Who would you rather play golf like – Phil Mickelson or Joe Durant? Now Joe Durant is a fine Player or he wouldn’t be on the PGA Tour – though I’m sure that Joe Durant wishes he could play like Mickelson. So unless you’re Joe Durant’s mother, I’m assuming you’d pick Mickelson.
Yet, from what I’m being told by many Golfers – they’d rather hit the golf ball like Joe Durant, as opposed to the 2nd ranked Player in the world – Phil Mickelson. In fact, I’d say that 7 out of every 8 Golfers I speak to rather hit the golf ball like Joe Durant.
Is that hard to believe? Maybe it’s the crowd I hang with?
I say this because struggling Golfers are obsessed with hitting the fairway with their Driver. Obsessed to the point of judging their entire round on how many times they hit the fairway. It doesn’t matter if they putted well, hit their irons well or got out of the sand well – after the round it’s always: ‘I need to hit my Driver straighter!’
So if how well you hit the fairway is important to you – then you must aspire to be more of a Joe Durant type of Golfer – he’s the Golfer that’s hits loads of fairways, but doesn’t score as well as they should. I say this because even though Durant was the 5th most accurate Driver of the golf ball in 2007, he was 129th in Money made.
While Mickelson was 2nd in Money made in 2007 – though was ranked 181st in Fairways hit. As we like to say at GMS – ‘The Fairways are clogged with short hitters that can’t score. So why not learn to hit the ball long and make putts?’ A la Mickelson and Woods.
It’s funny because almost every Golfer out there will talk about how Golf has become a power game and how important it is to hit the golf ball long. For example, you’re constantly talking with friends and golf buddies about how the best Players in the world are the ones that hit the ball long and make putts. Yet, when it comes to your golf game – all you talk about is accuracy off the tee.
So you’re constantly on the driving range ‘fiddling’ with your swing trying to hit the golf ball straight as opposed to trying to improve your swing for more distance, along with taking a few minutes away from trying to hit the ball straight – and using it on the putting green. Because as the best Players in the world are showing: The formula for success on the golf course is to hit it long and make putts.
Yet, you’re spending all your time on the range practicing to hit the ball straight! Let me ask you – has this strategy been successful for you? Have you improved 6 to 11 strokes in the last year using the strategy of trying to hit the golf ball straight?
There’s a huge difference between missing fairways and hitting trees!
If you’re hitting the golf ball into the trees – yes, you need to become more accurate off the tee. Having to hit out of the trees often or losing your golf ball isn’t conducive to scoring well. Though, is hitting into the trees every once in a while – acceptable? Yes, of course it is – The best Players in the world go into the trees every once in a while and you’re not even close to having their skill.
So it’s expected of you to hit into the trees more often than Tiger Woods or Mickelson does. The sooner you accept that – the sooner you’ll free yourself up to hit better, longer tee shots more often.
If you don’t want to ever hit into the trees, I’ve got a solution for you – hit your wedge off the tee. Is that a stupid idea? Why? Because it goes back to the distance thing. You’ll score better if you’re more focused on maximum distance and moderate accuracy as opposed to moderate distance and maximum accuracy!
Woods, Mickelson and Durant back that up in their respective ways every week. Most Golfers will cry after a tee shot – ‘Why didn’t that one go straight? See how it curved?’ Although their golf ball went 30 yards farther than usual and is only a yard or two off the fairway. Yet, when they hit a straight shot that goes their ‘normal’ distance – they cry: ‘I need to hit the ball farther!’
It’s this dilemma that’s holding 7 out of 8 Golfers from improving. They believe that a good tee shot is a shot that flies straight in the air – that if it curves a little bit (or more than a little bit), that it’s not a good shot. So the next time on the tee, you try to swing slower, concentrate hard on keeping your head down and left arm straight to hit the golf ball straighter.
Yet, you end up hitting the golf ball 30 yards shorter than the longer shot that curved a little and missed the fairway by a yard. And this shorter, though straighter tee shot will often times leave you with a 3 iron off a tight fairway lie to the green as opposed to a 7 iron sitting up in the rough.
‘The Fairways are clogged with short hitters that can’t score.’
From what I’ve seen and from what Woods, Mickelson, Singh and Durant have proved – how many times you hit the fairway has little bearing on your score. In 2007 – Woods ranked #1 in Money, #152 in Driving Accuracy; Mickelson #2 in Money, #181 in Driving Accuracy; Singh #3 in Money, #155 in Driving Accuracy; Joe Durant #129 in Money, #5 in Driving Accuracy.
So who do you aspire to swing like: Joe Durant – the guy that hits the golf ball as straight as any Golfer alive or Woods, Mickelson and Singh – 3 Golfers that can’t hit the ball straight off the tee and are showing it by winning all the money.
The Monkey complicates their whole round by obsessing over hitting straight tee shots
The Player simply hits it long and makes putts
Go ahead, Be a Player!