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If you don't think distance matters to getting to be a very good ametuer you are kidding yourself. Yes there are the corey pavins but look at college golf. 95 out of 100 hit it a long way. Maybe not super long but 170 7I and can fly the driver 260-270. If you want to compete in scratch events and really have a chance, you have to be reasonably long. You just can't give up 30-50 yards on guys and be a top player. Well you could but you would have to be amazing in other areas. Far better than most good players can get.

I know that in order for me personally to compete and get the skill level I want, I need more distance. I don't want wild distance or will I swing out of my shoes to get this. I will always work at finishing in balance.

Right now I fly the ball about 240-245. I hit my 7I 155-160. I am a good 11. I know with that distance I can get down to a 5 sure, but I want more. I don't want to have to get up to a 450 par 4 and know if I hit my career drive I will still have a 6 iron in. That is alot of presure and will play that hole over par on average. On the same hole, 20 yards longer, I hit an ok drive, I have a 6 or 7 iron in. Bomb it, I have a 9I or maybe even a wedge. It is now a birdie hole.

Who would you rather be?? I think being long makes your misses so much better because that is where my old good drive would be.

How am I going to get this, I have no idea. Hopefully my working out this winter will do the trick.
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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?

I agree. In fact I rarely hit the driver myself, precisely because I don't have to. The same swing that lets me drive the ball 270+ also lets me play shorter clubs off the tee compared to other players. That is an advantage.

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?...

Well, yes, that's lovely. But I only play for personal satisfaction. I'm not really excited about being able to shoot bogey golf and "win" because someone else has to give me a bunch of strokes.

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.

Lately my typical par-4 has been an iron or 3-wood in the fairway, an iron on or

near the green, and then 3 chips/putts. If I could sink a putt outside of 4 feet I think I'd be a 10 handicap. I'm working on it.
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?

Who said I was swinging at 100% effort? The point is that through improving my swing and getting stronger (thus improving my

maximum distance) I'm now able to hit the ball fairly long without coming out of my shoes. Over my last 36 holes I've only lost 1 ball, which was just an easy lay-up on a par-5 that trickled into the water... nothing hit into the woods. Tim
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Right now I fly the ball about 240-245. I hit my 7I 155-160. I am a good 11. I know with that distance I can get down to a 5 sure, but I want more. I don't want to have to get up to a 450 par 4 and know if I hit my career drive I will still have a 6 iron in. That is alot of presure and will play that hole over par on average. On the same hole, 20 yards longer, I hit an ok drive, I have a 6 or 7 iron in. Bomb it, I have a 9I or maybe even a wedge. It is now a birdie hole.

I think you'll discover that you're much more likely to get down to a 5 handicap by improving your game from 100 yards and in than hitting the ball further. It's possible to improve your distance, but it's not likely that you'll see a dramatic increase. Some people are just blessed with the ability to hit the ball a long way, others are not. While it is possible to improve your golf swing which as a result should improve your distance, like I said, it won't be a huge distance gain. Definitely not something that will take you from hitting a 6 iron into a 450 yard par 4 to hitting a 9iron or wedge. I don't know what yardage your course plays but we usually play around 7000 yards and there's only a few holes that are long par 4's of 450 yards or so. It's not something you're going to have to worry about for every par 4. You just know that on a few holes each round you're going to be faced with a long hole and you accept that you'll likely have a 6 iron into the green, that's golf. If you improve your iron game and short game, you don't have near the amount of pressure because you should have as much confidence in swinging a 6 iron as you do swinging a wedge and it doesn't sound like that's the case right now?

Of course, you could always move up a tee box too...
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I think you'll discover that you're much more likely to get down to a 5 handicap by improving your game from 100 yards and in than hitting the ball further. It's possible to improve your distance, but it's not likely that you'll see a dramatic increase. Some people are just blessed with the ability to hit the ball a long way, others are not. While it is possible to improve your golf swing which as a result should improve your distance, like I said, it won't be a huge distance gain. Definitely not something that will take you from hitting a 6 iron into a 450 yard par 4 to hitting a 9iron or wedge. I don't know what yardage your course plays but we usually play around 7000 yards and there's only a few holes that are long par 4's of 450 yards or so. It's not something you're going to have to worry about for every par 4. You just know that on a few holes each round you're going to be faced with a long hole and you accept that you'll likely have a 6 iron into the green, that's golf. If you improve your iron game and short game, you don't have near the amount of pressure because you should have as much confidence in swinging a 6 iron as you do swinging a wedge and it doesn't sound like that's the case right now?

