I straight up refuse to believe that golf can’t be easy. If you sit down and think about what it takes to shoot par it really isn’t that complicated. I will use my game and my club’s scorecard as an example.
In order for me to shoot par I must have:
18 iron shots
3 hybrid/three wood shots
I can hit an iron into the green on all the par 5’s except for one which gives me this 3 extra strokes to play with.
Now it seems pretty obvious what the most important parts of golf are. First you must be able to 2-putt every green. Then you must be able to hit accurate irons. Actually I might argue that being able to hit accurate irons might be more important than being a great putter.
Theoretically if someone can just throw darts with their irons then every putt should be a tap in and they’ll never have to chip around the green because they’ll always be on the green. Obviously this isn’t possible because we’re human but I believe the concept is still true.
However I could also argue that putting is the most important because every time I 1-putt a green I get to add another stroke to misc. If I can 1-putt 12 greens, then I can get 12 free strokes. That means I could hit 6 balls out of bounds and still shoot par.
Whatever they’re both important.
Greens in regulation is the key, no one gives a shit what you did with your drive. The only thing a drive should do is make it easier to get a GIR. I think going forward I’m going to not only track GIR’s but track why I didn’t hit a GIR.
TLDR: Irons and putting make up for 75% of strokes.