Stand aside Bryson.... all hail Wilco

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Your comment was about the top 20, not the top 10, 5 or 1.
Fact of the matter is the shortest players in the top 20, even the lowest positions he quoted, are bang on tour average and the higher rank you go the trend is the longer they get. You can’t hide that
 

Gopher

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3 of the top 6 PGA longest drivers, Ryan Brehm, Grayson Murray and Brandon Hagy aren't exactly household names and don't feature highly in the OWGR, so long distance doesn't always equal a better player.
 
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3 of the top 6 PGA longest drivers, Ryan Brehm, Grayson Murray and Brandon Hagy aren't exactly household names and don't feature highly in the OWGR, so long distance doesn't always equal a better player.
Of course there are long hitters who aren’t high in the OWGR but the fact of the matter is there are no short hitters high in the OWGR. The shortest they are is bang on average and the trend is the higher up the rank you go generally the longer they are. It is a key ingredient to being a top player, total driving is probably where you really should be looking. The old school ideas of your better off short and accurate or the woods are full of long hitters isn’t really relevant in professional golf. You would never teach a youngster now not to push themselves to be as long as possible because it’s so important
 

Ethan

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I think it should be obvious that a certain degree of length is needed to compete effectively on Tour. Someone who is a whizz with a hybrid is still going to have a tough time playing guys who hit short irons instead. But there probably comes a point of diminishing returns when the value of an extra 10 yards is outweighed by hitting more fairways. Course designers and those who set up the tournaments can influence the importance of these attributes. The US Open used to be an event where, most years, the course was tree lined with hideous rough, and if you missed the fairway by a foot, you had to hack out sideways. Likewise, around the greens, shin high rough, so missing the green even by a foot was bad news. So the winners were often plodding short or middle distance players who could hit a fairway with a 2 iron, then the green, sometimes with the same 2 iron. It wasn't very attractive to watch.

Bryson might win the odd event by a handful, but I think he will melt down just as often. The players in the top end of the OWGR are long hitters, DJ, Rahmbo, Rory, but they also all feature in the top 20 for total driving, so they have a decent amount of accuracy as well.
 
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I think it should be obvious that a certain degree of length is needed to compete effectively on Tour. Someone who is a whizz with a hybrid is still going to have a tough time playing guys who hit short irons instead. But there probably comes a point of diminishing returns when the value of an extra 10 yards is outweighed by hitting more fairways. Course designers and those who set up the tournaments can influence the importance of these attributes. The US Open used to be an event where, most years, the course was tree lined with hideous rough, and if you missed the fairway by a foot, you had to hack out sideways. Likewise, around the greens, shin high rough, so missing the green even by a foot was bad news. So the winners were often plodding short or middle distance players who could hit a fairway with a 2 iron, then the green, sometimes with the same 2 iron. It wasn't very attractive to watch.

Bryson might win the odd event by a handful, but I think he will melt down just as often. The players in the top end of the OWGR are long hitters, DJ, Rahmbo, Rory, but they also all feature in the top 20 for total driving, so they have a decent amount of accuracy as well.
Total driving is a mix of distance and accuracy, though if you hit it 330 and are 10 yards more offline than the guy who hits it 300. The 330 guy is still a better driver. Don’t forget the us open this year was played at one of the toughest courses in the world. If they set up the course to disadvantage long hitters it will also disadvantage short hitters because if you can hit a wedge out the rough or a 4 iron from the fairway I guarantee you the wedge is going closer most of the time. Also if a guy can hit a rescue the same as another guys driver, the guy hitting driver all the time is going to struggle against him all things being equal.
 

Ethan

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Total driving is a mix of distance and accuracy, though if you hit it 330 and are 10 yards more offline than the guy who hits it 300. The 330 guy is still a better driver. Don’t forget the us open this year was played at one of the toughest courses in the world. If they set up the course to disadvantage long hitters it will also disadvantage short hitters because if you can hit a wedge out the rough or a 4 iron from the fairway I guarantee you the wedge is going closer most of the time. Also if a guy can hit a rescue the same as another guys driver, the guy hitting driver all the time is going to struggle against him all things being equal.
Setting up the course to disadvantage long hitters is not just about rough. It is about bunker positioning, distance to dog legs and that sort of stuff too. The US Opens of the 80s, with winners like Hale Irwin, sometimes had rough that you simply couldn't hit a wedge onto a green from, or at least you couldn't stop the ball on the green. For the modern pro, the difference between a wedge and a 4 iron is about 70 yards. That is probably not the usual differential unless Bryson is playing Alex Cejka (almost exactly 70 yards shorter with the driver).
 
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Setting up the course to disadvantage long hitters is not just about rough. It is about bunker positioning, distance to dog legs and that sort of stuff too. The US Opens of the 80s, with winners like Hale Irwin, sometimes had rough that you simply couldn't hit a wedge onto a green from, or at least you couldn't stop the ball on the green. For the modern pro, the difference between a wedge and a 4 iron is about 70 yards. That is probably not the usual differential unless Bryson is playing Alex Cejka (almost exactly 70 yards shorter with the driver).
The usual differential isn’t as it seems. On the stats the differential between the shortest and longest hitters is approximately 40 yards or just over, though I know some have the ability to hit it considerably longer than these figures state which are only measured at certain holes etc. You take a dogleg hole or a hole with water even if it’s only 40 yards extra carry the ability to take a chunk off a corner can almost mean chipping on to a green compared to hitting in a 5 iron if one player can’t make a carry. If you start changing bunkering and doglegs etc your going to start running out of space on golf courses or trying to completely change courses that have been the way they are for many years, the upkeep of longer courses is considerably more and the cost of such changes is huge. Are the members going to pay for this ? It doesn’t matter how a course is set up, a longer hitter will always have an advantage regardless. It’s just the way it is and always has been even going back to the 30’s. The great Harvey Penwick said when he saw Snead hit a driver he instantly knew he wasn’t going to make it on tour.
 

