Drive for Dough???

sunshine

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Scratch golfer will 2 putt most greens, a 20 handicap will also 2 putt most greens. Yes the 20 handicap will have fewer 1 putts and more 3 putts, maybe that’s 3 or 4 shots a round. But most of the 20 shot gap is due to the long game.
 

BiMGuy

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Scratch golfer will 2 putt most greens, a 20 handicap will also 2 putt most greens. Yes the 20 handicap will have fewer 1 putts and more 3 putts, maybe that’s 3 or 4 shots a round. But most of the 20 shot gap is due to the long game.
Yep. The long game is where the real differentiation is.

Yes putting accounts for 30 to 35 shots a round. But 10 to 15 of those putts are tap ins that are holed 99% of the time.
The majority of the remaining putts are within acceptable 2 put range, leaving a few 40ft plus putts that most amateurs will 3 putt.

So putting comes down to speed control on long putts, and holing more from 3 to 8ft. Your looking at 2 to 3 a round on average. Realistically you are going to 2 putt most greens. A scratch golfer will average 1.7 putts per green. A 20 HC 2.0. There isn't that much room for improvement.

Consider that compared to the gains that could be made from getting on to the green in fewer shots in the first place.
 

Slab

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Scratch golfer will 2 putt most greens, a 20 handicap will also 2 putt most greens. Yes the 20 handicap will have fewer 1 putts and more 3 putts, maybe that’s 3 or 4 shots a round. But most of the 20 shot gap is due to the long game.
Yup, off 18 hcap and short hitting, I got crucified yesterday off the tee even though I only had one poor drive plus the long second shots into a three club wind on many holes, course length 6500

I needed all my shots just to get to the greens, nowt left for dodgy chips or three putts (both aspects were pretty good as it happens) but a solid short game/putting counts for sod all when that tap in 2 putt from distance is for a double 😢
 
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The one stat I find astounding is that from 30 yards the average 20 handicapper loses only 4.7 shots per round compared to a PGA tour player. I thought it would have been way more. Kind of proves the long game is where most of the shots are lost.
 
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I would add, that the real skill of good players is the shots/recovery they play after driving into trouble. Shots from thick rough, low shots to come out of trees, high shots to clear trees, shaping the ball etc.
 

saving_par

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The one stat I find astounding is that from 30 yards the average 20 handicapper loses only 4.7 shots per round compared to a PGA tour player. I thought it would have been way more. Kind of proves the long game is where most of the shots are lost.
That stat is meaningless as they are playing different course set ups, the tour guys can get it up and down from inside a cardboard box.
 
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That stat is meaningless as they are playing different course set ups, the tour guys can get it up and down from inside a cardboard box.
But it's not meaningless as it's comparing every 20 handicapper on every course across the world (or at least the ones that have put all the details into the strokes gained app) against every PGA tour pro across every course they've played.

And the stats prove that the pros aren't anywhere near getting up and down from inside a cardboard box. We only see the good shots on TV.
 

saving_par

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But it's not meaningless as it's comparing every 20 handicapper on every course across the world (or at least the ones that have put all the details into the strokes gained app) against every PGA tour pro across every course they've played.

And the stats prove that the pros aren't anywhere near getting up and down from inside a cardboard box. We only see the good shots on TV.
Still not convinced, somehow don't think a 20 handicapper is going to hold his own against the very best chipping to tucked, short sided pins to greens running at 12 or 13 on the stamp. Add in chipping out of a birds nest lie or shaven areas and its way too difficult.
 

BiMGuy

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Still not convinced, somehow don't think a 20 handicapper is going to hold his own against the very best chipping to tucked, short sided pins to greens running at 12 or 13 on the stamp. Add in chipping out of a birds nest lie or shaven areas and its way too difficult.
It's not comparing a 20hc against a Pro on pro courses. Its comparing the averages from millions of shots, of 2 groups on the courses they play. And yes, there are outliers that go against the averages.

Most weeks the courses the PGA play on aren't hugely different to when the members play them. Yes the greens are faster, and the rough my be longer, but not massively so in many cases.
Majors and big tournaments are obviously set up very differently.
 
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Still not convinced, somehow don't think a 20 handicapper is going to hold his own against the very best chipping to tucked, short sided pins to greens running at 12 or 13 on the stamp. Add in chipping out of a birds nest lie or shaven areas and its way too difficult.
Totally appreciate your stance. It took me a while to get my head around it. If you stop thinking about what course it's on or who's playing where and just think that it's an average of everybody, everywhere then it makes it easier to understand.
You need to listen to the sweet spot podcast. Really opens your eyes. And you realise how crap you actually are 😂.

