The Long and Short of Golf

There is nothing I like better than hearing a fishing story evolve over the years. You know, the story of the 2 pound pickerel that grew to 6 pounds and took 45 minutes to get into the boat. I need to refine my remarks and say I like nothing better than hearing a fish story, except for a golf tale!

I enjoy hearing how far amateurs hit the ball and explain that distance is never their issue. They can hit a 5-iron like the pros, but have a bit of a challenge putting. So, their game is not quite as sharp as it should be; have you ever experienced this?

Let’s begin with distance. This is the poll I took just a few days ago:

I found it very interesting that 69% of the respondents hit the ball over 300 yards. Personally, I have hit the ball over 300 yards a few times in my career, but not very often. If I poke a solid drive down the middle, it is usually in the 280 to 290 range. Generally, I am around 240 to 250 yards off the tee. I realize I am not a big hitter, but I am 4 handicap and I know my distances, so when someone says they can really boom the ball, I am a like:

It is the fish story all over again! I understand that many amateurs can spin a tall tale and I have been known to spin a few in my day, but I find it difficult to believe that someone who rarely plays can hit a really long ball. It is possible, but not very probable. Generally, I nod, smile and offer to play golf with them, but that rarely happens.

So, for all the long hitters who think they really boom the ball, grab a distance measuring device and come back to reality. It is not a bad thing that we do not hit the ball like the pros because scoring is all about the short game.

The second poll I sent out to cyber space dealt with the number of putters one owns.  I was wondering one morning just how many putters a person owns. I recently purchased my second after 25 years with my original. So, I figured two was a reasonable amount.

As you can see, I fit into my expectations. I can even understand 3 or 4, but 7 or more! That seems like an awful lot of putters. I am thinking that if you are replacing your putter every year or so, then maybe it is time to save your cash and take a couple of putting lessons.

As I tell golfers who chase the next big club, a poor swing is still a poor swing regardless of the equipment. Save yourself a few hundred dollars and talk to your local professional!

Your short game around and on the green is where the most strokes are saved. Good equipment is important, however understanding mechanics and grooving a consistent swing is more important. The choice is up to you.

There you have it: the long and short of golf. Over the years, the stories I hear at the 19th hole have not changed much: most amateurs think they hit the ball farther than they do and buying new putters appears to be a sport. Regardless, I find most of the stories entertaining and enjoy listening to them grow!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

4 thoughts on “The Long and Short of Golf

  1. Well, your distance question doesn’t say normal driving distance it says longest drive. If you play enough and experience enough courses and conditions, I’d guess it’s possible. Just not likely to see it when you play with them. Like mine. I’ve mentioned that my longest drive was just a few feet shy of 400 yards, but again, that was with a hurricane going by out in the Gulf bringing winds above the tree level that must have got close to or over 90 mph and from a tee box that was elevated almost to the top of the trees on the fairway. I’ve lived in the area for 40 years, and only played in a hurricane once because it was only safe and not pouting down rain once.

    But I’ve also played a couple of courses in the mountains while vacationing that have holes that make a 300+ yarder not such a big deal too due to the major elevation changes and the fact that they are already over 4k feet above sea level. As for normal distances, I was at around 280 for a good drive when I was hitting the draw but I wasn’t all that accurate doing it. Especially after it morphed from a pretty little 6 foot draw to a monster draw that had me aiming at least 15 degrees right to get it to come back to the fairway. Today it’s more like 260 for a good drive on flat ground with no breeze helping. And that’s a nice change because for a couple of months recently I was hitting them so high I was barely making 240 on the best of my drives. That was a frustrating few months for me. And I’m thankful it’s in the past finally. This week, on Monday I managed to reach 290 one time with a (reported) 17 mph wind behind me and from a close to 30 foot elevated tee. It kind of shocked me to see one again even with the breeze behind me it’s been so long. And it felt especially good as I had a little gallery of the course employees who were out taking a break watching. It seems like forever since I’ve hit one that well even with help from the breeze.

    And for the putter question I’m one of those who have probably at least 7 or 8 putters sitting around the house. Two are old cheap putters I never pick up any more from my beginning days of playing over 2 decades ago. A couple were gifts from well meaning non-golfers who had no idea how personal the choice of putters are, and I have one cheapy left hander I bought to experiment with because I am left handed and wanted to see if switching over might help, one long belly putter (because I just had to give one a real try), one mallet given me by Bobby Grace (he’s a putter manufacturer who’s local that I ran into at a sort of famous local restaurant my mother in law worked at and who just so happened to have gone to school with my wife I found out that day) and then the one I actually use today. None of the ones I don’t use are worth anything so they just sit in a box in a corner of the garage with other old clubs I’ve discarded from my bag over the years or collected one way or another.

    There’s a couple of partial old wedge sets where I lost one and replaced the whole set, a couple of ancient persimmon drivers my neighbor collected then left at my house when he moved, a set of older Adams tight lies fairway woods (3,5,& 7) I took those out of the bag after my lesson because I wanted to work on all my irons with the new swing changes. Another 3 wood I have no idea where it came from that has a weird shaft that is two pieces. And a couple of stock driver shafts I had switched out that make good alignment rods when practicing. And then there’s my first set of custom fit clubs (Cobra 3100 I/H I bought about 12 years ago and replaced last year). Plus there’s 3 or four other drivers 1 of which I actually used before the one in my bag. The others were just left here from when I had the net in the backyard and friends would come over to get in some free practice. A Cobra, a Ping and two with no names. There were a few more clubs, but I gave those away to beginners I met to fill out their bags with. I’d toss most of the ones still in there, but I never seem to remember when I actually have room in the garbage can the city makes us use and they hide behind my yard tools so I hardly ever see them.

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