Originally Posted by Chief Broom
The reason I asked the typical yardages you play from is because that has a huge impact on breaking 80. I'd say if you stick to tees less than 6300 yds and hit your driver 220-230, but always straight, you'll have no trouble occasionally shooting in the 70's. Now if on the other hand you play tees pushing beyond mid 6000 yds to upper 6000's (and beyond) you're going to have a lot of trouble, and in fact have to play lights out in order to break 80.
In actuality my average driver distance is certainly in the mid 230 yd range and I always stand a chance (albeit a small one) of breaking 80 on any given day (even on tees pushing beyond mid 6000 yds). Do I hit driver a lot farther than 230, sure, but an average also has to take into account all those lousy drives too and that's what brings my average way down. I'd say if you can hit your driver consistently 220 yds but find the fairway a majority of the time, and you're playing a set of tees a little over 6000 yds your typical approach shots on par 4s should by mid iron or shorter. And a mid iron or better in your hands on typical par 4s is pretty much all anyone can ask for when trying to break 80.
Depending on the rest of your game, if you can consistently hit it 220-230 off the tee and you're playing 6000-6300 yard courses/tees, not only can you consistently shoot in the 70's (and yes, they would be a legit
70's), that's long enough to approach scratch. Once you're there, moving back won't add many, if any, strokes to your score, even if you're still driving it the same distance, though you'll see more of those 180 yard approaches then. At that point, though, you'll be able to hit those shots with more confidence. Learning to score is different than learning to hit the ball. Lots of sweet swingers on the range that can't break 80, and lots of screwy looking range dudes that are scratch golfers.
At ~6300 yards, there are very few 400 yard par 4's and few 180 yard par 3's. Driving it 220-230, you should have mostly 6i or less into the fours, you can reach all the fives and scratch it around the green on all the threes. That's a formula for shooting in the 70's if your game is up to snuff.
The fact is that if you put a golfer that shoots mid 80's-90 on the ladies
tees, they aren't going to score much better. I'm sure some mid-80's golfer might jump in and say they can shoot even par from the reds, but I'd have to see it to believe it. I've played from the reds with my wife many times for fun, and depending on the state of my game, the score just didn't change much (to my disappointment). I'm talking 5500 yards or so.