Jump to content
LeftyRM7

Shot tracking a 20 handicap

Recommended Posts

On 11/29/2019 at 9:09 PM, LeftyRM7 said:

Well I spent some time on the putting green today. I picked out 5 hole locations close to the edge of the green. Some uphill, some downhill, one level. I hit 3 chips from just off the green, all hard/tight lies. Then I took 12 paces across the green to simulate as if I hit one club longer. Dropped 3 more balls putted back to the pin. Here’s what I found...

My chips averaged 60” from the hole, 18” closer than my putts. Over 1/2 of my chips finished inside 3’, including 2 dropping. Only 1/3 of my putts finished inside 3’, none dropped.

Breaking it down even more, I averaged each set of chips and putts. 3 of the pin locations, the chips were clearly better, by 2’ or more. 1 location, was essentially a wash being 4” apart. The last location, the flattest, was just over 2’ better with the putter. Then I broke it down to uphill vs downhill and what stood out there is the downhill putts. Putting downhill averaged 3’ longer than my overall putts. I guess pin high really is the king. Uphill putts averaged within a few inches of my average chip.

Small sample size I know, but definitely seeing some trends. Moral of the story, GIR are nice, but placement to pin location is huge. Reinforces what I’ve thought all along, I’d rather come up short, pin high than have a downhill putt.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

No!!!!  Being better chipping than putting makes no sense at all!!  The only thing this tells you is that you need to improve your speed control with your putter.  It is not good strategy to always play short.  You need to create a shotgun approach with equal dispersion to your target.  The flag is rarely your target!!  Challenge:  Play 18 holes or 9 it doesn't matter.  Keep your normal score and then place a ball in the center of the green structure and keep score as if you hit the green in regulation.  I guarantee your score will be better than you actual score.  Let me know you results and your reflection on the drill.  

BTW - paper stats simply don't work.  They only support what you want to believe versus an non-emotional, scientific evaluation of your skills when playing the game.  Based on the information, you can then start to create practice plans that will have a positive impact on your performance.  Everything else is hoping and hope is a bad strategy for improvement.  

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No!!!!  Being better chipping than putting makes no sense at all!!  The only thing this tells you is that you need to improve your speed control with your putter.  It is not good strategy to always play short.  You need to create a shotgun approach with equal dispersion to your target.  The flag is rarely your target!!  Challenge:  Play 18 holes or 9 it doesn't matter.  Keep your normal score and then place a ball in the center of the green structure and keep score as if you hit the green in regulation.  I guarantee your score will be better than you actual score.  Let me know you results and your reflection on the drill.  
BTW - paper stats simply don't work.  They only support what you want to believe versus an non-emotional, scientific evaluation of your skills when playing the game.  Based on the information, you can then start to create practice plans that will have a positive impact on your performance.  Everything else is hoping and hope is a bad strategy for improvement.  


So you’re saying if I gift myself 16 shots a round, I’ll score better, what am I missing here...







Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, LeftyRM7 said:

So you’re saying if I gift myself 16 shots a round, I’ll score better, what am I missing here...

 

He's saying it's more important to be putting that to be hunting pins. Which, is generally true for any mid+ hdcp golfer. Also takes into account that putting is much lower risk than chipping/pitching. No duffed putts.

If it's true that your chipping is that much better than your putting, you're in a great spot. Because putting is the easiest thing to get better at. If you really improve your putting and maintain a great short game, your scores should drop quickly. That's probably the lowest hanging fruit. Turn two putt bogeys into up and down pars.

Improving short game is a lot easier than building or rebuilding a more consistent full swing.

If you're putting yourself in such a bad position off the tee that you consistently need to take drops, that might be the exception. Penalties kill the score, as I know all too well;) in that case, see if you can get some lessons and focus on really tightening the dispersion for your driver.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, ncwoz said:

He's saying it's more important to be putting that to be hunting pins. Which, is generally true for any mid+ hdcp golfer. Also takes into account that putting is much lower risk than chipping/pitching. No duffed putts.

If it's true that your chipping is that much better than your putting, you're in a great spot. Because putting is the easiest thing to get better at. If you really improve your putting and maintain a great short game, your scores should drop quickly. That's probably the lowest hanging fruit. Turn two putt bogeys into up and down pars.

Improving short game is a lot easier than building or rebuilding a more consistent full swing.

If you're putting yourself in such a bad position off the tee that you consistently need to take drops, that might be the exception. Penalties kill the score, as I know all too well;) in that case, see if you can get some lessons and focus on really tightening the dispersion for your driver.

