Monday, May 1, 2017

Shot Bubbles with Athletic Motion Golf

Here's an interesting video from Athletic Motion Golf discussing how to 'play for your average swing' in a round of golf.



As I've mentioned in the very first Pro Golf Synopsis, the essence of strategy is to play for the results of your average swing.  I find that low handicap golfers, even Tour players, tend to have a bias towards playing for their worst swing.  If there is trouble that can be found with the driver on a bad swing, the low handicapper will lay-up even if it requires a bad swing to find that trouble with the driver.  The issue is this...there's no guarantee that you'll not make a bad swing with the 3-wood off the tee.  And if you do...now you are in real trouble because you're in a bad location and further away from the hole.

The other issue is that golfers, even Tour players, often greatly underestimate how being closer to the hole can help their score.  The 13th hole at Bay Hill is a great example of this:




Most Tour players prefer to lay-up in the middle of those fairway bunkers.  However, ShotTracker2 clearly shows that hitting the tee shot past those bunkers...closer to less than 110 yards to the hole will significantly drop the expected score.

So, why do Tour players lay-up in the middle of the fairway bunkers?

1.  That's what everybody else does.

2.  I'm afraid of where I will end up with a bad swing and if I lay-up I only have a 9-iron or P-Wedge into the green.

What they don't understand is that the hole was specifically designed to get them to fall into that trap.  The design of the green makes it more difficult to hit that 9-iron or P-Wedge than normal and we also have to consider the wind that comes up (and is accounted for when the designers design the hole).  They are better off playing for the results of their 'average swing' that worrying about what everybody else is doing and the possibility of taking a poor swing.

***

The higher handicappers tend to have a bias towards playing for their best swing.  Often this is careless thinking and they will try to hit that 3-wood from the high rough that even an aggressive Tour player that strikes a great 3-wood wouldn't even try.  Or they'll try to cut corners when it's unlikely to do so or the ole 'see flag, fire at flag' approach.

Their 'shot bubble' is larger and thus, they need to account for that more.

One thing I really liked about the video is the use of the term where you are likely to end up.

If there are some issues with the video it's that the idea of changing one's aim based on how they are hitting the ball *that* day is a bit optimistic.

First, there's always the tendency to try to correct your issues in order to get your stock shot back.  In the case of the video, there's going to be a tendency for the golfer to try and unconsciously figure out the push and start hitting a draw.

The other issue is that from my experience if I usually hit a draw and start hitting a push...aiming left to play for the push may cause me to start hitting a pull hook.

In a case like this your shot bubble has essentially become larger and unless you start to figure it out you're probably better playing a bit more conservatively.  And in the end, work on your swing to improve the results off your average swings.





3JACK

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