Do I think someone with a 9 iron is better than someone with a 5 iron? Depends upon who is hitting the irons. I once saw TW try to make a bet with Jason Day, Rory and one other person… You hit a 9iron to the pin, I’ll hit my 5 iron to the pin and we’ll see who’s closer with 3 balls…obviously from the correct distances… Funny, no one took him up on the bet! I hit my drives 235-255 depending and I can pump something out there a little longer if I have too. The new man in our group averages 300 outta the box… For instance. I’ll hit a 3w off the tee at #1. Leaves me PW/GW/SW in full shot! The hole is a dogleg so you hit away from the creek on the right and I’ll pump something out there 225-235 leaving me 100yds in on a regular day. I’ll hit a full Wedge of some kind to the green leaving myself some sort of 16-20 ft birdie putt, sometimes closer. Junior hits Driver… He carries all the trouble, but then leaves a very awkward basically flop shot. He now has maybe 35-45 yd flip over a bunker if you don’t hit it perfectly str8. His Wedge game is NOT as good as mine… so I’m usually walking away with a par… he’s not. Trying to teach him to dial it back so one can hit a nice 3/4 to full shot onto the surface and NOT trying to finesse or manufacture a shot that he doesn’t have yet. Then he still has to hole his putts and because he is decelerating his stroke he struggles and many times has to work hard with 6-10 ft for par. he gets mad when he misses, but trying to explain that you are really good as a crap 13 hdcp if you can make 40% of those… And believe it or not I hit my long irons fairly str8 and long, only carry down to a 5iron which I can pump 190ish consistently. So would I put my 5 or 6 iron up against the new mans wedge? All day long I will
It’s not the most important part of the game, but that’s because most pros don’t utterly crush the distribution the way he did. (And it’s why I picked the ability to take 12’ gimmies, vs 300 yd drive and drop in middle of the fairway, when we had the discussion of that hypothetical a few months ago.)
57 of 58 from 10’ is DiMaggio-esque, for how far outside “normal” that performance was. Faxon, Roberts, Stockton: all would have won majors (maybe Stockton did; haven’t checked. Edit, and of course he did. 2 PGAs.) if their putting mastery was that good.
Usually, that kind of performance doesn’t happen, and so it’s better ballstriking which wins.
My point was Harman, won the OPEN because he putted that well. It wasn’t DiMaggioesque in that ball players require the rest of team to perform. I would compare it more like a bowler rolling 3 900 series in a row and the last series was 899. Almost perfection. If any one of the boys in the Top 10 putted that way… they would have won too! Putting isn’t all of the game but the general plan is that it is half the game. I mean think about it, you are only hitting a Driver 12-14 times in a round and so on. The expectation over 4 days you don’t hole everything…Harman did. I think he is a very good golfer, I would bet though, a performance like that was lighting in a bottle. Still a well deserved win. BTW just because someone says Fax or Roberts and so on were like these special putters…I don’t buy that. They were all above average putters. Here’s how I think about great putters. Your life depends on it. You gotta pick one player outta this crowd in their prime to make a 12 foot putt for you to live. Faxon, Stockton, Crenshaw, Roberts or Woods.100% of the time I’m choosing the last guy! This past weekend…knowing what I know now… Harman was by far the best clutch putter over the 4 days!
You were using different qualifiers for comparison.
Personal experience may or may not apply to the general situation. It was true to you, but may not be true to the other golfers and situation.
By the law of physics, with the same controlling factors ( meaning the golfer in this case ). the longer the golf shaft the harder to produce the optimal result. Even for the top 1% golfers, they would do better with a short iron to the green than a mid iron.
Tiger in his prime, could beat most the golfers including scratch index holders with just one stick against your whole bag.
So did Lee Trevino during his hustling days.
Lumping all data into one without categorizing them first is just a puddle of mud.
If you were a talented low handicap index golfer, of course you could out perform many others using your mid irons against their short irons.
