Drive for Show and Putt for Dough. Really?
Last week I had the opportunity to attend the GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teachers Summit at Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando. Over the two days I had the good fortune of listening to fellow Top 100 Teachers share their philosophy and methodology that they use. The one thing that has always impressed me about fellow professionals is their willingness to share with others what they know. Even though I may not agree with their approach, it's always great to have the opportunity to learn new techniques that in the long run, will improve my communication to my students. In the end, we all have one goal, make students better so they can enjoy the game.

The conference covered a wide variety of topics from putting, mental, physical training and an explanation of D Plane and the use of Trackmen. I am not going to take this time to discuss David Orr's presentation on putting or Jason Glass and Lance Gill's presentation on the human body and how to create rotary power. I really enjoyed Dr Bhrett McCabe's presentation on how to change behavior for better golf; this will definitely be in my next blog. James Leitz did a great job of explaining D plane which seems to be the new flavor of teaching and Justin Padjen from Trackman explained how by analyzing their data makes it easier to identify a student's strength and weaknesses. I promise you I will go deeper into their content in future blogs but I want to start with Dr Mark Broadie's presentation on Strokes Gained and how the key to success on Tour is changing. We have always heard drive for show and putt for dough, well; he has a different slant on it.

In Dr. Broadie's presentation, he explained the formula for determining strokes gained and he made the case for the key to success on the PGA Tour is not on the green, but on the tee shots and approach shots. In the category of tee shots and approach shots, Tiger Woods was rated number one and was down the list on strokes gained in putting. As he showed us the list, the usual successful players ranked high in tee shots and approach shots but not necessarily one of the best putters. Players like Adam Scott and Ernie Els all were ranked incredibly high in tee shots and approach shots but just average in putting. Yet, there isn't one of us that would argue against their success. So it looks like the new norm for better success isn't always on the green? Do you think the key to success is from tee to green or, on the green? Remember this: "If you can't putt, you can't score, but, if you can't drive, you can't play." So, what do you say? Send me your feedback if you think the answer is from tee to green or on the green. If you want to learn more from his analysis, his new book, Every Shot Counts will be out in March.

Almost forgot, here is the formula for figuring out strokes gained: the decrease in the average number to strokes to hole out from the start to the end of the shot minus one. There that was pretty easy!! In layman's terms in relation to putting, it's the tour average of putts taken from a certain distance minus the number of putts taken: for instance, Tour average from 33 feet is 2 putts and from 8 feet it is 1.5 putts. So, if a guy two putts from 33 feet, no strokes gained, if he two putts from 8 feet, he loses a half shot on the field.

Ok, I look forward to your respective on the long game being the new norm for success.

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Peter Krause