Short Game practise

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Post by Nay on Sun 08 May 2016, 4:26 pm

First topic message reminder :

Afternoon All

I am hoping for sone help / assistance.

Right now i have the long game of a decent player and the short game of a terrible player however its got to the stage that to start to lower my handicap i really need to start getting up and down.

So my question is what practise would you recomend, do you use whoch has helped improve your short game.

PS, i have had lessons and my technique is fine.

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Post by super_realist on Fri 13 May 2016, 1:59 pm

How is it £150 a month or anything like that?

If I played once a month for 10 years, I'd still expect to be better than a 16 handicapper.

At both my clubs, I see people who are weekly regulars, but they never ever get any better, and you can see it frustrates them. It's a combination of lack of talent, lack of practice and appalling course management. If you are playing a game, and frustrated (indicating a lack of enjoyment) at bad shots it's simple. Give up, or start practicing, or if you can't be bothered, stop complaining when you hit a bad shot.
People seem to expect to be able to hit good shots at will.

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Post by beninho on Fri 13 May 2016, 2:05 pm

£35 ( on average ) a round per week, is best part of £150pm if you played once a week.

If people dont enjoy it then they really should not be playing, but thats both good and bad players. If you play off 2, and beat yourself up by shooting 5 over, your just as bad as someone annoyed that they dont break 100. For me, its just a chance to get out with mates, and enjoy the good shots and laugh off the crap ones.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 13 May 2016, 2:09 pm

I have never moved the goal posts, people are wetting their pants about what might lie 20+ yards over the back of the green, whereas Navy, Super and myself have pointed out that clubbing up is about reaching the target or just running through.

I conceded that 20-20 yards through the back is probably gunk, but it isn't worth worrying about. Clubbing up by a couple of clubs to go from 20 yards short to getting on the green carries no risk of going long enough to airmail the whole bloody playing area.

It is ridiculous to suggest that you should play the game worrying about flying the green because you can suddenly hit the ball right out the sweet spot. The vast majority of the time you will miss hit the ball, and you should really be playing with that taken into consideration.


Unless myself, navy and super are all mad I really can't fathom that people play with a great fear of going long? Unless there is a really obvious hazard at the back, I pick my club to get centre of the green and going long doesn't even enter my thoughts.

Secondly, where did I say that I hit a 9 iron 165?


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Post by super_realist on Fri 13 May 2016, 2:10 pm

Thought you meant it was £150 a month if you play once.

So what if it's £35 a week. Loads of stuff costs more than that but people still do it. If you're a Villa fan, you've spent a lot more than that a week.

I don't beat myself up over bad scores, but I agree, I get more pleasure out of being out with mates, but if I couldn't play to a certain standard, my enjoyment would be curtailed and I'd do something else for socialising purposes.

I completely understand that people play for different reasons, but I seldom meet anyone who wouldn't like to be better.

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Post by Davie on Fri 13 May 2016, 2:17 pm

super_realist wrote:

Is golf considerably harder than any other sport? I don't think it is, but I do see people approach it in a different way to other sports and people seem content to be less than average at it.

If someone is treating golf as a hobby and seem content with it then what's the problem?

You seem to compare everyone to yourself - a reasonably talented sportsman if we are to believe what you write - but honestly while it MAY be true of you (or it may not....) it's a fairly ludicrous claim that anyone playing once a month for 10 years is going to be better than 16 h/c

Also you fail to take into account the age of club players (such as myself). Now I've reached mid 50s, I no longer expect to be able to improve .. in fact he last couple of years it's been a struggle to maintain my current (low) level of achievement - but as others have pointed out, I still enjoy being out there, rejoicing in good shots and laughing at bad ones. I have played once a week (or more) for the last ten years and still dream of getting down to 16. However I accept I'm not a supremely talented sportsman such as yourself and don't beat myself up about it

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Post by super_realist on Fri 13 May 2016, 2:24 pm

Sorry Davie, I'm nothing more than a club golfer, I don't see myself as knowing any more about the game than anyone else, I don't see myself as being talented,  I have no more say over how to play the game than anyone else, and I don't expect people to enjoy it in the same way.