Just listened to one of the other sweet spot podcasts and they described it as a minor miracle that you ever hit a fairway while driving. Slightly tongue in cheek but they briefly explain some physics behind it.
 

saving_par

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Totally appreciate your stance. It took me a while to get my head around it. If you stop thinking about what course it's on or who's playing where and just think that it's an average of everybody, everywhere then it makes it easier to understand.
You need to listen to the sweet spot podcast. Really opens your eyes. And you realise how crap you actually are 😂.

Just listened to one of the other sweet spot podcasts and they described it as a minor miracle that you ever hit a fairway while driving. Slightly tongue in cheek but they briefly explain some physics behind it.
Right, so I need to disregard the data and practice more 👍

Simple game really if we hit more fairways, greens and hole more putts your scores come down.
 

Doon frae Troon

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We used to coach our up and coming juniors to keep a note of the number of shots per round to the green that went passed the pin.
It generally resulted in a low number
Same with mapping 3 putts, nearly all were from the front of the green again due to under clubbing.
 

Jimaroid

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The stats for pros on greens are independently verifiable, measured to inches by Shot Link.

The stats for everyone else are taken off GPS devices that aren’t even accurate to a yard, include gimmies with questionable human distance estimation and skewed by unknown numbers of non-competition play and generous rule and handicap interpretations.

They’re incomparable stats. But it helps sell products I suppose.
 

harpo_72

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We used to coach our up and coming juniors to keep a note of the number of shots per round to the green that went passed the pin.
It generally resulted in a low number
Same with mapping 3 putts, nearly all were from the front of the green again due to under clubbing.
That’s an interesting one, I think the amateur is or uses a distance which is their Sunday best as opposed to what they are hitting on the day. I had more success playing middle for front pins and back yardage for middle and back pins .. I suppose there is a commitment as well at trying to hit that yardage.
 

Doon frae Troon

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That’s an interesting one, I think the amateur is or uses a distance which is their Sunday best as opposed to what they are hitting on the day. I had more success playing middle for front pins and back yardage for middle and back pins .. I suppose there is a commitment as well at trying to hit that yardage.
With junior boys more like a sense of reality.

' I hit the 12th green [long par 5] with a drive and 7 iron yesterday'
..........is met with 'how close to the pin'
..........30 yards short.
........is met with 'bad clubbing son, you should have hit a 5 iron'.
 

BiMGuy

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That’s an interesting one, I think the amateur is or uses a distance which is their Sunday best as opposed to what they are hitting on the day. I had more success playing middle for front pins and back yardage for middle and back pins .. I suppose there is a commitment as well at trying to hit that yardage.
It's common for amateurs to assume that their 7 iron, for example is their 150 club. So every time they have a 150 shot, they hit 7 iron. Not taking into account the lie, weather, ball, wind, temperature etc. And will more often than not, come up well short.

Quite a few of the US colleges have practice days where they remove the flags from the holes. More often than not they report that scoring is significantly better that when the pins are left in, because the only strategy is to play for the middle of the green.
 

sunshine

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That’s an interesting one, I think the amateur is or uses a distance which is their Sunday best as opposed to what they are hitting on the day. I had more success playing middle for front pins and back yardage for middle and back pins .. I suppose there is a commitment as well at trying to hit that yardage.
But how annoying would it be if you flushed an iron and watched it sail over the back of the green because you based your yardage on a mis-hit. Selecting a club based on expecting to mis-hit it doesn't sound like positive mental attitude either!
 

Doon frae Troon

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But how annoying would it be if you flushed an iron and watched it sail over the back of the green because you based your yardage on a mis-hit. Selecting a club based on expecting to mis-hit it doesn't sound like positive mental attitude either!
The average club golfer under clubs on a mammoth scale.

I played a semi final against a bandit 20 [ish] handicapper. I was playing off 4 or 5 at the time.
Shortest hole on the course, unusually playing into a stiffish wind, normally a 8 or 9 iron for me but I hit a 6 iron off the white tees.
He watches me play and hit the green then selects a 9 iron, hits it well and it pitches 30 yards short of the green and into the water hazzard.
He goes mad, saying he can't understand it as he always hits this green with a 9 iron.
I calmly point our that it is into the wind and off the back tee and watch the penny slowly drop.
If I had been clubbing him I would have given him a 5 iron.
 

harpo_72

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But how annoying would it be if you flushed an iron and watched it sail over the back of the green because you based your yardage on a mis-hit. Selecting a club based on expecting to mis-hit it doesn't sound like positive mental attitude either!
It was quite 🤣 apart from walking around saying 175 yard 7 iron which is a blade .. see. Then I went back to my normal 160-165 for the rest of the round but played 1 club too short every where else. Totally confused myself and upset my round as I have no short game.
 
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