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300 yard drives or Never 3 putt?


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I saw this post on Facebook from PGA.... Interesting question. I feel like no 3 putts would really limit some mistakes on the green to improve scores, but on the other hand longer drives would lead to closer approach shots and putts. I think I would lean to no 3 putts! What do you guys think?

 

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If I can retain my current accuracy, from an angular standpoint, I'd take 300 yard drives.  Gaining 50 yards or so would mean much shorter seconds, more greens, better proximity.  And with my current

Both of those would be extremely unusual for a 13-handicap, together it borders on statistical impossibility.  Unless your primary forum is at GolfWRX.  

I’d suggest you read up on some of the more recent course strategy models. Data analytics is showing that it is generally better to be longer than to lay back. Look at your dispersion pattern and if

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Never three putt, hands down easy answer (and this is from someone who rarely three putts anyways). That 300 yard drive is going to impact maybe 14 of your holes (and several of those that might not put you into the ideal position regardless) where as the never three putt will impact every single hole.

....of course if the posts I constantly see on 18birdies are to be believed, most dudes are driving 320 and 1 putting everything anyways, so it might all be a moot point.

Edited by Cory O
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Driver: Honma TW747 460 VIZARD 50 S-flex
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No 3 putts for me.


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My OCD kicked in, 

Are the 300 yards down the middle every time? Then I’ll take it

If not , then I’ll take the no 3 putts

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 DRIVER: default_cobra-small.jpg.125f3712aad21ad9f7ca2c672e34a299.jpg  Cobra F-8 set at 10.5,  Aldila NV 2KXV Blue 60 (R) 44 1/2 "

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Never 3 putt again, ever.

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300yd drives.

I gotta give myself the best chance to score the lowest number possible, and that's what distance does. I'll gladly three putt once or twice per round if it meant I was hitting 300yd drives. 

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If I can retain my current accuracy, from an angular standpoint, I'd take 300 yard drives.  Gaining 50 yards or so would mean much shorter seconds, more greens, better proximity.  And with my current accuracy, I'd only miss maybe 1 additional fairway per round.  

3-putts are most often caused by being a long ways from the hole.  If every approach shot is 50 yards shorter, I'll be "far away" much less often, so longer drives will decrease the number of 3-putts automatically.

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11 hours ago, cciciora13 said:

 

I saw this post on Facebook from PGA.... Interesting question. I feel like no 3 putts would really limit some mistakes on the green to improve scores, but on the other hand longer drives would lead to closer approach shots and putts. I think I would lean to no 3 putts! What do you guys think?

Seeing as there isn't a quantity attached to 3-putts, I'll take the 300-yard drives. I can tolerate one 3-putt every round (annoying as it would be), but assuming the increased driving distance carries over to the rest of my bag I should be able to get a few more looks at birdie. 

That said, my current driving distance according to Arccos averages just shy of 270-yards and I'm averaging 2.5 3-putts per round over the last 5 rounds so either option has the potential to help me.

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For just a fun, nonsense question, this actually gets me thinking a lot about course management, playing yardages, and where I want to focus my attention. It's natural that people are wanting those 300 yard drives to have closer shots in, assuming that it will result in closer putts. For me, though, I honestly can't make that assumption. Take a typical Par 4 around 400 yards. Right now, a decent drive for me is about 260 leaving me 140 yards in, a good 9 iron distance (for whatever reason, my swing is much more efficient at producing distance in the irons than in the driver, but that's a whole other story). If I could drive it 300 and have 100 yards in, it would be a wedge (50* or 55* depending on the pin). My shot dispersion with the wedge really isn't going to be much tighter than it is with a 9 iron (both somewhat okay-ish), so those 40 yards really don't give me anything on that hole. Make it a 360 yard Par 4 and the longer drive becomes a negative, since I'm better off hitting it 260 and have the 100 yard wedge in than drive it 300 and have a 60 yard half shot (and I'm confident that's the case for most amateurs).

