The great drive for dough putt for show debate thread.

BiMGuy

LIV Bot, (But Not As Big As Mel) ?
Joined
Oct 9, 2020
Messages
6,253
Visit site
As we’ve detailed the thread of the poor guy asking for help I thought I’d start a new one where we could discuss the topic further.

Firstly I’d be interested to know from those who don’t think distance is a big contributor to scoring, how long are the courses you play, and what is it about modern stats that gets some of you so worked up?

My old course was a shade under 6000 yards. If you hit it 200 yards off the tee, you could reach most holes with a short to mid iron. My current course is a shade I’ve 6700 yards, at sea level and windy. 200 yards off the tee simply does not cut it.

I was taught that hitting fairways was the key to good scoring, I hit lots but could never get lower than a 5hc. I couldn’t understand at the time why the lads I played with who were spraying it all over were shooting lower scores than me on a consistent basis. I now know it’s because they were 30 to 50 yards closer to the green than me. They were reaching the par 5s more often. Their proximity to the hole was much lower than mine because they were hitting shorter second shots, despite sometimes being in the rough or trees, over the longer term, being longer was better.

Since returning to golf a few years ago I have changed tactics. I started with the old mantra of hitting the fairway at the expense of distance. I struggled to break 90 for a while and couldn’t get back into a single digit Hi. Then having read up on strokes gained and DECAD I now hit driver as much as I can. It didn’t take long to get into the low 80s and a 7.something HI. I don’t care if I hit the fairway. It doesn’t matter as long as I have a reasonable shot at hitting the green.

From what I have read on here and other social media. A lot of of people who disagree with “sending it” take a micro view. They pick on a specific shot/hole/round where being shorter works out better. Which of course it can.
However, over the course of a year, being longer (and in play) will lead to lower scoring.

I just need to hit my irons better now.

And as putting is pretty much a lottery, I don’t worry about it. Try to hole anything inside 10ft and don’t 3 putt outside of that and I’m happy.
 

KenL

Tour Rookie
Joined
Dec 3, 2014
Messages
6,452
Location
East Lothian
Visit site
Putting is king, if you can't putt, you can't score. Right up there also is the ability to get up and down.

But length is a big plus especially on a longer course.
My course is 6600 yards, very difficult back 9.

Par 4s of 460, 455, 440 and 430. These are into the prevailing wind and often effectively par 5s.

If you can't reach in 2, the vast majority, the only way to par is with a good short game.

Having said all that, a good/modern course should have bunkers positioned that are a problem for the longer hitters.

Edit - to the OP, you need to improve your putting. On bearable greens, putting is not a lottery.
 

RichA

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
3,084
Location
UK
Visit site
As we’ve detailed the thread of the poor guy asking for help I thought I’d start a new one where we could discuss the topic further.

Firstly I’d be interested to know from those who don’t think distance is a big contributor to scoring, how long are the courses you play, and what is it about modern stats that gets some of you so worked up?

My old course was a shade under 6000 yards. If you hit it 200 yards off the tee, you could reach most holes with a short to mid iron. My current course is a shade I’ve 6700 yards, at sea level and windy. 200 yards off the tee simply does not cut it.

I was taught that hitting fairways was the key to good scoring, I hit lots but could never get lower than a 5hc. I couldn’t understand at the time why the lads I played with who were spraying it all over were shooting lower scores than me on a consistent basis. I now know it’s because they were 30 to 50 yards closer to the green than me. They were reaching the par 5s more often. Their proximity to the hole was much lower than mine because they were hitting shorter second shots, despite sometimes being in the rough or trees, over the longer term, being longer was better.

Since returning to golf a few years ago I have changed tactics. I started with the old mantra of hitting the fairway at the expense of distance. I struggled to break 90 for a while and couldn’t get back into a single digit Hi. Then having read up on strokes gained and DECAD I now hit driver as much as I can. It didn’t take long to get into the low 80s and a 7.something HI. I don’t care if I hit the fairway. It doesn’t matter as long as I have a reasonable shot at hitting the green.

From what I have read on here and other social media. A lot of of people who disagree with “sending it” take a micro view. They pick on a specific shot/hole/round where being shorter works out better. Which of course it can.
However, over the course of a year, being longer (and in play) will lead to lower scoring.

I just need to hit my irons better now.

And as putting is pretty much a lottery, I don’t worry about it. Try to hole anything inside 10ft and don’t 3 putt outside of that and I’m happy.
Depends on the course.
Our place is 6600 yards. 6 of the par 4 holes are over 400 yards, 3 are just under 400 and only 2 are realistically a drive and a wedge. A long drive is important but, for 6 months of the year, if you go long but spray it more than 10 feet from the edge of the fairway you probably won't find your ball.
Another local course I'm playing tomorrow is only a little shorter but they cut the roughest rough only about an inch longer than the fairway. Licence to go large and not worry too much about the consequences.

