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Premium on Ball Striking


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#1 yellowlover519

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 09:33 AM

At what age do you guys feel like you canít fake a good round?  By ďfakeĒ I mean, you canít get away with poor ball striking and just a good short game (although the short game is the ultimate equalizer and ability to score).

At younger ages, they can just hit the ball, let it roll anywhere near the green and save par or play bogey golf.  Younger ages do not have the power for the negative affects of poor ball striking (they are not hitting OB or in bad positions and they are not playing tee boxes where golf architects have designed trouble).  Iíve seen a lot of juniors with terrible ball striking be able to just roll balls near the green in two shots and save par.   Trajectory or launch angle makes very little difference at a young age bc courses arenít set up that difficult.

I feel like at 10 the yardages start getting long enough (300+ yard par 4s, 400+ yard par 5s...)  where there is a premium on ball striking.  Maybe you start seeing it more at 6000+ yard setups.  Thoughts?  I guess my question is at what age does ball striking make a noticeable difference in scoring?



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#2 mrshinsa

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 10:05 AM

At least for US Kids' and at age 10, I noticed that if my son miss hit a ball once, then he would not reach the green in regulation.  
At age 9, it was still possible due to much shorter setup.

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#3 leezer99

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 10:13 AM

View Postmrshinsa, on 03 September 2018 - 10:05 AM, said:

At least for US Kids' and at age 10, I noticed that if my son miss hit a ball once, then he would not reach the green in regulation.  
At age 9, it was still possible due to much shorter setup.

I disagree.  Even at 10 the US Kids local tour yardages are short at 2,500 yards.

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#4 Golfingdawg19

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 11:31 AM

I agree. At 10 the yardageís are still fairly short. My daughter turns 11 this month and for the big tournaments they back her up to almost the regular womenís tees. That is a huge jump for her. Iíve got her playing the womenís tees at our course and that is 5100 yds. She canít get to all of the greens in regulation and the ones she can itís hitting driver-3 wood or driver-hybrid. She can still shoot bogey golf but that is totally different that hitting driver wedge all day in the local stuff. Kids start hitting puberty in the 11-12 range so that is when you see the distances jump and a premium on ball striking occurs.

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#5 tiger1873

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 01:27 PM

This really depends on how you define ball strikes. If you chunk a shot your in trouble at any age.  If you define it as accuracy for a chance at birdies  I would think teen years is where it really matters.

This matters much more for boys though then girls because if your not striking the ball and being accurate your going to have a hard time being competitive. For girls I think it just less of an issue as long as your able to still par the hole unless weíre talking about the LPGA.


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#6 wildcatden

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 03:06 PM

For USKG locals, I think it starts at age 8 where the distances require then to start hitting 8-9 irons into the greens. At age 9, I believe the USKG tapers off a bit since they play the same yardage as 8 year olds.  Once your kid is able to drive it 175+ yards (total), it seems that they could actually start to get in severe trouble with wayward shots even though they are teeing off from the fairway.

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#7 darter79

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 04:42 PM

It think in the younger ages the premium is on driving the ball long and accurate, being able to hit a sw full and accurate and a good short game. You will score well at those ages. By daughter just turned 8 and has played yardages from 1100- 1800 and the score doesn't change because well in her case distance does matter as she drives it long enough to where at worst she normally only making bogey. My opinion the premiums on ball striking come during the teenage years, I think as they start to hit the ball further you can't get away with bad driving as much as you can when you are younger.

Even at the younger age groups you hit it very thin and get away with it. You can chuck it and get away with it. I've seen young kids skull one on the tee that landed on the fridge.

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#8 heavy_hitter

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 06:19 PM

View Postdarter79, on 03 September 2018 - 04:42 PM, said:

It think in the younger ages the premium is on driving the ball long and accurate, being able to hit a sw full and accurate and a good short game. You will score well at those ages. By daughter just turned 8 and has played yardages from 1100- 1800 and the score doesn't change because well in her case distance does matter as she drives it long enough to where at worst she normally only making bogey. My opinion the premiums on ball striking come during the teenage years, I think as they start to hit the ball further you can't get away with bad driving as much as you can when you are younger.

Even at the younger age groups you hit it very thin and get away with it. You can chuck it and get away with it. I've seen young kids skull one on the tee that landed on the fridge.

Depends on what you consider bad driving.  My kid thought he had a bad driving day (hit 12/14 fairways) today and was still able to go low.  He wasn‚Äôt putting the ball where he wanted to in the fairway and considered it a bad day driving the ball.  Approach shots he was shooting darts.

Edited by heavy_hitter, 03 September 2018 - 06:21 PM.


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#9 darter79

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 09:00 PM

View Postheavy_hitter, on 03 September 2018 - 06:19 PM, said:

View Postdarter79, on 03 September 2018 - 04:42 PM, said:

It think in the younger ages the premium is on driving the ball long and accurate, being able to hit a sw full and accurate and a good short game. You will score well at those ages. By daughter just turned 8 and has played yardages from 1100- 1800 and the score doesn't change because well in her case distance does matter as she drives it long enough to where at worst she normally only making bogey. My opinion the premiums on ball striking come during the teenage years, I think as they start to hit the ball further you can't get away with bad driving as much as you can when you are younger.

Even at the younger age groups you hit it very thin and get away with it. You can chuck it and get away with it. I've seen young kids skull one on the tee that landed on the fridge.

