Show us a golfer who doesn’t want to hit the ball further and we’ll show you a liar. Distance not only makes the game easier, enabling you to reach par-5s in two and hit shorter irons into par-4s, it is, quite simply, fun. Not many feelings can match the sensation of hammering a drive miles down the middle of the fairway in front of awestruck spectators.
But the pursuit of distance does not always mean better scores. At least not according to one of the world’s leading coaches, Butch Harmon.
“Any given person can basically only hit the ball so far,” says Harmon, who lists Tiger Woods Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman and Adam Scott amongst a who’s who list of top-drawer former pupils. “Sometimes, if you ain’t born with it, you ain’t getting it.”
Harmon advocates spending your time working on your short game rather than trying to squeeze extra yards out of your driver.
“At least 65% of the shots on your scorecard come from under 100 yards,” says Harmon, who has revolutionised Rickie Fowler’s game.
“The scorecard doesn’t have a box for how far you hit your tee shot.”
So what should you do if you want to improve your scores?
“You have to get the ego out of the way,” says Harmon. “And then you go to work on the short game.”