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I want to challenge Mark Broadie


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#31 juststeve

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 11:00 AM

Everyone will derive benefit from improvement of the long game but we ought not lose sight of the fact that improvement in the long game is much harder to achieve than improvement in a lot of other aspects of the game.   For example almost everyone can become very competent putting inside five feet, but almost no one can drive the ball like Dustin Johnson.  Therefore it would be wise to devote your practice time to areas where you are most likely to see results.

Steve


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#32 North Butte

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 11:07 AM

View Postjuststeve, on 28 August 2017 - 11:00 AM, said:

Everyone will derive benefit from improvement of the long game but we ought not lose sight of the fact that improvement in the long game is much harder to achieve than improvement in a lot of other aspects of the game.   For example almost everyone can become very competent putting inside five feet, but almost no one can drive the ball like Dustin Johnson.  Therefore it would be wise to devote your practice time to areas where you are most likely to see results.

Steve

One thing that can't show up in a "game analytics" method like Strokes Gained is (in my humble opinion) the degree to which being very competent with the putter inside 5-6 feet can influence your choices of how to play other shots. As one of the best (and oldest) golfers I know explained it to me once...

If you *know* you're going to make that 5-footer coming back then you don't have to be careful on your first putt and you're more likely to make it. Likewise in trying to hole out chips and bunker shots, you can get it to the hole with some pace without being scared of going a few feet past. And then if you're confident you can get up and down you don't have to be aiming away from the hole to try and hit the center of the green.

He says that's why he spends more time practicing 6-foot putts than anything else. Because once you've got that down, the rest of the game gets easier all the way back to the tee.
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#33 Shilgy

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 11:10 AM

View Postjuststeve, on 28 August 2017 - 11:00 AM, said:

Everyone will derive benefit from improvement of the long game but we ought not lose sight of the fact that improvement in the long game is much harder to achieve than improvement in a lot of other aspects of the game.   For example almost everyone can become very competent putting inside five feet, but almost no one can drive the ball like Dustin Johnson.  Therefore it would be wise to devote your practice time to areas where you are most likely to see results.

Steve
But how much do some areas help our game? That is the question. The tour pros on perfect greens only make about 12% or so of their putts from 20'-25'.  If a player is not three putting those he will likely not save himself even a full stroke per round by practicing them diligently.

  But making more consistent contact and narrowing the dispersion of his misses both off the tee and on his approach shots can save any player multiple shots per round.  

  You cannot look at any of the stats in a vaccum. I would be willing to bet that those at the bottom of the scrambling stats on tour are also those that have more wild misses leaving them difficult up and downs. If a players missed greens in regulation are nearly always in the "right" place to leave it rather than just wild errors his short game stats will look better as well.

Edited by Shilgy, 28 August 2017 - 11:45 AM.

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#34 Cool Hand Luke

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 11:40 AM

View Postjuststeve, on 28 August 2017 - 11:00 AM, said:

Therefore it would be wise to devote your practice time to areas where you are most likely to see results.

Steve

This happens to be the point of this discussion, I believe, and the result of Broadie's data.
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#35 juststeve

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 11:56 AM

View PostCool Hand Luke, on 28 August 2017 - 11:40 AM, said:

View Postjuststeve, on 28 August 2017 - 11:00 AM, said:

Therefore it would be wise to devote your practice time to areas where you are most likely to see results.

Steve

This happens to be the point of this discussion, I believe, and the result of Broadie's data.

There are theoretical results and those you are able to achieve.  The average golfer has neither the time or talent to be good from 200 yards +, although in theory he would be much better if he could achieve that.

Steve


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#36 North Butte

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 12:07 PM

Translated down to double-digit handicap terms that we probably ought to be asking how much better that "average golfer" might get from 150-175 yards. Anything outside of 150 is as much of a "long game" shot for me as a 220-yard approach is for Dustin Johnson.

It takes an immense short-game improvement to help your scores as much as an improvement from hitting 25% of greens from 150 to 50% of greens from 150. Depending on ones actual technique issues, that sort of "long game" improvement may be the result of fixing some low-hanging fruit in terms of alignment, posture, tempo or other fundamentals.

Of course if a player averages four strokes to hole out from 10 yards off the green he needs some triage on the short game sooner rather than later. It all depends on the individual. All a statistical summary can do is point out relative scoring possibilities for the broad middle ground where a typical or "average" player is roughly equally incompetent on each phase of the game. But discussions on this forum always love to focus on those freakish cases of the guy who hits it tee to green like Jordan Spieth but averages 45 putts a rounds and chli-dips every short game shot en route to a 15 handicap.
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#37 jasonfish11

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 12:16 PM

View PostNorth Butte, on 28 August 2017 - 12:07 PM, said:

But discussions on this forum always love to focus on those freakish cases of the guy who hits it tee to green like Jordan Spieth but averages 45 putts a rounds and chli-dips every short game shot en route to a 15 handicap.

