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Anyone else not impressed with big hitters on Tour?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

After watching the Open Championship coverage, I came away weary of "DJ hit that tee shot 364 yds" commentary. Who cares about how far the player hit the ball, when he can't hit a green from inside 100 yds? C'mon, you 've got to be kidding me. Dialing it back would probably void any SLDR ad he has done, but it might win him a few more Tourneys. Tom Watson shot 68 the last day at 64 and should be a wake up call to the egos of the modern Tour.

 

To me that is absurd, and that is why REMAX has a competition especially for that garbage. Checkers sells more than chess I am aware, but "playing" golf involves a h*ll of alot more than bashing a ball from a perched location with an implement the size of a pita pocket. Go to any driving range and see how many people are chipping/putting as opposed to breaking rocks on the range.

 

It would be nice if the people who control what we see from the Tour, would focus not on some obscure driving distance STAT, but influence the causal golfer as to the Art of the Short Shot and emphasize that just wailing away is not playing golf. Traditional am I, and my rant is supported by the myriad of Tour/Web.com players who can hit it a mile, but have a putting stroke average of 1.78. 

 

Ahhh, how about the GC doing a Ken Venturi "Stroke Saver" special. Those episodes during the broadcasts were Classic. I enjoyed the effort that CBS made earlier in the year with McCord/Baker Finch bantering about the Rules. 

post #2 of 28

Long guys are a dime a dozen. Every club has them. Some learn to be good "players" while others never "get it". The ones that don't, you ask them how they played and they start telling you how far they hit the ball. 

post #3 of 28

Really?

 

Since you mentioned him specifically, DJ hits 57% of his fairways....that's a paltry 158th on tour, yet still ranks 18th on tour in overall GIR, exactly because he does hit it so far and consequently hits approaches from closer than most.  Closer is almost always better.  Oh yeah, he hits the green from inside 125 yards 84 times out of a 100 too.

 

Yep.....color me impressed.

 

 

Putting stroke average is a cruddy stat, especially when you're comparing people who are hitting 75%+ GIR to the rest of us schlubs.  Hit a lot of greens and your putting average is going to go down.....miss a bunch, and with even a mediocre short game, your putting average goes down due to proximity to the hole when you finally do get it onto the dance floor.

post #4 of 28

I usually attend the ReMax gig when ever I can. There is more going on there than just long balls. As for the long knockers on tour, yeah I like to watch those guys crush the ball when I do go to a tournament. Hell, I'm impressed with their distance with their irons too. I guess it's because I can't hit the ball as far as them. Never have. I guess that's why they play "Bomb & Gouge", and I play something else.  

 

Michelle Wie was at a tournament which was played on a course that I played quite a bit. I knew where my landing zones were off some of the tees. Her ball was landing way past mine when we both used a driver. I'd walk up to where my ball usually landed, then see how far a head her ball was, and just shake my head. 

post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 

Being one of the Tours' poster boys for distance, I only mentioned DJ, because he was in the mix again in a Major and his short game let him down. Granted, when you approach the green on average from inside 125 yds the stats will reflect that. Putting typically comes after chipping/pitching, and he didn't show up for that part either.  Impressed? Sure, I've seen him pound it in person, but his bunker play was not impressive at all.

 

The goal of the Post was to reflect on distance versus the act of playing golf, not bash DJ. It just seems redundant to carry 14 clubs when an 8 iron from 196 is possible.

 

Since the USGA has lost control of the ball and club, I'd like to see a " Starter Set" only event. It would showcase the lack of need for 45%-(Unofficial percentage value) of the clubs in an average bag. I'll even take a bet that most players would play better without all of the choices.

post #6 of 28

I was quite impressed by Sergio able to land ball on the green 244 yard with a 6 iron.

post #7 of 28

@ronzo60 I didn't notice the TV coverage focusing on driving distances that much actually, but I could also see how too much could be annoying.

