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Obsession with distance


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You're misled if you think pros don't work on distance along with short distances. This game challenges every aspect of your game, including your length. Unless of course someone plays all short courses to feel better about not being able to hang. People who can't hit the ball far just can't relate to long hitters. They don't get it. And worse off, most ACCEPT their deficiency. If distance doesn't make a difference, why do they keep lengthening courses?? 10 yards is irrelevent, but 40-50 is a game changer.....

I'm not misled and besides, I'm talking about Joe Average here, not Tour Pros. As I said to the +1.5 guy earlier - if you can back up your bombs with some short game prowess, then kudos to you, but the vast majority of people cannot. If you're an accomplished player, you didn't get there with distance alone.

The point of my post is that many Average Joes are obsessed with the distance of their bombs rather than the shape of their overall game. As for being a deficiency, I disagree with that. Taking 5 or 6 to get the ball in the hole after your tee shot is a deficiency, as is 3 or 4 putting. Not being able to hit the ball a mile is not. I can assure you that I'm not too shabby with my distances, but despite having the guns, somehow I never feel the urge to unload at every opportunity.
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Every golfer knows that putting is more important, but there is a certain satisfaction with hitting that long ~250 yard slight draw drive to the fairway that you cannot get with anything else.

Likewise, for me anyway, there is a different sense of urgent satisfaction of making a 10 footer that saves par, or the now ultra-rare birdie.
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I agree distance is overrated, but if you can control the long distance drivers and irons it can really make the game somewhat easier. I am not a long driver, but can consistently hit the ball 230+ with occasional 260ish drivers, but usually in the fairway. Because I am long and straight enough I consistently have mid and short irons into greens and I am definitely more accurate with a full 7 iron (and shorter) than I am with a 5i or a hybrid. I know I could hit the ball a little longer, but I usually choke up on the driver a little bit (about 1.5 inches) and this helps me control those drives. If I'm playing a short course I'll hit 4W/2I off tees a lot just to keep in play and give me more full-swing yardages, but on longer courses I know I need to hit a little longer because I'm not so good with wedges that I can layup on long par 4 and then wedge it close.

Distance with accuracy is definitely a weapon.
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I just want pretty much the same thing every time. I don't swing hard or make an effort to hit the ball hard. I just try and swing smooth and whatever happens, happens. I tend to hit it a little farther than my playing partners most of the time

But just a little story. Played a quick nine as a single with a nice fellow at the club the other day. Tall left handed guy with a good swing. Didn't hit it very far but you could tell when he wanted to bend it right, he did and left, he did. I hit my 4 iron farther than he hit his driver, but he hit is driver straighter than I hit 4 iron (this is my certain to keep it in the fairway club).

Finished the nine, he shot 37 (only b/c of a double on 8). I shot 41

Distance ain't everything
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Of course everyone knows the short game is where you score but the closer you are to the green and in the short stuff the easier the short game is. I focus much energy on green side work and putting but I also focus on hitting the fairway with as much distance as possible. When the two come together it is a beautiful day!!
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I'd take a wager against a similarly skilled player anytime. I've seen plenty of short pitch shots not even reach the green, airmailed over, chilli-dipped, thinned, in bunkers etc.

I think it matters with the player. I can't hit a 100 yard shot for crap right now. I'd much rather have 40 yards than 100 right now. And anyway, there was another thread about a week ago that showed that the closer the ball is to the hole, the more accurate the shots get. The article said that laying up to "pet distances" isn't for the most part going to work better than just getting the ball as close as you can to the hole (driver, 3W vs. driver, 5i on a par 5 or driver vs. 3i off the tee on a par 4). I've changed my strategy on par 5s now. I'll go driver, 2h, or 3h and have a half wedge into the green. I used to play driver, 5i and have a full GW or PW into the green.

Am I the only one that thinks distance is underrated for good golfers? For a bad golfer, it doesn't matter because they really aren't good enough to control, use, or take advantage of it. But, for better golfers, it's a huge advantage (when I say better, I mean like 12 and under). The longest club I had into the green the other day was a 3h off a snap hooked drive. Everything else was 6i through some wedge. I'm driving the ball 250-260 on average right now, but if I hit the ball 20 yards shorter, I'm hitting 4i through 9i now. If I could hit the ball 20 yards farther, then I'd be hitting 8i through some wedge into greens. And this is assuming that I wouldn't be hitting my irons any longer or shorter than I do now. Who wouldn't want an 8i into a green vs. a 4i or even a 6i?
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well what happens when you cant drive over 200 yards?

- You will have longer second shots on the par 4's and 5's

- You won't be able to reach the green in two on par 5's (mostly) The further you are from the green, the harder it is to reach. There is no doubt it's easier to hit the green with a middle or short iron than a long iron or hybrid/wood. On some courses, you can compete with the longer hitters, like Tom Watson. Turnberry is no long course, but you can not afford finding the deep stuff too much. On Augusta, Tom has no chance of winning, unless all the others hit it into the woods all the time, which is unlikely. Another example is the U.S. Bank Championship from last weekend. In the playoff you had two players, one being some 30 yards longer from the tee than the other. He hit a 6i I think it was, into the green, while the other had to use a wood. They both got birdie, second time they both hit the same distance off the tee. A bad hit by Bo van Pelt, so he didn't get all the distance. On the second shot however, Bo hit a 4i into the green, John Mallinger again had to use a wood, but didn't reach the green this time either. He found a bunker and missed his putt. Bo won.
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When I'm down I always like to grab a coffee and come and read about some of the long-drive heroics here on the sand trap. Some guys really know how to put a smile back on my face

Right you are! The obsession begins with seeing the pros' driving distance. The thing is, those distances are somewhat skewed as typically the courses they play on are in perfect condition and the fairways are hard which leads to quite a bit of extra roll on their drives. Not taking anything away from the pros because I've seen them in person and believe me they can hit the ball... hard. But, it does lead to everyone thinking they have to fly it 300 yards to keep up.

