We’ve all heard the cliché, “Drive for show and putt for dough”. It’s been around the golfing world for years and has probably been used in your weekend foursome many times. Well, just how true is this old golf clichè anyway? Is putting really more important than driving the golf ball? Let’s take a look and you can decide for yourself.
There are really two schools of thought on this. The first one is that driving the golf ball is much more important because it sets up the entire course of events for that hole. You generally will only use your driver on 14 golf holes during your round. The holes you do use your driver on will determine in a big way your score on that golf hole.
The other thought is that your putter is more important because you use it 2-3 times on every hole to get the golf ball in the cup. That makes sense, but let’s look at it from a different angle that may make more sense to you.
When you’re on the golf course and you hit your driver off the tee, where your ball lands will make a big difference in your score. Put the ball in the fairway and you set yourself up for an easier shot to the green. Now you can hit a pitching wedge into the green and have a shot at getting a birdie, or at least a par for that hole.
On the flip side of this though, if you put your golf ball in the rough, behind some trees, in the sand trap, or even out of bounds, you’re looking at trouble. Now you have to hit some really good shots to even get a bogey or double bogey.
If you’ve hit your golf ball out of bounds you’ll have to go back to the tee box and hit all over again, along with having penalty strokes added to your score. Your score could easily rise up to a 7-8 or even higher. That is why hitting a good drive off the tee box is so important if you want to score low.
Even with this said, there is no other part of your golf game that can save you more strokes than your putter. Good putting makes for good scores. You can eliminate several strokes off your score just from keeping away from the 3-putt greens. Many times your 3-putts can add 4-5 strokes to your golf round.
The real bottom line to this is that both driving and putting are equally important to your golf game. You must practice them both and try to improve. You will need both good putting and driving to help you lower your golf scores. Spend time out on the driving range working with your driver. Then go to the practice putting green and spend some quality time working with your putter. Use most of that time hitting putts from 3-4 feet. By mastering putts of this length, you’ll notice a dramatic improvement in your golf scores.
Above all, make golf a fun experience no matter how good, or how bad you’re playing.
by Michael Russell