Does Ray really want to break 80?

Why isn’t Ray Romano really improving?

From what I’ve seen on “The Haney Project” this season, Ray seems to be getting more and more confused.  The focus has been entirely on Ray’s swing with only a little bit of work on short game.

If Ray really wants to break 80 he needs to learn how to get the most out of what he has.  That will improve his scores tremendously, then any improvements he makes to his golf swing will pay even more dividends.  The problem as I see it is that the focus isn’t really on breaking 80, it’s on fixing swing flaws and mechanics.

First place Ray could cut a lot of strokes: Putting.

On the show Ray’s putting has been very weak.  He missed a 40 foot putt 20 running it 20 past the cup.  That will introduce 3 and 4 putts all day long.  Hank needs to get Ray to two putt, and rarely 3 three put.  That will probably take 5 to 10 strokes of his game right away.

The next area where he has seemed very weak: Chipping and shots around the green.

It’s very difficult to save par when you leave your chip shots 15- 20 and 30 feet from the pin.  In order to break 80 he is going to have to get good at chipping.  He is not going to hit a lot of greens in regulation so he needs to make the most of his chipping and pitching opportunities.  He can probably save another 5 to 10 shots like this.

Now to the long game.

Clearly Ray can occasionally hit some good tee shots and certainly prefers the ball teed up even with his irons.  What he needs is enough to consistency to not get in too much trouble off the tee.  He needs a go to shot that he can get out there long enough, but that’s unlikely to wind up OB or way off the fairway in the trees.  Whether that means teeing off with a fairway wood or long iron, I don’t know, but he needs to find the fairway.  The extra yards he gets with the driver don’t offset the number of shots he loses from going OB, in the trees, or into a hazard, or topping it.

Along with a go to shot, he needs to understand the safest way to plot around the course so that he can get himself near the green in regulation.  Good chipping/pitching could give him plenty of par opportunities, and he’ll hit a few greens and get a few birdie opportunities.

The above points will get him much closer to breaking 80 than simply fixing his swing.  He needs to realize that his focus with the long game should be to improve the quality of his bad shots, so that they are less penalizing.

4 thoughts on “Does Ray really want to break 80?”

  1. you’re absolutely right. in the first episode haney states that ray’s swing speed has the potential to become a scratch player, but that only eludes to full shots as opposed to shots inside 100 yards. haney should focus more of his attention on ray’s short game if he wants to help ray break 80. i do think that ray’s long game does need work, but not on the account of dismissing the “scoring” aspect of the game.

  2. I understand where this article is coming from… As a single digit handicap player, I’m obsessed with my short game… I regularly spend more time putting and chipping and working on scenarios I may encounter (plugged balls in the bunker, flop shots over bunkers etc.) than I care to admit. And anytime I’m asked at the range for advice I always say 100 yards and in… BUT… Ray’s swing is so inconsistent that breaking 80 is impossible without him eliminating those couple of “shanks.”

    Lets be real here haha… Hank Haney knows what he’s talking about when it comes to golf… Two things he’s really pointed out to Ray that may have gone missed
    1. We can’t miss the green when we chip (sometimes half the battle is getting on the dance floor)
    2. We have to 2 putt every time (minimum)

    I think you get my point… his current swing is just to destructive to NOT focus on it primarily… once people stop having to worry about the 90 degree rule with Ray THEN his chipping will take him over the edge

  3. @The Truth: Sure, Ray’s swing is inconsistent. My question though is whether it requires a complete overhaul or it can be made to work. There are plenty of good players who have a bit of an over the top move, but they know their ball flight, and they use what they have in plotting their strategy around the course.

    Doing a complete overhaul of the swing is a bit counter productive. It takes away from the focus of scoring and it becomes about the swing. It takes a while to get used to a new swing with incremental changes, much longer for whole revamp, and it takes away time from learning to manage the course better and of course improve short game. Ray needs his swing to get to the point where he can be reasonably sure of where his ball is going, then he plot his way around the course more successfully, and let his chipping and putting take over (if he worked on it and got it to a stage where it too was predictable).

    I think Hank missed a great opportunity to really get Ray scoring well by introducing too many elements and trying to overhaul everything. Because of the drastic changes, I think it’s going to a long time for Ray to get comfortable with the new swing, if he ever actually gets there, he’ll probably revert to his old swing anyway once Hank stops working with him.

  4. Have only seen bits of the Ray Ramano/Haney project, but if the comments are accurate. Yes, the short game is where you make you scores. I just broke 80, and I went 8 for 10 in the up and down inside 40yds, made 8 of 8 putts inside 10ft, and 29 total putts for the round…All while only averaging 210yds per drive..

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