I think that is the big issue.  For many many people Broadie's data is counter to everything they've ever learned.  I mean it takes mountains of statistical evidence to over turn random bogus axioms like "drive for dough putt for show."  People don't like taking a look at themselves and say "you know what me, I've been doing this wrong for the last 25 years."

Given that resistance to admitting you have been doing something incorrect, people tend to say something like "...but I'm the exception."  We all want to think we are unique and we aren't just some statistical norm.  

Personally I've fought this by forcing myself to prove why I'm unique.  I take the research done by someone like Broadie, then say "ok, unless I can prove otherwise I will assume I'm the average person he describes."  Unless people are willing to change their mindsets there is no way they will agree, and it isn't worth arguing over.

I think everyone would benefit from assuming you are the average golfer in Broadie's book, then making yourself prove that you aren't.

Edited by jasonfish11, 28 August 2017 - 12:17 PM.


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#38 umassgolfer

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 12:20 PM

There are two different arguments being made in the OP:
1) Decision making of "going for it" vs. laying up
2) How to dedicate practice time

With regards to decision making, yes, being smarter would benefit lots of golfers. But lots of golfers (including me) are mid-80's, with mostly good decision making, just lacking on the execution side of things. Which brings me to the second argument...


Getting a ball in play and as long as possible off the tee is the most important part of the amateur game. That takes you from playing defense - how do I maybe make par, but no worse than bogey - to offense - let's make birdie! A bad miss off the tee brings doubles and others into play way more than a mediocre chip/putt.

I can get myself to low-80's/occasionally cracking into the 70's with a good long game and average short game. Then I'll start worrying more about up-and-downs, more 1-putts, etc. Although those are also usually a product of a better long game - more makable birdie putts, manageable up and downs, etc.

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#39 North Butte

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 12:28 PM

View Postumassgolfer, on 28 August 2017 - 12:20 PM, said:

Getting a ball in play and as long as possible off the tee is the most important part of the amateur game. That takes you from playing defense - how do I maybe make par, but no worse than bogey - to offense - let's make birdie! A bad miss off the tee brings doubles and others into play way more than a mediocre chip/putt.

One definite trend I've noticed in my various statistical views of my own game over the years. My driving distance and driving accuracy increase and decrease together. Which is a Mark Broadie point of emphasis also.

While "all else being equal" a longer tee shot has a greater chance of being in trouble due to traveling farther off-line, in practice there's a single underlying construct that we might term "ball striking" which results in more distance AND more accuracy, hand in hand.

My longest tee shots are the ones where I swing on plane, on path and hit the sweet spot. Would anyone find it surprising that my *straightest* are also the swings that are on plane, on path and I hit the sweet spot? Of course not!

Now that I've finally got my chipping/pitching yips at bay (for the time being at least?) in my own game it's clear that I need to engage in that oldest and most elemental form of practice. I need to work on hitting my driver both straighter and longer (i.e. more solidly). Not withstanding the long-time conventional wisdom that says, "Forget standing there banging drivers, go spend you time at the chipping green".

Edited by North Butte, 28 August 2017 - 12:29 PM.

A sensible man will realize that the eyes may be confused in two ways---by a change from light to darkness or from darkness to light; and he will recognize the same thing happens to the soul.

--Plato

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#40 larrybud

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 12:57 PM

Even if you don't understand Broadie's data, it should be pretty obvious that GIRs are the biggest correlation to lower scores than any one metric.  And you increase GIR % by better driving and better approach shots.


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#41 Ri_Redneck

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 01:54 PM

The ESC theory is something I have been recently working on. The thing you REALLY have to pay attention to is the dangers on the hole that constitute how far the shot is that gets you "closest to the hole and not in trouble". This is the mindset that is being promoted, even though it seemed difficult to me to get that impression from the book. For the OPs hole, ESC theory would say to hit your second shot short of the green if the percentages say that you will more likely LOSE STROKES going for it. But get as close as you can and still avoid the trouble. I used to automatically layup to 100 because that was my "comfortable" distance. After working on my "inside 100" shots, I can now comfortably layup much closer and give myself a chance at a better score.

The thing that I have found most annoying is that my short game comes and goes which leaves me having to figure this out quickly during the round, and adjust accordingly, or suffer a horrendous score.

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#42 North Butte

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 02:01 PM

View PostRi_Redneck, on 28 August 2017 - 01:54 PM, said:

The ESC theory is something I have been recently working on. The thing you REALLY have to pay attention to is the dangers on the hole that constitute how far the shot is that gets you "closest to the hole and not in trouble". This is the mindset that is being promoted, even though it seemed difficult to me to get that impression from the book. For the OPs hole, ESC theory would say to hit your second shot short of the green if the percentages say that you will more likely LOSE STROKES going for it. But get as close as you can and still avoid the trouble. I used to automatically layup to 100 because that was my "comfortable" distance. After working on my "inside 100" shots, I can now comfortably layup much closer and give myself a chance at a better score.