I agree with most of what you are saying.  The short game not so much.  The short game is the hardest to make proficient.  PGATour is right about 50% up/downs.  Not when they win but on average.  When they win they increase their GIRs and make more putts than normal/average.  If you simply chunk, top, shank, etc. then yes it is the easiest to improve.  To become proficient, you must strike it solid, the correct direction, the correct distance and those must match your desired landing spot and your spin generation.  The Golf IQ to get beyond decent is much greater than hit the green.  Great putting is about giving the ball a chance to fall into the hole and never three-putt.  Remember at 8' it is a 50/50 proposition on the PGA Tour.  Do you putt as well as a tour player?  Generate a decent read prediction, generate the correct speed (yes, one speed for all putts until you are a + handicap), and start the ball reasonably online.  

Some easy math:

Player A relies on his short game and hits 8 greens per round.  At 50% conversion he shoots 77 with no other errors and no birdies. 

Player B hits hits 12 greens per round.  With 50% conversion this player shoots 75 with no other errors and no birdies. 

Last thing: 

For a player who is truly willing to do a little work, the easiest thing to improve is the golf swing.  Swings are simple - we either create movements that require a great amount of compensations or on that doesn't.  In other words, it either works or it doesn't.  Everyone is capable of swing improvements that lead to a simple plan of putting the ball in play off the tee and placing the ball or very, very near the edge of the green the vast majority of the time.  

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, LeftyRM7 said:

 


So you’re saying if I gift myself 16 shots a round, I’ll score better, what am I missing here...







Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

The gift is learning to make ball control simple.  Part of simple is a correct strategy and improved ball striking.  Drive in play and ball on green the vast majority of the time.  (I didn't say close, I said on the green)  Learning to control you golf ball is the greatest gift you can give yourself.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, edteergolf said:

 The short game is the hardest to make proficient.  PGATour is right about 50% up/downs.  Not when they win but on average.

@edteergolf,  question about this stat.  Have seen you post this before and have heard rebuttals that it is easier for a non pro to get up and down because of slower softer greens.  Basically that a proficient amateur should be significantly higher that PGA level.  Is this truly the case or a realistic expectation? 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may be crazy but I don’t care for looking at tour player or “average golfer” stats. I mean for me, at about a 20 handicap I’m not learning anything with tour stats and the “average golfer” is no more than a make believe stat line for a non existent golfer. I’m more focused on my game. Play to my strengths and strengthen my weaknesses. To everyone that means something different. Their is no one size fits all answer or system to getting better.

Short game has been way easier for me to excel at, not even close. Full swings are way more complex and difficult to repeat. Just my 2 cents.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, LeftyRM7 said:

I may be crazy but I don’t care for looking at tour player or “average golfer” stats. I mean for me, at about a 20 handicap I’m not learning anything with tour stats and the “average golfer” is no more than a make believe stat line for a non existent golfer. I’m more focused on my game. Play to my strengths and strengthen my weaknesses. To everyone that means something different. Their is no one size fits all answer or system to getting better.
 

The reason for looking at those stats is because people overestimate how well they should be performing.  For example people think they should be making most of their 10 foot putts but the best in the world only make 40%.   As a player you need to determine what your actual weaknesses are.   What process do you use to determine your strengths and weaknesses?

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, cnosil said:

Ed,  question about this stat.  Have seen you post this before and have heard rebuttals that it is easier for a non pro to get up and down because of slower softer greens.  Basically that a proficient amateur should be significantly higher that PGA level.  Is this truly the case or a realistic expectation? 

I understand the rebuttal, but I don't think it is true unless one is playing on really slow greens and I mean really slow like 6-8 on the stimp meter. Anything faster and Golf IQ, strategy, ball/spin control have to be really good to be better than 50%.  Even if they did have a better conversion rate the score still isn't very good.  Somewhere I say that at a 8-10 handicap player is hitting 8-9 greens.  For easy math, 60% of ten is still 4 bogeys assuming all the up/downs were for par.  Take a tour player who hits 16 greens and is 50% - they just shot +1 with no birdies.  I put my money on a player achieving 50% on 2-4 opportunities versus 8-10!  I just don't buy the overall premise of the argument.  The fact remains, if you want to lower your handicap put the ball in play more often off the tee and stop aiming at flags.   

