With the length of golf courses steadily increasing over the last twenty years, most golfers are desperately searching for that extra 10 or 15 yards off the tee and will try almost anything to find it. Equipment companies have taken note and know exactly how to exploit the current state of the game. Nearly every driver on the market is touting gains in club head speed and distance, lighter and longer shafts and premium golf balls are flying off the shelves. But, is longer always better? In a word, no. Just because a driver gives you the most potential distance doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best option for your golf game. Sometimes, that potential distance comes with a cost, and it is usually accuracy and consistency off the tee. For example, a forty-six inch driver may have a home-run ball sleeping in its arsenal, but could also be tougher to hit the sweet spot and consequently the fairway, a forty-five-inch driver could produce a more reliable, predictable ball flight, but might not have the home-run potential or the volatility of the forty-six inch driver. Besides the psychological impact the forty-six inch driver can have on your game, there is also hard data from the PGA Tour to show you why accuracy and consistency still matter, even in today’s game. On the PGA Tour the proximity to the hole from the fairway from 150-175 yards is twenty-seven feet, the proximity to the hole from the rough from 100-125 yards is thirty feet, what does this mean? It means that PGA Tour Players are hitting it closer from 150-175 yards in the fairway than 100-125 yards in the rough! You cannot win the hole with a drive, but you most certainly can lose it and sometimes chasing that home-run ball can actually hurt your chances instead of helping them!
Further is Always Better, Right?
Nick Novak, PGA
Director of Coaching