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Most important shot

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I think the second shot of the hole is the most important shot no matter the par.  It can waste a gooddrive and save the hole after a bad drive.  On par 5s it can get you on the green if its reachable.  On par 3s it can either be your birdie putt or a putt or chip that gets you the par.  Just wondering if anyone else has given this any thought.

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3 hours ago, jaskanski said:

I always think the most important shot is the one you're about to hit. Which number stroke that is could be anything, but ultimately you have to deal with the consequences of it (good or bad) with your next shot - which then becomes the next most important shot. 

Agree 100%.  You can ruin a good 2nd shot with a bad 3rd.  Or your first shot can be bad enough that your second doesn't matter, the hole is ruined.  The most important shot is the one you're going to hit right now.

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Good topic... I've always considered my first putt as the most important.  I can make up for an errant shot from the tee box to my approach, and get back into play, etc... but my first putt is ultimately going to win that hole, or cost me.

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That's why this game is so fickle. It really comes down to your next shot being important.  I can stripe the ball all day but then not hit any greens and chip well and make the up and down for par.  Or I can get on every green in regulation, but putt atrociously and come away with pars and bogeys because of 2 or 3 putts.

I think having a good short game can cover up more mistakes than other aspects of the game.  Granted if you're topping/duffing or way off the planet you'll still score high, but being very solid on the greens and with chipping/pitching helps you score much better regardless of missing fairways or greens (scrambling).

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I am in the camp of the shot you are about to hit is the most important. You don’t stand on a tee box thinking about you putt or having to get up and down. You focus on that shot and what you need to do to be successful. That happens with each shot up until the ball goes in the hole.

Some people may interpret most important as the one that contributes mosts to how well they score. That is fundamentally a different question. Hitting greens is typically a good indicator for my score so approach shots and par 3 tee shots are “important” to helping me score better.

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7 hours ago, Chizzle said:

I think the second shot of the hole is the most important shot no matter the par.  It can waste a gooddrive and save the hole after a bad drive.  On par 5s it can get you on the green if its reachable.  On par 3s it can either be your birdie putt or a putt or chip that gets you the par.  Just wondering if anyone else has given this any thought.

Golf is and never will be a single moment/shot game. Every single shot is important because at any given point you could be hitting a hazard and dropping, 3 putting etc etc. Its all tied together.

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1 hour ago, cnosil said:

I am in the camp of the shot you are about to hit is the most important. You don’t stand on a tee box thinking about you putt or having to get up and down. You focus on that shot and what you need to do to be successful. That happens with each shot up until the ball goes in the hole.

Some people may interpret most important as the one that contributes mosts to how well they score. That is fundamentally a different question. Hitting greens is typically a good indicator for my score so approach shots and par 3 tee shots are “important” to helping me score better.

I agree that this is a slightly different concern.  I'd phrase it this way:

"If every other part of my game is decent, which aspect can have the biggest positive impact on my scoring?"

And I agree, the single best thing you can do is to hit approach shots closer.  Adding a few yards driving distance, or hitting one or two more fairways will have a small incremental gain, because you'll hit approaches slightly closer.  Improving putting by some moderate percentage can have a small gain.  Hitting the ball closer on approach shots will mean more made putts.  Missing closer to the green will mean more up-and-down conversions.

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1 minute ago, DaveP043 said:

 

"If every other part of my game is decent, which aspect can have the biggest positive impact on my scoring?"

 

If we are strictly talking PERSONALLY if my game is descent and not getting into trouble, biggest impact for me I would agree with knocking it closer to the pin. even going from 8' to 5':

Granted this is tour but you can get similar numbers from any of us

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2 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I agree that this is a slightly different concern.  I'd phrase it this way:

"If every other part of my game is decent, which aspect can have the biggest positive impact on my scoring?"

And I agree, the single best thing you can do is to hit approach shots closer.  Adding a few yards driving distance, or hitting one or two more fairways will have a small incremental gain, because you'll hit approaches slightly closer.  Improving putting by some moderate percentage can have a small gain.  Hitting the ball closer on approach shots will mean more made putts.  Missing closer to the green will mean more up-and-down conversions.

^^^  As I was typing a response, Dave's response came in that said the same thing I was typing, but he said it better!!

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In a game that is about limiting or mitigating mistakes, I fall into the camp of the current shot being the most important shot, with the caveat that it I am focusing on the current shot to set up the next shot.


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7 hours ago, jaskanski said:

I always think the most important shot is the one you're about to hit. Which number stroke that is could be anything, but ultimately you have to deal with the consequences of it (good or bad) with your next shot - which then becomes the next most important shot. 

Exactly. Worrying about the next one or the last one is out of the persons control. The shot at hand is fully in the golfers control. Dr Bob Rotella talks about this too

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I'm down with the current wave of whatever shot I'm hitting next.

While I agree with the statement about approach shots closer to the hole be most important I think 'decent' needs to be described further.  What exactly is a 'decent' drive.  Tee balls will ultimately cover the most amount of distance on the day and given that it is a golf course to be completed in the fewest amount of strokes possible there is something to be said about that. 

