Drive for Dough???

Doon frae Troon

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Only in a numerical sense, not in a cause and effect sense. :p
Dunno, nearer the you get to the hole the more important shots become IMVHO
In my good playing years, by far the strongest part of my game was chipping and bunker play from around the green. I holed more than my fare share of shots from 40 yards to the pin.
I was always planning to hole it from a greenside bunker, unless I had a horrendous lie/stance.
 

RichA

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Dunno, nearer the you get to the hole the more important shots become IMVHO
In my good playing years, by far the strongest part of my game was chipping and bunker play from around the green. I holed more than my fare share of shots from 40 yards to the pin.
I was always planning to hole it from a greenside bunker, unless I had a horrendous lie/stance.
I'm a bit like this. Golf psychology is weird. Every time I chip, I'm actively aiming to get the ball in the hole. Every time I putt from 10+ feet, I'm just hoping it ends up close.
I've chipped in 3 times in the last 2 rounds and haven't drained a single putt from outside 5 feet.
It has been suggested that I use my wedge on the green.
 
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Drive for dough? At the moment I can’t drive for toffee.

Ah well. Prepping myself for some embarrassing moments Thursday and Friday - and it used to be the strongest part of my game and probably won me a lot of matches. Such is golf.
 

Springveldt

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I didn’t say that wasn’t the case. Let me try to explain my thinking again.

One of Broadie’s papers from the time showed that against accepted opinion Tiger’s main advantage over the field wasn’t his short game. Tiger gained about 3 shots on the field overall; 1 shot gained from short game (0.7 from putting alone) and the other 2 shots from over 150 yards, and it wasn’t just off the tee.

3 shots over the field was and still is a remarkable stat. It did/does show that being a longer hitter provided him a massive advantage in that field.

It also showed that the field was pretty much as good as Tiger putting and this is where I believe the thinking is wrong as it’s perhaps a form of survivorship bias. Bad players and bad putters can’t survive the PGA Tour and I think the data illustrates that because the variance gets so small and consistent towards that 50/50 chance from 8 feet measure. It suggests this might be the plateau of natural human ability and there’s nothing that can be improved on.

To score we will always need to putt out, and if the pros are now consistently showing there isn’t much to be gained but a lot to be lost, it means there is a minimum ability you need to meet. Therefore I think it’s incorrect to say we have to be better driver than a putter. It’s more accurate to say we need to be as good as the best putters on the planet and also hit the ball further for a marginal gain in probabilities against them. Like him or not, that’s Bryson, he’s playing the game of probabilities and marginal gains with some success.

Don’t get me wrong, Strokes Gained is an interesting system. I just don’t agree that what it demonstrates on the PGA Tour applies to what we could do better in a saturday roll-up. Quite simply more amateurs would benefit from a better short game than they would from being longer off the tee.
Sorry but I totally disagree. It's not simply about being longer but being longer while keeping it in play (most high handicappers struggle with this). The quickest way to improve for a high handicapper is by keeping it in play off the tee and being able to get the ball up to and around the green from 150+ yards. These 2 areas are what separates the good and bad players.

It's like if you gave a PGA Tour pro and a 28 handicapper 100 goes from 16 foot, how many times will the PGA Tour pro win? How about a 25 yard chip and run from the side of the green? Now how about a 170 yard approach shot?

I've been using Shotscope for 13 rounds now, index is 5.8 and this is what Strokes Gained is telling me what my game looks like compared to a 5 handicap. I know I'm a poor putter and working on it...


Now against a 25 handicapper...



I'm gaining 17 shots from tee to green, how does improving their short game help?
 

Jimaroid

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Now against a 25 handicapper.
I'm gaining 17 shots from tee to green, how does improving their short game help?
Sample size of one doesn’t mean much. Well done on being good off the tee but how verifiable is Shotscope data at your home course? Unless every player of every ability is using it to form a solid dataset there I don’t think it’s reliable (yet).
 

Springveldt

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Sample size of one doesn’t mean much. Well done on being good off the tee but how verifiable is Shotscope data at your home course? Unless every player of every ability is using it to form a solid dataset there I don’t think it’s reliable (yet).
It's not a sample size of 1 though, if you compare any 5 handicap to any 25 handicap they are gaining most of their shots from tee to green.

Shotscope have millions of data points now from players of all handicaps. My stats are 1.3 shots better than what the Shotscope data has for a 5 handicap tee to green which means that based on all of the Shotscope data a 5 handicap should expect to gain 15.51 shots against a 25 handicap tee to green and only gain 5.25 shots on the short game/putting.

Getting better tee to green will improve a high handicapper quicker than them improving their short game.
 

evemccc

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I would caution against looking at data from PGA Tour pros and applying it to ourselves — Rahm, Bryson, DJ, Rory, Koepka are clearly in the top echelon of the very elite tour players in recent years - and they’re all very long off the tee.

