When to leave the driver in the bag

Published 26/03/2010 07:37:03

Golfers are obsessed with getting power into their shots. They see pros regularly hitting over 300 yards and want a piece of it. And who could blame them? Long shots not only look great to others, but they feel great.


But how much does long hitting really help?


Consider a 500-yard par 5. Let's say you hit the ball 250 yards with driver and 220 with your 3-wood. Even with the big stick, you won't make the green in two shots. Why not hit a 3-wood 220 that you're more sure will go straight? Then you've got 180-200 yard iron shot and a nice wedge in to the flag. Sure, it's a bit longer than you'd have hit but you've minimised risk.


Minimising risk sometimes works for the pros - remember Tiger Woods' demolition of the field at Royal Liverpool in 2006? He kept the big stick in the bag and hit 48 of 56 fairways over the four days.


Top reasons to drop your errant driver:

  1. You didn't gain that much advantage from it on a long par 5
  2. You're too inconsistent with it
  3. The wind is with you - better to get a 3-wood up in the air
  4. The ground is wet or soggy - in this instance the greater carry of the 3-wood could be beneficial.
  5. When you're nervous, or have a crowd watching, the big stick is the most unforgiving in the bag.


Of course we would never advocate dropping the driver forever - for all of the reasons above you can find the opposite and utilise its full power.


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