Agree with your putting comment. It's a game of chance for me.
 

GB72

Money List Winner
Joined
May 8, 2007
Messages
14,369
Location
Rutland
Visit site
I would advocate for lenght off the tee but with a proviso. The longer you can drive accurately, the shorter club that you are hitting in to the green, and here is the proviso, so long as you hit an OK iron or wedge shot, you should be much closer to the pin then if you are coming in with a long iron or even fairway wood. As such, there is less pressure to be a good putter as you are giving yourself easier putts. My best rounds have been when I have driven well and not when the putter was on fire.
 

Imurg

The Grinder Of Pars (Semi Crocked)
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
36,631
Location
Aylesbury Bucks
Visit site
I don't think there can be much doubt that, in general, being closer improves scoring but the caveat "in play" is important
What's important is What's the penalty for being off the fairway or 1st cut?
If it's deep forest then you've negated the extra length and will probably score worse.
If there's very little danger then fill yer boots.
Once you get to the 2nd or even 3rd cut you have to remember that we're not Jon Rahm or Tony Finau
We, mostly, don't have the power to make much progress from deep rough...so if you can't reach the green then, again, you've negated the extra distance.
Long and accurate wins most of the time - it's keeping it accurate enough to utilise the advantage.
 

Bamberdele2.0

Active member
Joined
May 12, 2022
Messages
317
Visit site
With the right group there are two par 5’s at my club where we will all chuck in a pound for longest drive. Hole 18 is also a good one for longest drive back up to the clubhouse.

You don’t get that with putting. Although putting will lower the scores it’s just not as fun, imo.
 

Backache

Assistant Pro
Joined
Jun 26, 2015
Messages
1,951
Visit site
Since returning to golf a few years ago I have changed tactics. I started with the old mantra of hitting the fairway at the expense of distance. I struggled to break 90 for a while and couldn’t get back into a single digit Hi. Then having read up on strokes gained and DECAD I now hit driver as much as I can. It didn’t take long to get into the low 80s and a 7.something HI. I don’t care if I hit the fairway. It doesn’t matter as long as I have a reasonable shot at hitting the green.
.

The last bit is the bit that I think is crucial and is ignored by the advocates of always play the driver no matter what the dispersion in the UK.

Strokes gained was developed in the USA and the statistics are based on American courses. By and large American courses have more room than UK ones
Strokes lost by missing the fairway but leaving it playable are few. In the UK there are many courses where a ball that is hit a distance from the fairway can be lost of unplayable on either side of the fairway so you dont have the same opportunity of aiming well away from trouble to avoid it as you will bring trouble in on the otherside.

My own driving is relatively short and straight and I use my driver at virtually all opportunity off the tee. I've read the book and seen thestatistics but keeping the ball playable is important and some people do have a much wider dispersion with driver than with some other clubs and for them playing shorter and avoiding the unplayable or lost ball is important.
 

KenL

Tour Rookie
Joined
Dec 3, 2014
Messages
6,452
Location
East Lothian
Visit site
With the right group there are two par 5’s at my club where we will all chuck in a pound for longest drive. Hole 18 is also a good one for longest drive back up to the clubhouse.

You don’t get that with putting. Although putting will lower the scores it’s just not as fun, imo.

They sounds like a bunch of jocks! Betting on the longest drive. 🤭
 

Whereditgo

Journeyman Pro
Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
2,164
Location
East Yorkshire, UK
Visit site
I watched a video the other day where the guy set a stimpmeter up at the hole from about 6 to 8 feet and rolled 3 balls at the hole, 1 missed left, 1 missed right and 1 dropped in the centre. Add in minute imperfections caused by the foot traffic etc over the course of a day and it becomes apparent that putting is a bit of a lottery!

As long as you avoid any penalty areas and deep rough and have a line to the green longer is better. 30 yards longer and in the first cut is better than 30 yards back in the fairway. The side to side deviation is less with a more lofted club as is distance deviation.

Scott Fawcett's Decade principal is you should hit driver on every par 4 and par 5 unless there is a reason not to. Most people are barely any more accurate with a 3 wood or long iron than they are with the driver, so giving up those extra yards just isn't worth it. How many times have you heard "(expletive) I took that club for safety!" after someone spanners a fairway wood or long iron off the tee!
 

CountLippe

Active member
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
280
Visit site
I watched a video the other day where the guy set a stimpmeter up at the hole from about 6 to 8 feet and rolled 3 balls at the hole, 1 missed left, 1 missed right and 1 dropped in the centre. Add in minute imperfections caused by the foot traffic etc over the course of a day and it becomes apparent that putting is a bit of a lottery!

As long as you avoid any penalty areas and deep rough and have a line to the green longer is better. 30 yards longer and in the first cut is better than 30 yards back in the fairway. The side to side deviation is less with a more lofted club as is distance deviation.

