Jump to content
Kevlar10

Length is Not Directly Proportional to Handicap

46 posts / 2586 viewsLast Reply

Recommended Posts

I’d like to ask a question.  Why is it so hard for some forum members to believe that a high handicapper can’t be a long hitter?  I’m a 13.2 and I can hit my driver 275+.  I’ve actually bombed a few drives over 300.  I’m not trying to brag, it’s just that I can hit long.  My irons are generally about 15-20 yards longer than the average, I.e., I can hit my 7 iron about 170 if I hit a pure shot.  I’m not, by any means,  close to a scratch golfer as I’m not straight all of the time and do hit shots thin and fat regularly.  I’m also not consistently longer than average.  Maybe I’m just overreacting to some negative comment but it seems like there are some posters that need to criticize long hitters.  My swing speed is 115-125 with my driver.  Is it so outrageous to some people that there are long hitters out there that are not single digit handicaps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Want to hide this ad? Register for free today!

This topic is pretty much covered here:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

By and large there's a correlation, but it is by no means a guarantee.  Stan Utley has won on tour.  You probably hit it past him, but aren't a single digit.  

Don't let anyone tell you the woods are full of long hitters, because so is the world golf hall of fame.  If I were in your shoes (my problem is getting my driving average over 200 and my handicap is comparable to yours, so give this advice some context), I'd get some lessons (if you haven't already) and focus on maintaining your distance while hitting your irons and driver better -- fewer fat or thin shots, etc.   Don't go for someone who wants to reign in your speed to put you 220 in the fairway.  270 in the rough is usually a better position unless your home course is Oakmont or something.

If you don't know already, learn to "flight" your wedges and short irons:  you might become much better inside of 180 yards.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I’m in the same boat as you. 16 handicap and can drive it 270+. But I’m not accurate enough with driver or irons, although I am improving. Only playing in my 2nd year though  starting late at 35 years old so I do expect to improve a good bit hopefully. 

I hit a 9 iron 180 yards a couple of weeks ago with no wind but it normally goes 155-160 so control is also a problem.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, David in FL said:

There are a few like you out there.  But it’s by far the exception, not the rule.

Yes and I think that also comes down to refined swing tech I've been booming drives for over a decade now but when I recently played at my old club (where I was 24-16HC) I was finding I was hitting it much further yet I'm much older and coming up 42 shouldn't be stronger or more flexible than I was in my 20's ??

But my swing path is much more honed with much better technique 

Lower HC players generally have much better swings  ... so should generally hit it cleaner and harder (Smash factor)

Also better drivers stiffer shaft etc golf balls

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Kevlar10 said:

I’d like to ask a question.  Why is it so hard for some forum members to believe that a high handicapper can’t be a long hitter?  I’m a 13.2 and I can hit my driver 275+.  I’ve actually bombed a few drives over 300.  I’m not trying to brag, it’s just that I can hit long.  My irons are generally about 15-20 yards longer than the average, I.e., I can hit my 7 iron about 170 if I hit a pure shot.  I’m not, by any means,  close to a scratch golfer as I’m not straight all of the time and do hit shots thin and fat regularly.  I’m also not consistently longer than average.  Maybe I’m just overreacting to some negative comment but it seems like there are some posters that need to criticize long hitters.  My swing speed is 115-125 with my driver.  Is it so outrageous to some people that there are long hitters out there that are not single digit handicaps?

I believe you.  I see it on course.  Guys that outdrive me with ease but cannot string two good shots together to get on the GIR.  Finding their tee shot in the woods is apart of the experience.  Every kind of inconsistency.

But they are the exceptions.  Most have that refined game.  

Three wood off the tee, short iron to the green, 2 putt par, on to the next hole. Beautiful to watch.  

The best thing I did was take a short game lesson.  If short game has the lowest separation value, you don’t want to leave low hanging fruit on the tree.  You have to manage that power to get to the green, then finish off with good chipping and putting. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I play off 2 or 3. I don’t bomb my drives but they get out to 265 yards. My distance control on all my irons and wedges are good. ( put in tonnes of hours into it)Putting depends on the day. I’m not streaky but solid.

Now I’ve played numerous times with a young Aussie Pro by the name of Zac Murray. He recently won the New Zealand open.Played off a plus 5 at my old club. Yes he smashes drives and irons but he picks up his shots from 110 yards and in he is deadly.

If you have read LSW distance is a factor because you can’t score well if you hit short drives plus it’s easier to hit a 9 iron into a par 4 than a 6 iron.

Zac is deadly from 110 yards and in, is because his drives and iron play allows him that comfort. 

Consistently hitting fairways with decent length plus good distance control on the second shot is a key factor in scoring plus good course management. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

9 hours ago, Kevlar10 said:

I’d like to ask a question.  Why is it so hard for some forum members to believe that a high handicapper can’t be a long hitter?  I’m a 13.2 and I can hit my driver 275+.  I’ve actually bombed a few drives over 300.  I’m not trying to brag, it’s just that I can hit long.  My irons are generally about 15-20 yards longer than the average, I.e., I can hit my 7 iron about 170 if I hit a pure shot.  I’m not, by any means,  close to a scratch golfer as I’m not straight all of the time and do hit shots thin and fat regularly.  I’m also not consistently longer than average.  Maybe I’m just overreacting to some negative comment but it seems like there are some posters that need to criticize long hitters.  My swing speed is 115-125 with my driver.  Is it so outrageous to some people that there are long hitters out there that are not single digit handicaps?

There's a big difference between being able to hit your driver 275+ a couple times per round and averaging 275+ with driver, like some high handicaps claim to do. 

