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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The Power Game

I just read another article on the supposedly huge advantage the long hitter enjoys in the game of golf.  Somehow, many golfers never seem to figure out the fact that, as Harvey Penick said, "The woods are full of long drivers."

This past week we saw Henrik Stenson lead the Tour Championship for two days giving up thirty yards off the tee to use his magic three wood which kept him in the fairway.  It turned into a two horse race between Stenson and Spieth, an average length player who ground out the win, despite some shaky ball striking, with his short game and a hot putter.  

Power is obviously an advantage in this game.  But only if that power comes with control and a good short game.  If power, or distance, was the most important part of the game, Bubba and DJ would be winning all the Majors.  This year, we saw Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson, both average length hitters, win the first three Majors.  Only Jason Day prevailed in a Major using power and finesse to beat Spieth at the PGA.  Without a hot putter, Day would have never beaten Spieth.

Jordan Spieth is great for the game.  He is helping to prove the old adage, you drive for show and putt for dough.  An average length driver, Spieth was in the hunt at every Major, won twenty two million dollars and five tournaments...  I think it's time to realize that golf is about managing your game and getting the ball in the hole in the fewest possible strokes.  For most amateurs, that would probably mean, not getting longer off the tee, but developing a solid short game.