However, What I find curious is how people get enjoyment out of never getting better at something. If I played football but couldn't pass the ball or kick the ball without hitting the ground, if I couldn't run without tripping over kerbs, or if I couldn't get a shuttlecock over the net, why would anyone persist for 10 years at that level without improvement. How is it possible to enjoy something so tortuous?

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Post by beninho on Fri 13 May 2016, 2:28 pm

enjoyment is different to everyone. Some men enjoy a little pinky in the wrong un, people get enjoyment from different things.

Playing football is easier than golf. In my opinion anyway.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 13 May 2016, 2:30 pm

Super

You also discount the advantage of starting young. It is often the case that if you start while in school you get the advantage of honing a pretty decent swing every summer that stands you in good stead for life.

The short game especially looks more natural for those who started younger. You can tell when someone picked up the clubs later in life when you see horrific movements they take at the ball around the green.

I spent many family summer holidays just chipping around the villa or wherever we were staying for hours and hours a day, I wouldn't expect those starting later in life to have those motions ingrained like I do.
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Post by super_realist on Fri 13 May 2016, 2:37 pm

Mac, I played briefly as a child, and I was a complete hacker, never better than 22 handicap, gave up at 13 years , took it up again at about 27, so not sure you can't progress starting late.

I think I perhaps have a more realistic and rational outlook on my particular game, which perhaps leads me to get more out of my limited talent than I may do if I thought about the game in a different way.

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Post by beninho on Fri 13 May 2016, 2:42 pm

McLaren wrote:I have never moved the goal posts, people are wetting their pants about what might lie 20+ yards over the back of the green, whereas Navy, Super and myself have pointed out that clubbing up is about reaching the target or just running through.

I conceded that 20-20 yards through the back is probably gunk, but it isn't worth worrying about.  Clubbing up by a couple of clubs to go from 20 yards short to getting on the green carries no risk of going long enough to airmail the whole bloody playing area.

It is ridiculous to suggest that you should play the game worrying about flying the green because you can suddenly hit the ball right out the sweet spot.  The vast majority of the time you will miss hit the ball, and you should really be playing with that taken into consideration.


Unless myself, navy and super are all mad I really can't fathom that people play with a great fear of going long?  Unless there is a really obvious hazard at the back, I pick my club to get centre of the green and going long doesn't even enter my thoughts.

Secondly, where did I say that I hit a 9 iron 165?

So can you confirm, that you have seen multiple, high HC players, strike the ball well, and come up 20 yards short?
Would you agree that if tey are coming up short or not striking a 7/6 iron well, then for said person to hit 2 clubs more (?) a 4/5 iron, would be even less likely to be hit well, and in all likelihood, may not get close to the green anyway, and may be in a worse position than a bit short?

I think the basis of your point was all high HC should club up by two clubs, a sweeping statement, that you did not try and balance in anyway. is that correct?

Im just trying to get to the bottom of your initial point,

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 13 May 2016, 2:45 pm

Well said Davie,
I've never been better than a 15, even when playing a few times a week (for say 3 or 4 months a year), equipped as I was with poor technique and advancing years. But I enjoyed it immensely, capable of shooting in the 70's and 90's alike. (Not sure why but shot better relative to handicap during occasional trips to GB than I usually did in the US.) Would actually say a strict 15 is better than average . . . . it certainly has been in my experience.
No doubt course management is different for single-digit handicappers, it's certainly not enjoyable for me to try to play a "heroic" shot when I know 9 times out of 10 the percentage play is better rewarded.

super's obviously a good player and I'm surprised Mac hasn't turned pro. But "hackers'" views are just as valid as good players' and surely shouldn't be dismissed because others are better than "average".

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Post by super_realist on Fri 13 May 2016, 2:50 pm

Absolutely Kwini, my entire contention isn't really based upon ability, so much as that people can be an awful lot better than they are, regardless of talent as people tend to keep making the same mistakes on a golf course, but expecting different results.
The amount of times I've seen someone trying to pull off a Hollywood shot and curse when it doesn't come off is unreal, and it's also the play conservatively in front of the green, but not off the tee which isn't consistent with the philosophy.