 

You mentioned Tom Watson shooting a 68 without crazy distance...I think that diversity of playing styles is super fun to watch (Luke Donald vs DJ, Furyk vs Fowler, etc, etc.). I also don't think it was coincidence that the top three players at the Open were long(er) hitters. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dchoye View Post
 

I was quite impressed by Sergio able to land ball on the green 244 yard with a 6 iron.

 

That was amazing. I'm more impressed by great, longer approach shots than tee shots, that's for sure.

post #8 of 28

I was impressed to see that Rory was busy averaging about 330 with driver off the tee and hitting mid-iron approaches to par 5s while everyone else was trying to pull a 2006 Tiger Woods by teeing off with irons for safety. I think they forgot that he is the greatest iron player in the history of the game with a pretty darn strong short game and putting stroke, so 270 with a 2-iron off the tee is more daunting when you're not the greatest iron player ever. Hence, for 2014, length won.

 

Length isn't everything, but it is impressive when controlled.

post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmoan2 View Post
 

I was impressed to see that Rory was busy averaging about 330 with driver off the tee and hitting mid-iron approaches to par 5s while everyone else was trying to pull a 2006 Tiger Woods by teeing off with irons for safety. I think they forgot that he is the greatest iron player in the history of the game with a pretty darn strong short game and putting stroke, so 270 with a 2-iron off the tee is more daunting when you're not the greatest iron player ever. Hence, for 2014, length won.

 

Length isn't everything, but it is impressive when controlled.

And length wins a lot more than not.

post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmoan2 View Post
 

I was impressed to see that Rory was busy averaging about 330 with driver off the tee and hitting mid-iron approaches to par 5s while everyone else was trying to pull a 2006 Tiger Woods by teeing off with irons for safety. I think they forgot that he is the greatest iron player in the history of the game with a pretty darn strong short game and putting stroke, so 270 with a 2-iron off the tee is more daunting when you're not the greatest iron player ever. Hence, for 2014, length won.

 

Length isn't everything, but it is impressive when controlled.

 

 

THIS

post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post
 

After watching the Open Championship coverage, I came away weary of "DJ hit that tee shot 364 yds" commentary. Who cares about how far the player hit the ball, when he can't hit a green from inside 100 yds? C'mon, you 've got to be kidding me. Dialing it back would probably void any SLDR ad he has done, but it might win him a few more Tourneys. Tom Watson shot 68 the last day at 64 and should be a wake up call to the egos of the modern Tour.

 

To me that is absurd, and that is why REMAX has a competition especially for that garbage. Checkers sells more than chess I am aware, but "playing" golf involves a h*ll of alot more than bashing a ball from a perched location with an implement the size of a pita pocket. Go to any driving range and see how many people are chipping/putting as opposed to breaking rocks on the range.

 

It would be nice if the people who control what we see from the Tour, would focus not on some obscure driving distance STAT, but influence the causal golfer as to the Art of the Short Shot and emphasize that just wailing away is not playing golf. Traditional am I, and my rant is supported by the myriad of Tour/Web.com players who can hit it a mile, but have a putting stroke average of 1.78. 

 

Ahhh, how about the GC doing a Ken Venturi "Stroke Saver" special. Those episodes during the broadcasts were Classic. I enjoyed the effort that CBS made earlier in the year with McCord/Baker Finch bantering about the Rules. 


Quite the misplaced rant. Length wins on tour. Jack and Tiger were among the longest in their primes. Bubba is very long. Erik made the point that Augusta National is a second shot course in another thread and Watson hitting short irons into par 4's and 5's is how he has 2 green jackets.