To cut the ramble short, I think the point is not necessarily to drive it off the tee as close to the hole as possible (unless you're Bryson), but instead to drive it into the right spot. Focusing practice on that and then the short game is generally going to generate much better results than focusing on adding distance.

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Driver: Honma TW747 460 VIZARD 50 S-flex
3 wood: GigaGolf TRX 15*  Grafalloy Pursuit M2T S-flex
Hybrids: GigaGolf TRX 18* and 22* UST HDX 70 S-flex
Irons: GigaGolf TRX PowerSlot 5-PW UST HDX 80 S-flex
Wedges: GigaGolf TRX 6.0 50*, 55*, 60* Dynamic Gold S-flex
Putter: Ray Cook M1 (2020) 34”

“Golf is a good walk enhanced”

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I'll take the 300 yard drives. 

Physical limitations keep my swing speed too low to get to 300 yards so that would be a gift I can't give myself.

I don't 3 putt too often now and could practice enough to eliminate them altogether if I carved out some more time.

 

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To cut the ramble short, I think the point is not necessarily to drive it off the tee as close to the hole as possible (unless you're Bryson), but instead to drive it into the right spot. Focusing practice on that and then the short game is generally going to generate much better results than focusing on adding distance.


I’d suggest you read up on some of the more recent course strategy models. Data analytics is showing that it is generally better to be longer than to lay back. Look at your dispersion pattern and if it fits hit the driver as far as you can and don’t give up 20. or more yards hitting to the “right spot”. You get more legitimate birdie opportunities the closer you are to the hole.

I am taking the 300 yard drive,
play to the correct location on the green and will live with the occasional 3 putt. My goal is double or worse avoidance, make par and sometimes get a bogey or birdie.
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With my current 60% fairways I’d take no 3-putts. But if it was 300 yard drives always in play, I’d take that instead. Sorry.

Which led me to summarize my putting stats:

  • 1% 0 putts (rounded)
  • 21% 1 putts
  • 67% 2 putts
  • 12% 3 putts

No 3 putts would've lowered my average score by 0.72 strokes per round.

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16 minutes ago, Middler said:

With my current 60% fairways I’d take no 3-putts. But if it was 300 yard drives always in play, I’d take that instead. Sorry.

Which led me to summarize my putting stats:

1% 0 putts (rounded)
21% 1 putts
67% 2 putts
12% 3 putts

What if its 300 yards, and 55% fairways?  Approximately the same number of penalties, same number of chip-outs from the woods, just longer, so that every single second shot (other than par-3s) is shorter.  You're looking to safe about 2 strokes per round by eliminating 3-putts.  How many strokes do you think you might save by hitting your tee shots substantially closer to the hole 14 times per round?

25 minutes ago, cnosil said:

I’d suggest you read up on some of the more recent course strategy models. Data analytics is showing that it is generally better to be longer than to lay back. Look at your dispersion pattern and if it fits hit the driver as far as you can and don’t give up 20. or more yards hitting to the “right spot”. You get more legitimate birdie opportunities the closer you are to the hole.

I am taking the 300 yard drive,
play to the correct location on the green and will live with the occasional 3 putt. My goal is double or worse avoidance, make par and sometimes get a bogey or birdie.

 

I'm with you.  All things being equal, I'll get closer from 40 yards than I will from 80, closer from 100 than from 140.  The shape of the hole and its hazards certainly is a factor, but I've proven to myself that closer is generally better.  And if you really cannot hit a 50-yard partial shot closer than a 90-yard full shot, you really need to practice partial shots.

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Edited by DaveP043
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With my current 60% fairways I’d take no 3-putts. But if it was 300 yard drives always in play, I’d take that instead. Sorry.

Just out of curiosity since fairway percentage seems Important to you. Why not hit a club that will up your FW hit to 80, 90, or 100%. How much worse do you play if you only hit 40 or 50%. Would 300 yard drives and 55% fairways be acceptable.
I ask because based on your statement there has to be some trade off level.
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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* with UST Proforce V2
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                :titelist-small: 915H  21*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
               :titelist-small: 915H 24*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
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Wedge:  :cleveland-small: 588 54-14, 58-12
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16 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

What if its 300 yards, and 55% fairways?  Approximately the same number of penalties, same number of chip-outs from the woods, just longer, so that every single second shot (other than par-3s) is shorter.