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Post by Davie on Fri 13 May 2016, 2:52 pm

super_realist wrote:
However, What I find curious is how people get enjoyment out of never getting better at something. If I played football but couldn't pass the ball or kick the ball without hitting the ground, if I couldn't run without tripping over kerbs, or if I couldn't get a shuttlecock over the net, why would anyone persist for 10 years at that level without improvement. How is it possible to enjoy something so tortuous?

You say you find it curious, but your posts come across as saying it is wrong. If you played football and occasionally kicked the ground, would you give up?

What I'm saying is that YOU may find it tortuous, but not everyone does. OK I will conceded if (say) 90% of shots hit were scuffs/duffs/chunks - but what if 30% were? 15%? 10%? 2%? Where do you draw the line?

In a round of (for example) 90, where perhaps 34 (on a good day) were putts, leaving anywhere between 50 and 60 "full shots", I may hit 7-8 really good shots (by my standard) - maybe 4-5 shockers (duffs/fluffs/chunks/whatever) - the other 30-odd shots come somewhere in between. Should I give up because of the 4-5 bad shots? Are they enough to make it "tortuous"? Or should I take pleasure in the 7-8 good shots and be happy with the middle ground of the average shots? It's not as I'm I'm asking YOU to pay that £150 per month for me is it?

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Fri 13 May 2016, 2:59 pm

Bit out of sync now Sups but, But I think Mac's point earlier was that you/we knew very young how to hold and swing a club so we had at least a sub-conscious base to go back to. I don't for a second think I honed a swing as a kid (nor that my one now is particularly nice), but picking a club up 10 years later wasn't un-natural, while it can be for new starters.

I played as a kid (got to 15/16 h/cap, so not particularly well but not bad) then gave up. I went back to it and have seen people start at the same age that I went back to it (that were relatively talented sportspeople) completely struggle because they had to completely learn from scratch. You can almost see that they are trying to slot together a series of movements they've been taught/picked up that for me falls in to the "just swing it and hit it" category. We could hit it and then figure out how to improve/correct what we were hitting, new starters have to figure how to hit it. We (well I and I suspect many others) ground our way through that stage by playing (what seemed like) all day every day in the summers.

There is absolutely the chance of progressing whilst starting late, I'm not disagreeing with that but I'd say it's a lot, lot smaller than having started and stopped earlier in life. Not least because as (supposed grown ups) we have significantly less opportunity to play than a kid in the big hols.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 13 May 2016, 3:00 pm

kwini

Sadly working out that I hit the ball a lot worse than I would like to and therefore "club up", does not make me all that great a player.


Davie/super

Maybe there is something different about golf that keeps it interesting even if you are not a top player. I do think there is an addictive element to thinking you can improve at golf that I have never had with other sports.

For example how good I am at football pretty much comes down to how fit I am at any given time. Miss even a few weeks and I can't make the runs I want to. But the fix is easy and boring.

With golf you can conjure a million swing thoughts that you hope will unlock the key to better ball striking.


Ben

Basic point is this, if you keep coming up short then club up, whether or not you strike it weel (does any high handicapper "strike it well", why did you ask about this?). Regardless of ability, as Navy rightly pointed out that most club golfers are guilty of under clubbing. Maybe I just can't understand the hackers game, but to me if you are hitting 8 short it doesn't seem catastrophe will unfold if you try and get a 6 onto the green.

And as I have said many times please don't worry about going long. It either won't happen or you will have 5 yard chip back to the green because you have dribbled through.
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Post by SetupDeterminesTheMotion on Fri 13 May 2016, 3:01 pm

Did everyone not know there's a giant cliff behind every hole. That is why we all come up short.
Course management is king. Some days good, some days bad.
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Post by Roller_Coaster on Fri 13 May 2016, 3:19 pm

SetupDeterminesTheMotion wrote:Did everyone not know there's a giant cliff behind every hole. That is why we all come up short.

