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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Drive for Show...

If ever we were treated to a lesson on why putting is the most important part of the game, whether we like it or not, it was at the Australian PGA last week. We got to watch Adam Scott duel with Greg Chalmers in repeated playoff holes before bowing out with a three putt.

It serves as a reminder for those of us who think we need to hit the ball farther, rather than develop a good short game. Repeatedly, Scott ripped drives down the middle of the fairway, leaving himself only a wedge to the green, while Chalmers hit it at least forty yards shorter and repeatedly missed the fairway, only to chip and putt his way to victory. 

If you can be good at only one thing in this game, make it putting. Ben Hogan, when asked what the three most important clubs in the bag were, named the driver, the wedge and the putter. He named the driver first because he rightly felt that a good drive set up every hole and put you in position to make birdie. However, unless you chip it in, or knock it in on the fly from the fairway, the only club that will make you a birdie is the putter. Just ask Adam Scott.

It may not be fair, but that's just the way it is. A guy who can chip and putt can always put a score on the board, even when the driver is balky. If you have to be good at one thing, make it putting. It may not be sexy, but it's where the money is. 

And yet where do we see the money spent. Where is the emphasis by the club makers. They keep designing drivers and irons designed to hit it farther. I guess Greg Chalmers is living proof that you don't have to be the longest, or even the straightest, not when you can putt.