I'm with you.  All things being equal, I'll get closer from 40 yards than I will from 80, closer from 100 than from 140.  The shape of the hole and its hazards certainly is a factor, but I've proven to myself that closer is generally better.  And if you really cannot hit a 50-yard partial shot closer than a 90-yard full shot, you really need to practice partial shots.

 

16 minutes ago, cnosil said:

Just out of curiosity since fairway percentage seems Important to you. Why not hit a club that will up your FW hit to 80, 90, or 100%. How much worse do you play if you only hit 40 or 50%. Would 300 yard drives and 55% fairways be acceptable.
I ask because based on your statement there has to be some trade off level.

I realize the closer I am on approach, the better I will score in the long run. But I also realize the further I drive the ball, the more lost balls/recovery shots I will have in the long run - the longer you drive the wider your dispersion too. On my home course at least, I already don't hit driver on 9 of the 13 par 4/5's in an effort to take traps/other hazards out of play, and my scoring on those holes has definitely improved as a result. I don't always use driver when I'm at another course either. It's all a trade off, I continue to assess the best tradeoffs for my present game. As you know a lot goes into it aside from length off the tee.

And there's no club in my bag that would give me 80-100% fairways hit (and still give me any reasonable second shot).

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27 minutes ago, cnosil said:

 


I’d suggest you read up on some of the more recent course strategy models. Data analytics is showing that it is generally better to be longer than to lay back. Look at your dispersion pattern and if it fits hit the driver as far as you can and don’t give up 20. or more yards hitting to the “right spot”. You get more legitimate birdie opportunities the closer you are to the hole.

I am taking the 300 yard drive,
play to the correct location on the green and will live with the occasional 3 putt. My goal is double or worse avoidance, make par and sometimes get a bogey or birdie.

 

That’s all generally true to an extent, especially say hitting short irons instead of mid irons. In my case (and only applying to my case), I’d mentioned that if I’m talking about the difference between a 9 iron in and a gap wedge, those dispersions are more or less the same. Additionally, my 100 yard shot is going to have a tighter dispersion than my 60 yard shot, so a 300 yard drive on a hole shorter than 400 yards really wouldn’t help me much. 
 

I don’t think we’re making different arguments, just coming at it from different directions. I definitely should be trying to hit it as far as I can to a distance where I have the best chance of setting up a birdie (and I most certainly do that).

Driver: Honma TW747 460 VIZARD 50 S-flex
3 wood: GigaGolf TRX 15*  Grafalloy Pursuit M2T S-flex
Hybrids: GigaGolf TRX 18* and 22* UST HDX 70 S-flex
Irons: GigaGolf TRX PowerSlot 5-PW UST HDX 80 S-flex
Wedges: GigaGolf TRX 6.0 50*, 55*, 60* Dynamic Gold S-flex
Putter: Ray Cook M1 (2020) 34”

“Golf is a good walk enhanced”

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13 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:And if you really cannot hit a 50-yard partial shot closer than a 90-yard full shot, you really need to practice partial shots.

That is logically true, but in reality for the vast majority of golfers at almost all skill levels, the full shot is more consistent than the partial shot. There’s nothing wrong with playing to the shot you’re most comfortable/consistent with (but keep practicing those partial shots)

Driver: Honma TW747 460 VIZARD 50 S-flex
3 wood: GigaGolf TRX 15*  Grafalloy Pursuit M2T S-flex
Hybrids: GigaGolf TRX 18* and 22* UST HDX 70 S-flex
Irons: GigaGolf TRX PowerSlot 5-PW UST HDX 80 S-flex
Wedges: GigaGolf TRX 6.0 50*, 55*, 60* Dynamic Gold S-flex
Putter: Ray Cook M1 (2020) 34”

“Golf is a good walk enhanced”

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