"Power" vs. "Length" of golf shots

"Power" vs. "Length" of golf shots

Post by hu.. » Sun, 19 Mar 1995 04:30:42

Here's my weekly rambling, on-no-particular-subject thought concerning my
so-called golf game...

Is it possible to strike the ball powerfully but not hit long shots? How about
vice-versa? In the 10 months I've been learning to play golf, I've reconciled
myself to not hitting the bar very far. My rationalization has been that my
overall game is so weak, by not hitting the ball a long way I'm just keeping
the ball in play better, so no net cost.

Now I'm reconsidering. I notice that when I hit a good, hard 9-iron shot that
goes high, lands and stops on the green (not often) it feels exactly the same
as the occasional good 4-iron that carries 160 yards or so. In addition, the
shots that go further and/or higher also go straighter. I'm not talking about
the weak slice that goes short and right, I'm referring to shots that are
struck squarely, but with no power.

What I'm saying is, my rationalization is wrong. The same thing you do to hit
the ball longer also keep the ball in play more often. This may not be true
for a driver (which I don't hit), I'm talking about irons and full wedges.

I guess my question is this. When I see someone who carries a 5-iron around
130 yards (10 yards shorter than me) but very straight, is it possible they
are hitting with plenty of "power", but something about them just makes the
ball go a shorter distance? For me, a shot that is solid and straight from
a 5-iron with carry at least 140-something yards. The ones that don't carry
that far are also low in trajectory and erratic in direction. The shorter
shots are affected by the wind more than the longer ones (less backspin?),
as well.

My conclusion is to start trying to hit the ball hard. My teacher is also
always telling me to swing harder. I'm guessing that as I try this I may
not suffer a loss of accuracy as I would have thought. If so, it's really
a win-win proposition, eh?