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4 Years Playing (frustration, observations, and what I've learned)

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  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members Posts: 1,470 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @bladehunter said:
    Why is a fairway hit worth more than a putt made ?

    From a strokes gained perspective because there is more impact in relation to scoring for the the fairway hit (provided you did so with a fair amount of distance).

    At a macro level the things that correlate most to scoring are (IIRC) things like distance off the tee (or more precisely, the distance left to the hole after your first shot), the proximity to the hole with your second/approach shot, the remaining distance after your first putt.

    At a micro level (one round or four tournament rounds for instance) putting does play a larger role. But putting, for most people including most amateurs, there is very little "meat left on the bone" to get better. You can work all day everyday on your 30 footers but if you got where when you started you leave was 3' to now it is only 1' you have not statistically made the gains in scoring as you could have if you used that time to increase your accuracy and ability to hit a GIR from 150+. Even the very best putters in the world don't sink very many more putts from 20' than do the average 90's shooter. There just isn't much room to get better realistically. When PGA Tour players "catch fire" with their putter they win. That is what pushes them over the top when everything else is equal to everyone else.

  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members Posts: 1,470 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Barfolomew said:
    I can be a little off with driver and still score well sometimes..... but if I'm a little off with putter its way worse.

    It only seems that way.

    It really does make sense to read the books Every Shot Counts then Lowest Score Wins. The first dispels the long-held scoring myths with data. The second shows you how to create a practice and game plan based upon the data to get the most out of your ability and practice time.

    Regarding what you went on to say in your post, have you ever dropped an additional shot from a bad drive? Have you ever dropped an additional shot from a putt you missed by 6"?

  • Exactice808Exactice808 Just want to hit ball far and go find it... Members Posts: 4,674 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Sep 11, 2019 10:52pm #94

    @garyt said:

    Same could be said if you have a great long game and a 36 hdcp's short game. This whole argument on both sides seems ridiculous to me. You obviously have to be competent in all aspects of the game. _Now let's say your a solid long game guy who also has a solid short game. Improving which aspect of your game will result in lower scores from there.? _

    Yea, but I meant out of the two listed, long game or short game. Then I think we have a conversation. But a lot of posts are saying if you are completely awful at one part of the game vs. being acceptable at the other. Of course if you hit every other drive OB you can't score but by the same token if you hit every drive down the middle but can't putt or skull every chip over the green back and forth a few times you can't score either.

    Sorry super confused, I responded directly to the bolded, you stated if you have a solid long game and solid short game, Improving what aspect?

    its a given if EITHER one is not working which we need to work on......... that is per player and self reflection. I find it funny that our ego is part of this....
    JUST like how everyone hits 300y drives and hits a PW 155y...... is the same way they "self evaluate" their actual game.

    Their driving, compared to putting, compared to short game, compared to Irons. They self evaluate to the worst part of their game without accepting that likely their other portions are NOT that good but because its better then the "of concern" portion of their game... they seem to justify not working on it just as hard......

    I mentioned it to @jvincent , MY driver was horrid, my GIR stats is 8 average per round which is decently high YET. In reality my whole darn swing was terrible and needed a major revamp, But since I can make 2 birdies per round, It seemed like my irons were fine, JUST my driving stats were bad.... NO I just managed the missed drivers well and masked just as bad irons shots with saving short game and putting. Per my first post in this thread.... a mid 80's player has a big decision to make to get to the next level and beyond......

    Post edited by Exactice808 on
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  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day... south carolinaMembers Posts: 27,888 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @smashdn said:

    @bladehunter said:
    Why is a fairway hit worth more than a putt made ?

    From a strokes gained perspective because there is more impact in relation to scoring for the the fairway hit (provided you did so with a fair amount of distance).

    At a macro level the things that correlate most to scoring are (IIRC) things like distance off the tee (or more precisely, the distance left to the hole after your first shot), the proximity to the hole with your second/approach shot, the remaining distance after your first putt.

    At a micro level (one round or four tournament rounds for instance) putting does play a larger role. But putting, for most people including most amateurs, there is very little "meat left on the bone" to get better. You can work all day everyday on your 30 footers but if you got where when you started you leave was 3' to now it is only 1' you have not statistically made the gains in scoring as you could have if you used that time to increase your accuracy and ability to hit a GIR from 150+. Even the very best putters in the world don't sink very many more putts from 20' than do the average 90's shooter. There just isn't much room to get better realistically. When PGA Tour players "catch fire" with their putter they win. That is what pushes them over the top when everything else is equal to everyone else.

    Just am at a loss. I play with good players. A lot. Not one couldn’t stand to putt better. And I’m not talking 20-30 footers.

    Pga tour average for 6 footers is 71 %. Close to 3 out of 4.

    I currently make 22 %. Almost 1 out of 4. And retained a 0.3 to 1.8 handicap all summer with that . So I already know for me putting means more. But I’m thinking of every player I know. I don’t know single one that makes 3 of 4 from 6 ft. And I’m including a guy who qualified for the mid am , and state am. 71 % is a guy who rarely misses at that length. And that’s the tour average . Not leader. Of course there’s loads of room to improve in putting for any. Any ...any ....Am.

