Driving for Show

The Myth of Putting Prowess

As a seasoned golfer, I’ve heard the old adage “drive for show, putt for dough” thrown around more times than I can count. The implication is that while hitting the ball a mile off the tee may impress your buddies, it’s your ability to roll the rock into the hole that truly determines your score. Well, let me tell you – that saying is about as true as a three-dollar bill. [1]

You see, the folks over at Golf Made Simple have done the math, and the numbers simply don’t lie. According to their research, more strokes are lost with bad drives than with bad putts. That’s right, your driver has a bigger influence on your score than your putter does. Sure, putting is important – after all, you do use that club 30-40 times per round. But when it comes to par setup, the potential to reach the green in regulation is the name of the game. And that, my friends, is largely determined by your tee shots. [1]

Think about it this way – if you had to choose between hitting 10 bad drives or 10 three-putts during a round, which would you take? For me, it’s an easy decision. Those three-putts might sting, but those errant drives are going to cost you way more in the long run. Each topped tee shot that ends up in the drink or the woods is at least a one-stroke penalty, and often leads to even more lost shots as you try to hack your way back to the fairway. Meanwhile, a three-putt is just one extra stroke – no more, no less. [1]

The Art of Driving

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But I practice my putting way more than my driving!” And you know what? You’re not alone. In fact, Golf Made Simple estimates that less than 1 in 1,000 golfers actually practice their putting in a meaningful way. [1] The same goes for the driving range – most players are just mindlessly banging balls, with no real plan or purpose behind their swings.

But not me, my friends. No, I’m a firm believer in the power of the driver, and I’ve put in the work to master it. And let me tell you, the results speak for themselves. When I step up to the tee, I’m not just swinging for the fences – I’m dialed in, focused, and ready to put the ball exactly where I want it.

Take my round at Eagle Ridge Golf Club, for example. This course is no joke – long par-4s and par-5s that demand precision off the tee. But thanks to my consistent driving, I was able to attack the greens in regulation time and time again, leaving myself with makeable birdie putts. Sure, I had a few three-putts along the way, but those were easy to shrug off when I was already safely on the dance floor. [2]

Taming the Beast

Of course, becoming a driving master isn’t as simple as just hitting the range a few times a week. No, it takes a real commitment to the craft – dialing in your setup, perfecting your swing mechanics, and developing a rock-solid mental game. But trust me, it’s worth it.

Take my pre-round routine at Eagle Ridge, for instance. I start by carefully examining the course layout, noting the trouble areas and strategizing my tee shots accordingly. Then it’s off to the range, where I methodically work through my full swing, making sure every move is crisp and deliberate. [2]

And when I finally step up to that first tee, I’m not just swinging blindly. No, I’m visualizing that perfect drive, feeling the club head compress the ball, and watching it soar straight down the fairway. It’s a symphony of technique and mental focus – and let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of flushing that opening shot. [2]

Of course, not every drive is going to be a thing of beauty. Even the best players in the world have their off days. But that’s where my practice and preparation really pay off. When I do miss a fairway, I’m able to quickly diagnose the issue and make the necessary adjustments. Maybe it’s a slight tweak to my grip, or a minor change in my hip rotation – whatever it is, I know how to get back on track without letting one errant shot derail my entire round. [2]

The Proof is in the Scorecard

So, the next time you hear someone touting the virtues of putting prowess, you can politely remind them that the real magic happens off the tee. Sure, sinking those clutch putts is great, but if you can’t consistently get the ball in play off the box, you’re never going to give yourself a chance. [1]

And that’s exactly what I’ve been able to do at Eagle Ridge. By honing my driving skills and developing a repeatable, pressure-proof swing, I’ve been able to shave strokes off my scores time and time again. Par-5s that used to be three-shot holes are now well within my reach in two. Par-4s that once had me sweating are now mere drives and short irons. And those long, demanding par-3s? Well, let’s just say my distance control has never been sharper. [2]

So the next time you find yourself standing on the first tee at Eagle Ridge, remember – it’s not about trying to out-drive your buddies. It’s about putting the ball in the right spot, time and time again, and setting yourself up for success on every hole. Trust me, once you experience the thrill of striping one right down the middle, you’ll never want to go back to that old “drive for show” mentality. [2]

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