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300 yd drive or 12 foot gimmies?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by OnlyBirdies View Post
    The correct answer is it depends on the player. When I was playing regularly and was a true scratch, 12 foot gimmies would have meant be being 3-4 under par on a bad day. Putting has always been a weaker part of my game, especially lag putting. 300 yard drives wouldn't have given me any advantage.

    But then I look at my buddy who is a way better putter than me but can't drive at all. Him taking 300 yard drives would probably save him over 10 strokes a round. He probably plays to a 20 handicap.
    The correct answer is those who drive it 300 yards will take the 12' putts and those who are erratic/short off the tee and sink everything inside 12', takes the 300 yard drive.

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    • #32
      I think many here are missing the “perfect spot in the fairway every time” aspect of the driving. Yes, hitting it 300 yards long is a great advantage for most, but not for some…but NEVER being in any trouble whatsoever off the tee is the key aspect I think.

      Think about it. No penalties or lost ball ever with the driver. Never have to punch out back to the fairway. Never in a fairway bunker. Never with a tree or overhanging branch in your way, or a bad lie in the rough, or even a bad angle into the pin. All that, to me, is worth a lot more than the distance.

      I played with a 1 handicap today who could crush it 300 yards off the tee. He was an incredible player but he still probably drove it into a bad spot 2 or 3 times, had to drop twice, and was in a “not perfect” spot 3 or 4 others. Every time he hit a perfect drive it was pretty much a tap in par for him at worst.

      I think you’d have to be an extremely good driver of the golf ball and an extremely bad putter from inside 12 feet for the 12 foot gimmies to come out ahead over a long term.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by NineNineSix View Post
        I think many here are missing the “perfect spot in the fairway every time” aspect of the driving. Yes, hitting it 300 yards long is a great advantage for most, but not for some…but NEVER being in any trouble whatsoever off the tee is the key aspect I think.

        Think about it. No penalties or lost ball ever with the driver. Never have to punch out back to the fairway. Never in a fairway bunker. Never with a tree or overhanging branch in your way, or a bad lie in the rough, or even a bad angle into the pin. All that, to me, is worth a lot more than the distance.

        I played with a 1 handicap today who could crush it 300 yards off the tee. He was an incredible player but he still probably drove it into a bad spot 2 or 3 times, had to drop twice, and was in a “not perfect” spot 3 or 4 others. Every time he hit a perfect drive it was pretty much a tap in par for him at worst.

        I think you’d have to be an extremely good driver of the golf ball and an extremely bad putter from inside 12 feet for the 12 foot gimmies to come out ahead over a long term.
        It all depends on the player as others said.
        If you lose too many strokes off the tee yes taking 300yards will benefit you but I think most will benefit more from 12 feet gimmies.

        Looking back at my round today shot 13 over par I had 5 penalty stroke off the tee(3 red 1 white) and if I took automatic gimmies from 12 feet. I would have saved 11 strokes. So maybe taking 300yard from tee isn't always no brainer.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by captainbim View Post

          It all depends on the player as others said.
          If you lose too many strokes off the tee yes taking 300yards will benefit you but I think most will benefit more from 12 feet gimmies.

          Looking back at my round today shot 13 over par I had 5 penalty stroke off the tee(3 red 1 white) and if I took automatic gimmies from 12 feet. I would have saved 11 strokes. So maybe taking 300yard from tee isn't always no brainer.
          I would love to see a statistician break it down. Pros make around 20% from 12 feet.

          300 yards perfect position
          If I was playing a typical 400-450 par 4 I would have a few birdie chances. On the short par 4s I would have lots of birdie chances. Par 5's would be like playing 200-300 yard par 4s. Par 3s would be straight up.

          12

          I have to think of the number of times I'm within 12 feet in a given round then subtract the number of times I would have made the putt anyway.

          The 300-yard option sounds better.


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          • #35
            Originally posted by captainbim View Post

            It all depends on the player as others said.
            If you lose too many strokes off the tee yes taking 300yards will benefit you but I think most will benefit more from 12 feet gimmies.

            Looking back at my round today shot 13 over par I had 5 penalty stroke off the tee(3 red 1 white) and if I took automatic gimmies from 12 feet. I would have saved 11 strokes. So maybe taking 300yard from tee isn't always no brainer.
            You missed 11 putts inside 12 feet? Yikes, that’s a bad day.

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            • #36
              Driving distance has to be a big factor here. Arccos says the average male drive is 225 yards as per their data. If you are gaining 75 yards per drive on average and in perfect position, that’s potentially a 6 or 7 club difference hitting into greens.

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              • #37
                I'd readily take the 12 ft Gimmies.
                Off the tee, I'm in play most of the time for the typical 6000-6300 yardages I play. 12 ft Gimmies would give me better scoring than 300 yard drives.
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                • #38
                  Originally posted by NineNineSix View Post

                  You missed 11 putts inside 12 feet? Yikes, that’s a bad day.
                  Yes pretty sad i know had 5 birdie chances within 12feet only managed to sink 1
                  Plus had 2 3putts within 10-15feet lol so yes I want automatic 12ft putts!!!

