Accuracy or Distance?
The other day I had the privilege of going over to the Taylor Made Performance Lab at Rush Creek GC and tried the new Taylor Made Speed Blades. I’ve been on staff with Taylor Made for a number of years now and have always been impressed with their ability to make golf clubs that help you hit it farther and straighter. I have been using the RBZ irons this summer and was extremely happy as I definitely noticed I picked up some lost distance. But when I hit the new Speed Blades, the ball went even farther and higher, better launch angle and less spin is ideal for more distance. So after I was thru with my session, I couldn’t help reflect about one of the age old arguments in golf, is it better to be more accurate or to gain more distance?

One of the best dinner conversations I have ever been involved with was witnessing Roger Maltbie and Hank Haney discussing which is more important, accuracy off the tee, or, distance off the tee. This conversation occurred when Hank was still Tiger’s coach. It was Roger’s contention that accuracy was more important, especially when one is playing in an event with long rough, such as a US Open. He contended that if the player could cleanly strike the ball, they could control the spin of the ball better and thereby, be more accurate with their shot into the green. Very valid point.

On the other hand, Hank said that distance is the key to accuracy even if one is in the rough. His contention was, if one can play a shorter club, even from the rough, that a player had a better chance of being more accurate. If a player can hit an 8 iron from the rough versus a player with a 6 iron from the fairway, the player hitting the 8 iron would be more accurate. Also, keep in mind, this conversation occurred when square grooves were still allowed by the USGA. That discussion in itself will be in a future blog.

From my perspective, I favor distance off the tee. Anytime a player of any caliber can use a shorter club, even with today’s grooves, you will be more accurate. Don’t believe me, then hit 10, 5 irons into a target and then hit 10, 8 irons to the same target and see which club produces the better results.

So what do you say? Is it better to be accurate off the tee or to gain more distance and rely on being accurate because you are hitting a shorter club?

Send me your comments
Peter Krause
Brent says:
August 13, 2014 1:13 pm
For my money, give me a 9 iron vs. a 6 iron in. EVERYONE agrees. (Even if they don't admit it!)
Joe says:
July 17, 2014 2:39 pm
I am going with distance, i have worked with Peter on my own swing and after straighting out my right to left slice and coming into the green from 30-40 yards closer sure make it easier to drop a wedge in instead a 7 or 8 iron, Hats off to distance.
Joey says:
October 21, 2013 10:34 pm
I agree with you and Hank Haney. I'd much rather hit a wedge from the rough than an 8 iron from the fairway (granted I don't play U.S. Open type greens). You could also look at it this way: if you're going to be crooked off the tee at least hit it long. Short and crooked is a terrible combination.
Jason says:
October 21, 2013 7:55 pm
Drive for show... I'll take a 300+ yd drive with a short approach to the green any day!