Is It Really About More Distance?
Let me start by telling you that today is my birthday. 59!! Wow. Where has the time gone? Oh well, I'm healthy, sane (most of the time) and EIDOLON is entering a very exciting time with new people and facilities, and a very exciting future. I'll also be getting married this fall to the most wonderful woman on the planet, and generally, I'm having more fun than ever. But let's talk golf.

I got the new issue of GOLF Magazine yesterday, and it seems like all the new irons are being sold with claims of massive distance. Just like drivers, huh? Can't the golf equipment industry get more creative than that? How about more trajectory control, distance control? Those are the things that define great iron players . . . and golfers in general actually. Who cares if you can hit a 7-iron 175, if you don’t know where it's going? Or if it goes 175 this time, 160 the next, and 190 on occasion? That isn’t going to lead to lower scores.

Last week, I wrote about the distance to body strength ratio, and I’m going to continue that mathematical analysis of golf today. Work with me here, OK?

I'm comfortable with a 7-iron at about 150 down here by the coast, a little more when I go to higher elevations. I drive the ball about 260-275, depending on roll. So, I hit my 7-iron 58% as far as my driver. If I apply that math to many of the young guns I talk with who claim to hit a 7-iron 175, then their driving distance should average 300+. Think it does? But even if so, then the only par fours that put more than about an 8-iron in their hands are longer than 460 yards. Outside of the PGA Tour, there just aren’t that many of those out there that we have to contend with.

And if that math is correct, then golfers of that length would find a very, very rare occasion to use any iron longer than a 5, right? And that would be the second shot on most par 5 holes. So, why wouldn't a very long hitter like that carry a driver and four wood, about a 21 degree hybrid, then 5 thru 9 irons and at least five wedges?

OK, so here's another challenge for you, like the short game test I offered last month. The next time you are out for a round of golf that is just practice/learning, do this. After each drive, pick up your ball and walk it 15 yards further. Whether in the fairway or rough, just move the ball 15 yards further down the same line. And play in from there. See how many strokes an extra 15 yards would mean to you.

And then, before you decide a new driver is your ticket for 2011, ask yourself this? "Do you really think any driver on today’s market is really 15 yards longer than anyone else’s competitive model?"

* The Wedge Guy's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.

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[ comments ]
crimsondaze says:
I have used 4 different drivers in the last 18 months, Callaway, Taylormade, Cleveland and none has made a difference in handicap. I hit all the same.
el_pato_real says:
I think long irons are great. If you can generate enough swing speed to get them in the air, and have enough control to hit the ball close to the middle of the club face, I think they are way better than hybrids. For one thing, you can control trajectory a lot better with long irons...a reason Terry has said blade-like irons for short irons would be a good idea. A nice, easy swing with a 3 iron off the tee on a short par 4 with a lot of wind usually ends up being just what the doctor ordered.
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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