW (25*-44*), UW (49*), SW (54*), CFS R-Flex
Ping Zing 2 L/S (57*)
Ping Cadence TR Ketsch Putter

Comments

  • JagpilotohioJagpilotohio 45+ inch drivers are evil. Advanced Members Posts: 7,051 ✭✭
    I just try to worry about distance control from about 40 yards and more with the wedges off the mats. The short delicate shots are nearly pointless.



    I REALLY struggle with fat and thin wedges at the beginning of the season after using mats for months. I just can’t find the ground.



    The First few Times I play when the season starts, which was yesterday for me.....thank you Jesus!!.... I go to a local 9 hole executive course when it’s really slow and as I play I drop about 8 balls around each green for wedge practice. I know all the guys that work there and I obviously don’t hold anyone up so they don’t care, but I’m basically just practicing wedge play as much as possible. Far more useful than going to a range, even one with a decent short game area. It’s the Best $12 I could spend to start the season. A Short course with tons of wedge shots.
    9.5* Cobra LTD, Old school Grafalloy Blue, 43.5"
    14* Cally 815 alpha fuji 665 X 42"
    16* Cally 815 alpha fuji 665 X, 41.5" (set to 17*)
    19* Titleist 816 H2 fuji 8.8X TS 40.0"
    4-9 2016 Hogan PTx, KBS Tour V, 120X
    Ping glide 2 46-12, 50-12, 54-14 (at 55) stealth, 60-14(at 61) stealth, All wedges Recoil Proto 125 F5
    33.5" Ghost spider slant neck.
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    Jones Trouper Bag
  • agolf1agolf1 Advanced Members Posts: 530 ✭✭


    I just try to worry about distance control from about 40 yards and more with the wedges off the mats. The short delicate shots are nearly pointless.



    I REALLY struggle with fat and thin wedges at the beginning of the season after using mats for months. I just can’t find the ground.



    The First few Times I play when the season starts, which was yesterday for me.....thank you Jesus!!.... I go to a local 9 hole executive course when it’s really slow and as I play I drop about 8 balls around each green for wedge practice. I know all the guys that work there and I obviously don’t hold anyone up so they don’t care, but I’m basically just practicing wedge play as much as possible. Far more useful than going to a range, even one with a decent short game area. It’s the Best $12 I could spend to start the season. A Short course with tons of wedge shots.


    Thanks. Distance control is what I'm trying to work on from 30-80 yards as well.



    I don't have a 9 hole course near me. However, I usually play 18 on the weekend days and play another 9 late when the course is clearing out. I'll hit two balls every now and then on the 9 hole portion. Maybe I'll change to playing the red tee box (should get more wedges) and dropping more balls around the green then.
    Titleist 910 D2 11.25*, Diamana Ilima R-Flex (tipped 1')
    Callaway X Hot Pro 19* Fairway, Project X Velocity 6.0
    TaylorMade Raylor 22*, Raylor RE*AX S-Flex
    Ping G25 5-PW (25*-44*), UW (49*), SW (54*), CFS R-Flex
    Ping Zing 2 L/S (57*)
    Ping Cadence TR Ketsch Putter
  •  Dave D Dave D Advanced Members Posts: 3,993 ✭✭
    agolf1 wrote:


    Obviously, improving from 100 yards in will do more for most than banging away endlessly with a driver.



    But what do people do when you can't practice off of real grass or pitching / chipping to a real green?



    During the week, I only have access to a range with mats. I usually alternate between a) hitting pitch shots / partial wedges anywhere from 30-80 yards and b) full swings with the lowest lofted iron in my set (i.e. I practice with a 5 iron and 6 iron is usually the lowest one in the bag).



    At the course on the weekend, there is a practice green where I could theoretically chip / practice 5-20 yard pitch shots. However, I don't spend much time here as the green is really like a fairway (or worse).



    My thoughts are:

    a) As a 9 handicap, I miss more greens than I hit and an erratic driver means I'm not even greenside on several holes per round. From 30-80 yards I'm trying to make sure I take no more than 3 the vast majority of the time, and get up and down every now and then. I don't have the skill to get the ball inside 5 feet consistently. I'm more trying to get within reasonable, low-stress two-putt distance (20 feet) with the occasional kick-in or making a 4-10 footer.



    b) So much of greenside shots are judging the lie and how the ball is going to release once it hits the green. Of course, there are some technique issues for flops and differences between a normal pitch and the low runner. I think I have the basics here relative to my handicap (rarely chunk it at my feet or blade it over the green). But since I can't judge the lie and how the ball will run on a real green I kind of think spending time here isn't that worthwhile. I guess I could still practice how far I am carrying the ball on these pitches and aiming for landing spots on the course?



    c) Other area I spend time on is practicing 3 footers and 4-6 foot range.



    Any good ways others improved their short game given the facility constraints above.




    A couple of things, being a 9 handicap and by your own admittance eratic with the driver and miss quite a few greens, you are going to drop more shots, quicker, by improving your ball striking than improving your game 100 yards and in.



    In regards to practicing I would say you can still practice shots on the poor condition green by perhaps laying a towel down or alignment sticks and practice landing the ball in a certain place. Disregard the end product due to the bad quality but you can still improve your ability to land it where you want it to.



    I would work on 3 different length swings with your wedges (clock system) to help with distance control and give you confidence that you know how far you are going to hit it.



    Just my thoughts image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />
    Driver: Taylormade M2 10.5* w/ Hzrdus Black 6.0 62g
    3 Wood: Taylormade M1 3HL 17* w/ Hzrdus Black 6.0 75g
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    4-PW: Callaway X Forged '13 w/ Project X Pxi 6.0
    Wedges: Vokey SM7 50F, 54S & 60L - DG wedge flex
    Putter: Custom Raybon Squareback 34" w/ Superstroke Pistol GT 1.0

    Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft

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  • agolf1agolf1 Advanced Members Posts: 530 ✭✭
    Dave D wrote:

    agolf1 wrote:


    Obviously, improving from 100 yards in will do more for most than banging away endlessly with a driver.



