Distance: The Long and Short of it
In today’s modern industry of constantly evolving golf technology, the chase for more distance has dominated the market for years. Increased distance can certainly help your game; however, distance in exchange for a lack of control can hinder your game more than help. What really matters is how many strokes it takes to get the ball in the hole, which should be the primary focus of every golfer.
This past golf season, I recently switched from my three year “old” driver (old in golf years) to the “hottest” (and most expensive) driver on the market to increase my distance off the tee. I have never been a big believer in the “this is the longest club” advertising motto but with the new hot faced club, I was hitting some of the longest drives of my life. I also hit some of the longest out of bounds drives of my life and was reaching hazards that never came into play ever before. As a result, my scoring suffered and by the middle of the season, you can guess… the old driver was back in the bag and scoring improved. So distance isn’t always everything.
A perfect example of this is PGA Tour player Jim Furyk who shot a record score of 58 this past year. Furyk is by no means a long hitter by tour standards but was still able to score the lowest recorded round in tour history. Furyk also has a 59 on his resume as well… just saying.
With today’s high priced aerospace designed clubs and multi-compound golf balls, distance has become so highly sought after that it is easy to lose sight of the fact that simply playing within your ability is a major key to success. My advice, instead of chasing after that extra ten yards, stick to your fundamentals, put that extra money you would have spent on some high priced club into some lessons for improving a repetitive motion, and you will be seeing ten less strokes on the scorecard at the end of your round.