Didn't know you'd joined our place Setup! See you over the weekend laughing

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Post by SmithersJones on Sat 14 May 2016, 9:25 pm

There's also a huge contradiction in the idea that players who aren't at the top of the game should hit more club. If you think to yourself 'it's 150 yards to the flag, I like to think I can get there with an 8 iron but I'm basing that on my best strike, and realistically I only make that quality of contact once every 5 shots so I'd best hit 7 or even 6' then what you're doing is undermining your own confidence, and without confidence you can't play any sport well. I know if I have doubts over a shot, whether it's the club or the potential dangers I'm much more likely to put a bad swing on the shot. A lot of times that's been the result of clubbing up and then worrying I've got too much club!
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Post by puligny on Sun 15 May 2016, 8:36 am

I've seen numerous pros asked "what is the biggest mistake ams make when they play with you in pro ams?"
Most frequent answer "under club and hit short"
While it's true that there is trouble through the back of greens, generally there's a lot more in front!
Enjoy your golf.

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Post by McLaren on Sun 15 May 2016, 9:04 pm

Case settled. Hackers always underestimate the distance required.

https://twitter.com/gcw/status/731932950539833345
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 16 May 2016, 1:43 pm

puligny,
This thread has become more like a presidential debate, the content of us "hackers" being distorted by the elite amateurs (semi-pros in Mac's case).

In the experience of many of us, there is more trouble over the green on our courses than in front - your experience is obviously different. Anyway, no-one is advocating risking an approach shot that will come up short in trouble; all people are saying is that a part of course management as it applies to the short game is to miss in the right place, don't short-side yourself.

Interestingly, yesterday's TV coverage of TPC Sawgrass pretty much stands as exhibit A in that argument.

Incidentally, the "numerous pros" that I've played with can't conceive of anyone hitting the type of shot us hackers come up with from time to time; always feel their advice is more for single-handicappers rather than those of us for whom such excellence is not even a pipedream.

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Post by beninho on Mon 16 May 2016, 2:05 pm

I would guess most don't really underclub, we just don't hit the ball very well on a consistent basis!

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Post by navyblueshorts on Mon 16 May 2016, 3:03 pm

How about people look at the hole they're actually playing and then play the % option?
No/little trouble over the back but Iwo Jima short? Play a longer club in.
Precipice at the back and zero hazard in front? Err on the short side.
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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 16 May 2016, 3:15 pm

I think you've nailed it NBS.

One point that beninho made a while back which got lost in translation was that he would rather err on the short side (assuming there wasn't a hazard to carry in front of the green) because taking a shorter club increased his chances of hitting a good shot.

I thought this was a pretty sensible thought process. Say you've got 180 to the flag, 160 to the front. A lot of people would feel more comfortable hitting a 6 or 7 iron with a good chance of making the front of the green and low dispersion, compared to a 4 iron to the flag but running the risk of a slice, top, duff etc that never threatens the putting surface.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 16 May 2016, 3:24 pm

kwini, not quite sure why you keep making the comment that I am "semi pro" given that I spend half my time on here having to defend how short I am compared to claims of others on here? Some of the stats people claim to achieve on here is well out of my league as I have pointed out many times.


As for front vs back of the green and danger, my observation that back is usually pretty benign compared to the front is based on the many courses I have played, not just my home course.

As an experiment I challenge all the over the back doomsters to play the next three rounds with the aim of always landing on the back edge of the green.
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Post by super_realist on Mon 16 May 2016, 5:15 pm

I played TOC yesterday and thought I'd take note of the holes and where the danger lies ( up to 30 yards short or long)

Danger Short. 1,2,3,4,7,8,11,12,13,14,17.
Danger Long 11, 17, 18

No danger either short or long: 5,6,9,10,15,16.

Seems like being short, on that course at least has its problems.

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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 16 May 2016, 5:27 pm

Mac - Landing on the back edge would leave me with some pretty horrific downhill putts on many holes on my course.

When you talk about "the many courses you have played", is this via the medium of google earth a la maverick? You must know google maps aren't very good at displaying inclines.

