The debate between distance and forgiveness has been going on (and will continue to do so) as long as the manufacturers are making golf clubs. They’ll always be able to improve on one – by sacrificing the other. So, the question of where the balance is, is something that’s unique to you and something you’ll need to work out when buying a new driver. Achieving both would be great, but, there is a trade-off that must be made. So, which should you choose, distance or forgiveness?
The variables that come into this decision, unsurprisingly are vast, but the main one should be based around how much trouble you’re going to be in if you miss more fairways that you hit. If you play on a course that is open with nice wide fairways, no trees, and one where you’ll always have a shot to the green, then you’ll probably want to pick distance. If, however you play on a tight course where missing the fairway results in a sideways chip out sideways, no shot to the green, or even worse a lost ball, then forgiveness and help keeping the ball on the short stuff is going to be a higher priority.
Of course, your ability also needs to be factored into the equation. If you’re driving is strong and you find the sweet spot often, then you can afford to sway in favour of some added distance to set up shorter irons into the green. However, if you’re strike zone if a little inconsistent then a club that delivers similar performance across the face is going to be more suited to you.
Thankfully, with the dawn of moveable weight technology, this decision is something that is not final once you have purchased the club. Drivers with moveable weight technology can be set up before your round to add forgiveness or distance. So, while you’re warming up and the driver is going well, you can reduce the forgiveness for a little more distance. Similarly, you can change the settings to suit the course you’re playing.
Each year drivers are getting more forgiving and going further and the decision-making gap is getting smaller. However, for now there is still a trade-off between the two. Opt for distance if you play on a wide-open course, or driving is a strength in your game. Opt for a little more forgiveness if fairways are at a premium or driving is not your strongest characteristic.
For more information or to speak to one of our PGA qualified customers services team call 0208 4016 901. Lines and emails are open and managed from 9:00am - 5:00pm , Monday – Friday and 9:00am - 1:00pm Saturday.