Every golfer wants to hit the ball 300 yards off the tee. I know I would love to have that long ball distance, but alas it is not possible. There is a misnomer about what hitting the long ball actually means. I average 240 yards off the tee on a good day, but generally it is closer to 230 yards. Keeping driving distances in perspective, hitting a long ball for me would be 260 yards. Periodically, I am able to poke one out that really travels. I wish I could do it all the time, however it does not seem to be possible. Therefore, for my game, 260 yards is a long ball. But what does that mean in the big scheme of my golf game?
As an amateur golfer, I think most players have much higher expectations about their ability to hit the long ball than they actually can. This divergence leads to challenges to many players games. Expecting to be a shorter distance on their approach shot, they develop a sense of frustration that they are hitting the ball as far as they should. When actually they are hitting their “long ball” and should be developing their course management strategies based on that distance instead of something they think they should hit.
I realize this is not what amateurs want to hear, but it is the truth based on my understanding of what the “long ball” is really about. It is different for each player and has a different connotation to relating to their game. It is unrealistic to think that every player has the ability to hit the ball way down the fairway every time. The sooner amateurs make that mental switch to understand their capabilities off the tee, the quicker their game will move in a positive direction.
Over the last few years I have tried to extend my average “long ball” distance to no avail. So, I have decided to accept that I cannot hit the “long ball” regularly. I have accepted that my off the tee distance is starting to dwindle; hence my course management strategy must change. Fortunately, to date, it has not affected my scores because the other parts of my game have stepped up. Mostly, I have adjusted my mental approach to the shorter distance of the tee and that is the my way forward.
If you are having struggles with your “long ball” distance and are filling frustrated; it might be time to look at the mental aspect of your game.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!