Jun 27, 2023

T-Time Podcast // Ep. 50: Best of Quick-9 Series: What Does Good Golf Look Like

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Join us in celebrating the 50th episode of T-Time! As a special tribute, we will revisit some of our most popular episodes! This is a fantastic opportunity to rediscover our favorite content from field experts and fellow players, even if you've already listened to these episodes.

In today's episode, we trip down memory lane to episode 7 featuring Lou Stagner. Lou is an Arccos Golf Data Insights Lead, Co-Host of the 'Hack It Out Golf' podcast, and a renowned data research analyst on The PGA TOUR. Join us as Lou provides insights into what constitutes good golf, not only for expert players but also for those with a handicap aiming for an average score.

Driver Distance Fairways

When considering driver distance, it's interesting that skill level doesn't significantly impact fairway hit. For women, the median distance is around 170 yards, with about 18% hitting 200 yards or more. Hitting fairways consistently isn't the most important factor. The increasing distance can be beneficial, as there is a correlation between handicap and driving length. Consider utilizing speed training programs for improvement. Tracking stats using strokes gained provides valuable insights, but monitoring greens in regulation can be helpful if not used. Remember that hitting more greens leads to better scores. Aim to hit the ball as far as possible while accounting for penalties and hazards. Optimize your game by considering a range of outcomes rather than isolated instances.

Comparing Fairway and Greenside Bunkers: Which is More Detrimental?

When comparing fairway and greenside bunkers, it's clear that both can pose challenges for amateur golfers. Avoiding bunkers altogether is often a wise strategy for us non-professionals. However, professional players on the PGA and LPGA tours may intentionally aim for bunkers in certain situations, depending on the green complex and surrounding grass conditions. Nonetheless, for us mere mortals, staying out of bunkers is crucial, particularly when faced with steep-faced fairway bunkers that make it difficult to extract the ball.

Around the green, an important factor to consider is the elevation change between the surface of the green and its surroundings. The deeper the bunker and the greater the elevation difference, the tougher the shot becomes. This principle also applies to the rough surrounding the green. Shots become increasingly challenging when the elevation change exceeds two feet. This rule applies to scenarios where the green is elevated or below the surrounding area, such as punch bowl greens.

Proximity to the Hole: What Amateur Golfers Should Aim for with a Wedge

The topic of the wedge is often debated among golfers. While some believe every wedge shot should be within 10 feet, that's not the reality. PGA Tour pros, for example, have an average proximity of 18.5 feet from 100 yards in the fairway, with only 25% of their shots landing within 10 feet. It's unrealistic for a 10-handicap golfer to expect similar results. Distance plays a significant role in improving scores, and gaining 10 yards can lower scores by one to one and a half shots per round. It's crucial to prioritize distance improvement.

The Influence of Three-Putting on Scoring and Handicap

Tracking your stats is incredibly important for several reasons. Picture all the 10 handicappers there are. Now, among all the 10 handicaps, if we look at the top 5% putters, they would putt like a scratch player. On the other hand, the bottom 5% putters, among the 10 handicaps, would putt like a 20-handicap player. So even though both players have an overall handicap of 10, their putting skills vary greatly. This is why knowing where you stand in each category is crucial. It helps you and your coach identify areas that need attention. For higher handicap players, reducing three putts is vital, which can be achieved through good speed control. Whether you use a tracking system like Arccos or a simple back-of-the-napkin approach, knowing your stats will greatly impact how you focus your practice time and improve your game.

Tournament Golf vs. Regular Golf

Tournament golf presents a distinct experience compared to casual, recreational golf. Various categories of golf exist, including casual rounds played with friends, friendly competitions, and tournament play. Tournaments range from local club events to national championships, with professional tournaments being the highest echelon. Engaging in professional golf means that poor performance can have significant financial implications. Thus, the pressure and intensity of playing for a paycheck make professional tournaments a different beast altogether.

For those aspiring to compete, it is advisable to participate in as many tournaments as possible. The exposure to different challenges and emotions accompanying tournament play offers valuable learning opportunities. The more tournament experience one accumulates, the better equipped they become. Therefore, for individuals passionate about tournament golf, embracing the chance to compete and striving for improvement through regular participation is key.

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