Imurg

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The usual differential isn’t as it seems. On the stats the differential between the shortest and longest hitters is approximately 40 yards or just over, though I know some have the ability to hit it considerably longer than these figures state which are only measured at certain holes etc. You take a dogleg hole or a hole with water even if it’s only 40 yards extra carry the ability to take a chunk off a corner can almost mean chipping on to a green compared to hitting in a 5 iron if one player can’t make a carry. If you start changing bunkering and doglegs etc your going to start running out of space on golf courses or trying to completely change courses that have been the way they are for many years, the upkeep of longer courses is considerably more and the cost of such changes is huge. Are the members going to pay for this ? It doesn’t matter how a course is set up, a longer hitter will always have an advantage regardless. It’s just the way it is and always has been even going back to the 30’s. The great Harvey Penwick said when he saw Snead hit a driver he instantly knew he wasn’t going to make it on tour.
So, in a few years, everyone is going to be bombing it 350 and making par 5s into, par 4s.....
OK...isn't that going to get boring pretty quick?
The "classic" courses will become obsolete for the Pros so they'll have to purpose build 8000+ yard courses for them.
If they want to keep playing these courses then they must be expanded and eventually space and money will be the limitations
Hell, I've said it before, I don't really care what the Pros do, they play a different game to me.
As long as they don't roll back my ball..
 
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I wouldn’t think your line of thinking is correct because the equipment and ball is Pretty much maxed out at the moment, if anything it may be reigned back slightly through equipment or stringent rules for the professional ball used in tournament play. The only way pro’s can really get longer now and even most amateurs is through getting stronger and better technique. Gone are the days where a new driver will pick you up distance regardless of what magazine reviews might tell you, I’ve yet to see one where they don’t say the new model picked them up an average of 3 or 4 yards. Absolute BS, just results edited to make a situation skewed. Would love to see the fittings streamed live especially if their previous driver was fitted. Yes Golf Monthly it’s a hint and another possible reason you may lose subscription numbers when you can find so much contradictory evidence for free on YouTube.
 

jim8flog

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I do think back to Mark McNulty

He was considered to be one of the shortest hitters on the Tour in his day.

His record

59 Tour wins
 

Ethan

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I do think back to Mark McNulty

He was considered to be one of the shortest hitters on the Tour in his day.

His record

59 Tour wins
Great golfer but left behind by the modern game. Another great player of a similar vintage, also left behind, David Frost, great swing, accurate iron player and tidy short game. More recently, Luke Donald too.
 

HomerJSimpson

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I think there will be a time when bifurcation in golf is inevitable and there will be pro gear and mortals gear. I would suggest they'd reduce how far drivers go (maybe a maximum length shafts at round 45 degrees) and then introduce a shorter flying ball. I've no problem with it in the pro game. You can't keep extending courses or moving hazards or growing knee high rough at members courses for one weeks golf a year
 

4LEX

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On a slightly different note, I think the distance gains have highlighted how bad modern course designers have been.

A lot of courses on the PGA Tour these days are bang average.

Not enough courses have been built in genuine tree lined land, not enough elevation and lacking natural hazards. Just boring sloggers tracks with wide fairways, minimal trees (often one or two rows deep), and short rough. Open spaces designed with large crowds, logistics and making money as a key focus for PGA Tour venues. They need to look at switching the courses up before changing the ball or anything else.

I don't blame Bryson for looking at the courses and figuring how to crack them. He won't dominate golf because he isn't good enough as an all round player. He'll win at the courses that favour him and blow up at those that don't.
 

HomerJSimpson

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On a slightly different note, I think the distance gains have highlighted how bad modern course designers have been.

A lot of courses on the PGA Tour these days are bang average.

Not enough courses have been built in genuine tree lined land, not enough elevation and lacking natural hazards. Just boring sloggers tracks with wide fairways, minimal trees (often one or two rows deep), and short rough. Open spaces designed with large crowds, logistics and making money as a key focus for PGA Tour venues. They need to look at switching the courses up before changing the ball or anything else.

I don't blame Bryson for looking at the courses and figuring how to crack them. He won't dominate golf because he isn't good enough as an all round player. He'll win at the courses that favour him and blow up at those that don't.
Think average is a tad harsh and up until maybe 3-4 years ago when Rahm, DJ and BDC started to really bomb they were playable and bunkering was probably in the right place. Now they have found those extra yeards they can carry the bunkers with impunity so it makes it look like a poorly designed course. Its a reason why a lot of the famous courses, especially on the ET are no longer used and places like Wentworth etc keep getting extended more and more
 

Crow

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A little something for those who remember a better time. ;)


185 yard par 3 "back into the wind", although it doesn't look too strong and when the flag is shown it's quartering at worst.

What club does Sir Nick take? (A clue: it's not a 7 iron)
Those TP-19s were good looking clubs, none of that hollow headed nonsense.



Mizuno TP-19 for anyone interested. 1606228128342.png
 
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