Jump to content

Driving distance aside, what is the single biggest difference between tour players and scratch/good golfers?


Recommended Posts

Let's start with the level of focused practice.  Iron accuracy is further down the list. 

  • Like 1
  • Titleist TS2, 9.5 Ventus Velorcore 5s
  • Titleist TS2, 4wd Ventus Velocore 6s
  • Titleist 718 T-MB 2i Tensei AV White AM2s
  • Titleist 620 3i-4i Tensei AV White AM2s
  • Titleist 620 Series 5i-PW MMT 125s
  • SM9 F-52/12 MMT 125s
  • SM9 M-58/8 MMT 125s
  • SC CA Monterey
  • DASH-ProV1x & AVX
Link to comment
Share on other sites

can only speak for the ex tour pro I play regularly with..

 

distance control is far better. Totally confident  in how he will hit it, time after time will be pin high from essentially any distance

 

very aggressive around the greens, hits the ball hard, lots of spin

 

rarely makes a bad putting stroke

 

plus the mental side of course

 

 

although I dont really agree with the premise of the question, plenty of good amateurs hit it miles, particularly the young one, I dont see that as a significant difference 

  • Like 3

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everything.    Saw an analysis where only scratch scores that would have counted were compared to tour averages - tour was 5.45 strokes better - so I'd say 10 strokes better cause you are throwing out 10/20 scores - and he didn't really account for tour players on harder courses with the pressure to earn a living.     

 

Just a couple of examples, Kisner played his own ball against a podcast 4's scramble ball and almost beat them on the 18th hole - they holed out a long putt to win by one.    Fleetwood played some british golf teacher (can't recall which one) and spotted him 10 strokes and they tied.     I recall an old golf digest (or golf magazine article) comparing Prime Tiger to tour pros and it wasn't even close - so there is an even big gap between the top pros and the rest of the pack.           

  • Like 1

 

Sealed with a curse as sharp as a knife.  Doomed is your soul and damned is your life.

Laugh-a while you can, monkey boy.
Enjoy every sandwich

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, glk said:

Everything.    Saw an analysis where only scratch scores that would have counted were compared to tour averages - tour was 5.45 strokes better - so I'd say 10 strokes better cause you are throwing out 10/20 scores - and he didn't really account for tour players on harder courses with the pressure to earn a living.     

 

Just a couple of examples, Kisner played his own ball against a podcast 4's scramble ball and almost beat them on the 18th hole - they holed out a long putt to win by one.    Fleetwood played some british golf teacher (can't recall which one) and spotted him 10 strokes and they tied.     I recall an old golf digest (or golf magazine article) comparing Prime Tiger to tour pros and it wasn't even close - so there is an even big gap between the top pros and the rest of the pack.           

Prime tiger was around a +10 handicap IIRC. Given most pros are in the +6-7 range, that is a huge gap over a 4 day tournament. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everything.  Literally everything.

 

The skill difference between a tour pro and scratch player is bigger than the difference from a scratch player to a 30 cap.

  • Like 2
  • Confused 1

TaylorMade¬†SIM2 8¬į (Tour sleeve set to 8.5¬į) - Oban Kyoshi White 65 05Flex(X) 44.5"

TaylorMade¬†SIM 2 Ti 5w 19¬į (set to 17¬į) - Diamana Limited 75 S

TaylorMade SIM UDI 2i - Diamana Thump 90 S

TaylorMade¬†SIM Max 4h 22¬į - HZRDUS Smoke Black 80 6.0

Ping i210 5i-UW - Dynamic Gold S300

TaylorMade Milled Grind 56-12 - Dynamic Gold Wedge

TaylorMade Milled Grind 60-09 - Dynamic Gold Wedge

Ping Craz-e - Ping Karsten w/ Super Stroke Traxion Claw 2.0 grip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ball striking and putting. Simple as that. 9 times out of 10 the ball does what a tour pro wants.

 

For a non-tour scratch golfer even that is 7-8/10 times. Pair that with just general course management and you see why they get to +4 and +6.

ūüĒĻūüĒĻūüĒĻ¬†DS¬†+¬†AD XC¬†6 / MAVRIK SZ TC 17¬į¬†+ AD HD¬†7¬†/ MAVRIK SZ TC 20¬į¬†+ AD TP¬†7¬†/ TW-X 4i¬†+ RIP Phenom /¬†TR20P¬†+ Modus3 105¬†/ MD5 Raw¬†+ Modus3 120 8i¬†/ Detour 2 Conv

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Krt22 said:

Prime tiger was around a +10 handicap IIRC. Given most pros are in the +6-7 range, that is a huge gap over a 4 day tournament. 

