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Off the Tee or 100 Yards In....

More Important to Lowering Your Score--Off the Tee or 100 Yards In  

36 members have voted

  1. 1. What part of the average golfers game is the best opportunity to save strokes, getting off the tee safely-avoiding penalty strokes or having a good wedge game 100 yards in--but not counting putting, just your wedge play.

    • Off the Tee No Penalties
      16
    • 100 Yards In No chunks, skulls etc.
      20


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53 minutes ago, tony@CIC said:

I've mentioned this before - for me at least a good solid drive is important because it mentally sets me up for the rest of the hole.

In terms of really long drives - I've been spending lots of time recently at our local GOlfzon simulator and watching relatively new  (and young) golfers driving it  250-300 yds. What I find fascinating is that while I'm envious of those long drives after 18 holes my scores aren't that much different and often times better than theirs. 

guess I should have been more specific ... let's try this again-

someone who can bomb it off the tee around 300 (think baseball player) but is average - at best - after that (sucks out of the bunker, a skulled shot around the green but sometimes a great shot next to the pin - zero consistency)

vs.

someone who can find the fairway at an average distance and can consistently keep it in play and is good at getting it on / close and rarely ever 3 putts

person #2 wins most of the time.  I've seen it more than once.
I don't really care to clarify what that means by # of GIR and % of fwy hit, etc.

Golf isn't a 1 swing game like baseball - sure it's fun to hit a mile and watch everyone ooo and ah but how many Long Drive competitors do you think would even be able to make it on the Korn Ferry tour?

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28 minutes ago, chisag said:

... And finally the tee shot is a dynamic athletic move that is much more difficult to improve than a pitch, chip or sand shot. Pitches, chips and sand shots are the easiest shots in the game to pull off if you have even decent technique and confidence. Now you may not get it close to the pin but getting it on the green for a 2 putt should be easy. Fine tuning those chips and sand shots to give you the ability to get up and down is again, easier than learning to hit it long and straight off the tee. Obviously this is not true for every single player and ymmv, but I think it is true for most average golfers. 

This brings up another way to look at the original question.  If the genie in the bottle gave that average player a choice, miraculously improved driving or miraculously improved wedge play, which should he choose?  In my mind, because it tougher to make full swing improvements, the kind that will help driving performance, he should choose magically improved driving.  As you say, its much easier for him to improve wedge play on his own.

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Strokes gained as a metric is decidedly skewed in favour of off the tee play. That being said, this is a hard question to answer without knowing where a player is gaining/losing strokes. This is why things like Arccos, MyRoundPro, GolfMetrics, and other stat tracking apps that give you actual strokes gained metrics are a must have, imo.

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Definitely 100 yds in. More shots taken there than off the tee. Can make or break a hole’s score.


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I used to think short game but now I think off the tee.  Theres such an advantage to being able to hit it 225-250 yards out into the fairway.  It sets up your 2nd shot and sets up the rest of the hole.  If you chunk or top it off the tee and your first shot only goes 50 yards, it kills that hole and makes it almost impossible to come back and make par.

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3 hours ago, GolfSpy Stroker said:

someone who can find the fairway at an average distance and can consistently keep it in play and is good at getting it on / close and rarely ever 3 putts

I agree - guess I wasn't clear enough. Those guys bombing it (that I mentioned) are usually way right or left of the fairway and sometimes OB, and inconsistent with there shorter clubs which is where I end up picking up strokes. Now if only I could bomb it down the middle of the faIrway AND have a perfect short game.........

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A discussion in another thread, brought this topic up. 
Where do you think is the best opportunity for a golfer to save strokes, off the tee or 100 yards in with the short game.   
I think it's going to vary depending on the golfer, if you can not get off the tee in play to save your life----and I've been there in the pas..fortunately no more--you are going to be shooting for double bogey or worst just about every time.    But if you can't hit a green and have bad wedge play, you are potentially throwing away easy strokes around the green.
So let's hear what everyone thinks.  Answer the poll above so we can see what the general thought is. 

Hmm. All shots inside 100 yards vs one shot off the tee? Putts included?
If a single shot from 100 yards OR inside that, vs a drive, it depends on the course for me. Our courses where I live have fairways that are 25 yards wide, and lined with HUGE oaks, so if I’m offline, it’s a guarantee chip-out. In this case, the drive would be more important. If I’m playing a course that has 60 yard-wide fairways with no trees, just rough, I go with the 100 yard shot being more important.
Course design and set-up seem to be the factor for me. Look at the fairways in Hawaii the Tour played a few weeks back at Kapalua: 100 yards wide! Driver is less of a factor.



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My response is tee shot is highly important. So important that I will hit a 6 or 7 off the tee to be in the fairway for another 6 or 7 into the green, even if I'm short then pitch and run and putt.

No penalty shots off the tee is key.

I do whatever is necessary to stay out of bunkers, again, even if it means hitting short on tee shot to avoid fairway bunker and playing for bogey.

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Been thinking about this for a while.

People often bring up strokes gained numbers and how that states that the longer you hit it the better.  The problem with discussing strokes gained in this context is that stroke gained is a comparison number.   It show how many shots players take from a particular distance.  By simply hitting it longer off the tee or straighter off the tee doesn't guarantee improvements since you still have to complete the hole.   Improving your short game doesn't guarantee improvement since you had to do well to get to the short game aspect.   