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, LeftyRM7 said:

I may be crazy but I don’t care for looking at tour player or “average golfer” stats. I mean for me, at about a 20 handicap I’m not learning anything with tour stats and the “average golfer” is no more than a make believe stat line for a non existent golfer. I’m more focused on my game. Play to my strengths and strengthen my weaknesses. To everyone that means something different. Their is no one size fits all answer or system to getting better.

Short game has been way easier for me to excel at, not even close. Full swings are way more complex and difficult to repeat. Just my 2 cents.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I really do understand your feelings.  The point of looking at tour player stats is to understand how to play the game.  The way to play any game is the same whether you are recreational or doing it for a living.  The DNA goal of football is the same in 6th grade, college, NFL or a league for 75 year old players.  What I do agree with is that birdies, pars, bogeys, etc are relative to the level of player.  Here is an example of one of my greatest coaching success stories.  In my ten plus years as a coach, I have only convinced one player to execute this strategy.  This player regularly shot 105-120 but didn't' want to change his swing and wanted to break 90 regularly.  I chuckled a bit and we went and played nine holes.  To my surprise, his path to to break 90 wasn't difficult at all.  As it turned out, it was too embarrassing to the player to continue to execute the plan and so he gave up and to my knowledge has never played as well.  

The plan:  Hit a 6 iron off every singe par 4 and a 7 wood off every par 5 and then advance the ball to between 40-65 yards.  (he was able to do this 90% of the time)  From well inside 100 yards he hit nearly 100% of the greens.  The reason this strategy worked is because he almost never three-putted from inside 35 feet.  From inside 100 yards he almost never hit outside 35'.  Simple math says that if you have 18 bogeys on a par 72 you shoot 90.  In your case 72 + 20 is 92 so based on a course rating your target score is probably between 92-100.  The basis of this strategy recognized that hit very few greens in regulation but could hit almost all in regulation plus 1.  So, in a way he has satisfied the strategy identified by PGA Tour players and adjusted based on his current skills.  

With all due respect, it has become a romantic notion that everyone can create their 'own' path to their best golf.  The reality is almost all the PGA Tour players play a remarkably similar game.  There are nuances for sure, but they are more similar than they are different.  Just my two cents. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The reason for looking at those stats is because people overestimate how well they should be performing.  For example people think they should be making most of their 10 foot putts but the best in the world only make 40%.   As a player you need to determine what your actual weaknesses are.   What process do you use to determine your strengths and weaknesses?
 


Well it starts with realistic expectations. I feel like those stats can get you in the right direction for expectations but that’s about it. That’s what I was really looking for when I started this thread, something for comparison. From there i think it’s about playing your game and analyzing shots. Look at your stats, spot trends, then dig deeper. For instance, my GIR is ridiculously low even though I feel like I’ve done alright on approach shots. So digging deeper, I started tracking actual approach shot success to separate them from tee shots. Last week I figured out that even though I only hit 2 GIR, I hit 8 greens on my first attempt. Changes the way I approach what I need to work on.

My experiment on the putting green kind of reinforces my thought process. It’s easy to say, oh you need to hit more greens, but why and more importantly how. I know, even though my putts are low, that my putting could use some work. They’re low because I chip well and have short putts.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, LeftyRM7 said:

 


Well it starts with realistic expectations. I feel like those stats can get you in the right direction for expectations but that’s about it. That’s what I was really looking for when I started this thread, something for comparison. From there i think it’s about playing your game and analyzing shots. Look at your stats, spot trends, then dig deeper. For instance, my GIR is ridiculously low even though I feel like I’ve done alright on approach shots. So digging deeper, I started tracking actual approach shot success to separate them from tee shots. Last week I figured out that even though I only hit 2 GIR, I hit 8 greens on my first attempt. Changes the way I approach what I need to work on.

My experiment on the putting green kind of reinforces my thought process. It’s easy to say, oh you need to hit more greens, but why and more importantly how. I know, even though my putts are low, that my putting could use some work. They’re low because I chip well and have short putts.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

You are absolutely correct about expectations.  The example player was given the same strategy I give my college women's golf team.  One player was expected to hit zero greens in regulation to improve his scores by twenty strokes and my college players are expected to hit 14 greens and shoot 74 without any birdies.  Considering a couple of birdies and a few other mistakes and they have a chance to shoot 75.  This is the same strategy with two very different outcomes.  

I'd suggest you the example strategy and see what you experience and interpret from your results.  I get your two GIRs and 8 greens on your first attempt.  Imagine hitting 15 greens in your first attempt.  The first way to accomplish this is to hit a club off the tee that absolutely avoids all trouble and never hinders your ability to get inside 100 yards.  As for putting the main skill for a 20 handicap is to putt every single ball inside a 4-6 foot circle.  Go to the course and draw that circle - it is huge.  That circle is the only goal outside 10 feet.  You should never putt outside the 4' circle inside ten feet.  

