Why Tommy Fleetwood is in no hurry to get longer off the tee

Pound for pound, Tommy Fleetwood is one of the longest players on the PGA Tour, averaging over 300 yards off the tee, though he weighs in at only 168 lbs. But even the best drivers of the golf ball tend to yearn for even more distance. Does Fleetwood count himself among that group?

During a recent Zoom call on behalf of his new partnership with Tag Heuer, I asked Fleetwood about his impressive distance, and whether or not he has considered going “full Bryson” in an attempt to maximize his yards off the tee.

“It would be a big life choice to go full Bryson,” Fleetwood said. “I think for me personally,  for a long time, pretty much since I turned pro, I’ve been between that 175-180 ball speed mark, which I’m happy with and it’s good. That’s good for me.

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“I think it’s important to have a good mindset about it because right now with really, really long hitters out there, it’s important to be accepting that that’s not you,” Fleetwood continued. “There’s other areas of the game. There’s other very, very important areas of the game that you can still use to your advantage. You can still win with those areas. And you have to be an all-around golfer.”

Fleetwood also noted that the best players in the world do a whole lot more than just hit the ball a long way.

“I think one thing that gets missed is, these long hitters, there’s a Rory, a Bryson, Tony Finau, Dustin, you’re talking about the best players,” he said. “They’re also the best overall golfers in the world. So, they have a lot of other assets as well as hitting it a long way, it’s just that that very, very much helps.

“I think it’s important to keep very focused on yourself and what you’re doing because that’s what the game’s about at the end of the day,” Fleetwood concluded. “There are a lot of other assets to the game. I know I’ll be fine with it. I’ll be very self-focused. But I know that’s a challenge now moving forward to a lot of people.”

Fleetwood, a former Nike staffer, has been a free agent in terms of equipment since Nike’s departure from the hard-goods golf business in 2016. He made his official debut as a TaylorMade player this week, and will use the brand’s SIM2 driver.

Jessica Marksbury
Golf.com

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.