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Interesting article on long game vs short game

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    www.golfchannel.com/.../molinari-leading-charge-for-statistical-analysis-long-trumps-short-game                  I came across this and was wondering what side of the fence people were on.... long game or short game ?

    • 3296 points
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    I missed this article but have had discussions, and read similar matter elsewhere, quite recently -- and i totally agree with it.  There's a long thread on the sandtrap.com board as well about practice ratios (e.g long 65, short 25, putting 10) and I've become a believer that the long game has a bigger impact on the end scores and performance for the casual hacker and amateur.  Basically a bad tee shot or iron can lead to a larger score vs. a 1 bad putt or 1 one bad chip.

    That said, I've also seem some analysis of the PGA Tour stats that seem to point to GIR's as the key factor in winning and not driving distance, accuracy, or SGP.  Those other three are important but just not as important as GIR's. For non-pro's who don't routinely hit wedges into greens, these shots into greens may also include some mid/long irons as well.

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    Given that I don't hit it out of my shadow, I tend to rely on my short game to survive.

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    short game fersure! LOL

    • 5304 points
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    Without a doubt, short game.  Why do you think they call your wedges your "scoring irons"?

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    Some interesting ideas in that article but as far as long game goes hitting the fairway is a premium but scrambling/putting/chipping is where you score

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    Putting equals short game.. Easily, just ask the US Ryder Cup team!

    • 3688 points
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    I've always been of the opinion that the worse your game is the more the long game matters.  Even when you're "horrible" you generally 3-4 putt.  You might whack a ball or two over the green before you get it on (or duff one or two).  You're probably losing 5 strokes or so.  HOWEVER.  You've probably lost more than that already.  Push your tee shot OB, push the next one OB.  Ok, now you have one in the woods that you can find.  Two swings later you're in the fairway.  Then you duff one.  Ooh look at the shank that follows.  OK now you're into short game territory.   At this point you're already well beyond the 5 or so strokes you give up around the green.

    I think those with such fundamental flaws REALLY need to practice the full swing and long game more than anything.  There is definite merit to working the short game and putting, no doubt.  I just think that they're easier to practice for one and two you actually gain more strokes by cleaning up the longer game first.   Now if you can hit a few FIR per round already and you aren't necessarily losing every single tee shot, then yes work your scoring clubs and putter for sure.

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    I can be all over the course with the big dog and if my short irons are on, which they are most of the time I can still score well enough to shoot in the mid 70's......my nine iron thru 60 degree and putter are my scoring irons and in most cases I can get close enough to 1-2 putt on most greens and make some nice recoverys for pars....and even a birdie every now and then......had a bad round on the front on Wed with a 43 and my short game got hot on the back and shot 32.....and the putter I consider part of the short game as well......with Lefties (PM) unpredictable game off the tee his short game will keep him in a lot of matches......

    • 1163 points
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    I vote for short game.

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    Sounds as if this is an intriguing use of statistics that could be of value to touring pros or high level amateurs.  The main gist I got from the story is that Broadie's method provides a systematic look at how performance in any single area affects your overall performance against others of a similar caliber/group.  For those described by etakmit's post above, I don't know that these stats would show much, because they wouldn't have a comparison group.  

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    that was a really interesting article and i agree with pretty much all of it.  would you rather hit a 9-iron from the first cut but with the correct angle or a 6 iron from fairway, but the wrong side?  think about it.  the goal is to put the ball in the fairway and then on to the green and two putt.  if you hit two balls out of play off the tee, that would equal the same number of lost strokes as four 3-putts.  and if you're deadly with your irons and full wedges, that makes putting a lot easier.

    now on the flip side, if you are horrible off the tee, you are going to need an awesome day chipping and putting.

    but i think what this article was trying to say, it's easier to hide bad chipping and putting with good wood and iron play than it is to hide bad wood and iron play with good chipping and putting.

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    Drive for show, putt for dough.

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    But I will say, duck hooking or slicing your opening tee shot into the woods or drink will  anger you to earths end.... Can ya recover to get it going!?

    • 3296 points
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    @etakmit/TNT -- totally agree misses on long game are cumulative.  

    I think that his point is that the stats show that the old adage of "Drive for show, putt for dough" is…old.