Super - I've not played TOC but have walked it during the Open. Would it be fair to say that it is pretty different from most courses in this respect? Huge double greens means long is often still on the green, sometimes going long puts you on to the next tee, etc.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 16 May 2016, 5:47 pm

My course:
1). Long, a hedge or someone's garden, short easy chip, no trouble
2). Long, trees or 3rd f/way, short easy chip
3). Long, chip from rough up to a raised green, short easy chip
4). Same, except steeper chip from behind green to downhill slope
5). Long and short are both chips from rough to tricky green, but especially so when long as green runs away.
6). Long, chip downhill from rough, short, easy uphill chip
7). Long, chip downhill to a raised green from rough, short easy chip
8). Long: bushes or ob, short easy chip
9). Long, straightforward chip from rough downhill, short bunker shot to raised green
Would say long is less punitive on #9, the rest short is best.
Back nine similar, and can never recall playing a parkland-type course where the same isn't true.

Haven't really played a links course, and certainly never played double greens, so can't speak for that experience. But I play the course in front of me; playing with the strong likelihood of going long would do no good at all.

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Post by super_realist on Mon 16 May 2016, 7:14 pm

Ray, If I go through the other St. Andrews courses, I'd come to the same conclusion by and large and most other courses I've played.
Course designers (to be a bit of a Mac here), generally know that most golfers will be short, correspondingly there is much more trouble within 30 yards of a green than there is beyond it, saying that though, many greens on links especially tend to roll off at the back, which might make getting back on them a bit difficult, but there's usually not more than a bit of rough and the odd bunker, and if you're in a bunker at the front, it's no different to being in one at the back.

It would be interesting for someone to try and hit a club more on every approach shot and see if they noticed a difference.
Yesterday I was short on 4 of the 6 greens I missed.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 16 May 2016, 7:57 pm

Kwini

But how far over the back are those dangers and are you likely to air mail the green by tens of yards? I have already said a many times on this thread that clubbing up sensibly will only result in running through the back once in a while, not ploughing in the ob 30 yards over the back.

Also you are making a pretty strong case for long more than likely being the worst option based on the attributes of one course. As navy has also pointed out if there are occasions where danger is tight to the back use the appropriate strategy but don't systematically pick clubs that won't get you to the target.


Ray

Actually via Tiger woods PGA tour golf 2003. Google earth is ok but from what I can tell from the TV coverage playstation games seem to give a better idea of what the real course would be like.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 16 May 2016, 8:38 pm

Mac,
I'm talking about ten yards max on this particular course with, in many cases, the risk of a long bounce off the back of the green.

But I can't speak about courses with loads of trouble in the front because obviously one then might club up, certainly don't go into the drink just to satisfy pros like yourself.
Anyway, the best course I've played that you are likely familiar with is PB, and even there "long" is largely more unforgiving than short would be.

I've probably played about 100 courses and can't think of one where long is invariably easier than short. I see your mate Tont obviously wasn't clubbing appropriately today, rinsed three out of three then gave up . . . . . . better have a word with him, bl00dy hacker.

Haven't played golf in Scotland, hardly played in Scotland period. So I'm not saying you guys are wrong, just saying that's not my experience. The end.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 16 May 2016, 8:49 pm

Again, what is with the "pro's like yourself" comment?

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Post by MontysMerkin on Tue 17 May 2016, 9:20 am

I always think that links golf is very different and relies on a different skill set. Only real trouble is bunkers and maybe ob on some holes. You can get away with bimbling it round much more easily. Reckon you could get away with nothing more than a 7 iron and a putter for most holes. My mate who was off 2 in Ireland (portmarnock) is back up to 6 now he's playing a more challenging parkland course.
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Post by beninho on Tue 17 May 2016, 9:20 am

Are we just going to agree that every course is different? And clubbing up two irons on every shot is probably not the best advice?

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Post by MontysMerkin on Tue 17 May 2016, 9:33 am

NEVER!
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Post by super_realist on Tue 17 May 2016, 9:36 am

beninho wrote:Are we just going to agree that every course is different? And clubbing up two irons on every shot is probably not the best advice?

Clubbing up by one though shouldn't put anyone in any great danger.