The thing that I have found most annoying is that my short game comes and goes which leaves me having to figure this out quickly during the round, and adjust accordingly, or suffer a horrendous score.

BT

Yes, I know the feeling.

It's like there's two versions of you and you don't know which one is going to show up on any given day. One version it pays to follow something very much like Broadie's advice for Tour players and better amateurs. When you have all elements of your game working in sync then a score-minimizing approach will pay off.

But the other version means you really have to play ultra-conservative golf because there are glaring holes in your game where what matters most is NOT EVER giving yourself an opportunity for one of those holes to generate a #BIGNUM.

I mentioned my bunker game earlier. At times it's been so bad I have to go to extreme lengths to avoid the possibility of being in the sand. I can't score within five shots of my normal scores if I"m having to avoid any shot that has a chance of putting me in a bunker.
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#43 pearsonified

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 03:04 PM

This isn't even debatable.

The better you perform on longer shots, the better golfer you are. Broadie is right, and the truth is still the truth.

Will improving your short game help you improve as a golfer? Absolutely!

The question you need to ask yourself is this—do you want to be getting up and down for bogeys or for pars?
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#44 LeftDaddy

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Posted 28 August 2017 - 04:03 PM

A couple of people have made this point, but I'm not sure everyone is getting it.

A big part of what the Strokes Gained methodology hinges on is this concept that improvement in one area doesn't necessarily lead to fewer strokes.  The best example I've seen is the gap between a weekend hack like most of us vs tour pros on putts longer than 30 feet.  So if I all of a sudden became as good as any tour pro at 30+ foot putts, that would be a good thing...except that it wouldn't necessarily result in an improvement of many strokes because I'm still not making many of those.  I'll probably avoid a few more 3-putts, but I can also do that by getting better at 3-7 footers.  

It is a function of how many times you face that shot in a round, and the gap between you and world class performance, and the amount of effort required to close that gap.  There is a big gap between me and Dustin Johnson in Driver performance, and I face those shots 10+ times per round.  BUT, no amount of practice will turn me into DJ (or better said, I would need decades plus a lot of strength training and money, etc to ever achieve DJ-level driver stats, and even then it isn't going to happen).  Thus, my practice time is better spent elsewhere (for me it is tee shots and iron game...there is no reason I can't develop a stinger or something for "safety" off the tee on tight holes, along with a focus on improving ballstriking).  Those two things will add a lot of benefit to my game, and will save me strokes.  You may need work on 3-7 foot putts for example, but for each of us it is different.
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#45 George1174

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 01:33 AM

View Postjuststeve, on 28 August 2017 - 11:00 AM, said:

Everyone will derive benefit from improvement of the long game but we ought not lose sight of the fact that improvement in the long game is much harder to achieve than improvement in a lot of other aspects of the game.   For example almost everyone can become very competent putting inside five feet, but almost no one can drive the ball like Dustin Johnson.  Therefore it would be wise to devote your practice time to areas where you are most likely to see results.

Steve
So DJ bought a Trackman to work on his wedges instead of getting the last 1-2% out of his Driver.
What I think when I read "It's better to hit 9I from the rough than 5I from the fairway" is "how the hell am I going to get another 40yds out of my Driver?" I have a full-time day (sometimes day and night) job, a wife and two daughters. I don't have the time to work my a** off in the gym for those 40 yds. But I can learn to pitch and chip close to save par from off the green where I hit my 5I.

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#46 sb944

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 02:02 AM

I haven't looked at any of this stuff before, but find it very interesting.  

I'm sure the book gets into it a lot more, but I imagine there are some niche wins that don't easily show on the spreadsheets.  For example, if I put a lot of time into bunker shots to close pins, I no longer have to aim far right where most of my next shots will be long chip/long putt, with the occasional mis hit left coming back at the pin.  In that case I aim at the tight pin, knowing at worst I'll have a well practiced bunker shot on one side, and a GIR with some good birdie chances for most other results.

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#47 iteachgolf

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 06:44 AM

View PostGeorge1174, on 29 August 2017 - 01:33 AM, said:

View Postjuststeve, on 28 August 2017 - 11:00 AM, said:

Everyone will derive benefit from improvement of the long game but we ought not lose sight of the fact that improvement in the long game is much harder to achieve than improvement in a lot of other aspects of the game.   For example almost everyone can become very competent putting inside five feet, but almost no one can drive the ball like Dustin Johnson.  Therefore it would be wise to devote your practice time to areas where you are most likely to see results.

Steve
So DJ bought a Trackman to work on his wedges instead of getting the last 1-2% out of his Driver.
What I think when I read "It's better to hit 9I from the rough than 5I from the fairway" is "how the hell am I going to get another 40yds out of my Driver?" I have a full-time day (sometimes day and night) job, a wife and two daughters. I don't have the time to work my a** off in the gym for those 40 yds. But I can learn to pitch and chip close to save par from off the green where I hit my 5I.

