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Uncle Lau

Long and Short Hitters

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I am a short hitter, 170yards with driver, need 2 or 3 iron shots to reach green, 3 putted....

So is it natural for everyone to go for distance in their drive and approach irons or just have to rely and focus on their shorts games to score well ?

Is it very disadvantage or even a curse if one couldn't hit far ?

HELP ?????

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Honestly that distance shouldn't really hurt you as long as you can hit the ball straight. I play with some guys in their 70's and 80's who hit driver 160-200 however their consistently down the center of the fairway. Their some damn good players though and handicap in the high single digits.

They do however stay away from the extremely long courses in the 7000 range. Just play to your strengths and don't be ashamed to hit from the whites.

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I've played with a lot of guys who are short hitters. I will say there are a lot of disadvantages to it. Everyone's assuming that short hitters are more accurate but for discussion sake, let's assume a short hitter has 50% driving accuracy, same as a long hitter at 50% accuracy.

On 410 yard hole, the long driver hits 270-300 yards while the short driver hits 180-200 yards. That leaves the long hitter roughly 110-130 yard approach shot while the short hitter is still left with 200+ yards to reach green.
Appropriately, the 110-130 shot is a SW-PW for most long hitters, while the long hitter has atleast 2 strokes to go before green.

So yes, it is a disadvantage but if you're just playing for fun, who cares? You know your limits. What you should be aiming for is this - drive 180-200 yards, hit long iron to leave <60 yard wedge shot, stick the wedge shot next to pin and 1 putt for par. Worse you can do, 2 putt for bogey. While its a disadvantage, you can still play single digit with this distance.

Its all relative. Its not really a disadvantage if you're playing against someone with a similar handicap, regardless of if they can drive further than you. However, hitting short drives does leave you with less opportunities for birdies and eagles, which is where it becomes a disadvantage.

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I am a short hitter, 170yards with driver, need 2 or 3 iron shots to reach green, 3 putted....

It's very natural to hit driver as far as it will let you with some semblence of control. Whether or not you max out at 200 yds or 300 yds is defenitely an advantge/disadvantage depending what side of it you're on.

Can you still play well being a short hitter? Absolutely. BUT, the pressure you put on not only your long approach game but your short game(pitching, chipping & trying to 1 putt everything to save par or bogey) will be tough to navigate. If that's your absolute max distance from the tee then 1-make sure you're the most accurate player & 2-practice the short game like mad.

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It is certainly disadvantageous to be a short hitter. However, I think you may have touched on something even more concerning:

It is indeed a curse placed on you by that guy from the Titleist NXT commercials.

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I am a short hitter, 170yards with driver, need 2 or 3 iron shots to reach green, 3 putted....

As the old golf expression goes, "play to your strengths". IMO 250-280 yd drive is just about right. It seems anything longer than 280 yds can get you into trouble. If you are u/a to generate that kind of distance with your driver then work on from 150-100 yds and in.

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IMO 250-280 yd drive is just about right.

I've been playing without a driver for a while now because I can't find one I agree with, so I'm using my 3w off the tee and hitting it 200-210 with decent contact. I play courses that hover between 6,000-6,300 yards, and I very, very rarely feel overstretched. Usually I'll just play to my handicap, acknowledge that, say, a hole is too long for me to get anywhere near the green in regulation, and plan for a GIR+1. By taking this approach, I rarely feel inadequate in any way regarding distance. Would I like more distance? Sure, why not. Would I go out of my way to get a couple extra yards but end up sacrificing accuracy? Not in a million years.

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Its a big advantage to have distance. Played in an shamble few weeks ago, we used mine and this other guys drives on every hole, my dad ended up shoot a 79, he's never broken 90 on that course before. The reason, he was hitting 8iron and under when he use to have to hit a hybride, 3-6 irons on each hole. So yea, it helps a bit, but if your having trouble. One thing its probably the swing, if you work on making solid contact at least your now maximizing your physical ability. Then other than that, its probably flexibility.

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Having repeatable distance is an advantage. Being unpredictably long off the tee can be just as devastating as being short. If a typical drive for you is 180 and mine is 280, I'll probably beat you straight up. If we're playing with handicaps you have a very good chance to beat me because, even though I'll have more short iron approaches, I'll probably also have more penalty strokes off the tee. A 180 yard drive has 100 fewer yards to spin off line - it's physics or something.


EDIT: My avatar is so huge today, I feel like I could drive the ball 380 yards!!

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why does everyone assume that with increased distance comes decreased accuracy...? Thats what golf is all about...working on your swing so its relatively long and accurate. You don't HAVE to just accept one over another...

And Blades4Me never said anything about the average male driving ability. He said 250-280 seems about right which is correct. Most par 4's I play are designed to reward players who consistently drive in the 250-280 range. ANything longer, they can face hazzards, uneven lies and if you drive too short, you're still in danger. So yes, I agree with Blades4me, 250-280 is about right for most courses to setup for easy approach shots. Again, distance doesn't mean decreased accuracy...people seem to always use that as justification for their short length. Why not practice and get both...? Likewise, teeing off with a 3 wood works well for courses that are 6,000-6,300 but many of the courses i play here range from 6,500 to 7,000 depending on the course. You absolutely need a driver.