Each average player needs to evaluate their game for where improvements are necessary.  For one average player it could be the tee shot and for another it could be 100 and in.  

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I'm going with 100 yards and in. As someone who tends to have more than my share of penalties off the tee, a bad approach shot for me is more common. Going over and leaving no good recovery shot, ending in greenside bunkers, etc. are all problems when you don't have your wedges dialed in. You can pull another club off the tee to minimize OB penalties, but from 100 yards, a wedge is pretty much your only play. 

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Gary Player once said....and I paraphrase..."if he could play an amateurs shots from 140 yards and in, he would half their handicap"

 

That says it all for me. Short game is King.

My local Pro has a SS of 104mph with driver and shoots under par EVERY time he plays on ANY course (caveat of bad weather or bad luck of course) His wedge game and putting are phenomenal.

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Gary Player once said....and I paraphrase..."if he could play an amateurs shots from 140 yards and in, he would half their handicap"
 
That says it all for me. Short game is King.
My local Pro has a SS of 104mph with driver and shoots under par EVERY time he plays on ANY course (caveat of bad weather or bad luck of course) His wedge game and putting are phenomenal.


Question on your local pro. How many times a round is he getting up and down from 100 yards? Meaning how many greens is he missing. I bet he has a fantastic approach game. If you are hitting wedge after an approach shot, you are playing for par not birdie.
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2 hours ago, perseveringgolfer said:

Gary Player once said....and I paraphrase..."if he could play an amateurs shots from 140 yards and in, he would half their handicap"

 

That says it all for me. Short game is King.

My local Pro has a SS of 104mph with driver and shoots under par EVERY time he plays on ANY course (caveat of bad weather or bad luck of course) His wedge game and putting are phenomenal.

If Gary Player hit my tee shots and second shots, I'd be scratch, I wouldn't need to chip and putt for par very often.  Great players take for granted how good their full-swing game is, but its the biggest difference between them and us mortals.  The same with your local pro, if he's under par that means he makes a significant number of birdies.  I guarantee he doesn't make many birdies after driving in the trees, or the water, or when he's missed the green in regulation, he makes birdies by hitting it close in regulation.  Of course he gets up and down a lot when he misses too.  To be under par, every part of your game has to be good.

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just fwiw...

there are some great articles that were done related to this in the labs section of the blog - https://mygolfspy.com/category/mygolfspy-labs/

look for arccos/shotscope.... 

some other really cool research out there as well!

 

this is interesting too - click on the 'STATS' button ... https://shotscope.com/blog/

 

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Penalties off the tee are my score killers. Hit it OB and it's basically a double. 100 yards in, missing the green is not so bad, all things being equal, it's just a bogey. I have much more confidence in my short game.

Last year I hit about 40% FIR, 20% were just on playable rough, 40% were either lost balls or OB. In comparison, I hit about 70% GIR when I found the fairway. From the 30% that missed the green, about 10% got up and down and the other 15% lost a stroke and 5% lost more than 2 strokes.

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22 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

I'm in the minority so far.  Solid play off the tee, including both reasonable distance AND elimination of penalties, is critical to good scores.  I've modified this from the actual poll, avoiding penalties is easy, but many of us would need to sacrifice significant distance to do it.  No part of the game is unimportant, but the ability to drive it in play is one of the more important facets.

I'm in the same boat but its a close decision. I think the type courses we each play influences this as well.  One of the courses we play is through a residential community and has pretty tight driving corridors and OB on both sides.  And I'm talking drives that land in play but can/do roll OB.  OB drives (or even 2nd shots) are score killers.

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1 hour ago, Kanoito said:

Penalties off the tee are my score killers. Hit it OB and it's basically a double. 100 yards in, missing the green is not so bad, all things being equal, it's just a bogey. I have much more confidence in my short game.

Last year I hit about 40% FIR, 20% were just on playable rough, 40% were either lost balls or OB. In comparison, I hit about 70% GIR when I found the fairway. From the 30% that missed the green, about 10% got up and down and the other 15% lost a stroke and 5% lost more than 2 strokes.

That used to be my case--penalties off the tee--but as mentioned in my earlier post that isn't so much the case anymore.   But I've played with a few guys who are very solid off the tee, but put them in a green side bunker, and I promise you they are not getting up and down in any less than 4 shots, at least two of those coming from the bunker.  

So one thing reading all these replies has shown, which I figured would be the case.  It's very much player dependent. 

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2 hours ago, cnosil said:

 


Question on your local pro. How many times a round is he getting up and down from 100 yards? Meaning how many greens is he missing. I bet he has a fantastic approach game. If you are hitting wedge after an approach shot, you are playing for par not birdie.

 

Driver and wedges are key strengths for him, havent seen him miss a fairway but only played 3 times with him

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2 hours ago, cnosil said:

 If you are hitting wedge after an approach shot, you are playing for par not birdie.

 

 

... This is a great point and really drives home the short game importance. When I am swinging well I am hitting a lot of greens with plenty of birdie opportunities. When I am swinging poorly I am saving par. Hitting a big drive in the middle of the fairway assures me of nothing. We have all hit a great drive then squandered our approach shot. It is almost impossible to squander a great pitch or chip that results in a tap in or very short putt. I have always felt the biggest difference between low and high index players is the ability to get up and down when playing poorly so the difference between your best and worst holes is minimal for most low index players.

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there's nothing wrong with getting a par.

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