9 iron from rough vs 5 iron from the fairway has nothing to do with adding 40 yards to your driver.  It's about not laying up off the tee just to be in fairway when hitting driver further, even if it's in the rough, will yield a better chance to shoot a lower score.

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#48 Gamble Gamble

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:06 AM

View Postiteachgolf, on 29 August 2017 - 06:44 AM, said:

View PostGeorge1174, on 29 August 2017 - 01:33 AM, said:

View Postjuststeve, on 28 August 2017 - 11:00 AM, said:

Everyone will derive benefit from improvement of the long game but we ought not lose sight of the fact that improvement in the long game is much harder to achieve than improvement in a lot of other aspects of the game.   For example almost everyone can become very competent putting inside five feet, but almost no one can drive the ball like Dustin Johnson.  Therefore it would be wise to devote your practice time to areas where you are most likely to see results.

Steve
So DJ bought a Trackman to work on his wedges instead of getting the last 1-2% out of his Driver.
What I think when I read "It's better to hit 9I from the rough than 5I from the fairway" is "how the hell am I going to get another 40yds out of my Driver?" I have a full-time day (sometimes day and night) job, a wife and two daughters. I don't have the time to work my a** off in the gym for those 40 yds. But I can learn to pitch and chip close to save par from off the green where I hit my 5I.

9 iron from rough vs 5 iron from the fairway has nothing to do with adding 40 yards to your driver.  It's about not laying up off the tee just to be in fairway when hitting driver further, even if it's in the rough, will yield a better chance to shoot a lower score.

Exactly this.  

After reading this thread, it appears that those presenting arguments against ESC fall into the following:

a.  They have trouble understanding the scope of Every Shot Counts
b.  They are purposely creating false narratives to prove their argumentative point
c.  The have  reading comprehension issues or have only read a few portions of ESC
d.  All of the above

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#49 Obee

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 08:13 AM

View PostFade to Black, on 28 August 2017 - 07:50 AM, said:

When did shooting 85 classify someone as a "standard hack"?

Since day 1 on WRX. ;-)

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#50 dornstar

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 11:08 AM

When it comes to whether to layup or hit driver, I think Scott Fawcett's methodology is the way to go.

1. Is there 65 yards between penalty situations?
2. Is the safe landing area (not the fairway) greater than 40 yards (trees, bunkers, etc?

If the answer is yes to those.... you hit driver. If not, you need to figure out if 3 wood or a hybrid removes that trouble. Rarely are you going to benefit from hitting an iron. You can't save or plan for your truly horrifically bad shots. There's no saving those and those are gone whether it's a driver or a 3 wood. Your goal is to try to fit your average shot into the design of the hole.



Seriously, this video has made a bigger impact to my game than anything I've read or seen in my 20+ years of playing this game. It basically puts strokes gained into action.

Edited by dornstar, 29 August 2017 - 11:10 AM.

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#51 matthewb

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 11:52 AM

View Postdornstar, on 29 August 2017 - 11:08 AM, said:

When it comes to whether to layup or hit driver, I think Scott Fawcett's methodology is the way to go.

1. Is there 65 yards between penalty situations?
2. Is the safe landing area (not the fairway) greater than 40 yards (trees, bunkers, etc?

If the answer is yes to those.... you hit driver. If not, you need to figure out if 3 wood or a hybrid removes that trouble. Rarely are you going to benefit from hitting an iron. You can't save or plan for your truly horrifically bad shots. There's no saving those and those are gone whether it's a driver or a 3 wood. Your goal is to try to fit your average shot into the design of the hole.



Seriously, this video has made a bigger impact to my game than anything I've read or seen in my 20+ years of playing this game. It basically puts strokes gained into action.

I've had a similar experience as you after watching some of Fawcett's videos. I immediately saw a noticeable difference in my course management.

Another aspect of his advice that I benefitted from was his focus on approach shots to the fat side rather than the short side. Off the green misses to the fat side are so much easier to get up and down.

21

#52 Bluefan75

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 11:55 AM

In no particular order, here are the points that Broadie's book makes that kills all the "classic" instruction:
  • how often do you hit a putt out of bounds
  • tour pros don't make significantly more putts from a long distance than we do
  • longer drivers tend to be straighter drivers
  • the closer to the hole you are, the better your score on the hole will be
  • approach shots(distance to the hole) are the biggest contributor to scoring(sorry larrybud).
The old saw of "short game, short game, short game" has some validity, but not nearly as much as it was thought.  Yes it's the quickest way to turn 100 into 95.  Usually.  But if a player is always lying par and they're not on the green, guess what?  Those scores are not coming down any time soon with short game work.