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by ARL67 View Post
                    I'd readily take the 12 ft Gimmies.
                    Off the tee, I'm in play most of the time for the typical 6000-6300 yardages I play. 12 ft Gimmies would give me better scoring than 300 yard drives.
                    I tend to make most putts inside 5 feet. So that doesn't buy me much. I might hit a couple of shots a round between 5-12 so that may buy me a stroke. I'm pretty good at scrambling so I get up and down a lot. A perfect drive on 14 holes could easily save 5 strokes a round.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by WWFS View Post
                      I think it depends very much on the player, and to a lesser extent, the course.

                      I did a quick dive on tour pros and their putting numbers. The numbers may be off by a couple of percentage points, but they are close.

                      2 foot putts - 98%
                      3 foot putts - 96%
                      4 foot putts - 88%
                      5 foot putts - 76%
                      10 foot putts - 38%
                      12 foot putts - 31% (extrapolated)
                      15 foot putts - 22%

                      (Stats are from the Strokes Gained Putting matrix)

                      The pros can already hit it 300, and nobody in the top 100 of fairways hit is under 60%.


                      I think most Tour pros would take 12 foot gimmies. On a US Open course, an Open Championship course, or ANGC, I think the putting becomes even more important.

                      Before I had to hang up the sticks, I was still averaging > 265 off the tee, so 300 isn't that big a deal. My iron play was more than acceptable, and I could count on my short game to easily get me within 15 feet. My putting was also very good, so I think the Tour putting numbers would be a good measure of my numbers.

                      I'd take the 12 foot gimmies.

                      However, my preferable option would be that I was still physically capable of playing.


                      Agreed. It is 100% the player.

                      If I look at my own game, I average 279-281 carry, so I get the 300 when the fairways aren't wet. I'm generally a good driver of the ball, seldom lose or have to take a penalty stroke or chipout.

                      If I could make every putt inside 12 feet, it would have a much larger impact on my handicap than hitting the centre of the fairway on every drive.

                      I'd love to see your make percentage chart for the average golfer. The percentages would be much lower in most cases, so the 12 foot gimmie would be very beneficial.

                      The ability to hit it inside 12 feet also needs to be considered, and if you look at Arccos data (or even tour data), this doesn't happen anywhere as often as most would think.
                      Last edited by johnny canuck; Aug 5, 2022, 07:46 AM.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by johnny canuck View Post

                        Agreed. It is 100% the player.

                        If I look at my own game, I average 279-281 carry, so I get the 300 when the fairways aren't wet. I'm generally a good driver of the ball, seldom lose or have to take a penalty stroke or chipout.

                        If I could make every putt inside 12 feet, it would have a much larger impact on my handicap than hitting the centre of the fairway on every drive.

                        I'd love to see your make percentage chart for the average golfer. The percentages would be much lower in most cases, so the 12 foot gimmie would be very beneficial.

                        The ability to hit it inside 12 feet also needs to be considered, and if you look at Arccos data (evor en tour data), this doesn't happen anywhere as often as most would think.

                        Bingo!

                        If I have a perfect lie within 150 yards with the best approach angle I will be down in 3 most of the time with chances at a bird or the odd bogey. I'm ecstatic if my approach is within 12 feet, meaning it rarely occurs even pros can't hit that on their approaches so the benefit rarely would present itself. IMO the only way the 12ft option helps is if you have an abysmal short game, which so happens is the easiest for most golfers to improve.

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                        • #42
                          I'll take the 12 footers, assuming that I'm playing a course that's not over 6200 yards. If it's over that, give me the 300 yard drives.
                          This isn't a dress rehearsal. Enjoy yourself. There's no do-over.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by johnny canuck View Post
                            I'd love to see your make percentage chart for the average golfer. The percentages would be much lower in most cases, so the 12 foot gimmie would be very beneficial.

                            The ability to hit it inside 12 feet also needs to be considered, and if you look at Arccos data (evor en tour data), this doesn't happen anywhere as often as most would think.
                            I agree on both points. Just a minor caveat on Tour proximity numbers...

                            In general, the proximity numbers for Tour players would shock most people in terms of just how poor they are compared to what those people think they would be. However, inside of 12 feet in any number less than par, is going to be very good.

                            I know having a 12 foot gimmie available would certainly change the way I putted from outside of 12 feet as well. Many of those "defensive" putts would be struck very differently.

                            Two things that don't last -- Dogs that case cars, and Pros who putt for pars!


                            TorontoGolfNuts.com/TGNFantasy

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by WWFS View Post

                              I agree on both points. Just a minor caveat on Tour proximity numbers...

                              In general, the proximity numbers for Tour players would shock most people in terms of just how poor they are compared to what those people think they would be. However, inside of 12 feet in any number less than par, is going to be very good.

                              I know having a 12 foot gimmie available would certainly change the way I putted from outside of 12 feet as well. Many of those "defensive" putts would be struck very differently.

                              Two things that don't last -- Dogs that case cars, and Pros who putt for pars!

                              Agreed.

                              I also have a theory most people underestimate the length of a putt. They think they hit or chip it inside 12 feet more often than they do.

                              I played Eagles Nest recently and there must have been 5 or 6 second putts taken from outside 12 feet (sometimes well outside).

                              Comment

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