 

However, those of us who have time and physical and/or financial limitations must carefully weigh what aspect of the game is easiest to improve upon.  While on the one hand doing a study to determine which would have the greater impact, a foot closer on average approach or 10 more usable yards per tee shot (which would lead to some sort of tangible impact on proximity of approaches) the reality may be that the foot closer is more obtainable through lessons and practice or equipment change or better course management (read taking more club into the green) than the time and training necessary for those 10 additional usable yards.

This is always a fun topic to discuss.

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I agree with everyone that say the current shot or every shot is important but to me, and please dont take this the wrong way, that's like saying every club in the bag or every hole is important.   There isn't a shot that you can "throw away" and for that matter nobody tries to hit a bad shot.

I feel like there are a lot of players that put a huge emphasis on "I need to hit a good tee shot to score well on this hole".  Not to say the tee shot isn't important as all shots are important but I put that emphasis on the second shot with a club I have more control, confidence, and have more consistent shots with.  That may be because my driver is the most inconsistent shot which may have led to think this way.

Thanks for all your comments!

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I agree that the current shot is most important.  That said my score goes down proportionally based on how well I am driving the ball.  


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I feel like there are a lot of players that put a huge emphasis on "I need to hit a good tee shot to score well on this hole".  Not to say the tee shot isn't important as all shots are important but I put that emphasis on the second shot with a club I have more control, confidence, and have more consistent shots with.  That may be because my driver is the most inconsistent shot which may have led to think this way.

While you may be right about the emphasis part, I know I wasn’t say ion put more emphasis on any shot. I think You are starting to get into course management a bit with your discussion.

You aren’t confident with your driver so you should possibly be more conservative in your strategy. You have confidence in your your longer clubs through your wedges so you feel like you can take a more aggressive strategy and not penalize yourself.

I am puzzled by your statements since it seems to have a my tee show isn’t going to be good so I am not going to put the same effort into it as my second shot.

My focus is the same over every shot. While I may. It be happy with every shot I try to get out of game mode until I am ready to hit the next shot. Then I get into game mode and make the plan for what I want to do with that shot.

When you aren’t hitting driver off the tee and are using one of those clubs you are confident with, does the tee shot feel important then?
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15 hours ago, Chizzle said:

I agree with everyone that say the current shot or every shot is important but to me, and please dont take this the wrong way, that's like saying every club in the bag or every hole is important.   There isn't a shot that you can "throw away" and for that matter nobody tries to hit a bad shot.

I feel like there are a lot of players that put a huge emphasis on "I need to hit a good tee shot to score well on this hole".  Not to say the tee shot isn't important as all shots are important but I put that emphasis on the second shot with a club I have more control, confidence, and have more consistent shots with.  That may be because my driver is the most inconsistent shot which may have led to think this way.

Thanks for all your comments!

I'm with @cnosil, I don't entirely understand the concept of "putting emphasis" on one shot as opposed to another shot.  I try to put the same effort, the same concentration, the same emphasis on each shot I hit.  In your case, with your driver being the most inconsistent part of your game, I'd suggest that you need MORE emphasis on driving the ball.  That's certainly true of how you should spend your practice and/or lesson time.  You can see much greater rewards from improving your weakness than you can from maintain your strengths.

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I'm with the Current shot group on what's most important.  That being said what I can say is that there have certainly been days where my second shots have saved me on bad driving days and have hurt me on good driving days leading to higher or lower scores.

I'm a confident putter, so If I can get myself on the green in regulation I know I'll have a good day.  One of my favorite stats in a given round is GIR after missing the fairway.  It's those recovery shots that stick in my mind as having a greater impact to my scoring potential than the more traditional FW, GIR, 2 putt par (although I'll take as many of those as possible!).

I get what the OP was trying to say, but in the end, you could have terrible second shots but get up and down fantastically for a day and still score well.  There are a lot of variables in how we play from day-to-day, its how well we handle each situation around the course that ultimately leads to our scoring potential.

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Absolutely one of the things that I love about golf and once I started to realize it I began to improve.

Golf is an equivalent game; every shot is equivalent to another shot. There isn't a single shot during the round that is more important or less important than the others. Every shot matters. 

This is of course much different than practicing. You'll know where you 'lost' shots during a round and where you need to focus your practice for improving but every shot counts as much as the previous one and as much as the next one when you're playing.

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20 minutes ago, GolfSpy Stroker said:

Absolutely one of the things that I love about golf and once I started to realize it I began to improve.

Golf is an equivalent game; every shot is equivalent to another shot. There isn't a single shot during the round that is more important or less important than the others. Every shot matters. 

This is of course much different than practicing. You'll know where you 'lost' shots during a round and where you need to focus your practice for improving but every shot counts as much as the previous one and as much as the next one when you're playing.

I think this is what I'm really going to like about Arccos.  I'll see where my weaknesses are and be able to make goals and track progress against them, where in the past I may have been assigning blame to my approach shots when really it was poor driving that was hurting my GIR more than my iron play.

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