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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bill Murray's Partner's Swing

Yeah, I'm talking about the less-famous part of the winning Pebble Beach Pro-Am team, D.A. Points. Despite how long D.A.'s been on Tour, there was very little video footage of him until this week... and even then, most of it isn't swing-related. All I could find was this one analysis by Peter Kostis.

But it's actually more revealing than you might first think:

Listen to how Kostis describes the Points swing -- "typical modern golf swing" and "the quintessential modern golf swing." It's not often I say something like this about a winner, but... there's absolutely nothing that stands out about this swing. Zip. Nada. He's perfectly textbook -- no more, no less. It's just a good solid dependable swing.

You know, most of us agonize over getting every little bit we can out of our swing. I imagine D.A. has been guilty of the same thing. If you look at his stats, you'll see they've been nothing spectacular over the last few years, although he's generally been about average in Driving Distance and Accuracy, GIR, Scrambling, and Putting. I've been looking over his stats for the last few years, and there's nothing to make him stand out from his fellow pros... until this year.

The reason D.A. won last week is that his Scrambling is improved by more than 10% this year, and his Total Putts are down by one to two per round. In fact, last week at Pebble, his Total Putts stat was nearly three shots lower than last year!

You frequently hear the TV folks -- teachers, commentators, and players -- say that short game is where you score. D.A. is proof of what I've been telling you -- namely, that those guys are right if you can get on or around the green in regulation most of the time. His play from tee to green wasn't really much different from normal last week, but his short game stepped it up another notch. As a result, he won the tournament.

I don't want you to stop working on your short game. In the end, your score is determined by your ability to get the ball in the hole. But take a lesson from D.A. Points: Make sure you develop a long game that gets you close to the green so you can capitalize on that short game. You don't have to be perfect to get it close, just solid.

D.A. Points has been solid for a long time. It's nice to see him get the short game working too.


  1. I would agree. Getting close to the green is important so you can implement your short game. Better to sacrifice a little distance in order to keep it on the fairway though.

  2. Yeah. Unless you're unusually strong and unusually skilled, approaching the green 250 from the fairway is usually better than 270 from the rough.