Drive for Show – Putt for Dough!

Loyalist Country Club (12)

Putting for Dough!

Drive for Show – Putt for Dough is nothing new to any fanatic golfer. For some, it is how they build their golf game. Yet for others, it means absolutely nothing!

My question is: which is more important for an amateur golfer: driving for show or putting for dough?

Over the past 15 years, the top professional golfers have increased their average driving distance by 20 yards. In 2000, John Daly was the only player to average over 300 years. Today, there are 25 players who average over 300 yards off the tee! I think the increase in distance can be attributed to technology, but also the philosophy of “get it as close to the green and let your short game take over!” We can thank Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson for that shift in thought.

For professional golfers, both driving distance and putting are equally important. Their GIR, putting, and scrambling percentages have not changed much in the past 15 years. And except for Tiger Woods in 2000 (who was a full 2 strokes per round better than everyone else) the average number of strokes per round has not changed.

Therefore, even though professional golfers are 20 yards farther off the tee in 2015, not much else has changed since 2000. If this is the case, how do all these stats apply to the amateur golfer?

Well, the short answer is that they really do not apply!

Amateur golfers are a different. They are not at the top of the sport and most have swing issues that professional golfers do not contend with week in and week out. Most amateurs already have a job and it is not on the golf course, so their ability to focus and dedicate time to improving is usually limited.

Keeping all this in mind, where should amateurs focus their efforts to become a better golfer. I have discussed quick fixes in earlier posts, but ultimately amateurs should use Pareto’s Principle of 80/20. I recommend amateurs with a handicap greater than 15 to focus 80% of their time on their short game (25 yards and closer). This number will slide slightly as their scores lower. But, focusing on your short game as a higher handicapper is how to make the best use of your practice time.

I am 2.8 handicap and spend 60% of my time practicing my short game. In my short game practice, I include shots from 25 yards, 15 yards, 5 yards, out of the sand, odd lies and of course putting. I refine my focus to address known areas of weakness in my game, but for the most part practice the short shots mentioned above. Consistently practicing my short game has lower my scores over the years and will be the main focus as I reach my goal of being a scratch golfer this year.

Driving for show – putt for dough is a very good saying. I believe that putting for dough is the most important part of this statement! What do you think?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Pareto’s Principle and Golf

In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto created a mathematical formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in his country, observing that twenty percent of the people owned eighty percent of the wealth. In the late 1940s, Dr. Joseph M. Juran inaccurately attributed the 80/20 Rule to Pareto, calling it Pareto’s Principle. While it may be misnamed, Pareto’s Principle or Pareto’s Law as it is sometimes called, can be a very effective tool to help you manage effectively. (about money)

Wow, how does this interesting economic factoid influence your golf game, you may ask? Let me explain it in another way. The Pareto principle, also known as the 80–20 rule, states that, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. So basically, when working on your golf game, make sure practice time on the 20 percent that really matters.

Pareto's Law Works In Golf!

Pareto’s Law Works In Golf!

Those 20 percent produce 80 percent of your results. Identify and focus on those things. For example, I had trouble is chipping from 50 yards. I did not focus on the real issue that was common to all chips, but focused on each individual challenge. Before, I never distributed most of my weight to my front foot when chipping. I had an even distribution of weight on both feet. The result was I scooped the ball often and was short on most of my chip shots. I tried many things like changing clubs, a different ball, more hand motion, less hand motion, etc….basically I was focusing on the 80%. Once I figured out that I needed to have more weight on my front foot, all my chips improved and positive results occurred during all my chips from within 50 yards.

I believe in Pareto’s Principle. It can be applied to all areas of my life, especially my golf game. I now take a different approach to improving my golf game, I look at the larger picture to see what area of improvement will benefit the most parts of my game.

This year, I am working on my swing sequence as discussed in previous posts. The bump, chest catch up, and complete follow through will be beneficial to all my full swings….focusing on this 20 percent that will affect the 80 percent.

What is your 20% this year?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!