There is a threshold where being in the fairway a little further back is better than being the rough but closer, but when you start talking 20 yds, that kind of goes away.  So long as you don't put yourself in a penalty or recovery situation, you are usually better off being closer.  Being closer gets you closer.  Woods was hardly the model of tee shot consistency during his heyday(but he didn't often put himself in real trouble), but he was by far the closest to the hole on average on approach shots.  And he was the #1 ranked player during that time.

Which comes to the other part of the equation:  pros aren't better putters because they will sink 60 of 100 30 footers while we'll sink 4.  They're better putters because they start closer to the hole than we do.  You make a lot more birdies from 10 feet than from 30.  BUt if you're someone that is usually only getting on the green in 4 on a par 4, then being 30 feet out for birdie is a big improvement, because you're likely to two putt that.  A lot of time on the putting green is not going to change that for the better.  But if you can stop OB tee shots, or even getting out of position, now all of a sudden you see some significant numbers of shots disappear.  

"Drive for show, putt for dough" applies to a particular week on tour.  The guy who wins a particular week usually is within the top 2-3 in SG Putting.  But over a season, the guy who wins the most money is the guy whose SG from the long game, particularly approach shots, is at or near the top.  For us, our handicaps will improve a lot more if we get the tee shot and approach shots in play/good positions.  And I disagree with larrybud about the GIR.  When a pin is closer to an edge, especially a spot with not a lot of rough/bunker, I'd rather be a couple feet off and be 10 feet away than be on the green but 30 feet away.  *That's* when short game work will pay off.

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#53 dornstar

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 12:06 PM

View PostBluefan75, on 29 August 2017 - 11:55 AM, said:

In no particular order, here are the points that Broadie's book makes that kills all the "classic" instruction:
  • how often do you hit a putt out of bounds
  • tour pros don't make significantly more putts from a long distance than we do
  • longer drivers tend to be straighter drivers
  • the closer to the hole you are, the better your score on the hole will be
  • approach shots(distance to the hole) are the biggest contributor to scoring(sorry larrybud).
The old saw of "short game, short game, short game" has some validity, but not nearly as much as it was thought.  Yes it's the quickest way to turn 100 into 95.  Usually.  But if a player is always lying par and they're not on the green, guess what?  Those scores are not coming down any time soon with short game work.

There is a threshold where being in the fairway a little further back is better than being the rough but closer, but when you start talking 20 yds, that kind of goes away.  So long as you don't put yourself in a penalty or recovery situation, you are usually better off being closer.  Being closer gets you closer.  Woods was hardly the model of tee shot consistency during his heyday(but he didn't often put himself in real trouble), but he was by far the closest to the hole on average on approach shots.  And he was the #1 ranked player during that time.

Which comes to the other part of the equation:  pros aren't better putters because they will sink 60 of 100 30 footers while we'll sink 4.  They're better putters because they start closer to the hole than we do.  You make a lot more birdies from 10 feet than from 30.  BUt if you're someone that is usually only getting on the green in 4 on a par 4, then being 30 feet out for birdie is a big improvement, because you're likely to two putt that.  A lot of time on the putting green is not going to change that for the better.  But if you can stop OB tee shots, or even getting out of position, now all of a sudden you see some significant numbers of shots disappear.  

"Drive for show, putt for dough" applies to a particular week on tour.  The guy who wins a particular week usually is within the top 2-3 in SG Putting.  But over a season, the guy who wins the most money is the guy whose SG from the long game, particularly approach shots, is at or near the top.  For us, our handicaps will improve a lot more if we get the tee shot and approach shots in play/good positions.  And I disagree with larrybud about the GIR.  When a pin is closer to an edge, especially a spot with not a lot of rough/bunker, I'd rather be a couple feet off and be 10 feet away than be on the green but 30 feet away.  *That's* when short game work will pay off.
Statistically, it won't. Based on strokes gained...

30 foot putt = 1.98 strokes
10 foot chip (fairway/fringe) = 2.03 strokes
10 foot chip (rough) = 2.1 strokes

If the pros are better with the 30 foot putt, you can bet your arse that your average amateur is as well considering the gaps between their short games and ours is astronomical. That said, once you get outside of 40 foot for a putt, it's better to have that 10 foot chip.

Edited by dornstar, 29 August 2017 - 12:13 PM.

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#54 Obee

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 12:13 PM

View Postdornstar, on 29 August 2017 - 12:06 PM, said:

View PostBluefan75, on 29 August 2017 - 11:55 AM, said:

In no particular order, here are the points that Broadie's book makes that kills all the "classic" instruction:
  • how often do you hit a putt out of bounds
  • tour pros don't make significantly more putts from a long distance than we do
  • longer drivers tend to be straighter drivers
  • the closer to the hole you are, the better your score on the hole will be
  • approach shots(distance to the hole) are the biggest contributor to scoring(sorry larrybud).
The old saw of "short game, short game, short game" has some validity, but not nearly as much as it was thought.  Yes it's the quickest way to turn 100 into 95.  Usually.  But if a player is always lying par and they're not on the green, guess what?  Those scores are not coming down any time soon with short game work.

