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Obsession with distance


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well what happens when you cant drive over 200 yards?

Play from the red tees.

Seriously though, even if you can't hit it more than 200yds, if you hit the ball accurately and have a sharp short game, it will more than compensate.
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I like both.

There is not much more satisfying than me walking past my partners ball for about 50-60yards. In my opinion, the long ball is not overrated, iron play is underrated. A good long ball is a game changer (300+).

But getting an iron shot in tight is nice too.
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I'm with the person(s) that said they'd rather be 40 yards from the green then 100 yards. For me, the closer the better...but then, I don't have an issue hitting partial wedge shots. From about 90 yards in it's all about the 60* wedge for me...I just find that to be the most comfortable shot. As the one person posted, there is some article about closer being better.
I guess if you hit your full wedge closer to the pin from 100 yards then a partial wedge from 40 yards, you need to work more on your partial wedge game........and I need to work more on my full wedge shots :D.
As for the whole driving thing, the farther the better, as long as it is in control. I've been working to relax my grip and swing smoother and if anything it has helped my distance off the tee...and obviously my accuracy.
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Someone hit the nail above with the macho thing. Some guys just need to turn down the testosterone setting a couple of notches! Ok, so it feels good walking past your opponent's ball on the fairway, but if I was the other player, it'd feel even better when I hit a mid iron stiff and put a little bit of pressure on you.

Even if a guy in a fourball outdrives the other 3 all day long, but still ends up with the lowest score and/or paying money to the other 3, where's the machismo in that? In fact, it's a bit girly if you ask me

What my point is in all of this is that distance should not be the priority, because of all the stats in golf - GIR, Sand Saves, Scrambling, Fairways hit, etc - driving distance is the least important. If it was a determining factor then we'd see neanderthals like Bubba and JB winning week in week out?

I never once said distance is a bad thing, I just said it was overrated. What the gist of my original post is that average golfer spends too much time and effort in the quest for distance. There's an imbalance, which is pretty obvious from many of the posts here on The SandTrap.

If he channeled some of this time, effort and cost into other aspects of his game, he'll become a better golfer. Period.

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For argument's sake, let's say we have a 300yd par 4. I believe a 5iron and a full wedge will be safer and more reliable than a drive and 40yd pitch. Even a couple of 8irons would be more reliable...

It wasn't always the case but I love my lob wedge, very comfortable with it, practice a lot in the backyard too. I feel very confident with the sand wedge, lob wedge and putter right now, and have been dropping them within a few feet. For me it just seems the longer the club the more room for error. I just don't feel the 40 yard or 20 yard lob should be stigmatized if you do it well and enjoy it too. Maybe it's playing a lot of 9-hole courses that does it. Other day I lob a 25 yard shot from the fairway to within 2 feet of the cup (cos it's one of my my go-to shots), and my playing partner is telling me how I should bump and run instead. Another one is the full swing with the 60 deg LW. It's like clockwork in that the distance is pretty consistent 43 yards. While I'm working on adding a controlled bump and run to my repertoire, and think it's a great stroke to have down, I find it a lot more difficult. The LW and SW continue to be like lawn darts. I'm sure I can't be the only one who has this experience?
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Now how will a 200 yard driver compare to a steady 300??

Well, there's no such thing as a steady 300, not on this forum anyway. I just had a quick glance at the PGA stats and only the top 13 in driving distance are averaging >300yds. If they can't do it, Average Joes sure as hell cannot

Besides, if you really are a 200 yarder, I believe you're not as bad as you think you are. Some of these folks claiming long distances are undoubtedly shorter than they think they are - ok, they can juice one every now and then, but their average distance would be much lower than their male egos will allow them to admit. In reality, your 200yds is not that far behind Joe Average and if you're an ac curate player, you've got more than a fighting chance.
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distance is over rated cause there is tons of people that kill me but hit 40 yards or more shorter but i mean if i am in a tourney for my age and were playing 7000 yards and i hit 280 most hit 230 i have a huge advantage of being able to not have to hit driver and just use a 250 3 hybrid instead
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Ok, to the guys who are talking about the 40yd from the flag thing. I agree, 40yds is nice and close and some people may feel more comfortable with that distance than being 100yds away. There's nothing wrong with that.

This post was originally about the obsession with distance and I just used the drivable par 4 as an example . Just to clarify, my point is that busting a driver to get close to a green is far more risky than hitting an easy iron / hybrid down there. It's a risk-reward thing - sure if you get hold of one and put it close to the green, then great.

How about all the other times when you find a shitty lie or carve on into trouble? Think of it as playing the percentages - how many times out of 10 do you expect to pull it off? The same could be said about a par 5 - how many times do we see Joe Average attempt a hero shot, maybe a dangerous 240yd carry over water, when a couple of short irons later and they will be dancing?

Again, if you are long and accurate, all credit to you. However, if (you think) you are long, but are not so accurate, I'm saying don't try to get longer, go work on your accuracy.
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Well, there's no such thing as a steady 300, not on this forum anyway. I just had a quick glance at the PGA stats and only the top 13 in driving distance are averaging >300yds. If they can't do it, Average Joes sure as hell cannot

Im actually a bomber. its just inconsistent ball striking that kills me. On a range I can average 300 yards over 5-15 balls in a row. Then Ill top one or duck hook and there goes my average. On the course its horrible, i just cant make the transition, but I still have yet to log 100 rounds in my life. I dont need any distance more than what im capable of, but topping a ball for 100 yards sure isnt fun when compared to my longest pokes. no slices, a push here and there, but not much. When I do hit over 250, I tend to make par or bogey, when I top, triple+

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I don't think anyone is going to disagree with you that sticking approach shots next to the pin is more important than bombing drives down the fairway. The only purpose of the drive is to get into a good position to hit that approach shot.

