When your golf is feeling a little rusty or you had a bad rounds the response is usually to hit the driving range and smash some balls as hard and far as you can using your driver or woods. Conversely amateurs spend almost no time practicing their putting, there is no glamour in holing a ball on a practice green from 25 feet with nobody watching. Get in a driving range lane and you are surrounded by others of varying skill, most whacking balls as hard and fast as they can. Not to be out done it is tempting to get your biggest baddest club out and try and beat your driving range neighbours distance. In reality maybe half of your driving range balls go relatively straight and only a handful reach a reasonable distance.
In reality when you get on the course your drives will still be wayward, even if you're getting some impressive distances with the added bonus of occasionally hitting the fairway if you are 4+ putting your overall stroke score will still be on the high side. I see this week in week out, my drives tend to be on the shorter side with the result of being at least 2 over regulation onto the green, but I'm confident with my putting that I can hole it in 2 strokes. My fellow players do the huge drive being on the green in regulation more often than not but they are going to take at least 4 putts to hole to ball. We all end up with a 6 each, such is the nature of the beast.
We often all admire each other’s driving prowess and putting skills and with the inevitable difference I think this is where the expression drive for show and putt for dough gets used most during amateur play. In reality you don't drive for show and putt for dough it's all about the long game that matters where every shot counts. Having said that I still believe that one of the fastest ways to reduce your stroke count is improved putting and I've manged to drop form an average of 4 putts per hole to 2 putts. The rest of my game hasn’t changed but at least I can now focus on my driving and fairway swing only because I have more confidence in my putting. Following on from this piece perhaps next time I’ll cover thoughts on distance vs. accuracy.
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