Would you rather be faced with a 100 yard shot from the deep rough or a 150 yard shot from the middle of the fairway? Well, if you're anything like me, you prefer to hit your approach shots from the short grass. A lot of players sacrifice accuracy by swinging as hard as they can to maximize their distance, but more often than not, the reward wasn't worth the risk.
A. Rudy recently watched a long drive competition on the Golf Channel and wondered if there was anything we could learn from it. The men and women who compete in those contests certainly have some impressive abilities with the driver. Some of them even have solid short games and are very good players, but if there's one thing we can learn from watching, it's that accuracy trumps power.
I just viewed a show on the Golf Channel on regional long drive contests leading to the world championship. In addition to showing the competition and getting information about the contestants, there was a segment from the Titleist Performance Institute that explained how the contestants got their incredible power. From your viewpoint, is there anything that the average golfer can learn from that? First of all, they only need to get one long drive out of six in the grid to count. Secondly, the average golfer – particularly the older golfer – either can’t get into the same positions or would hurt themselves trying to do so. However, I do think that the conditioning necessary to achieve maximum swing speed would apply to the PPGS.
I think the most important thing to remember when watching these competitions is that the people participating are incredible athletes, with a lot of power. Many of them are very muscular and are trained to do one thing; hit the ball as hard as they can. They're not worried about their accuracy. Instead, they are only focused on distance, so you shouldn't be modeling your swing after them.
A lot of these competitors suffer intense injuries due to the shear power in which they swing their clubs. Because we want to enjoy this game well into our senior years, it's my advice that you should focus on your accuracy instead of your power.
The thing that most golfers don't realize is that swinging harder doesn't automatically translate to more distance. That's because there's no telling where the ball might end up when you swing at it so hard. Hitting the ball straight down the middle will most likely give you more looks at birdies, because you're able to make contact with the ball crisply, whereas swinging from the rough can lead to anything from a flyer to a chunky monkey.
If you want to keep the ball in play and not put your body at risk of straining and tearing muscles, you can't go 100% all the time. Don't get caught up in the wonderment of long drives. Take a little off and knock it right up the shoot.
Keep the tires on the pavement so you can keep cruising right down the middle of the fairway. Hitting them solid and straight is the best way to have longer drives.
Keep it vertical!
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