I haven’t seen the stats, but I would guess he did a lot of other things well too. I think he only went in 2? bunkers. I seem to recall he took an unplayable from a bush, but not sure if we went OB at all. That would gain you some strokes. And if you have a lot of putts from just inside 10 ft you’re either leaving the first putt way short or you’re hitting it close. Granted making 99% or whatever from inside 10 ft will gain quite a bit on the field, but not if there are a lot of bogey putts. I would love to know what his make % was from say 5-10 ft.
Harman made them all but 1. That was the stat. He did hit into 2 bunkers all week, 1 greenside, one FW and he took relief on Sunday from a Gorse bush on a Par 5, made a 6, but came back with a birdie on the next hole. He did alot of things well over the 4 days, but so did Rahm, Fleetwood, Straka, Rory and someone else. There are usually players that just have it going on every week. When one jars 58 outta 59 from 10 ft on in and you are in that Top Tier of ball striking for that week…my money is on you! Ask Scheffler how he feels about putting right now… the hole looks like a shot glass to him the last month or so. If Scotty canned his putts from 10ft on in at a 99% rate he wins going away! I would put my money on a pro to be able to get a 60-80ft putt, on any green within a 20ft circle, then the ones you get close…jar those too! It’s pretty simple math… NO 3 JACKS!
Not at the plate, they don’t.
I was referencing a Stephen Jay Gould essay, where he was making the argument that DiMaggio’s 56 game streak was so absurdly beyond what his (or anyone else’s) batting average would predict for a likely hitting streak, that it helped explain to Gould how unlikely Life was to arise by those same statistical mechanics.
Harman’s putting success might be as statistically unlikely. I don’t have the background in golf statistics to make that claim. But it sure sounds similar.
Roberts or Stockton for me. Tiger’s career was based upon three things:
His approach shots almost always hit the green, or missed in a spot where he could make par far more likely than the raw proximity would indicate.
Great distance, to where those approach shots were made with shorter clubs than most of his peers. As I keep writing here, more length makes life easier in two ways that feed on each other: the angular dispersion results in a smaller miss by feet, and the approach club required is shorter and easier to hit.
He had fantastic speed control on the greens. Which is a distinct skill from making everything from 10’ in. Tiger never (hardly ever) 3-putted. If he got on the green, he got down in no worse than 2. That’s huge. Doesn’t mean he was a boss of the moss like the rest of my list. Does mean that he was good enough at putting that almost no one was going to appreciably gain on him from it.
Absolutely. Short game breaks the tie between equivalent ballstrikers. Usually. I’d argue Harman’s putting transcended that trope, that week. And I’m never “Short Game Is The Key To Scoring!” Guy. But Harman’s putting seemed that ludicrously out of bounds.
Might be a question to send off to Lou Stagner…
Edit: Dear God, are you right about Scottie and putting. LOL, or Rory, for that matter.
In Rors’s case, the bummer is that he starts thinking 15’ isn’t close enough for his wedges, and he starts bearing down… We all know what that leads to.
I’m mildly annoyed by him. I wanted Rory to win. But he just can’t get out of his own head sometimes.
Young nerve, and dare to imagine with the untouched mind. We tend to lose that edge when we got beaten up a little with life.
Only the pampered and the ones with shields of wealth would still dare to dream the almost impossible.
It’s been more than 2 decades from his heydays. Lot of things happened during this period.
It really is! I know I’m letting a small sample size influence me, but little kids are fearless! It was truly a joy watching this 9 year old putt in front of his Pop, and me, making up the rest of the threesome on a typically nuclear Houston afternoon.
He got on the green, followed etiquette really well (and I helped, with showing him everyone’s line he might be interfering with, not just his own.), and couldn’t have been nicer. It was a real kick, playing with him. It helped me keep my own head in the game despite my woes.
Setting a good example for others is the heart of a lot of civilized behavior.
We watched Tiger Woods and many others on the broadcast events with miraculous result from around the greens. Imagination and execution of the imagined. Of course there be some luck involved but they have to have the heart to picture it first.
I was fearless also when I was much younger ( on a different level of course ). Standing on the tee box wanting to birdie every hole. Worry free days, no injury , no worry of unfinished project, just the golf ball and the cup.