Last week, Texas A&M head golf coach J.T. Higgins met with PGA Tour player Ryan Palmer before the Aggies competed in a tournament near Dallas. When the conversation between the two turned to driving distance and its importance in the professional game, Palmer could hardly get the words out fast enough.
“If you don’t carry the ball a minimum of 290 yards off the tee, you’re going to have a hard time competing on the PGA Tour,” the Texas A&M alumnus said.
The reality of the driver being the most important club in the bag is difficult to deny, both from an anecdotal and statistical standpoint. Almost all of the game’s superstars are averaging more than 300 yards off the tee, and if you aren’t a dynamic driver of the ball, the margin for error in other parts of the game has become incredibly thin.
Last year on the PGA Tour, the top 10 players in strokes gained off the tee were virtually all success stories. Player of the year Rory McIlroy finished first in the category, while fellow top-five players in the world Dustin Jo...
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