Wait, what? Distance is what separates the best players in the world from the rest of the pack. Well, yes and no. If you were able to watch the PGA Championship last week you got to see 23 year old rising star, Collin Morikawa, put on a display of old fashioned good golf. He was able to beat a leaderboard filled with some of the longest hitters in the game even though Collin is about average in length off the tee by PGA Tour standards.
With players like Cameron Champ and Tony Finau bombing the ball off the tee and, of course, Bryson DeChambeau repeatedly hitting prodigious drives, many players are becoming very focused on distance. Don’t get me wrong, distance is good, but only if you can control the golf ball. Morikawa was able to win the first major of 2020 by leading the field in the all but forgotten statistic of driving accuracy, proximity to the hole, and strokes gained putting. And the truth is that, although Morikawa hits the ball average length off the tee, he is actually ranked third in strokes gained tee to green for the season.
We know that the trend on the PGA Tour is for players to hit the ball longer and longer, but it’s the ones who have an intelligent plan to work on ball control that will rise to the top. Hitting the ball out of the rough is still a disadvantage as Collin Morikawa proved to us last week.
So if you are working on getting more distance off the tee, you should be doing the right exercises in the gym, and working on the right things in your golf swing that will allow you to find maximum speeds and control.