Accuracy, Distance or Course Management?
On the back deck of the country club the other afternoon, the talk turned to drivers and driving distance vs. accuracy. I listened to several of our members banter about the subject, brought about because Victoria Country Club is a demanding driving course – it has narrow, tree lined fairways with heavy Bermuda rough -- but it’s not overly long for the most part. Finally, the conversation turned to how to get more out of a driver – distance- and accuracy-wise. So the attention turned to me as "the golf club guy".
[Since today’s post isn’t directly from a reader, I’m going to tell you how you might win a FREE V-SOLE wedge at the end.]
I preach over and over that the surest way to add 5-15% to your average driving distance is . . . hit the ball with the middle of the face! Even with the big drivers, a ½” miss will cost you 7-9%, and a 1" miss increases that to 12-15%. No golfer can make that up with clubhead speed. We’ve all experienced that drive or two a round that just went forever. Well, you didn’t just crank up your clubhead speed on that one – you hit it in the middle of the face. So then, and only then, did you get the optimum efficiency from your swing. And the surest way to do that is to grip down on your driver about 2" or so, where you can make better contact with the ball.
But there’s more to optimum driving than ball/club contact. I challenged the guys that they were missing fairways because they were driving into the narrow parts of the course which the architect designed to challenge and punish long hitters. Ours was designed in the 1920s and redesigned in the early 1980s, when equipment technology was well short of what it is now. So, when you examine the par 4s and 5s at Victoria Country Club, you find that about 20 yards back from that narrow, intimidating section of the hole where your drives find the rough more often than not . . . . is a nice wide, friendly part of the hole where the architect determined that most players would play their approach shots from.
Hmmmm. What a concept – analyzing how to play a hole by looking at what the architect probably had in mind when he designed and built the hole in the first place. I find that paying more attention to the course architecture can pay big dividends when you are trying to score better. And it’s fun, too. Since I’ve really started paying attention to this aspect of course management, I’m hitting lots more fairways and greens, and enjoying more of the golf experience.
I’ve written before that your GIR percentage will be much better with a 6-iron from the middle of the fairway than a punch out of the trees from 20 yards closer. And if you will look at your favorite courses differently . . . through the architect’s eyes . . . you might find a whole new experience, and lower scores are in store for you.
Now, about that FREE V-SOLE wedge. All you have to do is send an email to me via the "Ask Terry" link below. I’ll pull a name from the hat on Friday and announce the winner. And I’ll have a very special surprise for all the rest of you who send me your email to enter this drawing.
See you Friday.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.
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