    But what do people do when you can't practice off of real grass or pitching / chipping to a real green?



    During the week, I only have access to a range with mats. I usually alternate between a) hitting pitch shots / partial wedges anywhere from 30-80 yards and b) full swings with the lowest lofted iron in my set (i.e. I practice with a 5 iron and 6 iron is usually the lowest one in the bag).



    At the course on the weekend, there is a practice green where I could theoretically chip / practice 5-20 yard pitch shots. However, I don't spend much time here as the green is really like a fairway (or worse).



    My thoughts are:

    a) As a 9 handicap, I miss more greens than I hit and an erratic driver means I'm not even greenside on several holes per round. From 30-80 yards I'm trying to make sure I take no more than 3 the vast majority of the time, and get up and down every now and then. I don't have the skill to get the ball inside 5 feet consistently. I'm more trying to get within reasonable, low-stress two-putt distance (20 feet) with the occasional kick-in or making a 4-10 footer.



    b) So much of greenside shots are judging the lie and how the ball is going to release once it hits the green. Of course, there are some technique issues for flops and differences between a normal pitch and the low runner. I think I have the basics here relative to my handicap (rarely chunk it at my feet or blade it over the green). But since I can't judge the lie and how the ball will run on a real green I kind of think spending time here isn't that worthwhile. I guess I could still practice how far I am carrying the ball on these pitches and aiming for landing spots on the course?



    c) Other area I spend time on is practicing 3 footers and 4-6 foot range.



    Any good ways others improved their short game given the facility constraints above.




    A couple of things, being a 9 handicap and by your own admittance eratic with the driver and miss quite a few greens, you are going to drop more shots, quicker, by improving your ball striking than improving your game 100 yards and in.



    In regards to practicing I would say you can still practice shots on the poor condition green by perhaps laying a towel down or alignment sticks and practice landing the ball in a certain place. Disregard the end product due to the bad quality but you can still improve your ability to land it where you want it to.



    I would work on 3 different length swings with your wedges (clock system) to help with distance control and give you confidence that you know how far you are going to hit it.



    Just my thoughts image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />


    Thanks for the reply. On the full swings, my issue (or question) is this. I'm going to go to the range once or twice a week. I may hit 100 balls each time, of which half will be full swings (with the 5 iron). I've noticed that I can't really hit a lot more balls than this without getting tired, in which case it kind of becomes a waste. So with that much time is my full swing game really going to improve much? Unfortunately, I don't really have the time to overhaul my swing. At this point, I've kind of thought that I am who I am, and maybe it gets a little better just by having more golf swing motion during the week between rounds.



    I also think my iron game is about average for my level. My GIR may be 1 per round low, but I've always wondered if this is because my driver takes me out of any reasonable chance to hit the green a couple/few times per round (I don't have a reference for how often this happens to other 9 index guys though).
    Titleist 910 D2 11.25*, Diamana Ilima R-Flex (tipped 1')
    Callaway X Hot Pro 19* Fairway, Project X Velocity 6.0
    TaylorMade Raylor 22*, Raylor RE*AX S-Flex
    Ping G25 5-PW (25*-44*), UW (49*), SW (54*), CFS R-Flex
    Ping Zing 2 L/S (57*)
    Ping Cadence TR Ketsch Putter
  • HitEmTrueHitEmTrue @HitEmTrue1 Advanced Members Posts: 6,101 ✭✭
    Your only full swings at the range are with a five iron? And no drivers at all? Seems like you should mix that up a bit.

  • agolf1agolf1 Advanced Members Posts: 530 ✭✭
    HitEmTrue wrote:


    Your only full swings at the range are with a five iron? And no drivers at all? Seems like you should mix that up a bit.


    I don't have my full bag with me during the week, as it's at the course. I have another driver at home that I could take to the range but the head is so different I kind of feel like practicing with this one is counter-productive.



    In the past, I've also found that hitting balls at the range only does so much unless so mechanics are way off at the time (I'm not claiming to have Adam Scott's swing but I don't think I'm consistently horrible either). I think anyone can stand at the range and hit ball after ball to targets that only vary so much (I do try to re-create holes in my mind at the range to improve focus). However, for me it is still quite different with the driver whether I can do it on the course, especially after a couple of bad swings. For whatever reason, with this club I have the most difficulty just picking out a line, letting it go, and making any aggressive swing. I tend to try and not be hitting it somewhere at times and then of course the results go South. I'm not saying more practice wouldn't help but I partly think the problems with the driver are mental, as I can struggle with this club during parts of a round and still be hitting my irons (or even 5 wood) fine.
    Titleist 910 D2 11.25*, Diamana Ilima R-Flex (tipped 1')
    Callaway X Hot Pro 19* Fairway, Project X Velocity 6.0
    TaylorMade Raylor 22*, Raylor RE*AX S-Flex
    Ping G25 5-PW (25*-44*), UW (49*), SW (54*), CFS R-Flex
    Ping Zing 2 L/S (57*)
    Ping Cadence TR Ketsch Putter
  • jmkenn0jmkenn0 Advanced Members Posts: 663 ✭✭
    edited March 13
    So this doesn't really answer your question, but how do you end up 30-80 yards from the green so often that you feel like you need to practice it? I can practice chipping/pitching in my basement, but I'm thinking 10-20 yards, not 30-80?
  • LeftDaddyLeftDaddy Advanced Members Posts: 592 ✭✭
    edited March 13
    I’m a 9 handicap, and I’m pretty good with wedges and putting and driver. I am hot and cold with irons. I can go out tomorrow and shoot 75 if my irons are on. But I can also shoot 95 if they aren’t.



    I say I’m good with wedges, but I haven’t been as sharp lately as I used to be. Part of it is that a fault crept into my swing and it has ruined my irons for the better part of 2 years, but I can hit driver well enough to stay in it. And the fault first appeared in my wedges.



