Why are most blinded by distance?

Oddsocks

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Yesterday I was having a knock with a few old mates and noticed that one who regularly plays two three woods one cranked to about 13* and the other closer to 16* had a new driver in the bag. The convo goes back and forth and he’s basically found the new epic max really suits him over his old cobra, yada yada yada but in short he has one in order.

He was hitting it well so for him to have have a bat that suits it great, but I committed the biggest mistake known to golfers …. “ ere bill gos a quick wack “ ?

I was trying it more for the shaft than anything else but Jesus this thing goes. Now I’m under no illusion that it was solid strike so would go well do so I thought for comparison I would test the both when I hit an average drive with mine. Two hold forward and two drives off the tee and the epic was about 15 yards longer. Wasn’t enough for me to want to shell out close to £500 but one of the guys in the group says with that gain he’d buy one.

The debate got a bit awkward as he saw just the gain and not how it would impact his golf. Knowing his course and game pretty well it would mean him hitting one less club into each green, no p5’s would now become reachable, the longer p4’s still out of reach in winds or damp conditions. He swing isn’t the most text book having only had 3 lessons in 8 years since starting, my argument was that with a structured lesson course he would improve technique across his whole bag no doubt resulting in less club required for every shot but he just couldn’t get his head around it?

the heated part come from me explaining that in the last 6 months he has ranged between low 20’s to low 40’s points around his own track and the inconsistency of that level would not be cured by a £500 driver, however it wouldn’t surprise me if he goes for a fitting this week for a new driver.

So, why are we all blinded by distance gains?
 

BiMGuy

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I would happily pay £500 right now if you could guarantee me 15 yards extra off the tee with no additional effort required.

15 yards for many amateurs is more like one and a half clubs. That could make a big difference in scoring. And whilst a player still might not be able to reach the longest holes in two, being closer to the green in two gives them a greater chance of scoring lower.
 

Imurg

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Because we are constantly told that the closer we hit the ball to hole the easier the next shot is and the lower our scores will be.
And the Marketing machines don't let us forget it.
 

jim8flog

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The switch from a TM R9 to a TM M4 gained me 15 yards. Do I regret shelling out the extra £s - no

Now I wish I could find a set of irons that gained me 15 yards (without the lofts being cranked up).
 

Golfnut1957

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I'm not so sure that we all are. Why buy a Ferrari when the speed limit in this country is 70? Because of the attraction of nice things, and new drivers are nice things.

I think that people get sucked into the marketing hype but only for so long, they slowly come to realise that drivers are in deed maxed out, with marginal gains by manufacturers in speed across the face and in MOI with weight displacement.

The real gains come from a fitting which will get you into the most suitable shaft and the optimum launch conditions, but most of us buy used and fitting sessions for used clubs are not the norm.

Lessons are great, at the time, but you need a pair of eyes constantly confirming that you are actually doing what you think you are doing out of sight behind your back. So lessons every week?

For me the key is practise. Find a few keys and focus on them while practising, and of course don't neglect the short game.

Distance is great, I appreciate that more and more as I watch a regular playing partner blast it 50 yards past me and hit wedge in to my mid-iron. How you achieve distance gains will be different for everyone and if you don't already have that optimised driver then finding it, whether by design or by stumbling across it would be one of the keys to unlocking it. Just need to improve that 100 yards and in wedge play now.
 

Billysboots

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It’s all about hitting shorter clubs into greens, it’s that simple. Either that, or some can’t help wanting to puff their chests out after hitting it 40 yards past their playing partners.

I do actually wonder how many amateurs are that much more accurate with a wedge than they are, say, an 8 or 9 iron. Because a new driver may only buy you a club length at most off the tee.

Sure, it’s lovely nailing your Sunday best straight down the middle to leave yourself a wedge into a well guarded green. But give me accuracy over an extra dozen or so yards any day.

As amateur golfers we’re far more likely to hit greens from 150 yards from the fairway with a 7/8 iron than we are with a wedge from 120 with the ball in 6” rough.
 

Banchory Buddha

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I'm not so sure that we all are. Why buy a Ferrari when the speed limit in this country is 70? Because of the attraction of nice things, and new drivers are nice things.

Not the greatest analogy, there's no distance limit



The real gains come from a fitting which will get you into the most suitable shaft and the optimum launch conditions, but most of us buy used and fitting sessions for used clubs are not the norm.
Is that true? It's not really relevant to the topic, but I'd be rather surprised if this is the case




As to the OP, I've just ordered a Ping G425 LST after a fitting, I was going in with the G425 in my head anyway, but absolutely not the LST. Defo distance advantage as my Titleist was 10 years old, side by side I gained 15yards, see what happens in the real world.
 

evemccc

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I'm not so sure that we all are. Why buy a Ferrari when the speed limit in this country is 70? Because of the attraction of nice things, and new drivers are nice things.

I think that people get sucked into the marketing hype but only for so long, they slowly come to realise that drivers are in deed maxed out, with marginal gains by manufacturers in speed across the face and in MOI with weight displacement.

The real gains come from a fitting which will get you into the most suitable shaft and the optimum launch conditions, but most of us buy used and fitting sessions for used clubs are not the norm.

Lessons are great, at the time, but you need a pair of eyes constantly confirming that you are actually doing what you think you are doing out of sight behind your back. So lessons every week?

For me the key is practise. Find a few keys and focus on them while practising, and of course don't neglect the short game.

