Why being a short hitter isn’t such a bad thing after all

zach johnson swings

Short hitters have an accuracy advantage over their long-hitting counterparts.

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No golfer dreams of hitting the ball short. Distance, for pros and recreational golfers alike, is hugely important. That’s not to discount accuracy entirely. You need to keep the ball in play, which is its own challenge.

Richie Hunt, a PGA Tour statistician who has worked with a number of Tour professionals, recently calculated the maximum angle of clubface error you can commit yet still land the ball in a 50-yard-wide fairway, depending on average driving distance (see table). A deeper look at the data shows that the farther you pound it, the less room for clubface error allowed.

In fact, according to Hunt, your drives will dart approximately one yard farther offline for every extra 15 yards you carry the ball. So in your quest to add yards, be careful what you wish for — or work on face control as much as you do speed.

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Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Director of Game Improvement Content at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.