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Monday, 12 September 2016

Drive for Show?

It was apparently the great South African player, Bobby Locke, who first said, "You drive for show and putt for dough."  He was perhaps the best putter we've ever known, and certainly the best putter of his era.  

The putter is definitely the great equalizer.  It can cover a multitude of sins.  But the driver is pretty important as well.  I really found that out yesterday playing in an inter-club event against some younger guys who hit it forty and fifty yards by me all day.  I was really up against it, hitting rescue clubs into greens they were reaching with a wedge or nine iron.  

I lost one match four and three, the other one down, and halved the other.  But it was a real eye opener for someone who has routinely argued that length isn't that big a deal.  On one par three, 167 yards over a hazard, I used a 28 degree eleven wood, knowing I'd better hit it solid.  My opponents hit wedge and nine irons.  They found the green.  I found a bunker.  

It was hard to accept, but it looks like I'm no longer really able to play with the flat-bellies.  Two forty off the back tees doesn't very easily get it done against guys hitting it 280 plus.  If you chip and putt like a fiend, and they don't, you might have half a chance, but over time they are going to beat you with their wedge verses your five iron.  

So you don't just drive for show.  Power is a big advantage for the player who can control it.  And I'm afraid that, with my back and neck, even Hank Haney won't be able to have me hitting it thirty yards farther.  I'm going to be a short-knocker from now on and, more often than not, those flat-bellies are going to wear me out.

It's hell getting old.  But, as far as I know, it beats the alternative.