Beat Big Hitter? Stay Within Yourself

How Can We Compete With a ‘Big Hitter’ Who Hits It Sooooo Far?

I once undertook a project known to be very difficult at work. When it was over, my friend said “Congratulations. You did it much less badly than anyone else.” I was grateful for the comment. That’s the game of golf. It’s bigger than everyone who plays it. No one masters it – the good ones  play it less imperfectly than the ones they defeat.  Pursuant to that, golf isn’t a one-trick pony., either. Between tee and green, you could be called upon to demonstrate excellence with every club in the bag.

it is demoralizing to play a match with someone who hits the ball 100 yards farther. than we do We acutely feel a one-stroke deficiency right off the first tee, and look forward to about fifteen more. Even the scariest par 3 is refreshingly welcome. However, think of that big hitter. Obviously, the Daleys and De Chambeaus were built to hit it a long ways. They hit drives well into the 300s, but what happens when someone like Bryson hits it 435? I’d like to see the statistics on it. Is he still within himself at 435, or does he have to turn into a mechanics lunatic to do it. Probably not, but the extra whatever it takes has got to decrease the success efficiency.

If it gets to the point that the swing employed for the driver is a distinctly separate thing than what is used for fairway woods and long irons, isn’t the long driver saddled with having to employ two separate swing identities on the golf course? For a big guy, having that 100 yard advantage must feel like pure gold, the stuff of which good dreams and big paychecks are made of. But, taking it to such ‘lengths’ in some sense might be betting all the chips on total success or a bust. It’s the reason De Chambeau wins one tournament and shoots a ten over on one hole the next week, with two OBs.

Now take a look at your own game. If you’re not the big driver type, it behooves you to search for another five or 10 yards that you can get without leaving your game behind. That done, everything in your driving life should be dedicated to finding the fairway whenever humanly possible, more often than the Big Bomber does.

After you get the five or ten, and get consistent,  let it go. Remember Kel Nagle, who could use a three-iron like a brain surgeon, but was generally a short hitter. If you’re big hitter rival hits a great drive, you might have to test your five-iron against his wedge. That five-iron had better be good. Mid-irons down aren’t so much about strength, and neither are bunkers or putting. If he takes you to the cleaners from the tee, do the same to him the rest of the way if you can. Unless he’s having a charmed week, those huge drives will probably take him to another county on some holes. On a narrow course with lots of out of bounds ropes, you could be sitting pretty by just staying in play.

If your ‘big hitter’ is splitting the fairway with regularity, your odds aren’t good for keeping up, but it isn’t going to happen that often. If you’ve ever watched the long drive contests, which are loads of fun, ask yourself why they don’t even bother to paint a space on the field to signify a fairway. Why do they need a baseball stadium sized space? Because hitting the fairway isn’t what mental case driving is about.

So, play your game and stay within yourself. A lot of times, nature herself will take away your opponent’s biggest weapon. After all, I’ll bet Goliath could hit 400, too.

 

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