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Length is Not Directly Proportional to Handicap


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59 minutes ago, Hoganman1 said:

OK, Maybe DJ is not a good example.  However, my point was that I think putting is more important than driving for senior amateurs. Feel free to disagree. 

Yeah @saevel25 is right. PGA TOUR pros only make 7’ putts 50% of the time. One can practice hours and hours and gain improvement but you’re not gonna start dropping those 7’-10’ like they’re tap ins. However, if those 7’-10’ putts are for birdie or par much more often due to better ball striking, then your scores will improve. 

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On 6/26/2019 at 1:04 PM, 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?  

You're saying that many members don't believe that high handicappers can't be long hitters? I'm guessing you meant "can" - the opposite of what you have said.

My guess is that most members have seen high handicappers who can hit it a long way. What they don't accept is people saying - as you do - that they generally hit it 250 and sometimes 275 as a rule.  Anyone who can do that but then can't hit the green in two more shots and then 2 putt is a strange animal. All of these "bombing" high handicappers hit 90% of their drives into trouble. Otherwise they wouldn't be high handicappers because they'd have short irons into lots of greens - and should be able to play them.

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7 hours ago, leftybutnotPM said:

You're saying that many members don't believe that high handicappers can't be long hitters? I'm guessing you meant "can" - the opposite of what you have said.

My guess is that most members have seen high handicappers who can hit it a long way. What they don't accept is people saying - as you do - that they generally hit it 250 and sometimes 275 as a rule.  Anyone who can do that but then can't hit the green in two more shots and then 2 putt is a strange animal. All of these "bombing" high handicappers hit 90% of their drives into trouble. Otherwise they wouldn't be high handicappers because they'd have short irons into lots of greens - and should be able to play them.

Precisely. It’s got to be “useable” distance, meaning in play. Moreover, needs to be consistently hitting your carry number time and time again. Higher caps don’t do that. My driver is like an iron; it flies a certain average distance. Of course, the range can vary more with driver, but I still treat driver like I would an iron in terms of trying to carry it a certain number. 

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2 hours ago, ncates00 said:

Of course, the range can vary more with driver, but I still treat driver like I would an iron in terms of trying to carry it a certain number. 

I'm not sure I agree with that (unless I'm misunderstanding you).  I want my driver to go as far as possible.  The only exception I can think of is (one specific hole) on a dogleg left with OB right and wind at my back, where a straight shot or fade will go OB; then I'm switching to a fairway wood.

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12 minutes ago, Missouri Swede said:

I'm not sure I agree with that (unless I'm misunderstanding you).  I want my driver to go as far as possible.  The only exception I can think of is (one specific hole) on a dogleg left with OB right and wind at my back, where a straight shot or fade will go OB; then I'm switching to a fairway wood.

Then in my opinion, you're not going to play consistently.  The "as far as possible" part comes from the rollout.  However, when playing courses with forced carries over bunkers, water, etc., it's best to know your carries with every club, including driver. 

Always going for max distance on the course is unrealistic and doesn't provide the predictability requisite to play the game and get better.  That said, I definitely believe in training for max speed; and, you can bring that out on a few holes, but I like to base my yardages off of reasonable hits to ensure I have an accurate grasp of my game and can plan accordingly. 

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I think you would want to play maximum distance for all of your shots until you are under approach distance.  A full swing is more sound than a 3/4 or 1/2 swing.  If I’m on a dogleg that turns at 230, why not take a full 3w instead of a driver?  If I’m 185 from the pin, why not hit a 5i?  Etc., etc.  if I’m under 60 yds., that’s where the challenge begins.  I’m not saying that you should overswing, but why not match your club selection to the distance you hit a club with a full swing?

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1 minute ago, Kevlar10 said:

A full swing is more sound than a 3/4 or 1/2 swing.

Not necessarily true, and for shorter clubs, quite often the opposite of the truth.

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12 minutes ago, Kevlar10 said:

I think you would want to play maximum distance for all of your shots until you are under approach distance.  A full swing is more sound than a 3/4 or 1/2 swing.  If I’m on a dogleg that turns at 230, why not take a full 3w instead of a driver?  If I’m 185 from the pin, why not hit a 5i?  Etc., etc.  if I’m under 60 yds., that’s where the challenge begins.  I’m not saying that you should overswing, but why not match your club selection to the distance you hit a club with a full swing?

You misunderstanding what I'm saying.  And no, I don't agree that you should play for maximum distance for all shots; that yields inconsistency.  I don't think you're understanding what maximum distance means.  Maximum means maximum, as in, no more left in the tank.  I do not advocate swing this way.  I think you should swing most of the time on full shots, 75-90% of your true maximum.  Example, I carry my driver on average 250 yards with a reasonably good strike.  I can mis hit and drop down, of course, and I can catch some really well and go further.  250 is my reasonable hit carry.  However, my true maximum is about 270-75 yards of carry.  That's me going as fast as I possibly can with nothing left in the tank.  I have hit some that carried 290ish, but the stars lined up with launch and knuckle ball flight and ball speed, but that is not realistic.

The same is true for my irons.  The goal is not to pad my ego and think I'm superman.  The goal is to have fun and play good golf.  I want to get pin high every time, so I don't base my yardages off what I can do; I base my yardages off what I tend to do on a reasonably good strike with the speed I currently possess.  I have numbers for my standard push draw, my flighted shot, my true max, and my terrible attempt at a fade (only when necessary).

Think about it in terms of gears in a car.  Each gear has its purpose, as does your "gear" when you swing.  You can swing in 5th or 6th gear, but that doesn't mean you redline it every time.

Swinging at true maximum won't lead to consistency and you'll eventually have a day where the conditions are poor, you're tired, not playing well, etc. and you can't get around going at maximum.  Then some days, I feel great, I've been hitting the gym hard, the ball is flying off the face, etc., so I still have my max numbers for that as well.  

The whole point of this is to give you the best opportunity to play golf any given day and have a reasonable expectation with your gapping.

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18 hours ago, Hoganman1 said:

OK, Maybe DJ is not a good example.  However, my point was that I think putting is more important than driving for senior amateurs. Feel free to disagree. 

Sure, I'll disagree on that.  I know which seniors in my club, and in the affiliated senior club, are winning the gross prizes in their respective divisions.  It's the longer hitters, and not just in the A-flight. 

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19 hours ago, saevel25 said:

I do disagree, being able to advance the ball as far as possible is the most important.

The thing that stands out is "as possible".  At my age, I'm unlikely to gain a great deal of distance off the tee, even though I'm relatively long for my age group.  I'll certainly never have the kind of distance you have.  So for me, and for many "seasoned" golfers, it becomes important to improve the things we can actually improve.  I can certainly improve my ballstriking, my consistency, and maybe gain a little distance, but it will become increasingly important for me to maintain or improve short game and putting skills.  

This doesn't mean that I disagree with the idea of full swings being most important, only that statistically derived generalizations apply differently to different individuals.

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