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Driver distance vs. Handicap


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Not to go off topic, but I noticed that you stopped displaying your handicap in your profile a couple (few?) months ago, roughly corresponding to the time you changed your status to "pro". Any particular reason?

he'sa pro now.

He doesn't have a handicap
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do you play on a really short course or something?

Well, a few things. First, my home course is 5,800 yards with a ton of elevated tee boxes (plus 3 of the par 3's are 215 yards+ so some of the yardage is embedded in those). There is only one par 4 over 400 yards and even that one, the tee box is elevated about 40 yards over the fairway so the ball flies. Second, i don't really think of hitting every green, or any green for that matter. If i'm 190 yards out i dont try to be a hero and rip my 4 iron there, i'd rather hit a pitching wedge, then hit a full 52/58 degree wedge in. I am too inconsistent with my longer clubs to consider using them on the course, i would end up losing 8 penalty strokes. By doing this my ball striking is improving a ton, and my short game gets a TON of practice every single round. I feel confident from everywhere 100 yards and in because i have played those shots so many times. I understand that playing this way 100% eliminates birdie attempts and even makes getting par's difficult but the distance will come eventually for me. And once the distance and longer clubs come, then my handicap will start to drop again.

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IMHO ,

Course Yardage of 6500 .

High Single - You still can achieve without very long drive .

Low Single - Good drive of > 250 yards is a must .

YOu need to have a decent short game and putting to go low .

I think there was an article in Golf Digest or Golf.com that talk about the co-relation between Good Drive and Low Handicap. I will try to look for it .
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Well, a few things. First, my home course is 5,800 yards with a ton of elevated tee boxes (plus 3 of the par 3's are 215 yards+ so some of the yardage is embedded in those). There is only one par 4 over 400 yards and even that one, the tee box is elevated about 40 yards over the fairway so the ball flies. Second, i don't really think of hitting every green, or any green for that matter. If i'm 190 yards out i dont try to be a hero and rip my 4 iron there, i'd rather hit a pitching wedge, then hit a full 52/58 degree wedge in. I am too inconsistent with my longer clubs to consider using them on the course, i would end up losing 8 penalty strokes. By doing this my ball striking is improving a ton, and my short game gets a TON of practice every single round. I feel confident from everywhere 100 yards and in because i have played those shots so many times. I understand that playing this way 100% eliminates birdie attempts and even makes getting par's difficult but the distance will come eventually for me. And once the distance and longer clubs come, then my handicap will start to drop again.

do you practice much?

No offence but I never understood this mentality...Nobodys inherently good off the tee with a driver...it takes a lot of practice and patience and good muscle memory to get some good distance off with a driver. Inconsistency with a club doesn't mean don't use it...it means practice harder with it and get better with it. I often see a lot of amateurs do this, including my friends. They'll put aside the driver and spend a good portion of the season not hitting the driver at all. All the while, they never practice to improve. You're making a very common mistake that all amateurs make... you're ignoring your flaws and playing everything safe because you aren't confident with your clubs. You have to learn and practice at some point and thats when you start getting significant drops in your handicap. Learn to play smart but play aggressive, thats very important.
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I average 260-270. My drives go something like this 280, 275, 300, 305, 290, 100 (topped, hooked, or sometimes both), 300, 280, 260, 290. There is always 1 out of 10 that throw off my average, which is probably typical. I do not have an official handicap but it is probably around 15 now.
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I average 260-270. My drives go something like this 280, 275, 300, 305, 290, 100 (topped, hooked, or sometimes both), 300, 280, 260, 290. There is always 1 out of 10 that throw off my average, which is probably typical. I do not have an official handicap but it is probably around 15 now.

You should use the median rather than mean, because that one duffed drive is a piece of skewed data which exerts too much influence on the average. The median of those is 285.

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Well, a few things. First, my home course is 5,800 yards with a ton of elevated tee boxes (plus 3 of the par 3's are 215 yards+ so some of the yardage is embedded in those). There is only one par 4 over 400 yards and even that one, the tee box is elevated about 40 yards over the fairway so the ball flies. Second, i don't really think of hitting every green, or any green for that matter. If i'm 190 yards out i dont try to be a hero and rip my 4 iron there, i'd rather hit a pitching wedge, then hit a full 52/58 degree wedge in. I am too inconsistent with my longer clubs to consider using them on the course, i would end up losing 8 penalty strokes. By doing this my ball striking is improving a ton, and my short game gets a TON of practice every single round. I feel confident from everywhere 100 yards and in because i have played those shots so many times. I understand that playing this way 100% eliminates birdie attempts and even makes getting par's difficult but the distance will come eventually for me. And once the distance and longer clubs come, then my handicap will start to drop again.

I agree 100%, use shorter clubs and go for accuracy. That's how I got to 10 hcp on my 6150 yd home course but then I plateaued until my 18 deg hybrid got on plane.

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Absolutely you can. I'm a 6 handicap and a good drive is around 240-250 for me. Most days I'm hitting it about 230-240 and some days I can push 260 on a couple of holes. Handicap is not really dependent on your distance. It's dependent on your ability to make good contact. Distance comes from good contact, but only to the extent that you are physically capable. If you aren't physically capable of swinging the club fast enough to hit the ball 275+ then don't worry about it. Focus on making the proper swing to maximize your potential ability. Don't fall prey to the doctrine that you must hit long bombs all day long to be any good. Practice, and play the appropriate tees and your handicap will get lower.

I agree with the 100%. I am a 9-10 handicap and my average drive is about the same. Average 230-240. Lately I've been hitting a little longer - about 250. I weigh 135 lbs and my driver swing speed is in the high 80s/low 90s. I don't care what kind of perfectly matched ball and driver you give me, I don't care how perfectly I pure it, and I don't care how fast my hips turn....I'm not driving the ball 300 yards. Physics just won't let me. And I can manage to score in the low 80s. Good ball striking, chip/pitch/flop the ball close and 1 putting will get your scores down. If you regularly play REALLY long courses and always play from the tips, then sure...distance will help. But otherwise, I feel it is overrated.

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