Drive Farther or Putt Better?

2015-08-18 10.27.55

Do golfers have diverging views on this subject?

We may have to change our perspective of what we perceive is most important in making golf more enjoyable. There is a belief that longer is better, which may not be in golf’s best interests.

Would you like to drive the ball farther or putt better? Which will lower your score more and/or give you a greater sense of achievement?

Please let us know what you believe will help you continue to, or even enhance, your enjoyment of this unique and wonderful game.

Please share your thoughts below.

Frank & Valerie

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18 thoughts on “Drive Farther or Putt Better?

  1. For me over a lifetime of golf it’s a no-brainer – ‘sinking putts’ is wayy more fun And better for your score than hitting drives a little longer. I get much more ‘buzz’ out of sinking a 20 footer center-cut than hitting a booming drive.

  2. This great game is a lot more fun when you hit the ball, especially a long, straight drive. If you want to do some serious scoring, then you must putt well. A poor or a so-so drive can be made up with a good second or even a third shot, be it a fairway wood, a utility, or an iron, to salvage the hole. So, to me this is strictly up to the individual on which takes precedence: fun or scoring. Ideally one can achieve both, but statistically the majority of us is not a low or scratch player. Once again, everything is relative…? ^_^

  3. The old adage is still true “Drive for show, putt for dough”. Give me better putting stats, and the driver can be worked around.

  4. If you’re asking what I’d like better, I’d like to drive more accurately (which would result in usable length). While putting can make up half of your strokes in a round, and you might only hit the driver 10-12 times, I don’t necessarily buy into the “drive for show, putt for dough” argument, because everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and everybody plays different courses and conditions.

    For example, I’m a pretty decent putter and don’t lose many strokes on the green. Nevertheless, considering the conditions of the greens in my New York area public courses, anything outside of 10 feet that goes in has a lot of luck involved as the surfaces aren’t as pristine as they might be elsewhere. If I constantly played on perfect and fast greens, my story might change.

    At the same time, an errant drive can do more damage than a 3 putt in many cases. If a drive goes out of bounds, I’ve lost two strokes on the hole, turning a par on the second ball into a double bogey. Meanwhile, a 3 putt is only going to cost me 1 stroke. I’d also argue that hitting a bad drive forces players into riskier 2nd shots as there’s only so much “taking your medicine” that most players can tolerate. Trying to recover with a hero shot typically carries more risk with it in terms of strokes lost missing a 3 footer…those seldom ricochet into a pond or hit trees. In fact, I’ve never hit a tree with a putt. (adding that to the bucket list).

    To sum up, I think it depends on the status of the rest of your game. If you’re consistently hitting fairways off the tee and are typically on or around the green in regulation, making more putts in the 5′-10′ range is one of the ways you can improve. If, however, you’re struggling from the tee, worrying about a 3 putt when you’re already at or over par on the hole is less of a concern.

    One last thing: I see more people screwing up their scores with bad chipping, pitching and sand shots than anything else. Not sure why we have to have a binary choice between driving and putting when there are so many wonderful ways to screw up a hole inside of 50 yards.

  5. Golf fortunately can be played well into our latter years, when length off the tee diminishes and may not be fully compensated by moving to forward tees. Putting skills can be maintained and even improved – definitely more important in my book

  6. The object of Golf is to get the ball in the hole. Ben Hogan, a notoriously poor putter in later years, wrote that the drive was the most important shot because it set up how the rest of the hole is played. Paul Runyon could barely hit the ball out of his shadow but won many events, including (I believe) a PGA championship because he could almost literally get up and down from the ball washer. Walter Hagen said “3 of them and one of those make par”. To me, putting isn’t important until you get to the green, then it is all important. As a prior post mentioned we should all play appropriate tees. If we don’t, it doesn’t matter what we do because we won’t score well regardless. As for distance, the old adage is that the woods are full of long drives and a good putter is a fair match for anyone. The corollary to that might be that a bad putter is a match for no one.

  7. Call me greedy, but I’d like to improve both my driving, distance and accuracy, as well as my putting performance. Longer drives that more often find the fairway will leave me shorter clubs into the greens, which I hope will lessen the length of the first putts and thereby increase my make percentage. I already have a Frog in my bag, so next spring I plan to demo a twist-face driver in hopes of tightening the dispersion, even tho it would violate my brand loyalty to the Bertha folks (even buying the Frog carried that angst LOL, but it was a good decision).

  8. Frank & Valerie- Drives of less than 300 yards & in the fairway that provide open access to the green for second or third shots that can have a higher percentage of two putting is better course management than booming it into the trees or the adjacent fairway & eliminating your chances to score. The layouts don’t need to be 7-8000 yards long,but 6500 yards is more playable for most players since only a tiny percentage of us are professional golfers.
    Thanks-Greg Kimball

  9. I believe you will lower your scores with improved putting.
    a 3-foot putt counts the same as a 300-yard drive. Not many of us can hit a 200-yard drive, but we can all improve our putting.

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