Distance is great, I appreciate that more and more as I watch a regular playing partner blast it 50 yards past me and hit wedge in to my mid-iron. How you achieve distance gains will be different for everyone and if you don't already have that optimised driver then finding it, whether by design or by stumbling across it would be one of the keys to unlocking it. Just need to improve that 100 yards and in wedge play now.

Great post
 

evemccc

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It’s all about hitting shorter clubs into greens, it’s that simple. Either that, or some can’t help wanting to puff their chests out after hitting it 40 yards past their playing partners.

I do actually wonder how many amateurs are that much more accurate with a wedge than they are, say, an 8 or 9 iron. Because a new driver may only buy you a club length at most off the tee.

Sure, it’s lovely nailing your Sunday best straight down the middle to leave yourself a wedge into a well guarded green. But give me accuracy over an extra dozen or so yards any day.

As amateur golfers we’re far more likely to hit greens from 150 yards from the fairway with a 7/8 iron than we are with a wedge from 120 with the ball in 6” rough.

I’d say my best and most consistent clubs are the 8-PW - set at 45 degrees

I think I’m significantly worse with higher lofts and obvs 6 irons and longer clubs

I paid a lot for my new driver - it gives me so much more confidence and I don’t regret it. Without claiming expertise, I ‘think’ that though we know drivers are maxed, it is the shaft and launch conditions that is important in the fitting

Having said that, I also found the Callaway Max LS to have so much less spin than any other driver I tested - and more distance
 

HomerJSimpson

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I'm a short hitter - averaging around 210 or so and anything that could give me a guaranteed 10-15 yards would be a godsend. However I am realistic enough to know that it is still dependent on me putting a competent swing on the thing and making a decent contact. Therein lies the problem. I can hit anything well or bad so am I going to see the benefits long term
 

evemccc

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And it's true, but a new driver isn't going to make much difference. Real gains require effort .

I would argue that a well-fit driver and shaft from a good fitter would make a decent difference over a generic one…maybe the good shots of both wouldn’t be too different but it’s minimising the bad shots

Which I think is what most amateur / mid handicap golfers benefit from
 

Crow

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If you want to be closer to the green, save a lot of money and play off the forward tees.

One of the reasons I was getting disillusioned with golf was that we're all hitting the ball too far, short irons and wedges into greens gets a bit boring and we miss out on the challenge of long irons and fairway woods. By watching more tournament golf and YouTube Pros we think long distances are the norm and hitting par fives in two is how it should be.

And I think as handicap golfers we've become obsessed with getting as low a handicap as possible, all we can gain by gaining distance with technology is a lower handicap, not a greater skill level.
Once that handicap has adjusted itself to your new distances you've gained nothing in terms of development, just a lower number. Developing your golfing ability is surely the most satisfying way to improve rather than buying distance?
 

clubchamp98

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Even with a fitted driver we still hit bad shots .
Ams swings are inconsistent.
Straighter drives give you more distance anyway as your not in the rough.
Same goes for the short irons we still miss now and again.
But small advantages all add up but it’s not just the driver.
 

Boomy

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I'm not so sure that we all are. Why buy a Ferrari when the speed limit in this country is 70? Because of the attraction of nice things, and new drivers are nice things.

I think that people get sucked into the marketing hype but only for so long, they slowly come to realise that drivers are in deed maxed out, with marginal gains by manufacturers in speed across the face and in MOI with weight displacement.

The real gains come from a fitting which will get you into the most suitable shaft and the optimum launch conditions, but most of us buy used and fitting sessions for used clubs are not the norm.

Lessons are great, at the time, but you need a pair of eyes constantly confirming that you are actually doing what you think you are doing out of sight behind your back. So lessons every week?

For me the key is practise. Find a few keys and focus on them while practising, and of course don't neglect the short game.


Distance is great, I appreciate that more and more as I watch a regular playing partner blast it 50 yards past me and hit wedge in to my mid-iron. How you achieve distance gains will be different for everyone and if you don't already have that optimised driver then finding it, whether by design or by stumbling across it would be one of the keys to unlocking it. Just need to improve that 100 yards and in wedge play now.

All very valid points, I'd just like to highlight a really key one for me - lessons and practice there after: I was having a lesson, then going away practising what I thought was right, then back for the follow up lesson and being told I was nowhere near doing it as prescribed! The game changer for me was buying a tripod (and phone remote to start filming) to put my phone on to film my practice strokes. I was never a smash 100 balls down the range type of practiser, I always take my time and focus on the job in hand but filming the strokes helps me make every one count, I can film it, review it, correct it and review progress - it has made a massive difference, huge in fact. The best money (£12) i've spent on anything for golf, its a game changer and a gift for practice which will just keep giving. Now i'm confident that i'm on track between lessons and getting the best value I can out of my actual lessons rather than just going back to do the same thing. My coach is superb at making it clear where I need to be and sending me images to use as reference point.
 

Banchory Buddha

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Not really unless its some ancient thing. Little has changed in the last 10/15 years.
Money would be much better spent on lessons and practice.
Sorry, that's just not true.

the reason I even went for a fitting was due to a mate who swapped out a 5 or so year old driver, and was suddenly smashing it 30 yards past me, whereas he was a consistent 0-5 yards ahead of me for as many years as I can recall. So I read all the latest bumf, and went for a fitting myself. I was certainly looking at the G425, but it spun like a tory minister, there was no gain over what I was using, then I got the LST in myhands, and there was that magical 15 yards. And yes my last driver was fitted too, and not with a stock shaft.

Year on year there's little to be gained, but miss a few years and for sure there's gains in there. Is it 15 yards, probably not, but it's there for sure.
 
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