LONG DRIVES ARE OVER-RATED

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - The Locker Room -

Watch­ing the pros on tele­vi­sion can be a spec­ta­cle. Most of them are able to hit their drives over 280 me­tres, and the av­er­age golfer thinks they need to do the same in or­der to im­prove their scores. How­ever, they do not have the power or tech­nique to do so and of­ten end up dis­ap­pointed with the game.

Dis­tance is a great as­set but is not ev­ery­thing in golf. Keep­ing the ball in the fair­way and play­ing the hole to your own abil­ity is what is re­quired to make a good score on a hole. The key for most club golfers is to elim­i­nate the dou­ble bo­gey. There are holes that de­mand a driver off the tee, but most cour­ses (off the club tees) are not long. This is where you should con­sider us­ing a 3-wood, res­cue or iron off the tee. Hit­ting driver may bring haz­ards or dan­ger into play, and can be an in­con­sis­tent club.

The par-4 12th at Glen­dower, home of the SA Open, is a su­perb ex­am­ple of plan­ning how to play a hole to your ca­pa­bil­i­ties, as there are dif­fer­ent ways to play it. The creek that flows di­ag­o­nally down the left hand side makes the tee shot cru­cial. Un­less you can carry the wa­ter, a wiser de­ci­sion is to play for a per­fect layup dis­tance into the green. That’s the se­cret to not mak­ing a big score at No 12, and will save you a lot of frus­tra­tion.

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