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  • Krt22Krt22 East BayMembers Posts: 7,496 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    If you really only make 22% of 6 footers, you absolutely should work on putting. That is the beauty of SG, the data speaks for itself, you can see for yourself how you compare to your peers or vs the pros so you know what to work on and what magnitude of improvement you can expect. That is one of the whole points of the method, its not just "Everyone can improve", but instead "you can improve this much". The book also touches on green speed and make%. Statistically speaking pros play much faster greens, which mean shorter grass, which means better roll, which means make % goes up (once you adjust to the speed). So trying to match tour level putting in some cases simply isn't realistic given furry/bumpy muni type greens.

    But statistically speaking, in the case of the 80s golfer the OP is talking about, the total strokes they can save per round with the putter is likely going to be less than the strokes they can save by hitting the ball better. A bad day with the flat stick may turn an 82 into an 85. But a bad day with the driver or irons might turn that 82 into a 92. I'm sounding like a broken record at this point, but I encourage you to pick up the book and see what its all about. All of these conversations eventually turn into a conversation between to those who have read the book and those who have not .

  • BarfolomewBarfolomew #worstWRXer Members Posts: 1,534 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Sep 11, 2019 10:22pm #97

    @Krt22 said:

    @Barfolomew said:
    You can miss a drive in the rough and get birdie
    You cant miss a putt and get birdie

    While anecdotally correct, statistically speaking the chances of putting yourself in the position to even have a make-able birdie putt essentially scale with your ball striking ability. If you consistently have long clubs into greens, cant reach par 5s in two, are consistently missing greens, short sided, have 30+ foot putts on the greens you do hit, etc mean birdies are few and far between no matter what. PGA tour pros only make 1 out of 5 twenty footers, scratch golfers only hit 10-12 GIRs, 80s shooters only 5-6. So even if you putted like a PGA pro, the 80s golfer may only have 1 legit birdie chance per round. So if he wants to get better, should he focus on making relatively a low percentage 20+ ft putts or should he focus on consistently hitting the ball closer to the hole?

    Ok KRT .......would you agree that the most important shot is the first shot at the flag? I've been sayin/thinkin that for years now..... Obviously driving is huge because it sets up the first shot at the flag...... usually or never does the ball go in but getting it close is imperative to shooting under par. That idea also applies to par 3s and 5s. How would you compare that to putting.... cause you gotta sink it to end the hole but chances go up as your closer? Then that sounds like everything is the same importance as everything builds on the last shot but just feels like you can have more room for error with driver and still be in fairway even if on wrong part of fairway....

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  • KevinnzKevinnz Members Posts: 304 ✭✭✭✭

    Well looking at how my son improves from he was 6yo I agree that for adults to learn to play good golf, it is important to know how the matchups. I started playing almost at the same time as my son, got to a 6 hcp after 2yrs but my iron ball striking wasnt to how i liked it to be. I spent quite some time on the range whenever I could (average omabout 4 hrs per week) but it is the understanding of different matchups (thank you GG) that really improved my ball striking.
    Now does good ball striking equals to good score? Not really. 3 putts will kill any good score but putting cannot be really practised. What i am saying is it is not hard to be a single digit player with good short games. I like to find more fairways with good distance and score more GIR than to get one chip one putt.

  • Krt22Krt22 East BayMembers Posts: 7,496 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Sep 12, 2019 12:24am #99

    @Barfolomew said:

    @Krt22 said:

    @Barfolomew said:
    You can miss a drive in the rough and get birdie
    You cant miss a putt and get birdie

    While anecdotally correct, statistically speaking the chances of putting yourself in the position to even have a make-able birdie putt essentially scale with your ball striking ability. If you consistently have long clubs into greens, cant reach par 5s in two, are consistently missing greens, short sided, have 30+ foot putts on the greens you do hit, etc mean birdies are few and far between no matter what. PGA tour pros only make 1 out of 5 twenty footers, scratch golfers only hit 10-12 GIRs, 80s shooters only 5-6. So even if you putted like a PGA pro, the 80s golfer may only have 1 legit birdie chance per round. So if he wants to get better, should he focus on making relatively a low percentage 20+ ft putts or should he focus on consistently hitting the ball closer to the hole?

    Ok KRT .......would you agree that the most important shot is the first shot at the flag? I've been sayin/thinkin that for years now..... Obviously driving is huge because it sets up the first shot at the flag...... usually or never does the ball go in but getting it close is imperative to shooting under par. That idea also applies to par 3s and 5s. How would you compare that to putting.... cause you gotta sink it to end the hole but chances go up as your closer? Then that sounds like everything is the same importance as everything builds on the last shot but just feels like you can have more room for error with driver and still be in fairway even if on wrong part of fairway....

    Again sounding like a broken record, but it depends on the player. Statistically speaking , SG tee to green is more important than SG putting given the best ball strikers gain more on the field than the best putters do. But you are right, the closer you consistently get the ball to the hole, the more likely you are to score better, I don't think anyone will argue against that. Lets look at a few of the SG leaders from this past year

    Rory gains over 2 strokes on the field from tee to green where he has the biggest advantage off the tee, gaining over a shot on the field off the tee alone. He has such an advantage that if he can putt decently, he can win given he gains over 8 strokes on the field during a 4 day tournament. This year he had 14 top 10s, 8 top 5s, 3 wins.