I think sometimes people simply don't realize just how far a 250 yard carry is. It's a pretty big drive to carry one that far but you hardly hear of anyone carrying it that far when talking about driver distance. It's usually 275-290 carry. Of course, it's possible to carry it that far sure, but is it straight? 275 right in the woods won't help. Anyway, I've played this game for a long time and I play my best golf when I'm not worrying about my distances and just playing within myself. I get myself in a lot of trouble when I try to squeeze a few more yards out of a club rather than just taking one club more and swinging within myself. Driver is the worst for me. When I swing within myself with driver I make better contact and as a result usually have a much better ball flight and get more distance than if I really went after it but for some reason there are times that I simply cannot resist the urge to swing hard with the driver. It's only after I make poor contact and see the ball go somewhere that I don't want that I stop and think "Way to go idiot, that was dumb..." I'm getting better at controlling it but still have my moments and I can pretty much tell you when I'm swinging bad, I'm swinging too hard. I bet most other golfers can relate.
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Here are my 2 cents, and since Lincoln was tall, this is going to be a long 2 cents at that:
I've played baseball and agree, the longball means nothing unless you can consistently (key word) pound them out of the yard, AND hit for a decent average (what would be short game play). only then will you see the hall, either that or you hit 500, did roids and have as many k's as bonds. besides the point. here's my bit on the golf side of driving long. i'm 24 years old, and have been playing with my grandfather since i was 6. he's consistently over the years shot low 70's and MAYBE mids. i drive the ball consistently (not like the '300 yard' drivers on here) 270-275. pops will at most hit 220 on a great drive, keeping in mind the man is 79 years old, walks the course everyday except sunday to have the day with my grandmother. he is a machine, never hits long, but hits a drive 220, then a fairway 200, then a 6 iron from 140 or so out (par 5) to either the green or short, chips to a foot almost every d*mn time for pars or birdies or on wayward short irons (most likely fades) for bogeys. now, how important is distance? true answer is: distance is important only for your relative ego to your golf game. you want to hit drives 300 plus yards, odds are your irons are goin to the sh*t bin, unless you have enough pride to get a lesson to round out your game. regardless, distance is only as important as it would be for your own self (shall i bring up the age old question of what men measure each other against?). cant wait to hear the replies.
best of luck getting the longest out of what you got haha.
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last months golf world interviewed mickleson and they asked him "how he rated himself as a ball striker".
his reply was "i dont really care, 60% of our shots occur from inside 40 yards, thats all i focus on being good from"

although we all know mickleson can bomb the long drive, it rarely gets him into a good position, and most certainly doesnt decrease his scores. he knows that what affects good scoring is a sound shortgame.

so if the best believe this, shouldnt we??
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On the PGA Tour, for one of the worlds best players perhaps. For the rest of us, we should strive to hit the fairways and greens. The PGA players hit it 300 yards and risk finding the rough, but it doesn't matter since they get it onto or close to the green anyways.
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I won't deny that it's pretty sweet to see a 300+ bomb, but I tend to be more impressed by someone who can dial in a pin and shoot at it with darts. I'd definitely give up yardage to be able to consistently hit to within 5-6 feet of my target.
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In support of the long ball, its pretty cool to be able to hit a shot that the other people you are playing with just are not capable of hitting. I rarely play with someone who is able to hit the ball farther than I can, but doesn't mean I'm always really putting some juice into one and hitting 190 yard 7 irons. People are impressed if i decide to because they cannot, but in terms of your normal golf shot, no its not important or smart. Whats sexy about it is doing something others can't.
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I wish i could hit my driver farther, my frequent playing partner routinely is 60-70 yards ahead of me, sometimes more. But hitting a great approach shot always feels good or hitting the green on a par 3. Hitting those mid and short irons well will sometimes make up for a shorter drive, though sometimes the extra 50 yards would help, rather be hitting a 7 or 8 iron as opposed to a 4 hybrid on a long par 4 and be close enough on a par 5 to reach it in 2. Though ive gotten pretty good at hitting my 5 hybrid and can get it to go high enough to stick on the green lately more often than any club except a short pitch with a wedge.
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What I can't come to understand is how a pro can hit a PW 150-160 yards with a full swing. It never seems like they are over swinging when they hit yet they get so much more distance then the rest of us. I'm working hard to shoot sub 80 with consistent results and after getting a GPS I now have real data for my shots and what I thought was 275yds drives (based on course markers) are in reality 250 ish. If I unload my 6I I can get 175 max from the fairway. I just can't understand how a pro hits like they do.

Maybe they have there clubs bent so yardage doesn't really mean anything that I can relate too.
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