How much distance would a scratch handicapper gain by swinging to the club reach parallell compared to at a 45º angle? With, of course, the rest of the swing being equally good.
Well no they don't actually hit it 300 yards plus consistently. That's a misconception and these are PROS mind you. Unless you are in the less than 1 percent that make your living out of playing golf on these blogs, you don't fit into a PROS category, really. There is no average par 4 that can't be reached with two well placed shots (a drive of @ 240 and a fairway shot of less than 220). Now mind you I'm thinking that our main objective is to hit the ball STRAIGHT down the middle of the fairway. To do less is just going out and banging the ball off the tee for show. A 300 yard drive in the next fairway or in the deep rough or in the trees is a wasted shot IMHO. A 240 yard shot down the middle of the fairway is a far more desired result, again IMHO.
There is no average par 5 that can't be reached in 3 very easy shots (a 240 yard drive, a 200 yard fairway shot, and a 150 yard approach). Again I'm assuming STRAIGHT is what we are looking for.
I played with guy, older than I, and I'm 61, that hit the ball 200/220 yards with every wood and high iron in his bag, every time and was always in the center of the fairway. He shot @ 9 over for the day and never looked like he ever hit a GREAT shot, meaning a 300 yard strike many people strive for and never really get regularly. In fact the pros average hitting the fairway only 58 or so percent of the time. They recover so well that it's not a big deal to them. This Ian guy that won a tourney about 3 months ago hit a 3 wood off of every tee for the tourney. He by the way won the tournament. So I'm not going to say don't hit it far, but I will say hitting it straight is by far more important and is supported by noting that when the real golf starts (somewhere around the 100 to 150 yard range) everyone is going for accuracy aren't they?