The course I play is about 6700. Distance is no issue for me on this course. No one has as much confidence with a 6 iron as a wedge. That is a fact. I agree with what you said about needing to improve my short game.

And I think I mis-spoke. I don't expect to have 9-W on a 450 par 4 constantly. I am talking a killed drive, fly it 270 30 yards of roll, that is a 9 iron if I can gain a club, maybe an easy 8. And it just isn't the long holes that it matters. A short hole you have options, A medium length hole you can attack, a par 5 you can get really close in two. That is a huge advantage. I am not a short hitter. If I am driving the ball well, I will have nothing but wedges in my league. We play from the middle tees and it is 3100 or so for 9. I have no issues with length there. I have had a SW into every hole on the days I am on. The truth is distance is a huge advantage. If I had capital, I could get 15-20 yards right now. If I went to Nakashima's fitting shop in CA and was on a launch monitor and got the perfect driver, there you go. But I don't have 700 for a driver plus the expense of travel. It isn't an option for me. But if I am to the point I am playing in the Met every year and have to play match play against the good ametuer players, I want it to be a fair fight. Distance isn't everything, but it sure does make this game easier.
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No one has as much confidence with a 6 iron as a wedge. That is a fact. I agree with what you said about needing to improve my short game.

While I'm not as accurate with a six iron as I am a wedge, I can guarantee you that my confidence isn't any less when I have a six iron in my hands. I still expect to hit a good shot.

I am not a short hitter. If I am driving the ball well, I will have nothing but wedges in my league. We play from the middle tees and it is 3100 or so for 9. I have no issues with length there. I have had a SW into every hole on the days I am on.

I know you've already agreed with me about the short game, but it seems that you just proved my point even more. You have nothing but wedges in your hands on the days you're on. The days you're not on, I'll assume at worst you'll have a 9 iron. So, what are your scores like on this course when you're hitting nothing but driver - wedge all day? Sounds like distance isn't an issue there? If distance isn't an issue there, you're obviously losing a lot of shots with your short game. So, again while improving your distance will make you feel better about your game and feel better knowing you'll have more wedges into greens your scores likely will not get any lower by gaining more distance.

The truth is distance is a huge advantage. If I had capital, I could get 15-20 yards right now. If I went to Nakashima's fitting shop in CA and was on a launch monitor and got the perfect driver, there you go. But I don't have 700 for a driver plus the expense of travel. It isn't an option for me.

If you think getting fitted will truly give you another 15-20 yards, go spend $50 (at most $75) and talk to a PGA Pro about getting fitted and let them watch you swing and try out different shafts. You likely don't need a new driver, just a new shaft which you could get for much less than $700.

But if I am to the point I am playing in the Met every year and have to play match play against the good ametuer players, I want it to be a fair fight. Distance isn't everything, but it sure does make this game easier.

As they say, short game is the great equalizer. It will never be a fair fight when talking about distance as there's always someone out there who can hit it further. I doubt Steve Stricker is really worried that Bubba Watson's driving average is like 30 yards past him. I'd take Stricker's short game, wins and money total over Watson's distance any day of the week.

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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.

You haven't seen full wedge shots do the same?

Ok, maybe a one-off, the other guy may stiff it a foot or two from the pin, but when the pressure is really on, you're far more liable to screw up that 40yd pitch than a full wedge. There's just so much less danger involved in hitting a shot you know you can hit, rather than trying to conjure something up.

Obviously if its a tight pin that is guarded by bunker people would play according to it. You are making up scenarios. We are talking about a 40 yard pitch versus a 100 yard full wedge, no other gimmicks. If you want to bring in scenarios, we'll play when it's swirling gusts of 20mph. Good luck with your full wedge.

You still up for that wager now?

Yes, I am up for the wager.

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In my league my scoring average this year is 41.2. I had a few bad weeks were I was in the trees alot and really not playing well and also going through some swing changes after a lesson. I have the last 3 weeks shot 38, 40, 39. Last week hit 5 FWs, 6 GIRS, but didn't putt as well I can.

I don't know what your point is. I agree that the most important part of the game for me is my short game. I totally agree. What have I practiced exclusively this month? Putting/chipping. I do the 3 foot drill phil does as well as a lag putt drill. I have also been working hard on my basic chipping. I haven't been to the range in a while.

And in regards to those drivers, check em out. I know a few people on here just rave about them and the fitting that they do. A fitting there is not like the one you are going to get at golf galaxy. Look at the web site.

