For the past few years, my golf focus has been to improve scores by throttling back the driver (and hit more Fairway Woods) in an effort to hit more fairways. However, I have been doing some research lately and have found things like this:
It got me thinking about a comment a friend of mine made last year who used to be on the Hooters tour and played some Nationwide events. I asked him what I should work on in my game, and he said I should work on swinging the driver as hard as I can, just within the limits of my control. He said worry about trajectory control later, that hitting the ball as far as I can is more important.
So all this has me wondering: shouldn’t maximizing potential clubhead speed be top priority among all golfers? If clubhead speed really is highly correlated with handicap per the studies above, shouldn’t stretching and developing core and forearm strength be fundamental to getting serious about improving scores? If clubhead speed is a valid indicator of performance in golfers (per the first study above), why should we spend so much time working on our short game, especially those of us who have been playing awhile and have some experience?
Which brings me to a similar question: Is there any situation where we should hit anything but a driver on a par 4 or 5? One scenario on a course I often play is a 320 yard par 4 with a narrow fairway lined with trees. My leave after hitting driver is usually about 70 yards, with hybrid its 100+ yards. My gut tells me its worth getting as close to the hole as possible, to accept the risk/reward scenario this hole presents. What do you all think, especially given the information above on the importance of club head speed and distance?