    My point in all of this, though, is that my score (and most people’s scores) is highly correlated to my iron ballstriking. I had a problem years ago with driver so I spent the better part of several range sessions fixing that. My wedges were the first club that clued me in to the shank problem I had, so I worked hard on them. And I sucked at putting a few years back and worked hard on that.



    All of those improvements, though, have been borderline useless without fixing my irons. When my irons are on I look like a completely different golfer. Hitting more greens makes all of the difference. You can only scramble for so long. Nobody loves a good scramble par like me, but after a few holes you’ll start missing the 10 foot par putts. It just puts a low ceiling on your game.
    Callaway 815 BBA DBD, Aldila Rogue Stiff
    Callaway X2 Hot 3 Deep, 14.5, Aldila Tour Green stiff
    Callaway Apex MB UT 2 iron, Project X PXI 6.0
    Callaway 2013 X-forged (3-5), Project X PXI 6.0
    Callaway Apex MB (6-PW), KBS Tour V stiff
    Vokey SM5 54, Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Tour Grind Chrome 58, both with KBS Tour
    Bettinardi BB1
  • agolf1agolf1 Advanced Members Posts: 530 ✭✭
    jmkenn0 wrote:


    So this doesn't really answer your question, but how do you end up 30-80 yards from the green so often that you feel like you need to practice it? I can practice chipping/pitching in my basement, but I'm thinking 10-20 yards, not 30-80?


    Part of it is that I can't really practice short game at all at the range during the week. I like to switch up the full swings / partial swings, so figure I can practice pitching balls from these distances. It's not that I'm at this distance 18 times per round. However, I do end up here several times per round due to a combination of a) poor drive that results in a 2nd shot where you can't get to the green, b) 1 short par 5, and b) 3-4 long par 4s that when they are into the wind if I don't hit a really good drive I may play a conservative 2nd shot, as the greens are heavily guarded.
    Titleist 910 D2 11.25*, Diamana Ilima R-Flex (tipped 1')
    Callaway X Hot Pro 19* Fairway, Project X Velocity 6.0
    TaylorMade Raylor 22*, Raylor RE*AX S-Flex
    Ping G25 5-PW (25*-44*), UW (49*), SW (54*), CFS R-Flex
    Ping Zing 2 L/S (57*)
    Ping Cadence TR Ketsch Putter
  • agolf1agolf1 Advanced Members Posts: 530 ✭✭
    LeftDaddy wrote:


    I'm a 9 handicap, and I'm pretty good with wedges and putting and driver. I am hot and cold with irons. I can go out tomorrow and shoot 75 if my irons are on. But I can also shoot 95 if they aren't.



    I say I'm good with wedges, but I haven't been as sharp lately as I used to be. Part of it is that a fault crept into my swing and it has ruined my irons for the better part of 2 years, but I can hit driver well enough to stay in it. And the fault first appeared in my wedges.



    My point in all of this, though, is that my score (and most people's scores) is highly correlated to my iron ballstriking. I had a problem years ago with driver so I spent the better part of several range sessions fixing that. My wedges were the first club that clued me in to the shank problem I had, so I worked hard on them. And I sucked at putting a few years back and worked hard on that.



    All of those improvements, though, have been borderline useless without fixing my irons. When my irons are on I look like a completely different golfer. Hitting more greens makes all of the difference. You can only scramble for so long. Nobody loves a good scramble par like me, but after a few holes you'll start missing the 10 foot par putts. It just puts a low ceiling on your game.


    Thanks for the reply. Similar to my reply to someone else above, I understand your not going to get to scratch getting up and down 12 times per round. But I also think going from 6 GIR to 12 GIR (tour range) requires a lot more than one or two 1 hour range sessions per week. There is only so much you are going to get better at ball striking practicing this amount.
    Titleist 910 D2 11.25*, Diamana Ilima R-Flex (tipped 1')
    Callaway X Hot Pro 19* Fairway, Project X Velocity 6.0
    TaylorMade Raylor 22*, Raylor RE*AX S-Flex
    Ping G25 5-PW (25*-44*), UW (49*), SW (54*), CFS R-Flex
    Ping Zing 2 L/S (57*)
    Ping Cadence TR Ketsch Putter
  • HitEmTrueHitEmTrue @HitEmTrue1 Advanced Members Posts: 6,101 ✭✭
    agolf1 wrote:

    LeftDaddy wrote:


    I'm a 9 handicap, and I'm pretty good with wedges and putting and driver. I am hot and cold with irons. I can go out tomorrow and shoot 75 if my irons are on. But I can also shoot 95 if they aren't.



    I say I'm good with wedges, but I haven't been as sharp lately as I used to be. Part of it is that a fault crept into my swing and it has ruined my irons for the better part of 2 years, but I can hit driver well enough to stay in it. And the fault first appeared in my wedges.



    My point in all of this, though, is that my score (and most people's scores) is highly correlated to my iron ballstriking. I had a problem years ago with driver so I spent the better part of several range sessions fixing that. My wedges were the first club that clued me in to the shank problem I had, so I worked hard on them. And I sucked at putting a few years back and worked hard on that.



    All of those improvements, though, have been borderline useless without fixing my irons. When my irons are on I look like a completely different golfer. Hitting more greens makes all of the difference. You can only scramble for so long. Nobody loves a good scramble par like me, but after a few holes you'll start missing the 10 foot par putts. It just puts a low ceiling on your game.


    Thanks for the reply. Similar to my reply to someone else above, I understand your not going to get to scratch getting up and down 12 times per round. But I also think going from 6 GIR to 12 GIR (tour range) requires a lot more than one or two 1 hour range sessions per week. There is only so much you are going to get better at ball striking practicing this amount.




    It's isn't just increasing your GIR. On the greens you do hit, you'll be closer. And your misses (driver, and approaches into greens) won't be as bad.
  • agolf1agolf1 Advanced Members Posts: 530 ✭✭
    My original question was how to improve short game given certain facility constraints. Embedded in this was I don't do that much on my full swing. Definitely welcome the suggestions and feedback and will try to put them to work.



