Driver vs Putter

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No. bad tee shots/drives are those that simply offer no sensible opportunity to hit green in reg.


I guess a lot depends on what your interpretation/definition of a bad "drive" is. For me a bad "drive" is a tee shot (whether played with driver or 3 wood or hybrid) that prevents me from making a reasonable attempt at hitting green in regulation....it is not about splitting the fairway...or even finding the fairway...a shot in the rough may offer a perfectly acceptable opportunity to find the green.
I think you have misunderstood what I meant.

The first cut reference was meant for if you are average at driving.
 
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I think you have misunderstood what I meant.

The first cut reference was meant for if you are average at driving.
No I got it...I really did.:)

I just wanted to generally clarify what I personally considered a bad drive as it may well be different to what other folks think...especially as folks have started talking about "splitting fairways". In the days when I "kept stats" I never used to take any notice of "Fairways hit"...I was always more concerned with "trouble off the tee"...which was basically any tee shot which prevented me from having a reasonable chance of hitting GIR.

Essentially I was agreeing with the text that I highlighted.
 

timd77

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I think it depends what level you’re at. I’m off 18, my best rounds have been when I’ve putted well, zero 3 putts and a couple of nice 1 putts. I’m not wild off the tee usually, my bad shot will still be in play somewhere and just require a chip out or lay up, 2 putts for my bogey and I’m happy, and if I manage to 1 putt I’m over the moon.

Saying that, when things go wrong and everything’s off, not being able to keep my tee shot in play would probably affect my enjoyment more than not being able to putt.
To add to this, thinking about my regular pp, he’s off 19, we’re quite well matched in terms of iron play and putting, however, he hits the ball a mile when he catches it, but I normally beat him. Reason for this is that he’s often 3 off the tee or hitting his second from an adjacent fairway, he really struggles with his driver, switches to a long iron and can’t keep that in play either. When he’s driving well he wins, because he hits it so far.

So that would suggest driving is more important. Who knows eh!
 
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No I got it...I really did.:)

I just wanted to generally clarify what I personally considered a bad drive as it may well be different to what other folks think...especially as folks have started talking about "splitting fairways". In the days when I "kept stats" I never used to take any notice of "Fairways hit"...I was always more concerned with "trouble off the tee"...which was basically any tee shot which prevented me from having a reasonable chance of hitting GIR.

Essentially I was agreeing with the text that I highlighted.
Understood.

Ability is definitely one of the variables which has a big effect on how this question is answered.
 

HeftyHacker

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As others have said, too many variables in play.

To me, you could be a below average putter if the rest of your game was dynamite and still shoot very low, because you'd be in positions where you'd struggle to do worse than 2 putt.

However, you could be the best putter in the world but if you're consistently 30'+ from the hole everytime and its taken you 4 shots to get there you're never going to be setting the world alight.

Its completely subjective.
 

Orikoru

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It's hard to say for me, because my driver is usually very consistent, whereas my putting is enormously hit and miss - more miss than hit. So I'd definitely improve with better putting. But if you think about it, a bad putt can turn a 4 into a 5 or a 5 into a 6, whereas a bad drive can turn a 4 into a 6 or a 7 easily.

My mate who plays off 13 now, his iron play is superb, his putting is solid, and he can outdrive me by 20-30 yards potentially - but his slice problem means he's in the trees or out of bounds a few times a round, and he always says if he could have my driving he'd be off single figures by now. And I think he's right. He's my current foursomes partner though so that obviously works out well on a few holes. (y)
 

Orikoru

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First player drives it down the middle of the first fairway, hits his second shot to 10 feet and 3 putts for a bogey 5.
His playing companion hits his drive out of bounds, hits his second ball down the middle, wedges it to 10 feet and holes the putt for a bogey 5. Who is happier 2 minutes later on the second tee?
That's just recency bias. It doesn't really translate to a better score, you're just speaking emotionally. And I also agree with this:
Player 1. Player 2 is now thinking about how not to hit the same massive miss on the second tee.
The chap who is driving well will at least be more comfortable on the tee, even if he's unhappy with his previous putting performance.
 

Swinglowandslow

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Putt for dough without a doubt. When I got down to my lowest index I was putting like god, slow creep up over the last half dozen years to 6.7 now, final round of the year was 15 over par containing 42 putts
Exactly..but look at your handicap. Single figures. That means you do not regularly drive into bushes, water, scuff 80 yds etc.
It's a given that your first shot is acceptable, that GIR is more times attained than not, so , for you , putts are immensely important.
If I'm five on the green playing a par 3, a single putt is not going to win a prize😀
 

bobmac

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Player 1. Player 2 is now thinking about how not to hit the same massive miss on the second tee.
Player 2 won't be worrying about his next tee shot as he has already worked out what he did wrong on the first and hit his second ball right down the middle. But he will be pleased at limiting the damage to a birdie with the second ball. Player 1 will be seething at wasting a good drive and second shot with a silly 3 putt, especially if it's match play. All square.
 