But just because this is where their ‘strokes gained’ comes from, doesn’t mean that focusing on length for us amateurs is the key to winning board comps at our clhbs

Those players I listed, will practice with their putter substantially more than with any other club, with their short game coming second —— I doubt most recreational golfers would practice their putting anything like as much as elite tour pros, proportionally as a part of their practice
 

saving_par

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I would caution against looking at data from PGA Tour pros and applying it to ourselves — Rahm, Bryson, DJ, Rory, Koepka are clearly in the top echelon of the very elite tour players in recent years - and they’re all very long off the tee.

But just because this is where their ‘strokes gained’ comes from, doesn’t mean that focusing on length for us amateurs is the key to winning board comps at our clhbs

Those players I listed, will practice with their putter substantially more than with any other club, with their short game coming second —— I doubt most recreational golfers would practice their putting anything like as much as elite tour pros, proportionally as a part of their practice
I would agree here, if higher handicappers focused practice on holing our from inside 4 feet they would in general save a bucket load of shots.

You see some weird and wonderful putting actions, not many of which you would have much confidence of getting the thing in the hole.

I played with a 21 handicap senior today who hit the ball very solidly and was only in trouble a couple of times which he recovered from well. However it was horrible watching him putt, shots wasted left, right and centre.
 

BiMGuy

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Comparing PGA tour stats is good for managing expectations.

I would agree here, if higher handicappers focused practice on holing our from inside 4 feet they would in general save a bucket load of shots.

You see some weird and wonderful putting actions, not many of which you would have much confidence of getting the thing in the hole.

I played with a 21 handicap senior today who hit the ball very solidly and was only in trouble a couple of times which he recovered from well. However it was horrible watching him putt, shots wasted left, right and centre.
There are outliers for every statistic.

But high handicappers would save even more shots if they learned to hit their driver properly and practiced loads with it.
Holing out from 4ft is great. But does it really matter of its for a double or a triple?

If you could have 14, 300 yard dives from the fairway or semi rough, or hole every putt from 4ft and closer every round. Which would you choose?
 

saving_par

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Putting is achievable for the handicap golfer, 300 yard drives for a very select minority or either young athletic golfers or elite level golfers.

The majority of high handicappers either don't have the physical capability to hit it a decent distance or be prepared to put in the practice and hard work required.
 

BiMGuy

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Putting is achievable for the handicap golfer, 300 yard drives for a very select minority or either young athletic golfers or elite level golfers.

The majority of high handicappers either don't have the physical capability to hit it a decent distance or be prepared to put in the practice and hard work required.
Maybe so. Then they will have to accept they will remain a high handicapper in most cases.
 

Backache

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Putting is achievable for the handicap golfer, 300 yard drives for a very select minority or either young athletic golfers or elite level golfers.

The majority of high handicappers either don't have the physical capability to hit it a decent distance or be prepared to put in the practice and hard work required.
Hitting 300 yard shots may be beyond most, improving long shots ma not be, and the data does seem to indicate that the greatest disparity between the average golfer at two different abilities is with the long game rather than the short, though there are obviously exceptions within the average
 

Jimaroid

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Shotscope have millions of data points now from players of all handicaps. My stats are 1.3 shots better than what the Shotscope data has for a 5 handicap tee to green which means that based on all of the Shotscope data a 5 handicap should expect to gain 15.51 shots against a 25 handicap tee to green and only gain 5.25 shots on the short game/putting.
I’m not arguing your achievements but taking your one example and extrapolating that to mean its true for all 5 handicap versus 25 handicap players is wrong. Strokes Gained is a model of averages so you may (or may not be an) an exception, I have no idea. Their model baseline 25 handicap players may be exceptions, we have no idea. And here lies the problem.

Shot Scope’s data isn’t open for scrutiny so I’m skeptical of it. “Millions of data points” doesn’t mean much; a lot of wrong data is worse than little bit of correct data.
 

pendodave

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I’m not arguing your achievements but taking your one example and extrapolating that to mean its true for all 5 handicap versus 25 handicap players is wrong. Strokes Gained is a model of averages so you may (or may not be an) an exception, I have no idea. Their model baseline 25 handicap players may be exceptions, we have no idea. And here lies the problem.

Shot Scope’s data isn’t open for scrutiny so I’m skeptical of it. “Millions of data points” doesn’t mean much; a lot of wrong data is worse than little bit of correct data.
I think that most people (!) are a lot more average than they like to think they are. And if someone is genuinely an outlier, being able to compare themselves against an average may well give them a useful insight into how to improve.

I think the main issue with the shotscope data is its quality - so I definitely agree with you there.
I recently listened to a pod which said that the putting info was particularly dodgy because people are very bad at estimating shortish distances. So the database is full of 3/5/10 foot putts, where there is obviously a continuum of distances in real life. This really mucks up putting SG, because every 6 inches makes a massive difference to SG up to 12 feet. For iron shots (for example) the kind of people that input SG information are pretty much all using a distance measuring device, so the data is spot on.
 
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