    But I do wonder this. A 1-5 index player still misses half the greens. I currently hit about 5 (has averaged 6 at times), and these GIR generate the vast majority of my pars (average just over 6 pars per round).



    So, if I wanted to cut 4 shots off my index, would you chose a) just work on your full swing and hit 4 more GIR per round, or b) just work on your short game and get up and down more. Obviously, most people that lower their scores multiple shots will get better in all areas. But if you had to chose only 1 of the options above, which would it be? Most here seem to be suggesting full swing. This seems contradictory to the common belief, which I guess may be wrong though.



    Many thanks.
    Titleist 910 D2 11.25*, Diamana Ilima R-Flex (tipped 1')
    Callaway X Hot Pro 19* Fairway, Project X Velocity 6.0
    TaylorMade Raylor 22*, Raylor RE*AX S-Flex
    Ping G25 5-PW (25*-44*), UW (49*), SW (54*), CFS R-Flex
    Ping Zing 2 L/S (57*)
    Ping Cadence TR Ketsch Putter
  • HitEmTrueHitEmTrue @HitEmTrue1 Advanced Members Posts: 6,101 ✭✭
    agolf1 wrote:


    My original question was how to improve short game given certain facility constraints. Embedded in this was I don't do that much on my full swing. Definitely welcome the suggestions and feedback and will try to put them to work.



    But I do wonder this. A 1-5 index player still misses half the greens. I currently hit about 5 (has averaged 6 at times), and these GIR generate the vast majority of my pars (average just over 6 pars per round).



    So, if I wanted to cut 4 shots off my index, would you chose a) just work on your full swing and hit 4 more GIR per round, or b) just work on your short game and get up and down more. Obviously, most people that lower their scores multiple shots will get better in all areas. But if you had to chose only 1 of the options above, which would it be? Most here seem to be suggesting full swing. This seems contradictory to the common belief, which I guess may be wrong though.






    You started out with this premise: "Obviously, improving from 100 yards in will do more for most than banging away endlessly with a driver." Well, yes, that's true, if the only way to improve your long game is to bang away endlessly with the driver.



    Check out https://www.golf.com...tered-the-game/



    Here is a snippet:


    A new day in golf analytics had arrived. Although Broadie hadn’t set out to rattle the establishment, many of his findings proved convention-shaking. Notable among them was one that poked a hole in the gospel of the short game: the familiar observation, widely taken as adage, that the fastest way to lower scores was to sharpen your skills from 100 yards and in. Not that the data showed the short game didn’t matter. What it demonstrated, though, was that a better measure of a player’s prowess was how he or she performed on longer approaches — specifically, from 150 yards.



    “Of course, every golfer has their own DNA, with different strengths and weaknesses,” Broadie says. “But the basic idea is that if you tell me your median leave from 150, I can tell you how good you are.”



    Broadie’s revelations exposed the flaws in other of the game’s more stubborn assumptions. Drive for show and putt for dough? Maybe sometimes. But on average, the strokes-gained-putting differential between a golfer who shoots 70 and one who shoots 80 is a relevant pittance (1.5 strokes) compared to strokes gained or lost from 100 yards and out (6.5). A similar differential holds true in comparisons of golfers across the board. The takeaway: In a battle of importance, ballstriking reigns supreme.
  • LeftDaddyLeftDaddy Advanced Members Posts: 592 ✭✭
    edited March 13
    I don’t know for you specifically, but Broadie in Every Stroke Counts rank orders it this way (iirc):



    1. Ballstriking/strokes gained approach the green

    2. Driving/strokes gained off the tee

    3. Short game/strokes gained around green

    4. Putting/SGP



    It could be that you are a way better than average ballstriker or putter, but what I read was that you don’t drive it well and you don’t find the greens as often as you think you should. The point of strokes gained is to understand areas where an improvement on your part will make a difference in score. Based on everything I’ve read, your efforts are best applied fixing the driver and the irons.



    I too am a 9 and consider my short game/putting to be as good or better as any 9 I know. I’m also pretty solid off the tee. I could improve there by avoiding the 1 or 2 big misses I seem to get virtually every round, but otherwise I’m long (not WRX long) and straight. But my irons are really poor for a 9. But I usually hit 5 or 6 greens. And the irons dictate my score more than any other club.



    Way back before I had ever heard of Broadie, I did some stats on my game and found out the GIR was the biggest contributor to my score by far. It still is 10 years later. As a little side note, my thesis advisor in grad school was actually a co-author of the research paper on strokes gained that they submitted to the PGA Tour. He sent me the original paper. Was heavy in advanced math and stats. He said they had to dumb it down a lot for the tour.
    Callaway 815 BBA DBD, Aldila Rogue Stiff
    Callaway X2 Hot 3 Deep, 14.5, Aldila Tour Green stiff
    Callaway Apex MB UT 2 iron, Project X PXI 6.0
    Callaway 2013 X-forged (3-5), Project X PXI 6.0
    Callaway Apex MB (6-PW), KBS Tour V stiff
    Vokey SM5 54, Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Tour Grind Chrome 58, both with KBS Tour
    Bettinardi BB1
  • agolf1agolf1 Advanced Members Posts: 530 ✭✭
    LeftDaddy wrote:


    I don't know for you specifically, but Broadie in Every Stroke Counts rank orders it this way (iirc):



    1. Ballstriking/strokes gained approach the green

    2. Driving/strokes gained off the tee

    3. Short game/strokes gained around green

    4. Putting/SGP



    It could be that you are a way better than average ballstriker or putter, but what I read was that you don't drive it well and you don't find the greens as often as you think you should. The point of strokes gained is to understand areas where an improvement on your part will make a difference in score. Based on everything I've read, your efforts are best applied fixing the driver and the irons.



    I too am a 9 and consider my short game/putting to be as good or better as any 9 I know. I'm also pretty solid off the tee. I could improve there by avoiding the 1 or 2 big misses I seem to get virtually every round, but otherwise I'm long (not WRX long) and straight. But my irons are really poor for a 9. But I usually hit 5 or 6 greens. And the irons dictate my score more than any other club.



