One thing we learned at this year’s Masters Tournament is that driving distance is important as long as you can control it. Case in point, Bryson DeChambeau’s flame out, swinging for the fences in this year’s event.
After bulking up to 240 lbs. and winning the U.S. Open, it only seems natural to wonder how far he could go with adding yardage off the tee. Maybe we have seen the limit for competition. We all watch long drive contests on TV where these guys routinely hit it over 400 yards. To do that they typically need multiple attempts to get one ball in play. Obviously, that is not conducive to optimum scoring in tournament play.
Don’t get me wrong. Dustin Johnson hits it deep and that helps him go low. It only works, however, if his ball striking and putting are dialed-in as well. We all watched Sungjae Im put on a short game clinic this year and finish second behind Johnson while routinely being 20-30 yards behind him off the tee. If he eliminated some mental errors early in the round, the result may have been closer. Another example is Bernhard Langer who at the age of 63 finished 3 under and one shot ahead of DeChambeau. Langer accomplished this with an average driving distance of 260 yards, 77 yards behind DeChambeau who averaged 337 yards off the tee!
For the average golfer, the point we are making is that while driving distance can help, good ball striking and putting will win more matches. Our advice to you is to spend less time swinging as hard as you can with your driver on the practice range and spend more time on your short game. For inspiration replay Sungjae Im’s birdie from behind the 15th hole at Augusta this year and you’ll see what we mean.