    JT is number 2 at 1.8 SG total, in his case his strength is his iron play where he gains almost a full stroke with approach shots alone (he's #2 behind Henrik Stenson), but his driving and around the green is still decent. 7 top 10s, 6 top 5s, 1 win. Oddly enough, his putting is pretty woeful, still a wildly successful season

    Henrik Stenson is #1 SG on approach shots (1.1), but his driving and around the green stats are relatively poor compared to his iron play. Oddly enough, despite being 5th in terms of accuracy off the tee, he's 175th in distance and thus loses strokes on the field off the tee. 3 top 10s, 0 top 5s.

    Dennis Mccarthy, #1SG putting, gains less than 1 stroke total on the field per round, 2 top 10s, 0 top 5s.

    So you be the judge, based on the statistics, would you rather have Rory or JTs overall ball striking or would you rather be one of the best putters? SG (for any given player) will tell you exactly where you gain or lose the most strokes, largely putting the debate of what is most important to rest. If you don't like that answer/explanation, I again am sounding like a broken record, but buy the book, read it, decide for yourself. I do admit the data and how it is presented is very compelling.

  • oikos1oikos1 Members Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Sep 12, 2019 12:43am #100

    I fully support the principle of hitting every fairway as long as possible and every GIR as close to the hole as possible.

  • Exactice808Exactice808 Just want to hit ball far and go find it... Members Posts: 4,674 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Sep 12, 2019 12:52am #101

    @Krt22 said:

    Again sounding like a broken record, but it depends on the player. Statistically speaking , SG tee to green is more important than SG putting given the best ball strikers gain more on the field than the best putters do. But you are right, the closer you consistently get the ball to the hole, the more likely you are to score better, I don't think anyone will argue against that. Lets look at a few of the SG leaders from this past year

    Rory gains over 2 strokes on the field from tee to green where he has the biggest advantage off the tee, gaining over a shot on the field off the tee alone. He has such an advantage that if he can putt decently, he can win given he gains over 8 strokes on the field during a 4 day tournament. This year he had 14 top 10s, 8 top 5s, 3 wins.

    JT is number 2 at 1.8 SG total, in his case his strength is his iron play where he gains almost a full stroke with approach shots alone (he's #2 behind Henrik Stenson), but his driving and around the green is still decent. 7 top 10s, 6 top 5s, 1 win. Oddly enough, his putting is pretty woeful, still a wildly successful season

    Henrik Stenson is #1 SG on approach shots (1.1), but his driving and around the green stats are relatively poor compared to his iron play. Oddly enough, despite being 5th in terms of accuracy off the tee, he's 175th in distance and thus loses strokes on the field off the tee. 3 top 10s, 0 top 5s.

    Dennis Mccarthy, #1SG putting, gains less than 1 stroke total on the field per round, 2 top 10s, 0 top 5s.

    So you be the judge, based on the statistics, would you rather have Rory or JTs overall ball striking or would you rather be one of the best putters? SG (for any given player) will tell you exactly where you gain or lose the most strokes, largely putting the debate of what is most important to rest. If you don't like that answer/explanation, I again am sounding like a broken record, but buy the book, read it, decide for yourself. I do admit the data and how it is presented is very compelling.

    I 100% agree on your SG statement and assessments and have been following your conversation with the other posters, if I might make a comment or 2.

    The Strokes Gains statistic are pretty straight forward your above Rory example is clear as day, Yet this exposes the tangible benefit that Rory HAS over the field period. with that while on the green we begin to split hairs as to be their with your tour card...... being able to putt is a must. There are MANY long driver's of the ball but putting in your SG example is some what constant no? So any statistical advantage in ball strike (tee to green) is surely the higher value?

    OK got that out of the way, we take it back to that 80's play. Honestly we all can agree that no 80's player is great in anyone facet of the game, Driver, Irons, short game or putting. They have just been able to manage their game better than when they were shooting 90's. The fact that they cannot progress into single digits or that of the 70's is likely inherent flaws in their swing that either need instruction or solid repetition (Practice)?

    Shooting 80's means you are bogeying more than HALF your 9's as par, is well par. We are making mistakes 60% of the time. Thats not good statistics at all. BE IT driving OB off the tee, missing GIR or 3 putting. If we took that 80's player, we would see a wide SG stat...nothing that would say its JUST driving or its JUST putting likely (opinion of course) The lost shots are too many in the over all grand scheme as I cannot imagine an 80's player with 10+GIR yet 3 putts ever hole. NOR the other extreme 2 GIR but 1 putts every whole. Its the combination and fact that their game as a whole needs either fine tuning or a whole revamp.