1 minute ago, Nagah said:

Consistently hitting fairways with decent length plus good distance control on the second shot is a key factor in scoring plus good course management. 

Hitting the fairway is overrated. I'd rather have someone that averages 285 off the tee and hits 50% of their fairways over someone who averages 260 off the tee and hits 70% of their fairways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I really don't see the issue the OP is talking about.  Unless one is so literal as to enter a realm of ridiculousness.  It's a non-topic.

Get some lessons and learn to hit those approach shots.  That'll let you cash in on your length.

Edited by rehmwa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

6 minutes ago, klineka said:

There's a big difference between being able to hit your driver 275+ a couple times per round and averaging 275+ with driver, like some high handicaps claim to do. 

Hitting the fairway is overrated. I'd rather have someone that averages 285 off the tee and hits 50% of their fairways over someone who averages 260 off the tee and hits 70% of their fairways.

I agree about average and “a few shots per round”.  I do consider that in my average.  Straight I go longer, draws and fades I’m about right there and I do hit a few shots shorter, either intentionally or if I slice.  I normally “try” to hit it straight, but tend to push shots right or pull left, but those shots can go +/- but right around the average.  

I am happy with a 250 yard drive if it’s where I intended to hit it.  I am much more erratic if I try to reduce my swing speed to hit it shorter.  I scatter shots all over the place if I don’t just let my natural swing happen.  I’m also amazed, if not jealous of those who can shape their shots, consistently.  I’ve been working on a draw, a baby fade comes easier.  It’s all about trying to get better.

11 minutes ago, rehmwa said:

I really don't see the issue the OP is talking about.  Unless one is so literal as to enter a realm of ridiculousness.  It's a non-topic.

Get some lessons and learn to hit those approach shots.  That'll let you cash in on your length.

My post is about comments that one must be exaggerating how far they hit it if they are a higher handicap. I’m not accurate, that is my struggle.  But when someone says You can’t possibly hit a long distance consistently, and still be a 10-20 handicap, it’s not always true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

55 minutes ago, iacas said:

You’re correct. It’s indirectly proportional.

Heh heh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

3 hours ago, Kevlar10 said:

My post is about comments that one must be exaggerating how far they hit it if they are a higher handicap. I’m not accurate, that is my struggle.  But when someone says You can’t possibly hit a long distance consistently, and still be a 10-20 handicap, it’s not always true.

I get what you are saying but at a 13 you aren't what I consider a high handicapper (I did have a playing partner who could bomb like you but played to a 12-13 play due to accuracy issues).  But there are very very few true golfers who are high handicaps and hit really long.  By true golfers I mean people who play regularly.   More likely is the kid I played with Father's Day a year ago - built like Koepka and hit the ball a mile. He hit the longest drives I have ever seen on 3 of the holes, all of which were at least 300 yards. That was when he was straight. Crooked was a total lost ball. Had no idea of distances - he hit these towering iron/wedge shots that would hold any green, it's just that he airmailed at least 4 greens on the front 9 by 20-30 yards.  So yes he would be a 25 handicap, but then he only played 1-2 times per year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that length off the club face is not proportional to one's handicap. 

As for one example, I am a short hitter, but I still have a decent handicap. I straight up, out play much longer hitters alot of times. 

Another example is my Grandson. Big tall strong guy who consistently hits 300+ yard drives, and stays in, or very near the fairway a very high percentage of the time. He has absolutely no short, scoring game. 

Now if I had his long, accurate game, I would be a very low handicapper. Maybe even closer to scratch. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

4 hours ago, Kevlar10 said:

normally “try” to hit it straight, but tend to push shots right or pull left, but those shots can go +/- but right around the average.  

You’ll be better off playing one stock shot with curve. Trying to hit a straight ball brings in two misses, as you pointed out. I’d play the baby fade you said that was easier for you. 

For me, I play a push draw on every standard full shot. I work hard to nature the ball always starts right of target line and draw back, but NEVER cross the center line. This way, my ball is always working toward the target, just like with playing enough break on a putt. 

 I want my miss, if anything, to be to the right, a push that didn’t draw back. This allows me to aim down the left hand side and swing as fast as I want, knowing it won’t go left of that.

Like @klineka said, and the strokes gained data proves, distance is the most important part of driving. See SG off the tee data heavily favoring driving distance over accuracy. The key is to have Clear Approach After Drive so as not to waste that power you have. Rough is fine because you have a short club to green; trouble is not.

I’m working on my distance and speed training because it is so important to have those shorter clubs in. I’m seeing good gains in ball speed and keeping my shape in the process.  

4 minutes ago, Patch said:

I agree that length off the club face is not proportional to one's handicap. 

As for one example, I am a short hitter, but I still have a decent handicap. I straight up, out play much longer hitters alot of times. 

Another example is my Grandson. Big tall strong guy who consistently hits 300+ yard drives, and stays in, or very near the fairway a very high percentage of the time. He has absolutely no short, scoring game. 

Now if I had his long, accurate game, I would be a very low handicapper. Maybe even closer to scratch. 

No one said distance is the only factor; see what I did above and check out strokes gained data. Short game is overrated. Tee to green is the key. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Its not directly proportional, no. But the difference is consistency. You may be able to bomb it 275 or more, but you likley don't do it very often. I only hit my driver 265-270. But i hit it that distance 8 out of 10 times. You as a 13 index maybe do it less than half that much. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is hitting it long and hitting it too long.  Blowing through the corner, on a dog-leg, or flying the green isn't long...it's wrong.  I think that's why Superman doesn't play golf.  He can hit it a mile...with a chipper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...