One of the things that amazes me when I stand on the tee, as a starter, is the number of players that religiously reach for their drivers, regardless of the hole, weather conditions or their abilities.
It is almost an addiction to having to hit the driver from each and every tee, with the obvious exception of a short par 3.
As a golf coach I have to ask the question why?
I have yet to come up with definitive answer which satisfies me. I constantly go round in circles trying to find a reason for this phenomenon that has appeared on golf courses throughout the world.
I have often thought that it is down to the tour professionals that have in recent years become so famous for their incredible distance, which when you take a look at the driving stats, is not actually that much of an increase.
But this still doesn’t explain the reliance on the driver for the amateur. Amateurs, that regularly complain about their woes from the tee with the driver.
My thoughts then turn to the length of the holes, maybe amateur golfers feel that they can not reach a standard par 4 in regulation if they do not hit their drivers. But again this makes no sense as the average handicap is around 20, meaning they have an extra shot on each hole. This then leads me to what I believe is the reason that many amateurs feel obliged to hit the driver from the tee. This reason is ego.
This ego means that golfers believe that hitting anything other than a driver from the tee is a sign of weakness, a sign that they are not confident in their own abilities. It makes you feel inferior when your friend in the four ball strides onto the tee of the tightest hole on the golf course with their driver.
Yet your ego will cause you as many problems as your mate´s ego. It will cost you shots when there is no reason to lose them.
It is worth noting that the average amateur actually only achieves around 8 meters, yes just 8 meters, more distance with their driver than their 3 wood. However the accuracy they have with their 3 woods is around 20% more accurate than with their driver.
These figures should ring alarm bells with those of you that are hunting in the woods and scrub for your tee shot.
I am not suggesting for one minute that you should all throw your driver in the back of the shed and hit 3 wood off of every single tee. What I am saying is that you should look to your 3 wood more often. Use it to ensure that you hit the fairway, give yourself the chance to keep the ball in play on the tightest of holes.
Consider the advantages of using a 3 wood over a driver.
Until Next Time,
The Golf Swing Doctor