Depends on what you consider bad driving.  My kid thought he had a bad driving day (hit 12/14 fairways) today and was still able to go low.  He wasn’t putting the ball where he wanted to in the fairway and considered it a bad day driving the ball.  Approach shots he was shooting darts.

I'm more referring to the younger groups hitting on top of the ball watch it roll 50 yards. Once you start playing longer yardage it will take par out of it. Saw it at worlds at longer yards where a girl hit on top of it it goes maybe 30-50 yards she over 125 and can't get home.

But in older divisions its more of a balance I would think, but I as you know only have experience with the younger age groups.

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#10 tiger1873

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 05:31 AM

View Postdarter79, on 03 September 2018 - 09:00 PM, said:

View Postheavy_hitter, on 03 September 2018 - 06:19 PM, said:

View Postdarter79, on 03 September 2018 - 04:42 PM, said:

It think in the younger ages the premium is on driving the ball long and accurate, being able to hit a sw full and accurate and a good short game. You will score well at those ages. By daughter just turned 8 and has played yardages from 1100- 1800 and the score doesn't change because well in her case distance does matter as she drives it long enough to where at worst she normally only making bogey. My opinion the premiums on ball striking come during the teenage years, I think as they start to hit the ball further you can't get away with bad driving as much as you can when you are younger.

Even at the younger age groups you hit it very thin and get away with it. You can chuck it and get away with it. I've seen young kids skull one on the tee that landed on the fridge.

Depends on what you consider bad driving.  My kid thought he had a bad driving day (hit 12/14 fairways) today and was still able to go low.  He wasn‚§ôt putting the ball where he wanted to in the fairway and considered it a bad day driving the ball.  Approach shots he was shooting darts.

I'm more referring to the younger groups hitting on top of the ball watch it roll 50 yards. Once you start playing longer yardage it will take par out of it. Saw it at worlds at longer yards where a girl hit on top of it it goes maybe 30-50 yards she over 125 and can't get home.

But in older divisions its more of a balance I would think, but I as you know only have experience with the younger age groups.

Misshits happen all the time even with older players and many times a good player will be able to recover with a wood or hybrid. I do agree that at some ages though you could literally use a putter down the fairway to get it the green. In a lot cases they donít have to get the ball in the air. At those ages keeping it in play is what is most important.  You still have to hit the ball. If they constantly do misshits with the ball there is no telling where it going to go. I seen that as well with kids and it is tough to watch.


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#11 kcap

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 07:52 AM

I think 10-12 yrs depending on tournament i.e local, regional or worlds (based on Yardage) is where ball striking becomes really key.  I have seen plenty of the local kids develop over the years - at a younger age with slow swing speeds you could get away with a OTT 30 yard fade/slice swing.  That same inconsistent swing comes back to haunt you at faster swing speeds as you hit balls from trees, rough etc.

For us,  good ball striking and developing a consistent swing that can survive faster swing speeds has taken precedence over the short game in these formative years.

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#12 yellowlover519

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 10:46 AM

A short game really masks a lot.  Curious if there are stats on up and down percentage from various lies/distances and whether that mirrors 3-putt avoidance from 40+ feet.  Iím sure at the younger levels, there will be a startling correlation.  As juniors get better, this goes away and GIR become a premium.

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#13 kekoa

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 11:02 AM

I can't say for sure yet, but for those that think 10 yr yardages are short then how far should the course be stretched for this age?  I'm just curious because the distance gap from the 8/9 to 10's appears very noticeable.

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#14 heavy_hitter

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 11:10 AM

View Postkekoa, on 04 September 2018 - 11:02 AM, said:

I can't say for sure yet, but for those that think 10 yr yardages are short then how far should the course be stretched for this age?  I'm just curious because the distance gap from the 8/9 to 10's appears very noticeable.

I think the course yardage for a 10 year old should be right around where they have it for US Kids Worlds which is 5200 yards.  Distance also changes with where you are relative to sea level.  5200 yards in S. Florida is not the same as 5200 yards in Texas, Montana, North Carolina, etc.  Many people don't take this into consideration.

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#15 kcap

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 11:44 AM

View Postkekoa, on 04 September 2018 - 11:02 AM, said:

I can't say for sure yet, but for those that think 10 yr yardages are short then how far should the course be stretched for this age?  I'm just curious because the distance gap from the 8/9 to 10's appears very noticeable.

For us, the distance jump (for US Kids Locals) from a 8/9 to a 10 was pretty big but I also think depends on individual kid - i.e. long hitter off the tee box or not.  If you think he is playing comfortable par or slightly more (for a full round)  from a 10yr old local distance then move him longer like HH suggested move to worlds distance.   I think distance is balance between teaching them hitting a long approach shot as well taking advantage of short holes.

I might be stating the obvious, but the total distance never tells the full story i.e every course could have forced layups, elevation changes or really small landing areas since they are designed for adults who drive in 230-250 from the back tees.


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#16 leezer99

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 12:06 PM

View Postkekoa, on 04 September 2018 - 11:02 AM, said:

I can't say for sure yet, but for those that think 10 yr yardages are short then how far should the course be stretched for this age?  I'm just curious because the distance gap from the 8/9 to 10's appears very noticeable.

SCPGA yardages from what I can tell have been between 2,600 - 3,000 yards.  Like others have said, a lot has to do with course layout and run out.  The courses they play on the SCPGA are pretty benign except for Meadowlark... that ninth hole coming back to the clubhouse is a b****.

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