As for controlling your golf ball you must learn to hit it reasonably solid and with a very predictable starting line.  if you can do those two things you can generally hit a reasonable target.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Well it starts with realistic expectations. I feel like those stats can get you in the right direction for expectations but that’s about it. That’s what I was really looking for when I started this thread, something for comparison. From there i think it’s about playing your game and analyzing shots. Look at your stats, spot trends, then dig deeper. For instance, my GIR is ridiculously low even though I feel like I’ve done alright on approach shots. So digging deeper, I started tracking actual approach shot success to separate them from tee shots. Last week I figured out that even though I only hit 2 GIR, I hit 8 greens on my first attempt. Changes the way I approach what I need to work on.

My experiment on the putting green kind of reinforces my thought process. It’s easy to say, oh you need to hit more greens, but why and more importantly how. I know, even though my putts are low, that my putting could use some work. They’re low because I chip well and have short putts.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Hey man, I’ve enjoyed reading your thread. I’ve been working with Ed for the past month and he’s the real deal. I’ve gone out and shot +4, +3, and even on a nine hole round with very stress free golf using his strategy.

My question for you is if you are hitting the green in one stroke, just not in regulation, what is it about the tee shot that is causing the GIR attempt to not be there on the second or third (for par 5s) strokes? OB or hazard/penalty areas?

Even two putting for bogey will probably be more reliable and stress free than scrambling for the majority of the holes. I’m currently a 3.5 handicap and I don’t get up and down much more than 40% right now when I miss the green.

Best of luck with your golf goals! MGS is a great forum. I’ve been on others where people don’t want to actually help people, they just like to argue. Not here.


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@edteergolf - Thanks for sharing that.  Most of my loops in high school and college would have gone much better if high handicap golfers would play like that.  Some guys would ask me how they could play better, and I'd always start with "you're not gonna like this..."

Are you familiar with Operation 36?  The idea that you start kids near the green, then continually moving farther away from the green, keeping players right on the edge of challenged but not impossible, and getting them used to the idea that they should shoot even par or right around it.  My 12 year-old daughter who's been playing for a while but is just starting to get serious just had her first Op36 match on Saturday.  She shot 32 from the 25 yard tees (should have been 30, but there was one crazy pin position that every kid four putted), she had a blast and left feeling great about herself.  Next up is 50 yards, and even though that's just a full sand wedge for her, I think it's going to be a challenge.  

What's really amazing here is that all of the kids in the program, all of whom have been playing for at least some amount of time, were able to set aside their egos, embrace the challenge, have fun and achieve.  But would adults be willing to do this?

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

@edteergolf - Thanks for sharing that.  Most of my loops in high school and college would have gone much better if high handicap golfers would play like that.  Some guys would ask me how they could play better, and I'd always start with "you're not gonna like this..."

Are you familiar with Operation 36?  The idea that you start kids near the green, then continually moving farther away from the green, keeping players right on the edge of challenged but not impossible, and getting them used to the idea that they should shoot even par or right around it.  My 12 year-old daughter who's been playing for a while but is just starting to get serious just had her first Op36 match on Saturday.  She shot 32 from the 25 yard tees (should have been 30, but there was one crazy pin position that every kid four putted), she had a blast and left feeling great about herself.  Next up is 50 yards, and even though that's just a full sand wedge for her, I think it's going to be a challenge.  

What's really amazing here is that all of the kids in the program, all of whom have been playing for at least some amount of time, were able to set aside their egos, embrace the challenge, have fun and achieve.  But would adults be willing to do this?

I know of Operation 36 and I think they have a great product and system for developing golfers.  I think for players looking to have pure fun it is a home run.  For those with intention to compete it starts to connect the dots concerning strategy and following a plan.  In other words, it provides constraint based training and forces a player think a certain way to move to the next level.  I have some practice plans that work in a similar fashion - it provides the tee location and requires a competitive player to make a certain score with 2 out of 3 balls before they progress farther from the green.  If you successfully complete each task you  will tee off from the tee box on hole 9.  It's hard and I've only had a few people complete the task.  Some complain, but the reality is that preparation/training should always be harder than the actual task.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
. I’ve been working with Ed for the past month and he’s the real deal. I’ve gone out and shot +4, +3, and even on a nine hole round with very stress free golf using his strategy.


