Golf Combine, Training Camp, Player Development

XeroGolf59XeroGolf59 GolferZeroMembers Posts: 9
In my opinion, the essence of an excellent golf game is the frequency of hitting shots onto the green in regulation (i.e. GIR). This got me interested in shot-tracking and David Ledbetter's instruction on hitting targets and keeping a record.

I recently read an article about an NCAA golf combine (for ladies) in which players were evaluated while doing drills, e.g. hitting 10 (or so) balls to a green positioned 150yds away, closest to the pin competitions, driving distance stations, putting drills, etc. This is the procedure done in every other sport (e.g. the NFL Combine, MLB try-outs, etc.).

The attribute of course management skills consists of learned tactics, planning round, having a yardage book at-hand, and having a caddie with you. If a player develops his or her ability in each part of the game (besides course management), is there a way to determine his or her level of play given the presence of a caddie at practice & during a regulation round?

Suppose a player from the inner city with limited access to a golf course, BUT he or she is able to hit 600 quality shots a day (including chipping) and 1-hour of putting; and this player shapes the ball well, hits pins and targets well, drives the ball 350yds, is able to drain multiple 20-foot putts with one hand, somewhat accurate at putting from 50ft, etc. What you guys think the outcome would be if this player began to train with a coach and learned to play rounds with a caddie? Given that the player is truly fluent at striking the ball, could this player possibly ready to excel at a high level (playing competitive golf)?

And oh yeah, this golfer is also a work-a-holic...



  • bk4bk4 Members Posts: 868
    No. Maybe a fluke one here or there, but 99.9% of the time not. It's like a gym rat who can make all the free throws and jump shots he wants when he is practicing by himself in the gym. When you add in the speed and intangibles of the game/competition, not to mention pressure, it is a completely different thing. That's why it is not unusual to go to a tournament, watch him hit perfect shot after perfect shot on the range and then come in with an 83. While watching them hit the shots might be indicative of potential and ability, I don't think it's a very good indicator of performance.
  • clewallenclewallen Members Posts: 804
    Practicing and competition are totally different mind set, could be a great ball striker but wot know how to handle the mental aspect after a water shot or an OB drive
  • mwkbmwmwkbmw Play. Fast. North CarolinaMembers Posts: 2,487 ✭✭
    Pretty negative comments, so far. If the peson is truly as proficient as you say, then it is entirely possible to attain a high level of competitive play in a reasonably short time. There would obviously be a learning curve to the mental aspects as well as course management. Working with a coach and caddie would be of great benefit.

    When I teach my children, I start from the hole backwards. When they learn to putt, I add chipping and pitching. When they accomplish a reasonable level of ability, I add iron play, then the long game. Then, and only then, we take it to the course to learn to play golf, not just hit shots. There is a big difference, but it sure beats learning to play the game and learning to hit shots at the same time. And, it is not nearly as frustrating.

    Good luck in your endeavor.
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  • SilverBulletsSilverBullets BMW Members Posts: 5,908 ✭✭
    I don't know if I really understand the point though? The combine is not utilized to determine how good someone is, it is to determine the persons athletic ability in a team sport. Those numbers are used in conjunction with the composition of a team to further build and round out a team. They are not specifically used to determine the ability of a given player (its just one component). Game film, numbers, interviews, aptitude tests, etc are also taken into account. From a football perspective the NFL Combine is a great asset to figure how players will fit in on a team. Need a WR to stretch the field, look at 40 time and route drills. Need a Red zone threat? Look at height and hand size. Need pass rushing DE to come in a passing downs? Look a bench reps and 40 time. The combine is beneficial in filling gaps in a team.

    You don't need it in golf because it's not a team sport. In golf all that matters is the player's tournament scores. Any number you get in some type of combine would be heavily outweighed by scores in high pressure tournaments.
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  • leoh923leoh923 Members Posts: 1,243
    Huge difference between playing golf, and playing "golf shot". Altough anything is possible, people with an impeccable swing on the range have been known to melt down in the heat of competition. Recovery from a bad break, a wayward shot, gamesmanship from a fellow competitor, these are the intangibles that make a player good.
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  • WUGolfer3118WUGolfer3118 Thank You Troops/Vets! Members Posts: 547 ✭✭
    The combines used for NBA and NFL are used to measure specific attributes that directly tie into the team's perceived needs at certain positions. The teams walk into the combine with an established baseline of what they're looking for and use the combine results to reduce their potential personnel lists down by dropping most of those who fail to meet their baseline requirements. The teams who draft terribly (looking directly at the NBA and Al Davis Oakland Raiders here) are the ones who use the combine results as the end-all, be-all, for their personnel needs.

    Applying this theory to golf, I think it could help weed out golfers who may not be proficient enough to play for a school or professionally, but to say someone coming out of there will likely succeed is like saying the guy who's 6'5" weighs 230lbs, has a 42" vertical, a 4.1 40y speed, and has absolutely no work ethic or knowledge of football will become the greatest WR of all-time. Like others have stated, you can be the greatest range golfer of all-time but it's likely not going to correlate to competitive performance.
  • Bluefan75Bluefan75 Members Posts: 3,951 ✭✭
    I've always found the combines to be a bit of a silly thing, frankly. It's more of a CYA thing IMHO. NFL teams are the worst at putting all kinds of data down to back up their draft picks, so they can't then be criticized for a "bad pick". Or a manager who sacrifice bunts to move a runner. No one criticizes that move even though they are less likely to score doing that than to just swing away.

    How many times does an OL run 40 yards on a play? Renaldo Nehemiah was one of the fastest men on the planet, but couldn't make a cut to save his life. What value did his 40 time really have? Plus, they are doing all of this not in pads. I didn't play football for very long, but I can tell you the pads made a big difference in just about everything.

    The talent pool is still fairly small in girls/women's golf relatively speaking. I know in Ontario here, there is no qualifying for the provincial championships, because there aren't enough players. So coaches do these combine-type things so they can at least say "well, she did score xx at the combine" when I was recruiting her. Like someone said, the only way to know what a person will do when they need to get up and down to earn a qualifying spot/win/other important milestone is for them to actually be in that position in a tournament. A combine is not going to replicate any of that.
  • crapulacrapula Golf! Members Posts: 1,786 ✭✭
    XeroGolf59 wrote:

    he or she is able to hit 600 quality shots a day (including chipping) and 1-hour of putting; and this player shapes the ball well, hits pins and targets well, drives the ball 350yds, is able to drain multiple 20-foot putts with one hand, somewhat accurate at putting from 50ft, etc.

    This is a joke right?
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