Scott Fawcett's Decade principal is you should hit driver on every par 4 and par 5 unless there is a reason not to. Most people are barely any more accurate with a 3 wood or long iron than they are with the driver, so giving up those extra yards just isn't worth it. How many times have you heard "(expletive) I took that club for safety!" after someone spanners a fairway wood or long iron off the tee!

On a related note, I recently found out that google earth has a measure facility. Therefore when playing a new course you can measure where your average drive would finish on each hole and work out what trouble is in range.
 

Orikoru

Tour Winner
Joined
Nov 1, 2016
Messages
24,888
Location
Watford
Visit site
As we’ve detailed the thread of the poor guy asking for help I thought I’d start a new one where we could discuss the topic further.

Firstly I’d be interested to know from those who don’t think distance is a big contributor to scoring, how long are the courses you play, and what is it about modern stats that gets some of you so worked up?

My old course was a shade under 6000 yards. If you hit it 200 yards off the tee, you could reach most holes with a short to mid iron. My current course is a shade I’ve 6700 yards, at sea level and windy. 200 yards off the tee simply does not cut it.

I was taught that hitting fairways was the key to good scoring, I hit lots but could never get lower than a 5hc. I couldn’t understand at the time why the lads I played with who were spraying it all over were shooting lower scores than me on a consistent basis. I now know it’s because they were 30 to 50 yards closer to the green than me. They were reaching the par 5s more often. Their proximity to the hole was much lower than mine because they were hitting shorter second shots, despite sometimes being in the rough or trees, over the longer term, being longer was better.

Since returning to golf a few years ago I have changed tactics. I started with the old mantra of hitting the fairway at the expense of distance. I struggled to break 90 for a while and couldn’t get back into a single digit Hi. Then having read up on strokes gained and DECAD I now hit driver as much as I can. It didn’t take long to get into the low 80s and a 7.something HI. I don’t care if I hit the fairway. It doesn’t matter as long as I have a reasonable shot at hitting the green.

From what I have read on here and other social media. A lot of of people who disagree with “sending it” take a micro view. They pick on a specific shot/hole/round where being shorter works out better. Which of course it can.
However, over the course of a year, being longer (and in play) will lead to lower scoring.

I just need to hit my irons better now.

And as putting is pretty much a lottery, I don’t worry about it. Try to hole anything inside 10ft and don’t 3 putt outside of that and I’m happy.
As you probably know from previous threads, I agree with you on this. If I could drive it 20 yards further, my handicap would be lower, I've no doubt about that. I can only hit 230 odd yards on average, and in winter that's not much over 200, which even makes a 400 yard par 4 tough to reach in two. Hitting two clubs shorter into every green means more greens hit.

I worked out a long time ago I wasn't any more accurate with a wood than I am with driver, so I hit driver 12 or 13 times per round typically. My course isn't massively punishing so even hitting driver into the rough followed by a punch out and a PW to the green isn't the end of the world at all.

That said, I haven't made any steps to work on upping my swing speed or anything. Just wishful thinking. 😆
 

Orikoru

Tour Winner
Joined
Nov 1, 2016
Messages
24,888
Location
Watford
Visit site
On a related note, I recently found out that google earth has a measure facility. Therefore when playing a new course you can measure where your average drive would finish on each hole and work out what trouble is in range.
Or just use the Hole 19 app that literally does that for you in an instant?
 

pokerjoke

Money List Winner
Joined
Nov 17, 2009
Messages
10,768
Location
Taunton ,Somerset
Visit site
Putting is king imo
If you can drive and hit greens putting is king.
Obviously everything is relative to handicap.
If you have a shot you are probably playing the hole different to someone who doesn’t.
I’m a get it down as far as possible,get it on or near the green,get it up and down or 1 or 2 putt.
I play a lot with a 9 handicap he’s 30 yards behind my driver,but boy can he putt.
If I was a good a putter as him I’m scratch easily.
 

Backache

Assistant Pro
Joined
Jun 26, 2015
Messages
1,951
Visit site
Scott Fawcett's Decade principal is you should hit driver on every par 4 and par 5 unless there is a reason not to. Most people are barely any more accurate with a 3 wood or long iron than they are with the driver, so giving up those extra yards just isn't worth it. How many times have you heard "(expletive) I took that club for safety!" after someone spanners a fairway wood or long iron off the tee!
The Decade golf app was written for low single figure or better golfers. Some people are not much more accurate with fairway woods or long irons. I'm not much more accurate but some people have real problems controlling club face with driver but less with other clubs.
 

Backsticks

Assistant Pro
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
3,613
Visit site
Can you explain the bolded part please?

It may be a correlation because generally faster players are better players, but how does faster club head speed CAUSE more consistent ball striking?

I cant really. But am simply observing a know fact.
Speculating, it may be that the same muscle strength that permits faster head speed also enables better swing and club control. i.e. its not that one causes the other, rather, both are consequences of strength and power in the key muscles needed to swing a club.
 
Top