So a question was posed to on a message board. It was “Would you rather hit drives of 300 yards down the middle every time or make everything within 10 feet.” Each one of these will give you a big benefit obviously. I just want to figure out which one would do the most good. We all know the phase “Drive for Show and Putt for Dough”
With my last round I said putting would have helped me go low. For me it really depends on how the round goes. In this past round I could have used 10-15 foot putts falling all day. In previous rounds getting off the tee box would have helped. When I looked back on my past rounds I found some interesting items that may make me give an answer that mmost wouldnt.
Drive for Show
In my past 5 rounds I have taken 13 penalty shots.That comes to 2.6 strokes per round. That may not seem like much but that truly is a large number. This also doesnt include the drive that ends up in the woods that I have to punch out. This is strickly lost balls. When accounting for that I am looking at yet another stroke lost. This can add up to another 1 or 2 strokes. Now we are at around 5 strokes per round. Thats the difference between mid 80’s and high 70’s. Statistics also say that the closer you are to the hole the closer you will end up to the hole. That probably sounds pretty obvious. Getting closer to hole would possibly negate being a bad putter. If i am closer to the hole it can elimatinate a few putts. Now I am lowering my score by maybe another 3 or 4 putts. Also when I miss a green I will be missing it by less. Making an easier chip. This can allow me to chip it closer and reduce putts again.
Putt for Dough
Anyone who has played with me would tell you the worst part of my game is putting. Im terrible at it and it hurts my game and scores. I cant line up putts, I cant make a consistent stroke, and I cant judge speed at all. I would love to just walk up to a green and know its going in. The big thing for me is wondering if I can save strokes. What I mean is how often will I get it to 10-15 feet from an iron. If I miss a green I will have to hit it close. I feel I would still 2 putt quite a few greens. This would save me the occasional 3 putt. I would get the occasional savings on putts that I wouldnt make. The average amateur makes 31% of putts from 10-15 feet. Increasing that to 100 percent would be very nice. Again my only question is how many of those do I face in a round. I dont believe its very many. Getting up and down would be much easier.
After looking at the stats I think I would go with the driver. I know this doesnt seem to fit the narrative of drive for show and putt for dough. I believe for your average amateur driving for dough would fit better. If it takes you 6 to get onto the green it doesnt really matter if you can 1 putt. I think on the tour that phrase is perfect. On tour everyone can hit it far. Some further than others but what makes a big difference for them is the ability to putt. Since not everyone on the course is long distance and control off the tee would bring the most benefit