There is a threshold where being in the fairway a little further back is better than being the rough but closer, but when you start talking 20 yds, that kind of goes away.  So long as you don't put yourself in a penalty or recovery situation, you are usually better off being closer.  Being closer gets you closer.  Woods was hardly the model of tee shot consistency during his heyday(but he didn't often put himself in real trouble), but he was by far the closest to the hole on average on approach shots.  And he was the #1 ranked player during that time.

Which comes to the other part of the equation:  pros aren't better putters because they will sink 60 of 100 30 footers while we'll sink 4.  They're better putters because they start closer to the hole than we do.  You make a lot more birdies from 10 feet than from 30.  BUt if you're someone that is usually only getting on the green in 4 on a par 4, then being 30 feet out for birdie is a big improvement, because you're likely to two putt that.  A lot of time on the putting green is not going to change that for the better.  But if you can stop OB tee shots, or even getting out of position, now all of a sudden you see some significant numbers of shots disappear.  

"Drive for show, putt for dough" applies to a particular week on tour.  The guy who wins a particular week usually is within the top 2-3 in SG Putting.  But over a season, the guy who wins the most money is the guy whose SG from the long game, particularly approach shots, is at or near the top.  For us, our handicaps will improve a lot more if we get the tee shot and approach shots in play/good positions.  And I disagree with larrybud about the GIR.  When a pin is closer to an edge, especially a spot with not a lot of rough/bunker, I'd rather be a couple feet off and be 10 feet away than be on the green but 30 feet away.  *That's* when short game work will pay off.
Statistically, it won't. Based on strokes gained...

30 foot putt = 1.98 strokes
10 foot chip (fairway/fringe) = 2.03 strokes
10 foot chip (rough) = 2.1 strokes

If the pros are better with the 30 foot putt, you can bet your arse that your average amateur is as well considering the gaps between their short games and ours is astronomical. Simply put, the margin of error is higher with short game shots than putts.

Nice research.

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#55 Bluefan75

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 12:22 PM

View Postdornstar, on 29 August 2017 - 12:06 PM, said:

View PostBluefan75, on 29 August 2017 - 11:55 AM, said:

In no particular order, here are the points that Broadie's book makes that kills all the "classic" instruction:
  • how often do you hit a putt out of bounds
  • tour pros don't make significantly more putts from a long distance than we do
  • longer drivers tend to be straighter drivers
  • the closer to the hole you are, the better your score on the hole will be
  • approach shots(distance to the hole) are the biggest contributor to scoring(sorry larrybud).
The old saw of "short game, short game, short game" has some validity, but not nearly as much as it was thought.  Yes it's the quickest way to turn 100 into 95.  Usually.  But if a player is always lying par and they're not on the green, guess what?  Those scores are not coming down any time soon with short game work.

There is a threshold where being in the fairway a little further back is better than being the rough but closer, but when you start talking 20 yds, that kind of goes away.  So long as you don't put yourself in a penalty or recovery situation, you are usually better off being closer.  Being closer gets you closer.  Woods was hardly the model of tee shot consistency during his heyday(but he didn't often put himself in real trouble), but he was by far the closest to the hole on average on approach shots.  And he was the #1 ranked player during that time.

Which comes to the other part of the equation:  pros aren't better putters because they will sink 60 of 100 30 footers while we'll sink 4.  They're better putters because they start closer to the hole than we do.  You make a lot more birdies from 10 feet than from 30.  BUt if you're someone that is usually only getting on the green in 4 on a par 4, then being 30 feet out for birdie is a big improvement, because you're likely to two putt that.  A lot of time on the putting green is not going to change that for the better.  But if you can stop OB tee shots, or even getting out of position, now all of a sudden you see some significant numbers of shots disappear.  

"Drive for show, putt for dough" applies to a particular week on tour.  The guy who wins a particular week usually is within the top 2-3 in SG Putting.  But over a season, the guy who wins the most money is the guy whose SG from the long game, particularly approach shots, is at or near the top.  For us, our handicaps will improve a lot more if we get the tee shot and approach shots in play/good positions.  And I disagree with larrybud about the GIR.  When a pin is closer to an edge, especially a spot with not a lot of rough/bunker, I'd rather be a couple feet off and be 10 feet away than be on the green but 30 feet away.  *That's* when short game work will pay off.
Statistically, it won't. Based on strokes gained...

30 foot putt = 1.98 strokes
10 foot chip (fairway/fringe) = 2.03 strokes
10 foot chip (rough) = 2.1 strokes

If the pros are better with the 30 foot putt, you can bet your arse that your average amateur is as well considering the gaps between their short games and ours is astronomical. That said, once you get outside of 40 foot for a putt, it's better to have that 10 foot chip.

