Monday, August 8, 2011

The Great Wedge Myth

One of the biggest myths in golf is the theory that ‘once the PGA Tour pros get a wedge in their hand, they’ll flag it stiff most of the time.’ Or the ‘in order to play on the PGA Tour, you have to have the best wedge game in the state.’

Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of PGA Tour players with phenomenal wedge games. But there are plenty of PGA Tour players who don’t have phenomenal wedge games or even pretty good wedge games.

But to dispel these myths, let’s take a look at some numbers from the current, 2011 Tour roster.

From 75-100 yards…from the fairway, the leader in proximity to the cup is Henrik Stenson, averaging 10 feet 10 inches to the cup on those shots.

If he’s the leader and he’s almost at 11 feet…then the PGA Tour players certainly are not ‘flagging it and putting for birdie.’ In fact, the PGA Tour average putts made from 10-15 feet is 29%.

Also, remember…that statistic is from shots in the fairway and again…that’s the LEADER.

The average from 75-100 yards from the fairway is about 17 feet 4 inches. And the average made putts from that distance is about 18%. And here’s a couple of the worst from 75-100 yards from the fairway.

At a 181st, averaging 22 feet 3 inches to the cup…this man made the Ryder Cup team last season.

At 187th, averaging 22 feet 6 inches to the cup, this golfer is considered one of the premier ballstrikers of our generation.

And at 188th, averaging 22 feet 8 inches to the cup, this golfer looks good in green.

As I’ve said. Anytime you can improve a part of your game, that is a good thing. If a golfer like Chris Couch (ranked 191st at 25 feet 0 inches) became a top 25 player from 75-100 yards…over time this would affect his scores for the better.

But, it becomes about prioritizing the parts of the game.

The person that is worst from 75-100 yards from the fairway is Scott McCarron, averaging shots 25 feet 3 inches to the cup. Compare this to Henrik Stenson, currently last in approaches from the fairway at 175-200 yards…leaving them on average 43 feet 2 inches. Or Kevin Kisner, last in shots from the fairway at 200-225 yards, leaving them 52 feet 8 inches.

Not only can Tour players get up and down from 25 feet, 3 inches…but, we can usually 2-putt from there and even make some 1 putts. But with 43 feet or 52 feet, that’s a much different story.



Red & Dad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick Chertock said...

Once again lending credit to your theory of the importance of long approaches to performance at the highest levels. From 175-225 I would say Adam Scott was on fire this weekend, and that made all the difference, plus he made a lot of putts.