This saying has been around in the golf world for forever.
Is there truth to it?
No. Not really.
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Ball Striking is PRIORITY #1
And the statistics show it.
You cannot succeed at a high level on the golf course without being an excellent ball striker.
If we look at the strokes gained statistics developed by Mark Broadie (if you haven't read his book yet 'Every Shot Counts' I highly recommend it!) we find that the top PGA Tour pros can contribute the following percentages to their scoring advantage:
Approach Shots: 40%
Short Game: 17%
But wait, putting is last?
Yep... driving and approach are paramount.
It's Not the Putting Doesn't Matter
Of course, I am not saying that putting doesn't matter.
I think Broadie summed it up best in this tweet...
So, it is a priority to be a great ball striker... and then the winner will normally emerge as the individual who putts best out of that group.
What does this mean for you?
Make sure you are valuing the proper things in practice and training.
1.] Spend a little more time on the range and less on the putting green.
2.] Spend more time with a driver and iron in your hand, than a wedge.
3.] Let's add some strength and power outputs in the weight room to help improve your distance!
Why distance is important?
First, it's fun.
The walk down the fairway after you stripe it 20 yards past your playing partners... nothing quite like it!
Second, distance is a massive contributor to scoring.
Would you rather have an 8 iron or 6 iron in your hand approaching a green?
Would you rather have a 110 or 145 approach?
Would you rather be hitting a 9 iron from 150 or a 7 iron?
All of these questions illustrate the importance of distance when approaching the green.
Consider tracking your strokes gained statistics this season!
It'll help you really discover where you can gain some strokes, relative to your game as a whole.
Arccos Golf makes a great product that does it for you.
Golf Metrics app requires you to do more of the input work... but it's much more cost effective.
I am sure there are other ways to go about it... if any of you have experience with tracking your strokes gained statistics, let me know in the comments how you go about it!
Let's go low.
Carter Schmitz, CSCS, TPI