Mark broadie pinned tweet

 

BD3EAE66-AA8D-407B-B5DB-134E170004B6.jpeg.9609e17895485b86ce11e92dacd0bb75.jpeg

  • Like 2

 

Sealed with a curse as sharp as a knife.  Doomed is your soul and damned is your life.

Laugh-a while you can, monkey boy.
Enjoy every sandwich

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Approach play is the biggest after driving. Lou Stagner posted something on Twitter along the lines of a PGA tour player averages 3.0 strokes to finish from about 167 yards. A scratch amateur averages 3.0 strokes from 92 yards. So they're spotting you 70 yards and still beating you.

  • Like 2

Ping G400 LST 9¬į Diamana white 63x
Ping G410 LST 3 wood Diamana Thump
Taylor Made UDI 2 iron Diamana Tensei white 90TX
Titleist 714CB 3, 4
Titleist 714MB 5-PW
Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth 52 and 56 WS
Scotty Cameron Newport 2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Biggest difference is the ability to play a new course every week. A lot of +4/+5 guys can tear their home course or near by courses up every day, but being able to travel, sleep in a different bed every week, keep workout routine up and play good is hard to do… 

  • Like 1

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (10 degrees)[TENSEI Av Raw White] 

Fairway woods: Titleist TSi2 (15.75 degrees), Titleist TS3 (19.5 degrees)[Diamana D+ Limited]

Irons: Taylormade p770 (4)[DG TI X100], Mizuno JPX 900 Tour (5-9)[Project X LZ 6.5]

Wedges: Vokey SM8 (47-11F, 51-13F, 55-15F, 59-7LK)[DG TI S400]

Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura X5

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Krt22 said:

Pretty much all false. Try again

 

I'm just curious, but you say this because of the data right?  

 

All the best golfers I've played with that tried to make it on a tour all pretty much said "putting" or "100 yards and in" or both.  I've never heard ball striking or iron play.  Not saying that's not true, just the 8-10 best golfers I ran into in my life all said the above.    

 

And I notice that as well when playing with golfers better than me.  They are better than me in every facet of the game.  But 100 yards and in, it seems like the biggest gap.  I hit a few less greens in reg than they do, but they score 6-7+ better than me.  And it's not their ball striking I'm envious of, it's always their 100 yard and in shots for the most part.  They are more consistent on tougher up and downs and the amount of shots they have in their bag to get it close at that length is insane.    

 

But maybe that's just a mirage.  And maybe they think "putting" but the real data would show it's elsewhere.  

 

I just have a hard time comparing PGA data to amateurs.  The golf courses they play at are a different beast.  I'm not shooting my handicap at a PGA event setup golf course.  And getting up and down is going to be harder on those courses.        

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Krt22 said:

Pretty much all false. Try again

No offense , but if you do not think that pros have much better up and down games around the greens and miss  their iron shots by  consistently less than a scratch handicap or low handicaps , you are smoking some strong weed.

Of course the farther from the green the more anyone will deviate from the target .Nobody is IRON BRYON

I assume that you are a single digit handicap. To even mention your up and down game and your iron striking skills and that of the pros in the same sentence is the golf equivalent of blasphemy. 

Edited by golfarb1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, wagolfer7 said:

 

I'm just curious, but you say this because of the data right?  

 

All the best golfers I've played with that tried to make it on a tour all pretty much said "putting" or "100 yards and in" or both.  I've never heard ball striking or iron play.  Not saying that's not true, just the 8-10 best golfers I ran into in my life all said the above.    

 

And I notice that as well when playing with golfers better than me.  They are better than me in every facet of the game.  But 100 yards and in, it seems like the biggest gap.  I hit a few less greens in reg than they do, but they score 6-7+ better than me.  And it's not their ball striking I'm envious of, it's always their 100 yard and in shots for the most part.  They are more consistent on tougher up and downs and the amount of shots they have in their bag to get it close at that length is insane.    

 

But maybe that's just a mirage.  And maybe they think "putting" but the real data would show it's elsewhere.  