But to think that distance isn't important is not correct. How far do you fly it, hit your 7 iron, your a 2? Steve Striker isn't short, he hits his irons plenty far, so I don't think that was a good person to pick. A "short hitter" on the PGA tour flies it 260-270 every time. To compete at a high level you don't have to be a beast but you have to be reasonably long.
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I haven't read the whole thread and can't be bothered to right now, but I absolutely agree with the thread starter.

Distance is overrated, but only as long as you hit it straight and land in the fairway/on the green almost all of the time. for instance, i'd much rather have a 200 yd. drive in the middle of the fairway than a 300 yd drive behind a bunch of trees 30 yds right of the fairway. but that 200 has to be out of trouble. if i can't keep anything straight, i'm going to go for distance because i know whatever club i hit is not going to get me where i want to be so i might as well be as close as possible. (incidentally, i can't hit it anywhere close to 300 yds).

I hit my driver around 220-230 average. if i really crank it i can get it around 250. this is short compared to a lot of people but I can certainly live with those distances if I keep the ball out of trouble.
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In my league my scoring average this year is 41.2. I had a few bad weeks were I was in the trees alot and really not playing well and also going through some swing changes after a lesson. I have the last 3 weeks shot 38, 40, 39. Last week hit 5 FWs, 6 GIRS, but didn't putt as well I can.

That's great that you're practicing your short game and I apologize if I sounded as if I meant to insinuate you thought short game didn't matter. My point was that you said in your league, you hit SW into every hole on the days you're on. So, the days you're off I'm going to assume you have nothing longer than a 9i. That just proves that you gaining more distance won't lower your scores. If you've already got SW into every green and are averaging a 41 this year, sounds like you're throwing shots away with wedges in your hand? So, my point being that you said earlier that if you could only hit the bar further and have something shorter than a 6 iron in your hand on long par 4's that you could score better and get your handicap down to a 5 and I'm trying to point out that you're already hitting SW into every green into your league and are still throwing shots away so distance gained isn't going to get you down to a 5... more short game practice however, will.

And in regards to those drivers, check em out. I know a few people on here just rave about them and the fitting that they do. A fitting there is not like the one you are going to get at golf galaxy. Look at the web site.

I took a look at those drivers and I guess I'd have to see them in person and try one out. First impression of them is that they look cheap? Maybe it's just me.

Yeah I definitely wouldn't ever go to Golf Galaxy to get fitted. You're from Cincy, right? Take an hour drive down I75 and come down to manowargolf.com. Great place to get fitted. That's where I recently got fitted for my driver. I play my seven iron 165 yards. I carry my driver 265. I just picked Stricker because he's not "long" by PGA Tour standards but has a hell of a short game. It's all relative. Stricker is 30 yards behind the PGA Tour driving distance leaders the same as you're probably 30 yards behind a good amateur player (with the driver).
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If distance wasn't an issue then why not just put from the tee box? It's as accurate as can be.

Obviously that's extreme but the point is both are valuable. I'm sorry, but the longer you are, with accuracy, the more advantage you have.

There was a time when my power wasn't very good. I focused on accuracy and swung very easy because it was the best thing to do. Over some time I've been able to build power on top of that accuracy and my scoring has benefited greatly from it.

Here's the thing, you don't want to sacrifice all power for accuracy and you don't want to sacrifice all accuracy for power. There is a line there on that bell curve that is optimal. It's OK to be a little shorter to be a little straighter and it's OK to be a little longer and a little less accurate.

Drivers are for bombing I've always felt and short irons are for touch. It's a brutes and a gentleman's game.
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Now how will a 200 yard driver compare to a steady 300??

Why is everything such an extreme? I'd rather have a 300 yard drive in the rough compared to a 200 or even 250 yard drive in the fairway. I'd rather be in play 200 yards out than OB 100 yards out. 200 and 300 don't compare; 270 and 300 are comparable. The questions like "Would you rather have [this good result] or [this crap result]?" are stupid. We all know the answers. Here's my questions: Would you rather have 100 out in the rough or 130 out from the fairway? Would you rather have 150 out in the rough or 190? I cut the corner on a few doglegs yesterday...150 into a par 5, greenside on a par 4, 50 yards out on a par 4, etc. It was a huge advantage hitting driver over playing it safe and hitting a hybrid off the tee.

Everybody assumes that to hit it far, one must swing crazy hard and thus lose a ton of accuracy. When I swing hard, I know where my ball is going. It's either going dead straight or a high, slight fade. I lose a bit of accuracy, not a ton. If you don't know where your drives are going when you swing hard, don't swing hard. However, some of the people who try to bomb the ball don't know where their drives are going when they don't try to bomb the ball. What's the difference then?
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?