Ed is definitely a great coach and instructor; yes those are two different things in my mind. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Ed in person and chasingscratch has been working online. The people following this thread should really read through what he is posting; it provides you with a strategy to play better golf.

This thread has reminded me that I need to get a lesson scheduled . Golf lessons with Ed will be my new Christmas list item!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/19/2019 at 7:27 PM, LeftyRM7 said:

Avg. Score - 96

Par 3 Avg. - 4

Par 4 Avg. - 5.4

Par 5 Avg. - 6.4

Fairways - 31%

Greens - 10%

Pitches Inside 6ft. - 42.5%

Up&Down - 32%

Putts - 30.6

Based on these numbers I'd say you have a better short game than the typical 20 handicap. The pitching and putts/round you have would be typical of a player in low double/high single digits. Fairway percentage is about right to pretty good for a 20+. You have to ask a couple of questions to really tell where the best place to work is.

1. How big are the misses with respect to FIR and GIR? Hitting one out of 3 fairways is not bad, but are you on your intended target line? When you miss the fairway are you in play or does it cost you a recovery shot to get the ball back in play on the line of the hole.

2. What about penalties? Are big misses with full swings driving your scores up (with those short game stats my guess is maybe)

3. Don't forget to pay attention to your putts/GIR number.

I'd guess without more data that full swing irons would be a good place to spend some practice time. Don't freak out though if the numbers don't come down right away or you see a bump up in your putting numbers. As you hit more greens, proximity to the hole is going to mean a few more 2 or 3 putts than what you are seeing with your current putting numbers and pitches to 6 feet.

Those are just my thoughts reading only the initial post and the numbers you gave.

Working to improve is a challenge we all endure. Enjoy the journey!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Talking strategy, my thought process is pretty simple, I’m playing for bogey. That is my tee shot, my approach, a chip, and 2 putt. That puts me square at 90. I take my longest club off the tee that doesn’t get me in a hazard. Once I’m around the green, my goal is 6’ with my wedge and 3’ with my putt. To me that’s as simple as it can be. I don’t like the idea at adding strokes strategically, like playing shorter clubs and laying up, with the idea that i would be more consistent with them because it’s just adding more shots that I have to execute. Now that could change if there is a certain club or clubs I’m struggling with or hitting very well.

This year I haven’t dropped my handicap like I had hoped, but I have worked on my swing a lot and made gains. My biggest issue I’ve seen this summer is inconsistency. My problem area seems to be a moving target. Weather it be driver, irons, wedges, putting. Just trying to put it all together really.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another course strategy idea I heard from a PGA Tour coach who came to our military base course in North Dakota (during the winter even) to give a seminar. He said the strategy for mid to high handicappers (to him that was 15+) was NEVER aim for the pin on the approach shot. The target for those golfers should ALWAYS be the center of the green. Why?

Pin placements. With 18 holes there should be an even distribution of front/middle/back pin placements. This strategy says if you make a perfect approach shot (knowing you wont) on every hole you'll have 6 first putts of about 10 feet. The advantage for the higher handicappers of using this strategy is knowing we aren't going to hit every approach shot perfect. Greens are typically sized at about 10-15 yards radius from the center. If you play to the center on every green you've got that much miss radius to use without finding yourself in trouble.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, GregB135 said:

Here's another course strategy idea I heard from a PGA Tour coach who came to our military base course in North Dakota (during the winter even) to give a seminar. He said the strategy for mid to high handicappers (to him that was 15+) was NEVER aim for the pin on the approach shot. The target for those golfers should ALWAYS be the center of the green. Why?

Pin placements. With 18 holes there should be an even distribution of front/middle/back pin placements. This strategy says if you make a perfect approach shot (knowing you wont) on every hole you'll have 6 first putts of about 10 feet. The advantage for the higher handicappers of using this strategy is knowing we aren't going to hit every approach shot perfect. Greens are typically sized at about 10-15 yards radius from the center. If you play to the center on every green you've got that much miss radius to use without finding yourself in trouble.

 

I'd agree.  Targeting the pin doesn't happen that often on tour let alone for a player who isn't scratch.  Want to test the theory?  Place a ball in the middle of the green and putt.  Then record your score with the assumption that you hit the green in regulation.  I have my women's team do this for 9 holes.  Their score from the middle of the green is always better or the same as their regular score and very often they shoot par with the middle of the green approach.  Want to take a guess how many of my players average right around par? Hmmm....  Ego and emotion are tough opponents.  

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...