 

I just have a hard time comparing PGA data to amateurs.  The golf courses they play at are a different beast.  I'm not shooting my handicap at a PGA event setup golf course.  And getting up and down is going to be harder on those courses.        

 

 

Yes, SG data. This notion they get up and down from everywhere is false (tour avg is 50% from the sand, 60% total for scrambling). The notion they make every putt is false (putting is typically where scratch and pros are statistically the closest). The notion they rarely miss a green is false (tour avg is 11-12 GIRs). 

 

I play with a variety of + handicap guys pretty frequently, including D1 or former D1 players, occasionally some guys with status. The most glaring difference to me is not how far they hit it (which they do), but how far they consistently hit it. Their avg drive and max drive are not far apart and they typically are never in any real trouble off the tee. And on approach shots, particularly from 200+ yards out. A lot of players 5 or better can stick a wedge to a few feet, but very few can hit the green from 200+ out.  Basically every par 5 they are either on the green or at the very least greenside. The best wedge player in the world is still going to lose strokes to someone with just a decent short game who is within 30 yards of the hole. For some reason the stuffed wedge is more memorable than the ho-hum 2 putt birdie.

 

 Are they better at everything else as well? Absolutely, but the question was is the single biggest difference besides driving, and all of data points to one thing. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have client/buddy of mine that plays on the Mackenzie Tour and another buddy who's a +4 cap who played on the UCR team and mini tours before getting his am status reinstated.  Both are 180 and 170 ball speed, can putt lights out and get up and down on the regular.  What makes them so good is that their ball striking and distance control are second to none.  They can self assess their swings and get back on track even when they are playing poorly.  What separates them from the scratch golfer is the ability to pull off the shots and make the putts when it really matters. 

  • Like 3

TM Stealth Plus+ 9* w/Tensei 1K Pro Orange 60TX

TM SIM ti 15* w/Diamana ZF 80TX

TM Tour Issue Rescue 11 TP Deep Face Ghost Proto 16*  w/Ventus Black HB 9TX

New Level NLU-01 21* w/KBS Proto 105X

New Level 623-M 5-PW w/MMT 125 TX

54* Miura HB w/KBS 610 S+, 58* Miura w/KBS Tour Black

Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport 2

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, golfarb1 said:

No offense , but if you do not think that pros have much better up and down games around the greens and miss  their iron shots by  consistently less than a scratch handicap or low handicaps , you are smoking some strong weed.

Of course the farther from the green the more anyone will deviate from the target .Nobody is IRON BRYON

I assume that you are a single digit handicap. To even mention your up and down game and your iron striking skills and that of the pros in the same sentence is the golf equivalent of blasphemy. 

The question in the OP was "what is the single biggest difference between tour players and scratch". Tour players are obviously better at everything, but short game and putting is not where the gap is the largest (that is actually where the gap is the smallest). The data is pretty clear and has been reviewed countless times by many, the only one's who still deny the data are those who have yet to digest it themselves and still rely on old anecdotes. We do have some dank weed here, but dank weed does not invalidate data.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pros are in a completely different world than D1 players . Even among D1 players there is a large difference in skills between the higher echelon players and others .

 

You need to compare apples to apples not apples to bananas . The numbers that you cite are derived from numbers on the PGA Tour. The PGA tour plays on some of the hardest courses in the country with consistently fast conditions and some very difficult pin positions . Add to that is the intangible huge pressure .
Your average scratch or low handicap never comes close to playing under the same conditions that the pros face. If they did their numbers would be considerably worse. Just an example. I played Winged Foot a number of times. During 2020 US Open I could not believe the pin positions on some of holes . 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

After 30+ years of carrying their bags and a low single capper myself, the biggest difference is consistency and distance control.  I do not think raw distance has much to do with it.  That was proven during the most recent LPGA event.  That celebrity field was full of scratch to +3 guys and the field still smoked them by a significant margin.  

 

Another differentiator is the recovery from a miss.  Status players practice recovery till their hands bleed.  Everyone hits an errant shot, but what makes or breaks a round is the following shot.  Do you allow that miss to turn into a double, or do you salvage par with a well planned recovery shot?

 

I somewhat agree that the difference between the top pros and scratch is about the same as scratch to a 20 hcp, but I won't go as far as 30.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What goes hand in hand with overall superior consistency is a tour player is far superior in course management / strategy and mental strength.  Generally speaking, the scratch player is not playing under a microscope and for a living; there are not big dollars on the line, fame, cameras, commentators, and internet critics.  Scratch players have some strategy, but they don't play every day and when they show up to a course for the first time they just wing it hole by hole, shot by shot.  A tour player has a strategy in mind and a game plan for the entire 18 holes before they even step up to the first tee.