    Pro's relation in SG is some what unrealistic to a 80's player (Sorry I know you are not intentionally correlating, but using it as an example to pin point issues) BUT again the heart to the matter... the 80's player has LOTS of issues just know hows to manage it so not to shoot into the 90's. (my humble opinion of course)

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  • Krt22Krt22 East BayMembers Posts: 7,496 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Sep 12, 2019 12:55am #102

    The cool thing about SG, is you can compare an 80s golfer to anyone and see exactly where there is the biggest gap in that players game relative to pros or scratch golfers or single digit players . I largely agree, most 80s shooters aren't going to get into consistent 70s without improving all aspects of their game, but if they used SG they can figure out exactly where they lose the most strokes and thus focus their time on those areas to reap the biggest benefit. I think for all but the most elite ams/pros, the biggest benefit will come from improving their swings and striking the ball better, but you can quantify that if you collect the data. That is the whole take away/point of the book and the methodology

  • Nard_SNard_S Members Posts: 3,506 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hogan stated that the most important shot on any hole is the tee shot. Best ball striker all time, stating an obvious truth that is somewhat ignored in our bomb & gouge age.
    Short game and putting is literally half the card. Most golfers don't put a 1/10th of their efforts into it.
    Golf is a balanced attack of skill sets and the maturation of mental game to put them to work with consistency.
    The idea that "the range is of little use" may get you to high singles but it will never get you below 5. Bank on it.

    Took me over 25 years of failure to appreciate my "truths" listed above.. :)

  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members Posts: 1,470 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @bladehunter said:
    Just am at a loss. I play with good players. A lot. Not one couldn’t stand to putt better. And I’m not talking 20-30 footers.

    Pga tour average for 6 footers is 71 %. Close to 3 out of 4.

    I currently make 22 %. Almost 1 out of 4. And retained a 0.3 to 1.8 handicap all summer with that . So I already know for me putting means more. But I’m thinking of every player I know. I don’t know single one that makes 3 of 4 from 6 ft. And I’m including a guy who qualified for the mid am , and state am. 71 % is a guy who rarely misses at that length. And that’s the tour average . Not leader. Of course there’s loads of room to improve in putting for any. Any ...any ....Am.

    How long would you realistically have to work on putting to close that gap? Folks fail to take that into consideration when looking at their games holistically. Most of us have a limited amount of time to practice and we have to get the most bang for our bucks to to speak.

    If that is the only deficiency in your game then by all means that is where you should work. But for most ams (most being those not flirting with scratch) there is more "meat on the bone" elsewhere that is likely easier to get and more likely to translate to other parts of their games. For instance, ball striking or work with irons from 150+. The gains you get working on that seeps into other aspects or your game as well. It helps with your driving to an extent, your 150 and in game, your recovery shot, sand play and your pitching and chipping as well.

    Practicing putting helps with putting. It does not translate to gains in other parts of the golf game/swing as much.

    ^That gets spoken to in Lowest Score Wins and makes a lot of sense.

  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day... south carolinaMembers Posts: 27,888 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Sep 12, 2019 1:04pm #105

    @Krt22 said:

    @Barfolomew said:

    @Krt22 said:

    @Barfolomew said:
    You can miss a drive in the rough and get birdie
    You cant miss a putt and get birdie

    While anecdotally correct, statistically speaking the chances of putting yourself in the position to even have a make-able birdie putt essentially scale with your ball striking ability. If you consistently have long clubs into greens, cant reach par 5s in two, are consistently missing greens, short sided, have 30+ foot putts on the greens you do hit, etc mean birdies are few and far between no matter what. PGA tour pros only make 1 out of 5 twenty footers, scratch golfers only hit 10-12 GIRs, 80s shooters only 5-6. So even if you putted like a PGA pro, the 80s golfer may only have 1 legit birdie chance per round. So if he wants to get better, should he focus on making relatively a low percentage 20+ ft putts or should he focus on consistently hitting the ball closer to the hole?

    Ok KRT .......would you agree that the most important shot is the first shot at the flag? I've been sayin/thinkin that for years now..... Obviously driving is huge because it sets up the first shot at the flag...... usually or never does the ball go in but getting it close is imperative to shooting under par. That idea also applies to par 3s and 5s. How would you compare that to putting.... cause you gotta sink it to end the hole but chances go up as your closer? Then that sounds like everything is the same importance as everything builds on the last shot but just feels like you can have more room for error with driver and still be in fairway even if on wrong part of fairway....

    Again sounding like a broken record, but it depends on the player. Statistically speaking , SG tee to green is more important than SG putting given the best ball strikers gain more on the field than the best putters do. But you are right, the closer you consistently get the ball to the hole, the more likely you are to score better, I don't think anyone will argue against that. Lets look at a few of the SG leaders from this past year

    Rory gains over 2 strokes on the field from tee to green where he has the biggest advantage off the tee, gaining over a shot on the field off the tee alone. He has such an advantage that if he can putt decently, he can win given he gains over 8 strokes on the field during a 4 day tournament. This year he had 14 top 10s, 8 top 5s, 3 wins.

    JT is number 2 at 1.8 SG total, in his case his strength is his iron play where he gains almost a full stroke with approach shots alone (he's #2 behind Henrik Stenson), but his driving and around the green is still decent. 7 top 10s, 6 top 5s, 1 win. Oddly enough, his putting is pretty woeful, still a wildly successful season

    Henrik Stenson is #1 SG on approach shots (1.1), but his driving and around the green stats are relatively poor compared to his iron play. Oddly enough, despite being 5th in terms of accuracy off the tee, he's 175th in distance and thus loses strokes on the field off the tee. 3 top 10s, 0 top 5s.