Yeah, I've also found that my sense of what is 30 feet is not as good as it should be.  Maybe I'm thinking a little further away.

Just a question, did you get that info from somewhere, or was that the extrapolation you did for your spreadsheet?  I'd be curious to know what the numbers are like from close.  I have to believe it is not a straight line(ie, the SG are exponentially better from 10 feet than 20.)  All I know is from 10 feet away unless I'm in some narly rough, I'm thinking about chipping it in.  I'm looking to two putt from 30 feet.


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#56 Obee

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 12:27 PM

View PostBluefan75, on 29 August 2017 - 12:22 PM, said:

View Postdornstar, on 29 August 2017 - 12:06 PM, said:

View PostBluefan75, on 29 August 2017 - 11:55 AM, said:

In no particular order, here are the points that Broadie's book makes that kills all the "classic" instruction:
  • how often do you hit a putt out of bounds
  • tour pros don't make significantly more putts from a long distance than we do
  • longer drivers tend to be straighter drivers
  • the closer to the hole you are, the better your score on the hole will be
  • approach shots(distance to the hole) are the biggest contributor to scoring(sorry larrybud).
The old saw of "short game, short game, short game" has some validity, but not nearly as much as it was thought.  Yes it's the quickest way to turn 100 into 95.  Usually.  But if a player is always lying par and they're not on the green, guess what?  Those scores are not coming down any time soon with short game work.

There is a threshold where being in the fairway a little further back is better than being the rough but closer, but when you start talking 20 yds, that kind of goes away.  So long as you don't put yourself in a penalty or recovery situation, you are usually better off being closer.  Being closer gets you closer.  Woods was hardly the model of tee shot consistency during his heyday(but he didn't often put himself in real trouble), but he was by far the closest to the hole on average on approach shots.  And he was the #1 ranked player during that time.

Which comes to the other part of the equation:  pros aren't better putters because they will sink 60 of 100 30 footers while we'll sink 4.  They're better putters because they start closer to the hole than we do.  You make a lot more birdies from 10 feet than from 30.  BUt if you're someone that is usually only getting on the green in 4 on a par 4, then being 30 feet out for birdie is a big improvement, because you're likely to two putt that.  A lot of time on the putting green is not going to change that for the better.  But if you can stop OB tee shots, or even getting out of position, now all of a sudden you see some significant numbers of shots disappear.  

"Drive for show, putt for dough" applies to a particular week on tour.  The guy who wins a particular week usually is within the top 2-3 in SG Putting.  But over a season, the guy who wins the most money is the guy whose SG from the long game, particularly approach shots, is at or near the top.  For us, our handicaps will improve a lot more if we get the tee shot and approach shots in play/good positions.  And I disagree with larrybud about the GIR.  When a pin is closer to an edge, especially a spot with not a lot of rough/bunker, I'd rather be a couple feet off and be 10 feet away than be on the green but 30 feet away.  *That's* when short game work will pay off.
Statistically, it won't. Based on strokes gained...

30 foot putt = 1.98 strokes
10 foot chip (fairway/fringe) = 2.03 strokes
10 foot chip (rough) = 2.1 strokes

If the pros are better with the 30 foot putt, you can bet your arse that your average amateur is as well considering the gaps between their short games and ours is astronomical. That said, once you get outside of 40 foot for a putt, it's better to have that 10 foot chip.

Yeah, I've also found that my sense of what is 30 feet is not as good as it should be.  Maybe I'm thinking a little further away.

Just a question, did you get that info from somewhere, or was that the extrapolation you did for your spreadsheet?  I'd be curious to know what the numbers are like from close.  I have to believe it is not a straight line(ie, the SG are exponentially better from 10 feet than 20.)  All I know is from 10 feet away unless I'm in some narly rough, I'm thinking about chipping it in.  I'm looking to two putt from 30 feet.

I think something to consider is that even though you are "looking to chip in" from 10 feet, the likelihood of you actually chipping in is probably about the same as you making a 30 foot putt.

Most people think they chip in more frequently than they do. And they certainly remember their chip-ins much more than their made putts from 30 feet.

Also, we tend to forget when we don't get up and down when we are chipping from close. Usually we will attribute that to something like a bad lie, or a bad first bounce that leaves us a 4 1/2 footer that we then miss.

Not saying this is you, necessarily. I don't know your game. :-)

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#57 gentles

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 12:33 PM

From my experience with my buddies who range from 15-25 handicap, the biggest area they leak shots is the complete screw-ups from long range. I'm talking the tops, shanks, fats etc that either leave in you in a way worse spot or no better for 1 extra shot.

When these guys hit a squirrely hook that goes 40 yards and into the trees, it is an instant double+ regardless of short game ability. Even being able to hit a consistent wipe fade every time that gets within 20% of where you're aiming would make a massive difference over the course of 18 holes.