 

Typical tour player when not in a tournament -  practice four hours, play a few holes, maybe 9, practice some more, mix in gym, optimum diet, and all kinds of other things from the tool chest - meditation, mental coaching, etc...

 

Typical scratch player, practice here and there, looking forward to the next round because it beats working, gets excited for the next Driver launch.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, OnTheBag said:

After 30+ years of carrying their bags and a low single capper myself, the biggest difference is consistency and distance control.  I do not think raw distance has much to do with it.  That was proven during the most recent LPGA event.  That celebrity field was full of scratch to +3 guys and the field still smoked them by a significant margin.  

 

Another differentiator is the recovery from a miss.  Status players practice recovery till their hands bleed.  Everyone hits an errant shot, but what makes or breaks a round is the following shot.  Do you allow that miss to turn into a double, or do you salvage par with a well planned recovery shot?

 

I somewhat agree that the difference between the top pros and scratch is about the same as scratch to a 20 hcp, but I won't go as far as 30.  

Scott Fawcett is making a living teaching touring pros how best to avoid bogey and the dreaded double. It's crazy how many people still argue with him on the internet when pros and elite ams are paying him for his services. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, MonteScheinblum said:

I get tired of having to argue that short game, while very important, is not the separator.  Everyone tells me I’m wrong and stupid, so I’m done even trying. 
 

One guy lit me up and told me a failed player like myself doesn’t know anything because he and his future TV playing 13 year old are on the trenches 6 days a week.

 

Short game is to save you when you stink.

 

How close you hit the ball to the hole is the great equalizer and hitting it farther makes that easier.  It’s what separates every skill level.


The tired cliches don’t just litter swing discussions. 

 

A question 

What deficiencies in your game preventing you from succeeding on the tour ?

If you had an up and down game that was equivalent to the top 1/4 of pros , would that have made the difference ? 

Edited by golfarb1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Krt22 said:

Scott Fawcett is making a living teaching touring pros how best to avoid bogey and the dreaded double. It's crazy how many people still argue with him on the internet when pros and elite ams are paying him for his services. 

I've never looped for a player that used his DECADE system, but the thought process of all my players was similar, without the analytics.  Practice rounds are all about planning for the miss and the recovery, while trying to predict likely pin positions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Our picks

    • 2022 Schwab Challenge - Discussion and Links
      Please put any questions or comments here
       
       
       
      General Albums
       
      2022 Schwab Challenge - Monday #1
      2022 Schwab Challenge - Monday #2
      2022 Schwab Challenge - Monday #3
      2022 Charles Schwab Challenge - Tuesday #1
      2022 Charles Schwab Challenge - Tuesday #2
      2022 Charles Schwab Challenge - Tuesday #3
       
       
       
      WITB Albums
       
       
      Danny Lee - WITB - 2022 Schwab Challenge
      Russell Knox - WITB - 2022 Schwab Challenge
      Ty Strafaci - WITB - 2022 Schwab Challenge
      Richard Bland - WITB - 2022 Schwab Challenge
      Garrick Higgo - WITB - 2022 Schwab Challenge
      Ryan Palmer - WITB - 2022 Schwab Challenge
      Sam Bennett - - WITB - 2022 Schwab Challenge
      Ludvig Aberg - WITB - 2022 Schwab Challenge
      Taylor Moore - WITB - 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Mark Hubbard - WITB - 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge
       
       
       
       
      Pullout Albums
       
       
      Odyssey/Toulon putters - 2022 Schwab Challenge
      Mike Thomas' custom stamped Vokey wedge(JT"s dad) - 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Ben Hogan's personal experimental prototypes from the 1960's ‚Äď 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Cameron putters - 2022 Charles Schwab Challenge
       
       
       
       
       
      • 6 replies
    • 2022 PGA Championship: Equipment & WITB Photos- Discussion and Links
      Please put any questions or comments here
       
       
      General Albums
       
      2022 PGA Championship - Monday #1
      2022 PGA Championship - Monday #2
      2022 PGA Championship - Tuesday #1
      2022 PGA Championship - Tuesday #2
      2022 PGA Championship - Tuesday #3
      2022 PGA Championship - Tuesday #4
      2022 PGA Championship - Wednesday #1
      2022 PGA Championship - Wednesday #2
      2022 PGA Championship - Wednesday #3
       