    Dennis Mccarthy, #1SG putting, gains less than 1 stroke total on the field per round, 2 top 10s, 0 top 5s.

    So you be the judge, based on the statistics, would you rather have Rory or JTs overall ball striking or would you rather be one of the best putters? SG (for any given player) will tell you exactly where you gain or lose the most strokes, largely putting the debate of what is most important to rest. If you don't like that answer/explanation, I again am sounding like a broken record, but buy the book, read it, decide for yourself. I do admit the data and how it is presented is very compelling.

    To me that shows that all tour pros are great putters. The best vs the mid pack of worst guy isn’t a huge gap. > @smashdn said:

    @bladehunter said:
    Just am at a loss. I play with good players. A lot. Not one couldn’t stand to putt better. And I’m not talking 20-30 footers.

    Pga tour average for 6 footers is 71 %. Close to 3 out of 4.

    I currently make 22 %. Almost 1 out of 4. And retained a 0.3 to 1.8 handicap all summer with that . So I already know for me putting means more. But I’m thinking of every player I know. I don’t know single one that makes 3 of 4 from 6 ft. And I’m including a guy who qualified for the mid am , and state am. 71 % is a guy who rarely misses at that length. And that’s the tour average . Not leader. Of course there’s loads of room to improve in putting for any. Any ...any ....Am.

    How long would you realistically have to work on putting to close that gap? Folks fail to take that into consideration when looking at their games holistically. Most of us have a limited amount of time to practice and we have to get the most bang for our bucks to to speak.

    If that is the only deficiency in your game then by all means that is where you should work. But for most ams (most being those not flirting with scratch) there is more "meat on the bone" elsewhere that is likely easier to get and more likely to translate to other parts of their games. For instance, ball striking or work with irons from 150+. The gains you get working on that seeps into other aspects or your game as well. It helps with your driving to an extent, your 150 and in game, your recovery shot, sand play and your pitching and chipping as well.

    Practicing putting helps with putting. It does not translate to gains in other parts of the golf game/swing as much.

    ^That gets spoken to in Lowest Score Wins and makes a lot of sense.

    Preface this by saying. I know that I’m an outlier. An oddity. Etc.

    To answer your question “ how long would you have to work on it “. Well I built. Artificial green at home with 4 pins. Longest putt is 47 feet. Some straight 6 footers and break both ways on other holes. That was 2 years ago. So 2 years and counting of everyday practice. I don’t 3 putt often unless I get into an aggressive mindset. But I don’t make many 1 putts either. Recently ( 2 weeks) went to a really good fit in an armlock and am seeing results. So that may change from 2 years and counting to an “ it didn’t take long “ situation.

    But that’s where my opinion comes from. The idea that putting is fixable in a short amount of time automatically is just not a hard and fast rule.

    And I absolutely disagree that improved putting doesn’t affect the rest of your game. On days where I’ve made putts I literally get into the zone almost instantly. More putts I make the closer I hit approaches. Longer drives etc. it just relaxes everything. You obviously haven not felt the stress of a 3 day tournament where you hit 47 greens in regulation and make 3 birdies total for 3 days. These were not huge greens either. Proximity was good. You get to a point where you go at every pin. Why ? Only way to make a birdie is to hit one stone dead.

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  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members Posts: 1,470 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @bladehunter said:
    And I absolutely disagree that improved putting doesn’t affect the rest of your game. On days where I’ve made putts I literally get into the zone almost instantly. More putts I make the closer I hit approaches. Longer drives etc. it just relaxes everything. You obviously haven not felt the stress of a 3 day tournament where you hit 47 greens in regulation and make 3 birdies total for 3 days. These were not huge greens either. Proximity was good. You get to a point where you go at every pin. Why ? Only way to make a birdie is to hit one stone dead.

    With all due respect you are now talking about a mental state thing or a mindset. We are in Bob Rotella land now. (Read Rotella's anecdotes regarding Nick Price.) I am speaking of hard skill and ability.

    When I say putting does not translate AS MUCH (notice I qualified that and never said it had NO impact on other aspects of the game) I mean being a technically sound putter who can read greens and assess pace and pick the proper aim point, not much of being able to do that makes you hit your approaches better or drive the ball better or play from fairway sand better.

    If you groove a repeatable and accurate iron swing, those skills you gained doing that help you to be a better pitcher of the ball, play from the sand better and potentially drive the ball better.

  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members Posts: 1,470 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @bladehunter said:
    To me that shows that all tour pros are great putters. The best vs the mid pack of worst guy isn’t a huge gap.

    How does a tour pro differentiate himself from the rest of the pack in putting?
    ^That is the jist of looking at strokes gained and comparing where you are to the rest of the pack. If everyone is at relatively the same level, and the ceiling is not much higher than where you currently are, there is simply not much to be gained in comparison to other aspects of playing the game.

  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day... south carolinaMembers Posts: 27,888 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Sep 12, 2019 1:23pm #108

    @smashdn said:

    @bladehunter said:
    And I absolutely disagree that improved putting doesn’t affect the rest of your game. On days where I’ve made putts I literally get into the zone almost instantly. More putts I make the closer I hit approaches. Longer drives etc. it just relaxes everything. You obviously haven not felt the stress of a 3 day tournament where you hit 47 greens in regulation and make 3 birdies total for 3 days. These were not huge greens either. Proximity was good. You get to a point where you go at every pin. Why ? Only way to make a birdie is to hit one stone dead.

