Giving yourself an extra 20+ yards off the tee
You hear it talked about all the time with golf these days. The PGA Tour is getting longer and longer. There are more players now hitting it over 300 yards than there has ever been in the history of the game. Club manufacturers keep pushing the designs up clubs to maximize distance to help golfers get longer. So the question is, does distance really matter? Well the short answer is yes it does, but it does have some other important details that need to be noted.
Golfers are no longer not considered athletes. Many of these elite level golfers are exceptional athletes with almost all of them having some sort of physical component to their training. With the evolution of training when it comes to golf, we have seen an increase in club head speed which equates to faster ball speeds and longer drives. But at the same time we haven’t seen a significant drop off in fairways. So what does this mean? It means that they are hitting longer and just as accurately as before. The second part of that last sentence is key. They are hitting just as straight and keeping it in play. Now if we can add 20 + yards and be straighter, then yes distance will absolutely help your game. But if we add 20+ yards but now you are way more off line and in trouble then I would argue that the distance gain is not worth it.
Another detail to mention is that the players on our tv’s spend just as much time practicing as we do in our daily jobs. This means they are experts and hitting drivers as often as they do won’t impact their scorecard in a negative way. In fact it is helpful for them because they are giving themselves more wedge opportunities, even if it is in the rough. More wedge opportunities equates to more birdie opportunities. But does this translate to your average golfer? Unfortunately most of the time it does not translate the same. That is because your average golfer has trouble keeping the driver in play over the course of a round. But let’s say your average golfer can keep the ball in play for a round and get an extra 20 yards off the tee. Will that improve their score? Yes it should improve their score.
If you truly want to test out if hitting it 20+ yards longer will improve your score than the next time you are out playing, move up a tee box. Moving up a tee box on most courses will automatically give you an extra 20+ yards. Compare your score to rounds you have played from your regular tee and see if the extra yards off the tee really does improve your score.
The way I would approach this for my players is to first learn to keep the ball in play. Find a club you can do this with on a consistent basis. That club may be a 7 iron of 5 iron. Use this club when there is trouble off the tee. Use this to help lower your scores now by eliminating big numbers from bad tee shots. However, while doing this you should be practicing with your driver to make it into a weapon off of the tee. Learn to keep it in play and you will see your scores drop even more.