And all of those stats help determine the others. We lose accuracy the farther we hit the driver. So, higher driving distance average would mean fewer fairways hit, right? But, having a shorter club (regardless of rough in most cases) increases the chances that: 1. you'll hit the green and 2. you'll be close to the green if you miss, so you can easily get up and down. My misses with my wedges are small than my misses with my 8 iron.

just use a 250 3 hybrid instead

I call BS on the 250 yard 3 hybrid.

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Distance is a subjective thing because everybody on here is of a different age and has differing yardages.I had a problem getting off the tee into a good position in the fairway so I put the driver away and started hitting 16,18,and 20" hybrids.I can hit the driver a little bit further but average more and have higher accuracy with the 16".

I would take position over distance.To be honest when you are playing 6000-6500 yards do you really need the big drive.Out of 18 holes there will only be perhaps 4 holes tops that I can't reach in 2 and bearing in mind my handicap a bogey score is good so that's less pressure to make that second shot so I can relax.

The pro's games are a world away from mine so I take things away like swing tempo and set-up and shot choice and ignore the ridiculous distances,I ain't ever going to hit longer than 260.
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you have got to be kidding me with this thread... i totally agree that ppl are obsessed with the long ball... but having distance is a pretty important aspect of the game...
i would kill to be longer off the tee...
the only reason im anywhere near single digits is because i have a deadly shortgame...
i would be scratch or better if i could hit bombs and keep my shortgame
my driving avg is pushing the envelope of 230... ive got plenty of teeshots that would be lucky to be called 200 during a round...
dont misunderstand... once in a blue moon ive poked it out there to 270 and even had wind assisted 300+ drives going down one fairway... and 75 yrds against the wind the other way... but those are few and farrrr between...
moving teebox's wasnt the answer... i actually score lower from farther away(weird i know)...
im a scrambling maniac...
you can ask a number of my playing partners who bomb balls past me... the #1 comment i hear is "damn i wish i had your short game... id be scratch"... my #1 reply is "damn i wish i had your distance... id be scratch"
it really sucks taking your approach shots on long par4's with a wood or hybrid in your hand and you dont reach it... or looking at your card and seeing tons of 1 putts for par or bogey when it should be for birdie...

yes i am obsessed with distance...
because i lack it
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Why is everything such an extreme? I'd rather have a 300 yard drive in the rough compared to a 200 or even 250 yard drive in the fairway. I'd rather be in play 200 yards out than OB 100 yards out. 200 and 300 don't compare; 270 and 300 are comparable. The questions like "Would you rather have [this good result] or [this crap result]?" are stupid. We all know the answers. Here's my questions: Would you rather have 100 out in the rough or 130 out from the fairway? Would you rather have 150 out in the rough or 190? I cut the corner on a few doglegs yesterday...150 into a par 5, greenside on a par 4, 50 yards out on a par 4, etc. It was a huge advantage hitting driver over playing it safe and hitting a hybrid off the tee.

umm it was just meant to be a refrence kinda thing i guess i over gage that one

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you have got to be kidding me with this thread... i totally agree that ppl are obsessed with the long ball... but having distance is a pretty important aspect of the game...

Just curious, what do you attribute your lack of distance to? I attribute mine to bad mechanics and bad contact.

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I am yet to meet a good player who has an obsession with distance. They know that the game is about scoring.
The only "obsession" one could or should have is that which relates to precise or correct distance.
Hackers go on about their imaginary 290 drives because they think that it will impress those who have as little a clue about the game as they do.

Go through these boards and see how many posts there are by low markers about how far they hit the ball.

The other absurd pattern I am observing is people saying how good they would be if they had a good short game.

A bit like saying you could slam dunk it if you were a foot and a half taller, or that you could run a marathon in a fast time if you were fitter.
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Just curious, what do you attribute your lack of distance to? I attribute mine to bad mechanics and bad contact.

according to whoever i play with i have a "pretty" swing and ppl watching me cant figure out why the ball doesnt carry 270 everytime i swing...

i think its because its the only club i use a tee with... i can hardly ever hit it flush... ball marks on the face are near the heel/hosel... when i do pop it out of the park the mark is close to dead center and very rare... i can hit my 3w off the deck as far as my driver off the tee... its really weird if you check the distances of all my clubs... if everything were to line up accordingly i should theoretically be hitting my driver in the 260-270 range... theoretically that is
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