Thursday, October 1, 2015

Short Game Decathlon

Today, the SMU Women’s Golf Team participated in the Golf Olympics.  Today’s event was the Short Game Decathlon.  Here is the medal count from today’s games:

6’ Putts (Number of made putts)
·        Gold       Alex Rossi 5/5
·        Silver     3-way tie between Haley Tygret, Brigitte Dunne & Lindsey McCurdy with 3/5

15’ Putts (Number of made putts)
·        Gold       Jenny Haglund 2/5
·        Silver     3-way tie between Katie Page, Brigitte Dunne, Alex Rossi & Haley Tygret with 1/5

40’ Putts (Total sum of the distance of the 5 putts from the hole)
·        Gold       Haley Tygret – 54 inches
·        Silver     Lindsey McCurdy –  67 inches
·        Bronze  Katie Page – 90 inches

Short Chip (Players hit 5 shots and the closest and farthest shots were tossed out, leaving the middle three to be counted for distance from the hole. )
·        Gold       Lindsey McCurdy – 18 inches 
·        Silver     Brigitte Dunne – 43 inches
·        Bronze  Jenny Haglund – 46 inches

Long Chip (Players hit 5 shots and the closest and farthest shots were tossed out, leaving the middle three to be counted for distance from the hole.)
·        Gold       Lindsey McCurdy – 6.7 feet
·        Silver     Alex Rossi – 8.7 feet
·        Bronze  Brigitte Dunne – 11 feet

Short Sided Bunker Shot (Players hit 5 shots and the closest and farthest shots were tossed out, leaving the middle three to be counted for distance from the hole.)
·        Gold       Lindsey McCurdy – 8.1 feet
·        Silver     Brigitte Dunne – 10.8 feet
·        Bronze  Alex Rossi -17.3 feet

Long Bunker Shots (Players hit 5 shots and the closest and farthest shots were tossed out, leaving the middle three to be counted for distance from the hole.)
·        Gold       Haley Tygret -20.2 feet
·        Silver     Katie Page -28.6 feet
·        Bronze  Lindsey McCurdy -46.6 feet

Short side pitch from the rough (Players hit 5 shots and the closest and farthest shots were tossed out, leaving the middle three to be counted for distance from the hole.)
·        Gold       Brigitte Dunne – 16 feet
·        Silver     Jenny Haglund – 20 feet
·        Bronze  Katie Page -25 feet

50 Yard Pitch Shot (Players hit 5 shots and the closest and farthest shots were tossed out, leaving the middle three to be counted for distance from the hole.)
·        Gold       Jenny Haglund -27 feet
·        Silver     Haley Tygret -28 feet
           Bronze  tie between Katie Page and Brigitte Dunne with 38 feet.

50 Yard Bunker Shot (Players hit 5 shots and the closest and farthest shots were tossed out, leaving the middle three to be counted for distance from the hole.)
·        Gold       Katie Page -33 yards
·        Silver     Alex Rossi  -35 yards
·        Bronze Brigitte Dunne – 42 yards

Total Medal Count                                                               Gold                 Silver              Bronze


Senior
Jenny Haglund
2
1
1

Senior
Alex Rossi
1
3
1

Junior
Katie Page
1
2
3

Junior
Lindsey McCurdy
3
2
1

Freshman
Brigitte Dunne

1
4
3

Freshman
Haley Tygret
2
3
0

David and I learned a lot as we watched our players go through these games today.  Here are some of our thoughts.

The players were allowed to practice from each place until they wanted to start the competition.  This allowed them to dial in what they wanted. Rarely, if ever, did players adjust the shot they chose to hit for a different trajectory or club.  Instead, they tried harder to be more perfect if it was a tough shot.  For example, the 50 yard pitch they were given was from well below the level of the green where the hole was.  It was a bit damp because it was early in the morning.  The ball often skipped instead of spinning when it hit.  Only one of the six players hit high, soft shots into the hole.  The other five hit low, spinning wedges.  This was by far the toughest shot choice given the height of the green and the variability of the surface, yet during practice, they didn't try all shots.

On the pitch from the rough, only two players tried different clubs and different landing areas.  It was a tricky, downhill pitch shot with very little green to work with.  The majority of the practice for this shot was spent on landing the ball in the right spot instead of trying different shots. 

David saw the same with the chipping and bunker shots.  We both talked about the need for players to make adjustments to what they do during practice time.  A good drill for this would be to hit 3 different types of shots or 3 different clubs from every position around the green and deciding which the easiest or highest percentage shot was after trying them all. 

Another thing we learned was, we need to practice tough shots in practice.  So often, we drop our balls and hit shots we are comfortable with instead of shots that challenge us to stretch and learn.  Confidence isn't gained through easy success, but by battling through challenges and coming out a better player. 

The 50 yard bunker shot was really tough and we did pretty poorly as a team.  The point of this is, we will be playing in Austin in a few weeks and there are quite a few places on par 4’s and 5’s where you can be faced with a 50 yard bunker shot.  We need to game plan effectively to avoid that shot, because what we found out today is, 3 out of 5 of those will probably result in bogeys.  This is one of the reasons our par 5’s haven’t been as good this year as we would like.  We have placed ourselves in tough spots after our second shots and are often scrambling for par instead of putting for birdie.  We need to pay close attention to our lay-up shots or go for it when that presents the best option.

Finally, if you combine how we did with our 6 feet putts with our short game skills, you will notice that we have a high probability of getting the ball up and down when we have short chips or short bunker shots, but as we move away from the hole, our probability goes down.  This might seem like an obvious statement, but we need to do a better job of getting the ball within 6 feet whenever we have a chip, bunker shot or pitch.  That will give us a 60-70% chance of getting it up and down based on our putting stats.  In other words, after every pitching session, simply figuring out which balls are within a flagstick of the hole would be a good guide if you were successful.    

Next week’s practice will definite include a bunker clinic, a course-management talk and some work on hitting differing trajectories and different clubs for many shots.

Just in case you want to see our "real-world" short game and putting stats, here is a link to our golfstat page which includes all of our stats.  You will see that the player with the most gold medals, currently holds the lowest scoring average and the highest short game percentage.  The team's short game stats are over .500, which is a great thing, but we can always be better! 



No comments:

Post a Comment

Awareness

Where do you place your awareness?  This is a gigantic question, because there are so many things, thoughts, people and conditions to be awa...