    Way back before I had ever heard of Broadie, I did some stats on my game and found out the GIR was the biggest contributor to my score by far. It still is 10 years later. As a little side note, my thesis advisor in grad school was actually a co-author of the research paper on strokes gained that they submitted to the PGA Tour. He sent me the original paper. Was heavy in advanced math and stats. He said they had to dumb it down a lot for the tour.


    Thanks. I've seen references to him before but never read the entire book (returned it after checking it out), and thought (mistakenly) that his main point was about how just being closer to the hole (i.e. long and crooked vs. short and accurate) was what pushed.



    I'll have to try and track it this way better. My gut feeling is that my 6-iron to UW (say 100+ to 170 yards) is OK or maybe slightly above average relative to my index (although we all know how bad we are at self-assessment done this way), as I can hit 5-6 greens in most rounds. I know my driver is much worse, and I've never felt that my wedge game from 100 yards in was particularly good (I am reasonable at not turning 3 shots into 4 but I am not particularly good at getting up and down consistently). I've thought my putting was OK (neither good nor bad). Partly, I think there's only so much you can do with putting as long as you make most 3-4 footers.



    For reference, I got back into the game a few years ago after 10+ years away. After dinking around for a while, I finally have a base set of clubs that at least match up fairly well with my swing speed. I still have the penalty shots off the tee, but I think I've gotten better at not throwing away shots by aggressively taking on low probability shots elsewhere. But I also concluded that I've largely exhausted the low hanging fruit, and to consistently drive my scores lower I actually have to practice more and get better at something. The question was more what / how.
    Titleist 910 D2 11.25*, Diamana Ilima R-Flex (tipped 1')
    Callaway X Hot Pro 19* Fairway, Project X Velocity 6.0
    TaylorMade Raylor 22*, Raylor RE*AX S-Flex
    Ping G25 5-PW (25*-44*), UW (49*), SW (54*), CFS R-Flex
    Ping Zing 2 L/S (57*)
    Ping Cadence TR Ketsch Putter
  • oikos1oikos1 Advanced Members Posts: 2,223 ✭✭
    Easy swings off concrete with a wedge you don't mind scuffing can do wonders for ones short game.
  • YrrdeadYrrdead Better Living Through Chemistry Advanced Members Posts: 1,585 ✭✭
    edited March 14
    I'm a similar handicap and with a similar problem. I work nights but have a (cheapo) mat a haack net and my gc2. I don't even touch my wedges. I find hitting most irons off mats to be nearly worthless. I hit 20-40 drives and then spend some time hitting putts off a yardstick.



    I've only been at this a couple weeks and my driving is better then it's ever been imo.



    In regards to hitting a beater wedge off concrete, it does help you clip it better if you fat it bit when I tried it a few years ago it quickly led to some elbow pain.



    There is a product called a fairway pro that might help. You could bring it to the range and use it. It will give you more realistic action then a normal mat.
    Epic SZ (-1,N)
    X2Hot 17* Hy
    Protos 5-PW
    MD3 52, PM 58
    Metal X #7
    http://www.gamegolf.com/player/Yrrdead
  • GolfjackGolfjack All about the rotation Advanced Members Posts: 907 ✭✭
    Well gotta say nothing beats practicing off real grass! You can develop some bad habits hitting off mats. However, you can practice the right mechanics as well as distance control. Not as good a golfer as you, but it applies to all golfers I think. When working on any part of the game, must be cognizant of differences between matt and grass. To me most importantly how the mat is more forgiving. Any time I hit it fat to me that's the worst miss.



    Although the pro way of using the bounce with wedges/chips, I'm not sure if you can get the same feel off most mats.
    TM M4 Driver 10.5
    TM M4 3 wood 16
    4H (22) Aeroburner TP
    Mizuno MP-15 4, 5 iron, Project X LZ 6.5
    Mizuno MP-5 6-PW, Project X LZ 6.5
    Wedges Mizuno T7 50, 56, 60
    Honma HP 1002

    Alternate set:
    Callaway Epic Sub Zero 9.5, Nike VR Pro 4-PW DG x100, Titleist AP2 712 DG x100 4-P, Callaway Jaws X Series CC Wedges 52 56 60, , Odyssey Arm Lock Putter, Gauge Design Eldik Putter with Superstroke Fatso 5
  •  Dave D Dave D Advanced Members Posts: 3,993 ✭✭
    agolf1 wrote:


    My original question was how to improve short game given certain facility constraints. Embedded in this was I don't do that much on my full swing. Definitely welcome the suggestions and feedback and will try to put them to work.



    But I do wonder this. A 1-5 index player still misses half the greens. I currently hit about 5 (has averaged 6 at times), and these GIR generate the vast majority of my pars (average just over 6 pars per round).



    So, if I wanted to cut 4 shots off my index, would you chose a) just work on your full swing and hit 4 more GIR per round, or b) just work on your short game and get up and down more. Obviously, most people that lower their scores multiple shots will get better in all areas. But if you had to chose only 1 of the options above, which would it be? Most here seem to be suggesting full swing. This seems contradictory to the common belief, which I guess may be wrong though.



    Many thanks.




    the best guys on tour get up and down just over 50% of the time. so even missing 13 greens they still will drop approximately 6 or 7 shots. Hit 5 more greens (which is much easier to do than increase your up and down % dramatically IMO) and you will make more pars and possibly the odd birdie.



    I would suggest taking a lesson, or post a video here, then work on the swing changes whilst hitting wedges. Don't just hit 5 irons full speed. Hit 3/4 LW and SW working on mechanics. This will not only improve your swing but also get you better at wedges. double bubble.
    Driver: Taylormade M2 10.5* w/ Hzrdus Black 6.0 62g
    3 Wood: Taylormade M1 3HL 17* w/ Hzrdus Black 6.0 75g
    2 iron: Taylormade P790 UDI w/ Hzrdus Black 6.0 85g

    4-PW: Callaway X Forged '13 w/ Project X Pxi 6.0
    Wedges: Vokey SM7 50F, 54S & 60L - DG wedge flex
    Putter: Custom Raybon Squareback 34" w/ Superstroke Pistol GT 1.0

    Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft

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  • GolfjackGolfjack All about the rotation Advanced Members Posts: 907 ✭✭
    Dave D wrote:

    agolf1 wrote:


    My original question was how to improve short game given certain facility constraints. Embedded in this was I don't do that much on my full swing. Definitely welcome the suggestions and feedback and will try to put them to work.