    With all due respect you are now talking about a mental state thing or a mindset. We are in Bob Rotella land now. (Read Rotella's anecdotes regarding Nick Price.) I am speaking of hard skill and ability.

    When I say putting does not translate AS MUCH (notice I qualified that and never said it had NO impact on other aspects of the game) I mean being a technically sound putter who can read greens and assess pace and pick the proper aim point, not much of being able to do that makes you hit your approaches better or drive the ball better or play from fairway sand better.

    If you groove a repeatable and accurate iron swing, those skills you gained doing that help you to be a better pitcher of the ball, play from the sand better and potentially drive the ball better.

    I guess we should just agree to disagree.

    I had no idea that mental aspects of the game were now out of bounds.

    I’m telling you my experiences. . That’s all. Can’t be untrue if I experience it , over and over. Much like ground hogs day.

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  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day... south carolinaMembers Posts: 27,888 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @smashdn said:

    @bladehunter said:
    To me that shows that all tour pros are great putters. The best vs the mid pack of worst guy isn’t a huge gap.

    How does a tour pro differentiate himself from the rest of the pack in putting?
    ^That is the jist of looking at strokes gained and comparing where you are to the rest of the pack. If everyone is at relatively the same level, and the ceiling is not much higher than where you currently are, there is simply not much to be gained in comparison to other aspects of playing the game.

    Obviously they make more putts.

    The thing is that strokes gained is a slippery slope when trying to decide what makes more impact.

    The guy hitting approaches closest can have mediocre strokes gained numbers putting because his putts are worth less statistically, vs the guy who’s hitting it bad and making putts from everywhere. That guy will have the leading strokes gained putting stats for the week. The guy who will win is the guy who hits it well and makes some putts. The hits it well meaning no penalty strokes. The “ makes some putts “ means no 3 putts and drops the tour average from 6 ft and out. It still takes it all is the point.

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  • Nard_SNard_S Members Posts: 3,506 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    The funny irony is short game is about distance control and long game is about dispersion/directional control. I never grasped this and worked to opposite emphasis but when I got this right, both tee and short game headed North. Putting and chipping is not about line, it's about being 2 feet past hole all the time. Line is a function of speed, always. Tee game is about attaining proper angle of approach for GIR, not just hitting a fairway way yonder. What practice time I had this year with driver& metals was spent mostly on targeting & not bombing. I can go 10-12 GIR now where once 8 was max and it's mostly due to placing ball in right place off the tee.

  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members Posts: 1,470 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @bladehunter said:
    I guess we should just agree to disagree.

    I had no idea that mental aspects of the game were now out of bounds.

    I’m telling you my experiences. . That’s all. Can’t be untrue if I experience it , over and over. Much like ground hogs day.

    They aren't out of bounds, they are just a completely different matter than what we are currently talking about. It is very hard to give someone advice on how to get better from a course management or mental state side of things on a forum as without actually talking with the person and seeing what they are doing you just don't know. Stats we can discuss objectively. The study of the stats can show you where the gains can be made. How you work on those areas is up to you. If you determine that you are losing strokes to the field with putting then by all means work on putting. But what aspect are you going to work on? Is it mechanical? A faulty stroke? Is it bad reads? Leaving them short, blowing them by?

    The SG stats show you where you need the work and what the ceiling is so you can prioritize your practice time. A half hour of putting practice may not translate the same results as does a half hour of long irons or wedges or something else.

  • Krt22Krt22 East BayMembers Posts: 7,496 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @bladehunter said:

    @smashdn said:

    @bladehunter said:
    To me that shows that all tour pros are great putters. The best vs the mid pack of worst guy isn’t a huge gap.

    How does a tour pro differentiate himself from the rest of the pack in putting?
    ^That is the jist of looking at strokes gained and comparing where you are to the rest of the pack. If everyone is at relatively the same level, and the ceiling is not much higher than where you currently are, there is simply not much to be gained in comparison to other aspects of playing the game.

    Obviously they make more putts.

    The thing is that strokes gained is a slippery slope when trying to decide what makes more impact.

    The guy hitting approaches closest can have mediocre strokes gained numbers putting because his putts are worth less statistically, vs the guy who’s hitting it bad and making putts from everywhere. That guy will have the leading strokes gained putting stats for the week. The guy who will win is the guy who hits it well and makes some putts. The hits it well meaning no penalty strokes. The “ makes some putts “ means no 3 putts and drops the tour average from 6 ft and out. It still takes it all is the point.

    I’m not sure how’s its a slippery slope when it’s a quantifiable way to measure performance. Have you read the book?

  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 11,367 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @bladehunter said:
    The guy hitting approaches closest can have mediocre strokes gained numbers putting because his putts are worth less statistically, vs the guy who’s hitting it bad and making putts from everywhere.

    If by "closest" you mean real-world hitting it close over the long term (not just one round which can have flukes) then putting is no less important for those hitting it close than for those facing long putts all day.

