The Holy Grail for most golfers (at least most male golfers) is to be able to crush, bomb, hammer or destroy their drive. If anyone doubts this, just watch the ads on televised golf. Mixed in with the ads for golf buddy getaways or spiffy looking shirts are a preponderance of ads promising one the ability to launch their tee shots like a pro. The marketing people have zeroed in on what we want just like that once a year wedge shot that we stick to 1 inch.
From Big Bertha to RocketBalz, distance is the go-to feature touted by many golf equipment manufacturers. You can now buy drivers that let you adjust the face angle of your club to achieve more carry or to get more role. You can buy golf balls that will get you ‘tour like’ distance even if your swing speed is the same as a semi-sedated chimpanzee.
If you’ve ever watched Jack Hamm’s ‘Hammer Time’ infomercials, I’ll guarantee that no one has ever said, ‘I lost a bit of distance with this club, but, boy, did I hit it straight’ or ‘I could see myself hitting this thing in the middle of the fairway on every shot’. No sir! It’s always, I got 10, 20 or even, Oh!My!God!, 30 extra yards off of the tee.
So, why are we obsessed with distance, when we all know that driving distance is but one factor in low golf scores? To paraphrase Ronald Reagan on the campaign trail, ‘It a macho thing, stupid’. We all love that feel and sound of a drive that explodes off of the club face; that feeling of power and male dominance as our tee shot ‘waves goodbye’ as it flies over our buddy’s tee shot. We certainly can’t help it, that’s the way we are wired.
So keep on buying that new equipment and reading those golf magazine articles and watching those videos and you too some day will launch that monster tee shot and turn to your group and with your best Tiger fist pump, shout out, “Hammer Time’.