    But I do wonder this. A 1-5 index player still misses half the greens. I currently hit about 5 (has averaged 6 at times), and these GIR generate the vast majority of my pars (average just over 6 pars per round).



    So, if I wanted to cut 4 shots off my index, would you chose a) just work on your full swing and hit 4 more GIR per round, or b) just work on your short game and get up and down more. Obviously, most people that lower their scores multiple shots will get better in all areas. But if you had to chose only 1 of the options above, which would it be? Most here seem to be suggesting full swing. This seems contradictory to the common belief, which I guess may be wrong though.



    Many thanks.




    the best guys on tour get up and down just over 50% of the time. so even missing 13 greens they still will drop approximately 6 or 7 shots. Hit 5 more greens (which is much easier to do than increase your up and down % dramatically IMO) and you will make more pars and possibly the odd birdie.



    I would suggest taking a lesson, or post a video here, then work on the swing changes whilst hitting wedges. Don't just hit 5 irons full speed. Hit 3/4 LW and SW working on mechanics. This will not only improve your swing but also get you better at wedges. double bubble.




    Hi Dave,



    Thanks for the wisdom seems so straight forward when you put it that way!



    I'm just thinking mathematically, if a scratch guy hits half the GIR (let's just assume 3 putts are just a rounding error), then 9/18 times they will par. Other 9 times they miss the green, and if their short game is as good as a pro or slightly less let's say they lose 5 strokes in those missed GIRs. Then their round is +5? Minus a couple of birdies? Still plus 3. I guess the math is that to be scratch you only have to score a par average for your best 10 of 20 scores. Assuming not adjustments to course ratings/slope then basically it can be achieved if the better half is 3 strokes better than their average. Playing at tougher courses and achieving these feats will definitely make your handicap even better.



    Anyway, so for OP if he gets GIR 3/18, let's assume single digit he can average nearly a birdie a round, then that's 1 under for those holes. For the other 15, if he currently gets it up and down 33 pct of the time that's at least 10 strokes.



    If OP can up his GIR to 6/18, maintains 1 birdie a round, and then with the same short game he's now losing only 8 strokes.

    If his goal was to up the up and down to tour level at 50 pct, at 15 missed GIR he's losing 7.5 strokes

    If he ups both his GIR and up and down pct, then he's really smelling like roses only losing 6 strokes.



    If OP up GIR to 9/18 (scratch average), gets to about 2 birdies a round, then same short game he's now net losing only 5 strokes (birdie bonus!).



    Even if he improves his short game to tour level, it's just 1.5 extra stroke at that GIR pct.



    So yeah with my over simplistic math, it totally works out LOL.
    TM M4 Driver 10.5
    TM M4 3 wood 16
    4H (22) Aeroburner TP
    Mizuno MP-15 4, 5 iron, Project X LZ 6.5
    Mizuno MP-5 6-PW, Project X LZ 6.5
    Wedges Mizuno T7 50, 56, 60
    Honma HP 1002

    Alternate set:
    Callaway Epic Sub Zero 9.5, Nike VR Pro 4-PW DG x100, Titleist AP2 712 DG x100 4-P, Callaway Jaws X Series CC Wedges 52 56 60, , Odyssey Arm Lock Putter, Gauge Design Eldik Putter with Superstroke Fatso 5
  •  Dave D Dave D Advanced Members Posts: 3,993 ✭✭
    edited March 14
    Golfjack wrote:

    Dave D wrote:

    agolf1 wrote:


    My original question was how to improve short game given certain facility constraints. Embedded in this was I don't do that much on my full swing. Definitely welcome the suggestions and feedback and will try to put them to work.



    But I do wonder this. A 1-5 index player still misses half the greens. I currently hit about 5 (has averaged 6 at times), and these GIR generate the vast majority of my pars (average just over 6 pars per round).



    So, if I wanted to cut 4 shots off my index, would you chose a) just work on your full swing and hit 4 more GIR per round, or b) just work on your short game and get up and down more. Obviously, most people that lower their scores multiple shots will get better in all areas. But if you had to chose only 1 of the options above, which would it be? Most here seem to be suggesting full swing. This seems contradictory to the common belief, which I guess may be wrong though.



    Many thanks.




    the best guys on tour get up and down just over 50% of the time. so even missing 13 greens they still will drop approximately 6 or 7 shots. Hit 5 more greens (which is much easier to do than increase your up and down % dramatically IMO) and you will make more pars and possibly the odd birdie.



    I would suggest taking a lesson, or post a video here, then work on the swing changes whilst hitting wedges. Don't just hit 5 irons full speed. Hit 3/4 LW and SW working on mechanics. This will not only improve your swing but also get you better at wedges. double bubble.




    Hi Dave,



    Thanks for the wisdom seems so straight forward when you put it that way!



    I'm just thinking mathematically, if a scratch guy hits half the GIR (let's just assume 3 putts are just a rounding error), then 9/18 times they will par. Other 9 times they miss the green, and if their short game is as good as a pro or slightly less let's say they lose 5 strokes in those missed GIRs. Then their round is +5? Minus a couple of birdies? Still plus 3. I guess the math is that to be scratch you only have to score a par average for your best 10 of 20 scores. Assuming not adjustments to course ratings/slope then basically it can be achieved if the better half is 3 strokes better than their average. Playing at tougher courses and achieving these feats will definitely make your handicap even better.



    Anyway, so for OP if he gets GIR 3/18, let's assume single digit he can average nearly a birdie a round, then that's 1 under for those holes. For the other 15, if he currently gets it up and down 33 pct of the time that's at least 10 strokes.