I think what hasn't been mentioned yet is that, especially for higher handicaps, big improvement comes from limiting the 7s and 8s, which is largely driven by really bad long game shots. Putting and chipping can help, but only so much if you're getting up and down for bogeys all day.
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#58 North Butte

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 12:33 PM

The strokes gained tables cannot distinguish between using the putter from 6 feet off the green  with 15 feet of green to work with versus using a wedge to Chip with when you are 20 feet from the hole but 12 feet of that is fringe.

I have a great many of the former situations and relatively few of the latter which causes the SG app to tell me I have a much better inside 20 yard short game  then I do in fact. I probably ought to count most of my putts from the fringe as putts rather than chips.
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#59 Ri_Redneck

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 12:56 PM

View PostGeorge1174, on 29 August 2017 - 01:33 AM, said:

View Postjuststeve, on 28 August 2017 - 11:00 AM, said:

Everyone will derive benefit from improvement of the long game but we ought not lose sight of the fact that improvement in the long game is much harder to achieve than improvement in a lot of other aspects of the game.   For example almost everyone can become very competent putting inside five feet, but almost no one can drive the ball like Dustin Johnson.  Therefore it would be wise to devote your practice time to areas where you are most likely to see results.

Steve
So DJ bought a Trackman to work on his wedges instead of getting the last 1-2% out of his Driver.
What I think when I read "It's better to hit 9I from the rough than 5I from the fairway" is "how the hell am I going to get another 40yds out of my Driver?" I have a full-time day (sometimes day and night) job, a wife and two daughters. I don't have the time to work my a** off in the gym for those 40 yds. But I can learn to pitch and chip close to save par from off the green where I hit my 5I.

This was the quote that I had the most issue with. It totally depends on the type of grass and condition of the rough. Sure, on most munis, this is absolutely true. But I have played tons of courses where the rough was VERY penal and the 5i from the fairway was far easier than the 9i from the rough. So all this is dependent on the course conditions. I played a course last week where you had total death outside the first cut in the fairway and all around the greens. Most stressful golf I ever played. You literally were dropping a ball if you were outside the first cut. The fairways and rough were paspalum which is tough as h*ll and hard to hit through. Even shots from the first cut were iffy. The rough around the greens heavily affected my short game. Didn't succeed in a single up and down through the entire round. So it's best to know your course before playing for a serious score and altering your strategy accordingly.

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#60 Gamble Gamble

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Posted 29 August 2017 - 01:31 PM

View PostRi_Redneck, on 29 August 2017 - 12:56 PM, said:

View PostGeorge1174, on 29 August 2017 - 01:33 AM, said:

View Postjuststeve, on 28 August 2017 - 11:00 AM, said:

Everyone will derive benefit from improvement of the long game but we ought not lose sight of the fact that improvement in the long game is much harder to achieve than improvement in a lot of other aspects of the game.   For example almost everyone can become very competent putting inside five feet, but almost no one can drive the ball like Dustin Johnson.  Therefore it would be wise to devote your practice time to areas where you are most likely to see results.

Steve
So DJ bought a Trackman to work on his wedges instead of getting the last 1-2% out of his Driver.
What I think when I read "It's better to hit 9I from the rough than 5I from the fairway" is "how the hell am I going to get another 40yds out of my Driver?" I have a full-time day (sometimes day and night) job, a wife and two daughters. I don't have the time to work my a** off in the gym for those 40 yds. But I can learn to pitch and chip close to save par from off the green where I hit my 5I.

This was the quote that I had the most issue with. It totally depends on the type of grass and condition of the rough. Sure, on most munis, this is absolutely true. But I have played tons of courses where the rough was VERY penal and the 5i from the fairway was far easier than the 9i from the rough. So all this is dependent on the course conditions. I played a course last week where you had total death outside the first cut in the fairway and all around the greens. Most stressful golf I ever played. You literally were dropping a ball if you were outside the first cut. The fairways and rough were paspalum which is tough as h*ll and hard to hit through. Even shots from the first cut were iffy. The rough around the greens heavily affected my short game. Didn't succeed in a single up and down through the entire round. So it's best to know your course before playing for a serious score and altering your strategy accordingly.

BT

This is another anecdotal example of an extreme situation.  Also, you would need to show the dispersion between your 2i/3h/5W vs your Driver to see if it is more likely to be in the fairway enough of the time to make up for the percentage that you miss the fairway with the layup and end up having a 5i instead of a 9i out of the same rough.

Golf is more mathematical than most sports regardless of your level of play.  Many higher handicaps do not implement the mathematical approach to golf enough which leads to them giving more shots back than they should based on swing deficiencies alone.

Edit:  also Broadie also does recommend laying up if there is a hazard in play that has a high enough likelihood of being hit.  In your situation some players with less "rough escape" skills could begin to look at the rough being a hazard if it is truely costing them 1 full stroke.

Edited by Gamble Gamble, 29 August 2017 - 01:41 PM.

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