    Surely you realize that Strokes Gained (or any other statistically valid framework for golf analytics) will penalize the guy who knocks it eight feet from the hole but misses, right? If you're putting well you might make a very high percentage of your 6, 8, 10 footers. If you're putting poorly you will make a lower percentage of those putts. Strokes Gained appropriately totes up the good (made) and bad (missed) on short putts just as on long ones.

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  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members Posts: 1,470 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @bladehunter said:
    Obviously they make more putts.

    The thing is that strokes gained is a slippery slope when trying to decide what makes more impact.

    The guy hitting approaches closest can have mediocre strokes gained numbers putting because his putts are worth less statistically, vs the guy who’s hitting it bad and making putts from everywhere. That guy will have the leading strokes gained putting stats for the week. The guy who will win is the guy who hits it well and makes some putts. The hits it well meaning no penalty strokes. The “ makes some putts “ means no 3 putts and drops the tour average from 6 ft and out. It still takes it all is the point.

    First, don't look at strokes gained over one round to base game improvement plans around. Your example is exactly why you shouldn't. There are anomalies (outliers) here and there but SG data is supposed to be a giant pile of numbers. Just like Sabermetrics in baseball, it is the norm over time, not the blip on the radar.

    To the first part of what I quoted, how many more putts should they expect to make over the field? How many is realistic? And how long would you have to practice to make that improvement?

    My point is this, you said there is not much difference (outcome wise) between the best putter on the PGA Tour and the middle and the worst. If that is a relatively even playing field you should realize there is not much potential to gain by becoming better especially if it means sacrificing practice time to putt when you could be using it for an aspect of the game that you have more potential to get better at. That concept is covered in great detail and with excellent clarity in one of the first handful of chapters in Every Shot Counts. It is the story of Luke Donald iirc.

    It isn't that putting is not important, it is that putting is not typically something that people are comparatively bad at. It is hard to be the best in the world at it and being the best in the world at it does not necessarily translate to being the best golfer [you can be].

    Who is Dennis McCarthy?

  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day... south carolinaMembers Posts: 27,888 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @North Butte said:

    @bladehunter said:
    The guy hitting approaches closest can have mediocre strokes gained numbers putting because his putts are worth less statistically, vs the guy who’s hitting it bad and making putts from everywhere.

    If by "closest" you mean real-world hitting it close over the long term (not just one round which can have flukes) then putting is no less important for those hitting it close than for those facing long putts all day.

    Surely you realize that Strokes Gained (or any other statistically valid framework for golf analytics) will penalize the guy who knocks it eight feet from the hole but misses, right? If you're putting well you might make a very high percentage of your 6, 8, 10 footers. If you're putting poorly you will make a lower percentage of those putts. Strokes Gained appropriately totes up the good (made) and bad (missed) on short putts just as on long ones.

    I’m speaking to the expectation of say 99.9 % of all 3 foot putts being made vs say a 12 footer. Make that 3 and gain next to nothing stats wise. Make the 12 and gain nearly a whole shot. My point is that the idea that ball striking is key compared to putts is a circular idea. Hitting it closer makes the putting stats worse if you don’t make a lot outside 6 ft and conversely the leader in putting every week usually hits it worse and makes a lot everywhere. So they each help cause the other. I just don’t see that as anything that concretely causes one to be worth more than the other.

    Think of it this way. Over a long time anybody will tell you that hitting it farther will net lower scores. Right ? How many players have we seen chase that and fail and ruin a game ? 2 former world #1s I can name. Stats are useful at times. Like a camp fire. But if you don’t watch it and keep it in perspective you’ll burn down the entire world around you.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 11,367 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @bladehunter said:>
    Hitting it closer makes the putting stats worse if you don’t make a lot outside 6 ft and conversely the leader in putting every week usually hits it worse and makes a lot everywhere. So they each help cause the other. I just don’t see that as anything that concretely causes one to be worth more than the other.

    If your putting "stats" get worse depending on how close to the hole you hit your approach shots, then you are using very incorrect "stats". That's my point. A statistic that purports to measure "putting" has to do so for situations where you hit it close, hit it far away, everywhere in between.

    That's why some of us gnash our teeth every time someone talks about "putts per GIR" or "putts per round". Those claim to be saying something about "putting" but they're actually a mishmash of putting and ball striking.

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  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day... south carolinaMembers Posts: 27,888 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Sep 12, 2019 3:20pm #117

    @North Butte said:

    @bladehunter said:>
    Hitting it closer makes the putting stats worse if you don’t make a lot outside 6 ft and conversely the leader in putting every week usually hits it worse and makes a lot everywhere. So they each help cause the other. I just don’t see that as anything that concretely causes one to be worth more than the other.

    If your putting "stats" get worse depending on how close to the hole you hit your approach shots, then you are using very incorrect "stats". That's my point. A statistic that purports to measure "putting" has to do so for situations where you hit it close, hit it far away, everywhere in between.

    That's why some of us gnash our teeth every time someone talks about "putts per GIR" or "putts per round". Those claim to be saying something about "putting" but they're actually a mishmash of putting and ball striking.

    I’m going by the strokes gained spreadsheet I’ve used. Make of a close putt vs a long one gains a different amount. Flip it around when you miss. Miss a 3 footer and it’s a full shot gone. Miss a 15 footer and you might even gain depending on the leave.