I used to keep stats on how long, short, left or right I was to every green. I tended to be short and right when I missed greens, usually by only a couple of yards, meaning an easy chip so clubbing up by two wouldn't have meant hitting the green either, I would simply miss long and right.

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Post by beninho on Tue 17 May 2016, 10:02 am

Clubbing up one i have no issues. May even try it next time I play, god knows when that will be though!


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Post by super_realist on Tue 17 May 2016, 10:23 am

I think what I'm going to do is club up when I'm at the limit of my perceived yardage, i.e. over 150, hit a six instead of seven, as I often find myself inbetween clubs.

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Post by beninho on Tue 17 May 2016, 10:57 am

Does the change in lofts on newer clubs, make it harder for people to get their heads around the distances. When i got my new set best part of two years ago, i realised i was hitting my 8 iron further than my old 7 iron. Think i then read that the lofts are now less then older clubs, and thats why the selling point is hitting it longer!

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Post by golfermartin on Tue 17 May 2016, 10:57 am

Just "eyeball" it and take the club that feels right!! Cool

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Post by super_realist on Tue 17 May 2016, 11:10 am

beninho wrote:Does the change in lofts on newer clubs, make it harder for people to get their heads around the distances. When i got my new set best part of two years ago, i realised i was hitting my 8 iron further than my old 7 iron. Think i then read that the lofts are now less then older clubs, and thats why the selling point is hitting it longer!

Good point Ben, It's been a long time since I checked my yardages to see if I'm still hitting them the same length.

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Post by McLaren on Tue 17 May 2016, 11:38 am

Super

I wasn't suggesting that someone of your ability needs to club up, given your low handicap and club champ status I imagine your club selection is pretty spot on.
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Post by MontysMerkin on Tue 17 May 2016, 11:45 am

Yeah, 7 iron or putter!
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Post by super_realist on Tue 17 May 2016, 11:55 am

McLaren wrote:Super

I wasn't suggesting that someone of your ability needs to club up, given your low handicap and club champ status I imagine your club selection is pretty spot on.

Mac, hitting greens has never been my strength. My strength lies in getting up and down once I've missed a green. I'm working on hitting more, but even still, a good round is 12 greens for me. Pro average isn't very great either, but I still miss greens from comparatively easy distances, usually left or right rather than short or long though, it has to be said.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 17 May 2016, 12:02 pm

PGA Tour stats suggest you'd be about 70th on Tour with 12 out of 18 gir. You're in the wrong business super!

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Post by McLaren on Tue 17 May 2016, 12:19 pm

In terms of excitement isn't it more fun to hit shots that look like they are going to get to the pin?

Some of the fun in golf is watching and waiting to see how close your ball is going to go while it is in the air. If you have already picked a club to go short it sort of removes any suspense?

It is one of the reasons I think the ground game can be so much fun because you are left in suspense as you wait to so if the ball will run along the right humps and hollows to get close.
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Post by super_realist on Tue 17 May 2016, 1:05 pm

Good point Mac, my most memorable shots from the weekend are the four I knocked close on 6,7, 8 and 17. Sadly only one birdie out of them.

Still, we all play for different reasons, some people clearly play to drive the ball as far as possible, then don't care how many it takes to hole out.

I love chips and pitches as they require a bit of thought, are a challenge and take skill to get it close.

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Post by raycastleunited on Tue 17 May 2016, 6:32 pm

I love chipping and pitching it close too, and nothing better than rolling in a long putt. But maybe that's because my driving is terrible.

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Post by Nay on Tue 17 May 2016, 8:00 pm

one day i will be able to say the same.

Still 20 balls, 3 wedges and a 7 iron and an hour or so chipping tonight should hopefully help.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Wed 18 May 2016, 7:59 am

LL Cool Nay wrote: one day i will be able to say the same.

Still 20 balls, 3 wedges and a 7 iron and an hour or so chipping tonight  should hopefully help.
Have you considered using a single club for all your chipping practice? At least in the short term, that is.

I've never been a fantastic chipper but decided to just practice and use my 52° wedge last year. Chipping has been much improved and more consistent, presumably as I now have a very good idea how the one club I use is going to behave.
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