 

Also, you seem to assume that long means a poor short game. These guys are so good that hitting a 9 iron instead of a 7 iron is an advantage.

post #12 of 28
I agree with everyone here. Look at the statistics from 2004-2012: the top 5 strokes gained driving leaders in order are Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, J.B. Holmes, Boo Weekley, and Dustin Johnson. See a pattern? Distance >> accuracy when it comes to driving.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmac20 View Post

I agree with everyone here. Look at the statistics from 2004-2012: the top 5 strokes gained driving leaders in order are Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, J.B. Holmes, Boo Weekley, and Dustin Johnson. See a pattern? Distance >> accuracy when it comes to driving.

Right.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post

Being one of the Tours' poster boys for distance, I only mentioned DJ, because he was in the mix again in a Major and his short game let him down. Granted, when you approach the green on average from inside 125 yds the stats will reflect that. Putting typically comes after chipping/pitching, and he didn't show up for that part either.  Impressed? Sure, I've seen him pound it in person, but his bunker play was not impressive at all.

The goal of the Post was to reflect on distance versus the act of playing golf, not bash DJ. It just seems redundant to carry 14 clubs when an 8 iron from 196 is possible.

Since the USGA has lost control of the ball and club, I'd like to see a " Starter Set" only event. It would showcase the lack of need for 45%-(Unofficial percentage value) of the clubs in an average bag. I'll even take a bet that most players would play better without all of the choices.

Are you under the impression that him throttling back his driver would somehow improve his bunker play?

I'm sure he spends plenty of time practicing wedges, putts, and bunker shots, but DJ plays to his strengths. To do anything else would cost him shots.
post #14 of 28

I admit that sometimes I think the announcers get a little carried away with the emphasis on how far somebody hit a ball and I shake my head.

 

They love to give a 235 yard distance to the pin in the back and then after somebody lands a ball short of the green and bounces on and rolls out to the middle of the green (and still 5 yards short of the pin) they go on and on about the "235 yard 7 iron" they hit. (When they really landed the ball less than 200 yards).

 

Same with tee shots with a driver that roll about 70 or 80 yards on fairways mowed down closer than our greens and intentionally dried out for the tournaments.

 

All that said they are amazing and don't need any embellishment. The longer hitters with subpar short games would have even worse short games if they laid up farther back, had longer shots in, and ended up in worse spots around and on the greens. Guys without the length had to bring something to the table to get them where they are.

 

Some people make it to the top levels leaning on their long game and others make it to the top levels leaning on their short game, but all of them would take extra distance if they could snap their fingers and have it.

post #15 of 28

I am incredibly impressed with the distance some of these players get - irrespective of wind, hard fairways, whatever.

Why wouldn't I be?

I am, however, singularly unimpressed with armchair critics who  claim to be "unimpressed" by people who are the best in the world at what they do.

post #16 of 28

I'm impressed by the carry on drives. Dont know if TV stats are correct but 260m (280 yards) of carry I just dont understand. the overall distance isn't that impressive (even if they are very very long), it's really the carry that I find huge.

 

Also long iron shots are huge, 220y with a 5 iron...

 

It's hot now (and I've improved a lot) I hit 9 iron around 140 meters easy (150+ yards) and 7 iron goes 165ish+ (180 yards about) but can't be as productive on regular basis with longer irons like the 5. the drive Is 210m carry I think but how the hick do they get so much carry ?

post #17 of 28

Rory won the Open Championship because of how far he can hit the ball.  It gave him a tremendous advantage on some holes.  I am singularly impressed at this ability coming from a 5' 9" player.

post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post
 

Rory won the Open Championship because of how far he can hit the ball.  It gave him a tremendous advantage on some holes.  I am singularly impressed at this ability coming from a 5' 9" player.

 

 

But he was also in the fairway a lot more often than other long hitters. I am impressed by length just like everyone is impressed with it, but I think the premise of the debate is whether length alone can win for a player and I do not believe it can. If the other aspects of the game are not there you can't win. There is a reason every teacher tells you to concentrate on short game. There is a reason why the wedges are the scoring clubs. Finally, there is a reason the expression drive for show putt for dough exists.

 

Not saying length isn't great, it is, but without the rest it won't matter. 

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