Drive for Show?
We all know the saying “Drive for show – Putt for dough”.
Is it true? Well the goal of golf is to get the ball in the hole. If you can’t putt, it’s pretty tough to get the ball in the hole.
But you also have to get the ball off of the tee box – if you can’t get the ball to the green, it’s pretty difficult to get it in the hole.
A DRGC player just sent me a blog by a PGA Pro advising his members to dedicate themselves to hitting their drives as far as they can. This fellow cited PGA Tour statistics that proved that the 10 longest drivers won more money than the 10 straightest drivers.
I wouldn’t argue with him – I’m sure it’s true. But that doesn’t mean it applies to amateur golfers.
PGA Tour players need to make birdies. Long drives help them reach par 5’s in two shots, and also make par 4’s more birdieable. But, PGA Tour players are also great putters and iron players. Length, if you’re already in control, is a valuable weapon.
Power out of control is as dangerous in golf as it is in life.
Amateur golfers need to make pars and avoid the bad holes. Wild driving is usually the cause for amateurs to make big numbers. Out of bounds can really hurt your score – especially multiple OB shots. And, OB’s are usually the result of trying to hit a drive too far. I haven’t seen many people putt a ball out of bounds.
Of course we all want to hit the ball farther. But most of us should concentrate on our chipping and putting. And learning to hit the driver straight makes golf a lot more fun.
In my lessons I tell people that we’ll start working on reaching par 5’s in two shots after they become a scratch golfer. Or in other words, that when they get sick of shooting par, we’ll start working on birdieing par 5 holes.
One final thought: PGA Tour players can’t move up to shorter tee boxes – the rest of us have that option.
GM and Head Golf Professional