       
       
       
      WITB Albums
       
      Xander Schauffele - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Alex Noren - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Matt Fitzpatrick - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Lucas Glover - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Matt Jones - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Shane Lowry - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Kyle Mendoza - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Patrick Reed - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Rickie Fowler - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Shaun Norris - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Pablo Larrazabal - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Michael Block - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Jordan Spieth - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Jared Jones - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      John Daly - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Tyler Collet - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Alex Cejka - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Shawn Warren - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Matt Bouchert - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Zac Oakley - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Casey Pyne - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Dustin Johnson - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Tiger Woods - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Jon Rahm - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Brandon Bingaman - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Adri Arnaus - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Nic Ishee - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Jesse Mueller - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Daniel Van Tonder - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Justin Thomas - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Oliver Bekker - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
       
       
       
       
      Pullout Albums
       
      Cameron 2020 PGA Championship putter covers
      Callaway's 2022 PGA Championship golf bag
      Odyssey 2022 PGA Championship putter covers
      Bettinardi putter covers - 2022 PGA Championship
      Hideki Matsuyama's Cameron putter cover - 2022 PGA Championship
      Ping PLD putters - 2022 PGA Championship
      Sam Horsfield - Bettinardi putter - 2022 PGA Championship
      Axis 1 putter cover - 2022 PGA Championship
      Tiger Woods' TM P770 2 & 3 irons - 2022 PGA Championship
      Francesco Molinari - Nike shoes - 2022 PGA Championship
      Webb Simpson - switch to Titleist T100 irons - 2022 PGA Championship
      Patrick Reed - new Grindworks driver - 2022 PGA Championship
       
       
       
       
       
       

       
      • 17 replies
    • Tiger Woods - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
      Tiger Woods - WITB - 2022 PGA Championship
        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 79 replies
    • 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson - Discussion and Links
      Please put any questions or comments here
       
       
       
      General Albums
       
       
      2022 AT&T Byron Nelson - Monday #1
      2022 AT&T Byron Nelson - Monday #2
      2022 AT&T Byron Nelson - Monday #3
      2022 AT&T Bryon Nelson - Tuesday #1
      2022 AT&T Bryon Nelson - Tuesday #2
      2022 AT&T Bryon Nelson - Tuesday #3
       
       
       
      WITB Albums
       
       
      John Murphy - WITB - 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson
      Cooper Dossey - WITB - 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson
      Jason Day WITB ‚Äď 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson
      Justin Leonard - WITB - 2022 AT&T Bryon Nelson
      J.J. Killeen - North Texas PGA Section Champ - WITB - 2022 AT&T Bryon Nelson
      Patrick Flavin - WITB - 2022 AT&T Bryon Nelson
       
       
       
       
      Pullout Albums
       
       
      Patrick Flavin's custom Cameron putter - 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson
      Odyssey "Texas Wedge" putter covers - 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson
      Ping PLD graphite putter shaft - 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson
      Maverick McNealy's custom (3rd iteration) Callaway Apex MB - 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson
      Odyssey/Toulon custom Daytona putter - 2022 AT&T Bryon Nelson
      Justin Thomas' new Scotty Cameron T5 prototype putter (with custom neck) ‚Äď 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson
       
       
       
       
       
       
      • 17 replies
    • 2022 Wells Fargo Championship - Discussion and Links
      Please put any questions or comments here
       
       
      General Albums
       
      2022 Wells Fargo Championship - Monday #1
      2022 Wells Fargo Championship - Monday #2
      2022 Wells Fargo Championship - Monday #3
       
       
      WITB Albums 
       
      Eugenio Chacarra - WITB - 2022 Wells Fargo Championship
      Larkin Gross - Mid-Atlantic PGA Section Champ - WITB - 2022 Wells Fargo Championship
      Billy Hurley - WITB - 2022 Wells Fargo Championship
      Max McGreevy - WITB - 2022 Wells Fargo Championship
       
       
      Pullout Albums
       
      Cameron putters - 2022 Wells Fargo Championship
      Oddyssey Putters - 2022 Wells Fargo Championship
       
       
       
       
       
      • 3 replies

√ó
√ó
  • Create New...