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Player 2 won't be worrying about his next tee shot as he has already worked out what he did wrong on the first and hit his second ball right down the middle. But he will be pleased at limiting the damage to a birdie with the second ball. Player 1 will be seething at wasting a good drive and second shot with a silly 3 putt, especially if it's match play. All square.
I think youre over estimating the ability of the average golfer to work out what went wrong on the first drive and be able to implement it for the second one. If you are looking at single figure players, then I would agree that they could do this.
 
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Barking_Mad

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Putting is important, but mainly from inside 8 feet and over 25ft. If you can lag putt and knock in putts which give you a chance to save par, avoid 3 putts or make the odd birdie you'll putt well. Over 8 feet you're really in the lap of the gods/chance.

But to get those opportunities more often you really need to be closer to the hole, and that means better or longer drives and hitting more GIR. People will cite rounds where putts dropped to give great scores, but over time that's just not going to last, in the same way great PGA putters who struggle with driver distance occasionally win tournaments but the majority of weeks aren't in contention. In the main they're won by longer hitters who aren't the best putters, but will give themselves enough chances to hole enough putts to win.

That said when my putting improved it took pressure off the rest of my game, especially around the green.
 
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bobmac

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I think youre over estimating the ability of the average golfer to work out what went wrong on the first drive and be able to implement it for the second one. If you are looking at single figure players, then I would agree that they could do this.
And I think you underestimate how many golfers spend hours trawling Youtube looking for cures for their slice/hook/duff etc and being quite successful.
After all, I'm sure I wasn't the only pro who taught self analysis.
All I'm saying is a golfer who wastes a good birdie chance and 3 putts is not going to be happy on the next tee especially in match play.
 

Hobbit

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A good score needs both. But how frustrating it is to hit almost every fairway and almost every green in reg then 2 putt every green.

What gives me enjoyment and a buzz is sinking long putts, not hitting the middle of the fairway.
 

chico

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I nearly gave up golf because my driving was so erratic. I ended up hitting iron of every tee which was so frustrating.
Luckily my local pro sorted out my driving.
On the other hand my putting has always been average at best and its never bothered me much. So from my point of view driving was and is much more important to my game.
 

Oddsocks

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This old chestnut just came up on Rick Shiels YouTube and 85% plumped for putting being more important than driving.

Wow.
I’ve struck the ball like a tart all year but dropped my handicap by getting fitted and improving my putting.

A 250-300 yard bomber can put you in a lot of crap which takes many shots to recover from, a bad read or poor putt normally ads one shot. But good putting can drop 10+ shots a round
 

BiMGuy

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I’ve struck the ball like a tart all year but dropped my handicap by getting fitted and improving my putting.

A 250-300 yard bomber can put you in a lot of crap which takes many shots to recover from, a bad read or poor putt normally ads one shot. But good putting can drop 10+ shots a round
For who?
 

Wabinez

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Just goes to show how golf articles etc will never change….as golfers STILL believe old myths, and putting is the key to low scores.

Stats show that there are better gains to be had by improving your driving, rather than your putting.

Hit it further and straighter, less club into greens. Less club into greens should (on average) mean closer proximity to the hole.

You can still believe the tripe that putting is the key, but improve your driver skills will be far more of a benefit.

And those who say to just hit 3 wood as it’s more reliable. It isn’t. You don’t hit more fairways with 3 wood than driver.

https://open.spotify.com/episode/0jKnJG9pSCNsNsOsoEwNrh?si=E8E2r9zgSGikSytQAd5ATg
 

sunshine

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First player drives it down the middle of the first fairway, hits his second shot to 10 feet and 3 putts for a bogey 5.
His playing companion hits his drive out of bounds, hits his second ball down the middle, wedges it to 10 feet and holes the putt for a bogey 5. Who is happier 2 minutes later on the second tee?
I'd definitely be much happier as the 1st player. 2 good shots to start and a look at birdie.
 

DaveR

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Strictly , hitting 3 wood, rescue, 4 iron off the tee would always be a 'bad driving day' given how much yardage youd be giving up.

And before anyone says 'I hit my 4 iron the same distance as my driver" well maybe you should ask yourself that question

And "I hit the fairway all the time with my 3 wood/hybrid/ 4 iron". No you don’t.
If you play off 18 and have a shot a hole then giving up a bit of distance isn't a problem.
 
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