    If OP can up his GIR to 6/18, maintains 1 birdie a round, and then with the same short game he's now losing only 8 strokes.

    If his goal was to up the up and down to tour level at 50 pct, at 15 missed GIR he's losing 7.5 strokes

    If he ups both his GIR and up and down pct, then he's really smelling like roses only losing 6 strokes.



    If OP up GIR to 9/18 (scratch average), gets to about 2 birdies a round, then same short game he's now net losing only 5 strokes (birdie bonus!).



    Even if he improves his short game to tour level, it's just 1.5 extra stroke at that GIR pct.



    So yeah with my over simplistic math, it totally works out LOL.




    well worked out and a good post, clearly shows the improvements.



    You can take it even further as that doesn't then take into consideration the further benefits from improved ball striking, OP said due to erratic driver he's not even greenside on some holes in 2. Not only will he hit more greens, but his tee shots will improve and therefore on the missed GIR likely to be closer to the green/hole (not chipping out from trees, penalty shots etc). As we all know statistically the shorter the shot the closer you are likely to put it.
    Driver: Taylormade M2 10.5* w/ Hzrdus Black 6.0 62g
    3 Wood: Taylormade M1 3HL 17* w/ Hzrdus Black 6.0 75g
    2 iron: Taylormade P790 UDI w/ Hzrdus Black 6.0 85g

    4-PW: Callaway X Forged '13 w/ Project X Pxi 6.0
    Wedges: Vokey SM7 50F, 54S & 60L - DG wedge flex
    Putter: Custom Raybon Squareback 34" w/ Superstroke Pistol GT 1.0

    Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft

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  • agolf1agolf1 Advanced Members Posts: 530 ✭✭
    edited March 14
    Dave D wrote:

    Golfjack wrote:

    Dave D wrote:

    agolf1 wrote:


    My original question was how to improve short game given certain facility constraints. Embedded in this was I don't do that much on my full swing. Definitely welcome the suggestions and feedback and will try to put them to work.



    But I do wonder this. A 1-5 index player still misses half the greens. I currently hit about 5 (has averaged 6 at times), and these GIR generate the vast majority of my pars (average just over 6 pars per round).



    So, if I wanted to cut 4 shots off my index, would you chose a) just work on your full swing and hit 4 more GIR per round, or b) just work on your short game and get up and down more. Obviously, most people that lower their scores multiple shots will get better in all areas. But if you had to chose only 1 of the options above, which would it be? Most here seem to be suggesting full swing. This seems contradictory to the common belief, which I guess may be wrong though.



    Many thanks.




    the best guys on tour get up and down just over 50% of the time. so even missing 13 greens they still will drop approximately 6 or 7 shots. Hit 5 more greens (which is much easier to do than increase your up and down % dramatically IMO) and you will make more pars and possibly the odd birdie.



    I would suggest taking a lesson, or post a video here, then work on the swing changes whilst hitting wedges. Don't just hit 5 irons full speed. Hit 3/4 LW and SW working on mechanics. This will not only improve your swing but also get you better at wedges. double bubble.




    Hi Dave,



    Thanks for the wisdom seems so straight forward when you put it that way!



    I'm just thinking mathematically, if a scratch guy hits half the GIR (let's just assume 3 putts are just a rounding error), then 9/18 times they will par. Other 9 times they miss the green, and if their short game is as good as a pro or slightly less let's say they lose 5 strokes in those missed GIRs. Then their round is +5? Minus a couple of birdies? Still plus 3. I guess the math is that to be scratch you only have to score a par average for your best 10 of 20 scores. Assuming not adjustments to course ratings/slope then basically it can be achieved if the better half is 3 strokes better than their average. Playing at tougher courses and achieving these feats will definitely make your handicap even better.



    Anyway, so for OP if he gets GIR 3/18, let's assume single digit he can average nearly a birdie a round, then that's 1 under for those holes. For the other 15, if he currently gets it up and down 33 pct of the time that's at least 10 strokes.



    If OP can up his GIR to 6/18, maintains 1 birdie a round, and then with the same short game he's now losing only 8 strokes.

    If his goal was to up the up and down to tour level at 50 pct, at 15 missed GIR he's losing 7.5 strokes

    If he ups both his GIR and up and down pct, then he's really smelling like roses only losing 6 strokes.



    If OP up GIR to 9/18 (scratch average), gets to about 2 birdies a round, then same short game he's now net losing only 5 strokes (birdie bonus!).



    Even if he improves his short game to tour level, it's just 1.5 extra stroke at that GIR pct.



    So yeah with my over simplistic math, it totally works out LOL.




    well worked out and a good post, clearly shows the improvements.



    You can take it even further as that doesn't then take into consideration the further benefits from improved ball striking, OP said due to erratic driver he's not even greenside on some holes in 2. Not only will he hit more greens, but his tee shots will improve and therefore on the missed GIR likely to be closer to the green/hole (not chipping out from trees, penalty shots etc). As we all know statistically the shorter the shot the closer you are likely to put it.


    Points noted. I did, however, think the tour median for up and down was ~60% (50% was more like scratch). The other figure I saw for a 10 handicap was ~30%, and I am below that.



    So if I improve my greens by 4 (5 to 9), that's four more pars or four shots. Just assume my up and down % is 20% and I have 10 shots at it per round (18 less 5 greens less 3 holes I'm not greenside). Getting to scratch here saves 3 shots. Of course, this doesn't consider proximity on hitting better iron shots.



    So the math is the math, and I will try to do both, but partly I think saying "just do this" is a lot easier said than done. As I mentioned earlier, I am going to go to the range once or twice a week and hit maybe 50-100 full swings each time. I'm not sure that level of practice / repetition will ever get you down to that level. Although maybe the same could be said for improving your up and down % by 30 points.



    Looking at all of this, I definitely think my weakest spots are driver (either direct penalty shots or indirectly where you still can't get to the green) and the up / down % is lower than the 10 index figure above (which doesn't surprise me and matches my comments above about avoiding further errors but not really being great from 100 yards and in).



