The Long Ball
There’s no question that golfers and golf fans have become enamored with “the long ball”. Most industry advertising activity is centered around drivers and hitting it further. Or golf balls that go longer. Irons lofts are being continuously cranked down to give golfers the impression that this new iron model’s 7-iron is a full club longer than the others.
On television, announcers are continually talking about how far so-and-so hit that drive, or that he’s hitting an 8-iron approach from 175 or some such silly number. Hitting 5-irons or less to par-fives has become a normal thing on the PGA Tour. But is all this good for golf? Or more importantly, your golf?
I’m going to say “no”, actually. I think the overwhelming focus on “the long ball” is hurting golf participation in general and junior golf in particular. The tour professionals are hitting the ball miles due to several factors:
I’ll offer as proof that junior golf is suffering is the situation in my own home town -- Victoria, Texas. When I was in high school, growing up in this area, there were dozens of kids in this and surrounding towns who could break 80 all the time. In my small high school of 700 students, we had 8-10 who could.
But today, in our town of 60,000. . . three high school golf programs . . . we have ONE kid that can shoot in the 70s consistently. ONE. And these kids have access to two private clubs and their driving ranges, practice greens and courses. Every day.
To me, the focus on the long ball just might be the number one threat to the game. What do you think?
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I agree 100%. Everyone gets caught up in distances no matter what the level of play is. I'm just a recreational golfer myself, but I'm focusing more on hitting crisp, clean shots with consistent yardage everytime I hit that club. This is only my 3rd year playing and my last two rounds I posted a 90 and a 98. Both rounds, my putts were under 40. Missing a 2 foot putt counts just as much as hitting the ball 300 yards. All that distance doesn't mean anything if you can't finish up ON THE GREEN. People seem to forget that you'll be playing wedges and putter more than any other club each round. Fun is being around the green and having all these option with all the different wedges. That's the art in golf.
when you get older you get wiser when I first started out playing golf I used to try and smash it of the planet but with age came the thought process, these days I concentrate on accuracy , all I want to do is zone in on the pin.
Do you know what golf is , trying to hit a ball 1.68 inches in diameter resting on another ball 8000 miles in diameter , you have got to hit the smaller one
It's tru that the skill in golf is short game but the person that can just hit the fairway 225 250 yards away has the advantage over someone like myself who has trouble hitting 200 yards and the green is always 3 shots away unless its a short 4 and if its a 600 yarder par 5 like our clubs 10th then 6 to the green is a dream I've yet to achieve.
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