But, really, you are more impressed by someone hitting a 40-yard pitch shot next the pin than someone hitting a 300+ yard drive down the middle?

My 83 year-old grandfather, who can barely lift the club on his back swing, can hit a little pitch shot next to the pin. So can a small child (e.g. 4 year-old Tiger Woods). My mother, who has never held a golf club in her life, could probably do it at least once given a bucket of balls. You can have a terrible swing, zero athleticism, and still accomplish this feat with a little luck. Do it 7 times out of 10 and I'll be impressed and give credit where it's due. But once? No.

But none of these individuals, not even in their wildest dreams, could even hit the ball halfway to 300 yards. Doing so, even one time (under normal conditions), requires some real athleticism. It requires a swing that efficiently generates a lot of power and channels it to the ball - fast hip rotation, "lag," "cracking the whip," etc. Even if someone can only hit it pure down the middle like that 1 time out of 10, I'm still impressed with their athleticism.

Bottom line: I managed to hit a couple good chip shots during the first round of golf I ever played. But it took me months/years of refining my swing and getting stronger to be able hit the ball as far as I do now. Would I trade a few yards for a better short game? Probably not, even though it would help my score at the moment. My short game will catch up eventually. The two are not mutually exclusive. Ultimately I want to be able to play anywhere, against anyone, from any set of tees, without compromise. What's wrong with that?

Tim
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Ultimately I want to be able to play anywhere, against anyone, from any set of tees, without compromise. What's wrong with that?

I understand your points, Tim. However, my case for the defence is that you don't need to bomb to compete / play anywhere, unless you're on tour.

There's not many holes on golf courses which are out of range in regulation, even if you leave the driver in the bag. Tiger Woods won a British open and used his driver only once in 4 rounds (2007 I think?), so if positional and percentage shots worked for him, why can't it work for amateurs? Yes, you're going to say "but Tiger is so long with his irons anyway" - sure, but if he's hitting irons, he's still way shorter of the guys hitting driver? People also forget about handicap index and stroke allowance. You're a 16 index, which means you get a stroke on all but 2 holes, so if you play bogey golf and wind up 2 over par is that such a disgrace? A single handicapper is going to have to play pretty damn solidly to compete against that. Basically you have an additional stroke on almost every hole to get the ball on in regulation, so why not use it? You're telling me that with 3 iron shots to a par 4 you can't get close to the flag - you shouldn't even need to break sweat? If you play bogey golf with a few of bonus pars in there, your handicap is going to come down. You will become more confident with your ball striking and the solid fundamentals from your iron play will translate into a better chance of hitting a good drive. Think of it as learning to walk properly before you try to run. You ever notice that when you slow things down a notch and hit an 'three-quarter' shot, the shot is so much purer and solid and usually goes almost as far as the a 100% effort?
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Im actually a bomber. its just inconsistent ball striking that kills me. On a range I can average 300 yards over 5-15 balls in a row. Then Ill top one or duck hook and there goes my average. On the course its horrible, i just cant make the transition, but I still have yet to log 100 rounds in my life. I dont need any distance more than what im capable of, but topping a ball for 100 yards sure isnt fun when compared to my longest pokes. no slices, a push here and there, but not much. When I do hit over 250, I tend to make par or bogey, when I top, triple+

Hitting on the driving range is different. Ranges are like football fields, way wider than any fairway, so there's no pressure to zero in on a target and hit it. There are plenty of good 'driving range' golfers out there!

Tell me if you pick a target at 250yds on the range, how many of your 'bombs' are going to pass within 20m left or right of it? Not many of them I'll bet? Also, I suspect that not many of your 'bombs' will be passing it anyway... If you're an inconsistent ball striker, then you've been working on the wrong things - why do you want to hit 5-15 balls, one after the other, with your driver? On the teebox, you don't get 5-15 attempts to get it right, you only get one. By the way, I hope none of you guys are upset or offended by my comebacks, I'm just fighting the corner because I know what I'm saying is right Let the debate continue!
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I'm a pretty long driver...normally around 280 or so, and I'm comfortable with chipping around the green, more so then my 180-200 irons, so whenever I can, I try to get close to the green.

But even with my mentality, I don't plan on arguing, because I agree with you. The golfer should always do whatever feels right with him. If I like to crush the ball, and chip up on with a 1/2 swing, rather then hitting a 4 iron down the fairway, and then a good 7 iron on. Same outcome, doesn't matter.
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Being a short-game kind of guy, I have never obsessed over distance. I hit an 11* driver because I like my shots to drop, I go for carry. I use my driver on long par 3's sometimes because I know if I swing at 70% and make good contact I can drop the ball straight down at a 180-yard pin.

My drives are 225 each and every time, and I know that. Knowing your true consistent distance is FAR more valuable than being able to "hit it over 275, sometimes over 300" IMO. Although I wish I could hit my long irons better but that will come in time.
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