Thursday, February 17, 2011

Investing in putters versus drivers

Why do so many golfers pay hundreds to thousands of dollars each year on the latest drivers and they totally skimp on their putters?

It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Here are a few things to think about when it comes to driving versus putting.

·      As of today, February 17, 2011 the current putting leader on the PGA tour for the 2011 season is Lucas Glover at 1.659 putts per hole. That means that he uses his putter almost 30 times per round, and he is the best of the best professionals in the world right now in putting. I know for myself, an average golfer, that I get much more use out of my putter in a round of golf. I reluctantly admit that my scorecard sees its share of 3 putts during most rounds. I can even recall a time I had a 4 putt (I no longer have that putter, as after that 4th putt, my putter turned into a helicopter and went twirling into a nearby pond – I knew I should have re-griped that club before playing). I would guess, and it really is a guess, that most weekend players are well over 40 putts per round (2+ putts/hole, more if they actually putted out with no “gimmies”).


·      There are 18 holes on a golf course. Normally, four of the holes are par 3’s, and most people, I hope, don’t use drivers on par 3’s. I beg most people to ask themselves if they need to pull the big dog out for every par 4 and par 5 holes on the course. Wouldn’t most players be better off sacrificing a little distance for a better statistical chance of being in the fairway? (Fairways are the areas of the course with the really short grass, not as short as on the greens though) The good players that I have been fortunate enough to play with over the years use their driver 9 or 10 times per round because they think of things like, “this is a short hole and if I use a 3 wood or a five iron, I’ll have 100 yards into the green.”

·      So, the new driver may add 10 yards to my tee shots. Great! Will it make the ball go straight? Will the 10 extra yards bring more trouble into play? Most importantly, will those 10 yards reduce my score? Probably not, because I still have an approach shot that time after time I end up chunking, or topping, or slicing, or yanking it off somewhere I shouldn’t be. I’m guessing, again, that the easiest way for me at the majority of hackers out there to take consistent strokes off the scorecard is to invest in putting. If a player could reduce their putts per hole by .4 strokes (that’s “point four strokes) per hole, they would lower there score by 7.2 strokes per round. What driver would do that?


·      Putting truly is the great equalizer. You don’t have to be athletic to putt? You don’t have to be a great or even good at golf to putt. Did you ever play putt-putt golf in your life? There are people that are amazing putt-putt putters that SUCK at golf. Putting is not golfing It’s a part of golf, true. BUT IT’S NOT GOLF!

It just seems to me that it makes more sense to invest in the flat stick than it does the driver if you want to quickly reduce your score. Even if I was Lucas Glover, I would still be using the putter more each round than the driver. If I could learn to hit the driver “off the deck,” I might be able to give the putter a run for its money. For now, I’ll continue to treat my putter like some of the Scottsdale ladies treat their little carry dogs, by dressing my putters up with cool exotic golf accessories like head covers and putter grips because they are worth every penny.

I should disclose the fact that I have a putter addiction, so I am some what, to very partial to the flat sticks. I am in the process of potentially looking into possibly getting some help, some day in the future. Visit http://www.patrickgibbonshandmade.com/ and you can see for yourself just how far this addiction has pushed me!

Saturday, February 12, 2011