    Edit:

    I would add that since I've started practicing this year I do have a higher % of rounds with 0 or only 1 penalty shot vs. last year. Obviously, the sample size is only 2.5 months vs. 12 months though so I am a bit cautious on any conclusions.
    Titleist 910 D2 11.25*, Diamana Ilima R-Flex (tipped 1')
    Callaway X Hot Pro 19* Fairway, Project X Velocity 6.0
    TaylorMade Raylor 22*, Raylor RE*AX S-Flex
    Ping G25 5-PW (25*-44*), UW (49*), SW (54*), CFS R-Flex
    Ping Zing 2 L/S (57*)
    Ping Cadence TR Ketsch Putter
  • GolfjackGolfjack All about the rotation Advanced Members Posts: 907 ✭✭
    Consider this, will improving your driver and/or irons require a major overhaul of your swing? If all you need are some minor changes and more practice I'd say sure. But if u need an overhaul to improve your consistency then u need a lot more practice time or else it will take forever or you will revert back to old habits.



    Seeing a coach would help too as you know what you want to improve and can see what their suggested plan is. Self improvement is much slower but sometimes more fun lol.



    I'd reckon if u are a nine cap with an inconsistent swing your swing may have taken you as far as it could. Maybe you could do a small fix that will make it work able or not who knows. But I wouldn't go practice bad habits is what I'm trying to say.
    TM M4 Driver 10.5
    TM M4 3 wood 16
    4H (22) Aeroburner TP
    Mizuno MP-15 4, 5 iron, Project X LZ 6.5
    Mizuno MP-5 6-PW, Project X LZ 6.5
    Wedges Mizuno T7 50, 56, 60
    Honma HP 1002

    Alternate set:
    Callaway Epic Sub Zero 9.5, Nike VR Pro 4-PW DG x100, Titleist AP2 712 DG x100 4-P, Callaway Jaws X Series CC Wedges 52 56 60, , Odyssey Arm Lock Putter, Gauge Design Eldik Putter with Superstroke Fatso 5
  • agolf1agolf1 Advanced Members Posts: 530 ✭✭
    Golfjack wrote:


    Consider this, will improving your driver and/or irons require a major overhaul of your swing? If all you need are some minor changes and more practice I'd say sure. But if u need an overhaul to improve your consistency then u need a lot more practice time or else it will take forever or you will revert back to old habits.



    Seeing a coach would help too as you know what you want to improve and can see what their suggested plan is. Self improvement is much slower but sometimes more fun lol.



    I'd reckon if u are a nine cap with an inconsistent swing your swing may have taken you as far as it could. Maybe you could do a small fix that will make it work able or not who knows. But I wouldn't go practice bad habits is what I'm trying to say.


    Never say never but I don't intend to overhaul my swing in the near-term. Mainly, I don't have the time to practice that much and I don't want to "waste time" playing where you can't do anything because you are caught between different swings. Its also just a casual game for me.



    I also don't think it's that bad but probably everyone says that. I didn't start the year saying I want to be scratch in X months. As mentioned, I just feel like I do need to practice to get better at this point. I was kind of interested in how much better can I get by just practicing a bit once or twice a week (no major swing changes, just trying to keep the golf motion used/some better repetition between actual rounds). And maybe pickup a shot or two around the greens.
    Titleist 910 D2 11.25*, Diamana Ilima R-Flex (tipped 1')
    Callaway X Hot Pro 19* Fairway, Project X Velocity 6.0
    TaylorMade Raylor 22*, Raylor RE*AX S-Flex
    Ping G25 5-PW (25*-44*), UW (49*), SW (54*), CFS R-Flex
    Ping Zing 2 L/S (57*)
    Ping Cadence TR Ketsch Putter
  • YrrdeadYrrdead Better Living Through Chemistry Advanced Members Posts: 1,585 ✭✭
    edited March 14
    agolf1 wrote:

    Golfjack wrote:


    Consider this, will improving your driver and/or irons require a major overhaul of your swing? If all you need are some minor changes and more practice I'd say sure. But if u need an overhaul to improve your consistency then u need a lot more practice time or else it will take forever or you will revert back to old habits.



    Seeing a coach would help too as you know what you want to improve and can see what their suggested plan is. Self improvement is much slower but sometimes more fun lol.



    I'd reckon if u are a nine cap with an inconsistent swing your swing may have taken you as far as it could. Maybe you could do a small fix that will make it work able or not who knows. But I wouldn't go practice bad habits is what I'm trying to say.


    Never say never but I don't intend to overhaul my swing in the near-term. Mainly, I don't have the time to practice that much and I don't want to "waste time" playing where you can't do anything because you are caught between different swings. Its also just a casual game for me.



    I also don't think it's that bad but probably everyone says that. I didn't start the year saying I want to be scratch in X months. As mentioned, I just feel like I do need to practice to get better at this point. I was kind of interested in how much better can I get by just practicing a bit once or twice a week (no major swing changes, just trying to keep the golf motion used/some better repetition between actual rounds). And maybe pickup a shot or two around the greens.




    Well don't neglect strategy either. Especially for people in our cap range. Here are a couple of resources that I'm taking advantage of this year that seem pretty good;



    Now one of the authors may get some flak for being well not the nicest guy but the book is all meat and potatoes and very little fluff. Well worth it imo. Lowest Score Wins(Ebay)



    And second some youtube gold;



    [media=]
    Epic SZ (-1,N)
    X2Hot 17* Hy
    Protos 5-PW
    MD3 52, PM 58
    Metal X #7
    http://www.gamegolf.com/player/Yrrdead
  • HitEmTrueHitEmTrue @HitEmTrue1 Advanced Members Posts: 6,101 ✭✭
    agolf1 wrote:


    So if I improve my greens by 4 (5 to 9), that's four more pars or four shots.




    I'd bet that if someone improves greens by 4, they will improve by more than 4 shots. Your proximity to hole will improve...less three putts, more chances at birdie. Less trouble off the tee...less penalties.
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