It’s a fact: High-handicap golfers need the short game more than good players do.
A popular misconception is that the worse you play golf, or the higher your handicap, the less you need a short game. Actually, the exact opposite is true. Which is why I say, “The poorer your game, the more wedges you need.”
The players on the PGA Tour hit, on average, 12.5 to 13 greens a round. This means they miss five, maybe six, and a missed green usually means they’re hitting a short shot of some kind — pitch, chip, or sand. They also normally play four par fives a round, which account for a few more short-game shots. So seven to 10 times a round, the Tour players make “finesse swings” into the green.
If you’re not a Tour-quality ballstriker, then your number of short-game shots per round is higher. The average 10-handicapper hits four or five greens in regulation, so he’s hitting short-game shots to 10 greens plus the par fives. That’s 13, 14, sometimes 15 wedges, chips, pitches, and bunker shots every round. So if you miss more greens, your short game is more important to your scores.