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distance is important. There is a par 4 on the course I play that is so long. I hit about 250 off the tee and on that hole with a nice 250 drive I have about a 3wood left to the green on a par 4. I hate that hole

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My friend's daughter is 13, a sliver of a kid, plays from the men's whites, hits her drive 200, and carries a 8.x index. She just carded a 79 on a tough course. The keys to her scoring are:

1. Solid ball striking
2. Keeping the ball in the fairway
3. Near automatic up-and-down

So, I'd say practice making solid contact and hitting the ball straight. Practice chipping and pitching. Practice putting. I'd also say practice those things if you hit your drive 290.

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why does everyone assume that with increased distance comes decreased accuracy...? Thats what golf is all about...working on your swing so its relatively long and accurate. You don't HAVE to just accept one over another...

My quoting of his driving distance was merely an attempt to satirize the typical over-reaction to claims about length around here, guess it didn't come across that way, so I apologise.

I'm not saying that an increase in distance will always result in a decrease in accuracy, but if you wanted a generalisation, I'd say for the average golfer, spread increases with length. There will be exceptions, I'm not trying to say this is applicable to absolutely everyone. The theoretical situation at the bottom of my post was just my input of "don't worry about it, it's not the worst situation to be in". I play without a driver because like I said, I haven't found one that I actually feel comfortable using. Thus, I'm playing from more forward tees. The reason I pick those tees is the same reason you feel comfortable playing from the tips, because it's within the limits of our current respective skill levels. I don't spend all day trying to hit greens with a hybrid/4i because of my choice of tees, and you're sufficiently good so that you don't have to either, even from the tips. When I get a driver, I will absolutely move back to a longer set of tees, because I'll have more length off the tee, and avoid having to hit hybrid/4i for every approach shot. I really can't fathom why hackers (I include myself in this group, I suppose :|) would want to play from the tips, it just doesn't make sense. It's demoralising as hell if I get a ridiculous score on any given hole, playing from the tips would just be begging for every hole to go wrong. So I'm absolutely 100% not saying "distance is the devil, don't try to work on it", not even a little. I'd gladly accept more distance in a heartbeat, and I'm definitely striving to get more out of my 3w (as my current "driver") but it's just not the focus of my game, nor does it drag me down to think I'm only getting 200-210 off the tee. I was really just attempting to reassure the OP that there's a set of tees for everyone, and there's no shame in playing from the forward men's tees.

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Whats your hieght/wieght if you dont mind sharing??

170 seems kinda short. I would use a 7i which goes about 160-175 for me from that distance. Maybe you could get more power into your swing it would help your game all aroud?

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why does everyone assume that with increased distance comes decreased accuracy...? Thats what golf is all about...working on your swing so its relatively long and accurate. You don't HAVE to just accept one over another...

Well thank you golfro.

The courses I play are 6500 to 7400. I'm finding on many par 5's I do better with my 12.5* 3 wood off of the tee cuz of fairway bunkers that are right in my "wheelhouse" for my driving distances. Sure I give up going for the green in 2, but I seem to score better with the new plan. As long as I remember that the game I play is about scoring and distance for the most part is irrelivent I can do okay.

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I think lack of power/distance becomes an increasing problem as your handicap starts to decrease. If you're an 18 or so and happy breaking 90 occasionally, then it's not something to really worry about. Like someone already said, there are a lot of older guys out there playing very tidy driver + 7 wood golf and skinning the youngsters on and around the greens. Into the single digits, though, it starts to get hard to score if you're hitting 4 or 5 iron approaches where other guys are hitting 7 or 8s. Personally, I almost always play my second from the fairway (76.7% over last 15 rounds) but very rarely make birdies, at least in part because I don't get up to Par 5s in two and don't get to wedge into greens even on shorter Par 4s.

I'll happily trade 15 points of driving accuracy for 30 yards extra carry, if anyone wants to deal!

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why does everyone assume that with increased distance comes decreased accuracy...? Thats what golf is all about...working on your swing so its relatively long and accurate. You don't HAVE to just accept one over another...

Because its statistically proven? In golf you rarley hit it actually straight, you always have to deal with some kind of sidespin be it a draw for fade spin - the longer the ball travels the more it has the chance to get offline.

Imagine a guy hitting his driver 1millimeter - he will be accurate 100% of the time - now imagine a guy hitting it 400y like you see in long drive contests - their accuracy is way way poorer. Thats one of the reasons why women very seldomly have to deal with all the crap left and right of the course. They hit it shorter than the male population in general - have to deal with less side spin due to slower swing speeds, and that just puts you more into the fairway - its as easy as that! OP - in a previous post you talked about you were very comfortable playing ladies irons, and now you state you hit your driver 160y. You might find somebody who can properly asses your swingspeed and recommend you proper equipment. I assume it doesnt make much sense for you playing low lofted drivers and stiff shafts - you probably need the other end of that. Or you have some signifcant swing flaws. I guess its a combination of both since its really easy to "pitch" a driver past 160y without any effort at all.

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