    I’m not trying to actually argue with you. As in for arguments sake.

    It’s just that I’ve seen first hand that the bettter you hit it. The harder it is to have stellar putting stats via strokes gained. This speech we all get about someone “ winning with balls striking “ doesn’t always hold water when you’re only looking at strokes gained putts. They aren’t going to gain many shots on green if they are hitting it close to perfect.

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  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,615 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @bladehunter said:

    @North Butte said:
    That's why some of us gnash our teeth every time someone talks about "putts per GIR" or "putts per round". Those claim to be saying something about "putting" but they're actually a mishmash of putting and ball striking.

    I’m going by the strokes gained spreadsheet I’ve used. Make of a close putt vs a long one gains a different amount. Flip it around when you miss. Miss a 3 footer and it’s a full shot gone. Miss a 15 footer and you might even gain depending on the leave.

    When you isolate putting, you're erasing all strokes gained (or lost) for the preceding shots. If I hit a 150 yard shot to 3 feet, I've picked up nearly a full shot in SG-Approach. If I miss that 3-footer, I'm lost a stroke in SG-Putting. If I hit the same shot to 15 feet, I'm probably about neutral, and when I 2-putt, I'm neutral in putting. If I hit it to 50 feet, I've probably lost a half-stroke or so. If I 2-putt from 50 feet, I've gained about a half-stroke putting. I'm making some of these numbers up for demonstration sake, but they're not way far off.. That's 3 different ways to take 3 strokes from 150 yards, breaking about even overall in SG, same result, but the SG stats point to a different culprit in each case. Add those numbers up over many rounds, many distance, and you'll probably be able to identify strengths and weaknesses.

  • BarfolomewBarfolomew #worstWRXer Members Posts: 1,534 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    How awesomely crazy is golf that good experienced players can't even agree what's most importance and not lol..... Guess that shows how important it all is Driver, Iron, Putter. If your Irons are good you wont need to scramble but you better still be a whiz with the lob wedge lol...

    Sounds like the main purpose of SG is to help figure out how to break down your practice time amongst the different disciplines given we have limited practice time..... great makes sense. BUT do they explain the nature of practice..... I get injured a lot and have to take a couple months off sometimes so I get rusty from my usual par golf. So If I invest some extra time in putting for a few weeks and get myself back in the zone where I'm feeling it then it takes very little practice time after that to get me in the zone maybe even 10 mins is all I need to practice putting till I really get sharp.

    So investing upfront time in practice to get you to a very comfortable spot is worth it cause after that doesn't take much practice to get back into the zone. Its actually what I am personally working on now with all my injuries, arthritis, back, hands and foot nephropathy. But I want to play under par on the reg so I'm trying to figure how little I can practice and still improve.... plus the time saving is great too. I'm determined (when I start playing again) to practice very little and improve using my mental faculties and be able to shoot under par when rusty...

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  • aenematedaenemated Los Angeles, CAMembers Posts: 224 ✭✭✭

    This turned into a really great thread, dudes.

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  • AlecEmersonGolfAlecEmersonGolf Members Posts: 585 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Exactice808 said:

    @AlecEmersonGolf said:
    I'm not trying to be a downer.

    If you consistently shoot in the 80s you have no place trying to give others advice.

    I actually respectfully disagree.... With that ,

    I think players that shoot in the 80's are at a cusp point in the golfing game. This moment is a make it or break it time.

    What I mean is breaking into the 90's means you have reached a point where your ball striking has become manageable, I use the term manageable as getting around the course is not a struggle you hit good shots but have a lack of consistency, yet can scramble to make enough pars or birdies to offset the bogeys or worse.

    Being in the mid 80's in my opinion is where the "REAL" golfer has to make a choice. Find a way to break into the 70's or become complacent and accept where they are now. I fancy many golfers give up going any further... GolfWRX being the anomaly is where the small portion try to break through the 80's barrier.

    What I have noticed in my opinion about the mid 80's player.

    1) Player with a bad swing to begin with, but offset it with enough putting and short game to minimize the inconsistencies. Due to the inherent bad swing going any further will be difficult. This requires an overhaul which not all golfers may be will to do!

    2) Player with a good swing but lacks course management and ego control (most golfers period). Their game is SOLID but their Choices are lacking and many of times makes the wrong choice to which their score suffers. They can put good rounds together and even better if they maintain their game better.

    3) The Player that lacks consistency, They have a good swing/mechanics but requires practice to maintain better golf YET either dont have the time, commitment or ability to do so. Some players need to drill and drill and drill not all but some..... with enough drilling they can get down and fast.

    So its interesting to see what a mid 80's player and what advice they might have, They know the real struggle as personally I believe with enough management for ANYONE, we can get them to shoot somewhere in the 80's. BUT to break into the 70's requires a degree of skill and technically proficiency period.

    You do NOT need to a scratch golfer or a major winner to give advice and that sound advice, it validates it but its not a requirement.

    in my experience, 80s golfers know just about nothing about golf. if they knew more they wouldn't shoot in the 80s. sure maybe a person who shoots in the 80s can tell a newbie how to get to their level, but to suggest that an 80s player has any right to talk to masses about their knowledge of the game is foolish imo.

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