Female Golfers Embrace the Power Age. Is this a good thing?

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Emma Talley He never found himself interested in the length of the shirt until after his rookie season on the LPGA Tour.

He had always been a hit player, and that year 2018, he was ranked 52nd on the money list, earning him more than $420,000 in prize money. He finished four times in the top 10 and got off to a great start as a professional golfer.

But playing among the world’s top female golfers, she began to wonder if her game would get any better if she could hit the ball more.

“When I first came here I was slightly above average in distance, but I wasn’t a hitter for long,” said Talley, who will take part in this week’s competition. Amundi Evian Championship also Evian Resort Golf Club in France. “At the end of my rookie year, I looked at the top five players and they were all very successful. So I tried to go the distance.”

He watched players like Nelly Korda and Ariya Jutanugarn get their own strokes back 20 or 30 yards, making them shorter and easier second strokes. “I started hitting it all over the place,” he said. “I couldn’t figure out how to gain distance with the accuracy I had before.”

At the end of his second season, he lost his tour card and had to regain his playing privileges.

Distance is sacred in golf: the longer a player hits the ball, the more it captivates fans and other players. Like a sprinter’s time or a home run in baseball, a player’s length off the tee is a stat that stands out over the others.

“The LPGA Tour is typically a straight hitting tour,” said Grant Boone, the Golf Channel commentator. “There have always been women who hit him hard. The first thing that comes to mind is Laura Davies and Mickey Wright could have really moved this 50, 60 years ago. But what we’re about to see on the LPGA Tour is what we see on the men’s tour. We are entering an age of power.”

It may be coming, but the rankings of successful female golfers show something not seen among professional male players: a huge disparity in T-shirt length. But hitting with more power doesn’t necessarily determine who will win a tournament. Sometimes a more accurate golfer. Of course, putting the two together can make a player challenging.

the difference between The longest hitter of the LPGA Tour and the last on the list, the 168th ranked player, is 60 yards. On the Ladies European Tour, which confirmed Evian with the LPGA, difference 79 yards from first to 168th row.

But even these numbers may understate how far the longest hitters throw the ball, because bombers don’t always have to reach their drivers to get the maximum distance; 3-They can play it safe with wood or iron and still be there.

Whereas, difference The distance between the longest hitter on the PGA Tour and the number 168 is 33 yards. And almost all of these players can hit the ball 300 yards or more.

Some of the shortest strokes in LPGA Bee Park, no. 156 and Paula Cream, 166 had some of the longest and most productive careers. Park has been in the world’s top 10 for most of her career, reaching the top spot four times. He also has 20 wins and seven major titles, including Evian in 2012.

Creamer, who won Evian in 2005, has 10 wins and one major, winning the 2010 US Women’s Open.

Davies, At 57, she’s one of the longest hits on the LPGA Tour, despite competing against women at half her age (or younger). He said distance was never a disadvantage, but hit it long in LPGA and LE.T. tournaments did not offer the same advantage as the men’s rounds.

“You don’t have to run miles to be good,” said Davies, who has won 85 tournaments worldwide. “They’ve all gone a long way on the men’s tour and then there are the super long hits like Bryson. [DeChambeau] and Dustin [Johnson]. Whereas on our tour there is a significant distance between Paula Creamer and Lexi Thompson.”

Davies won Evian in 1995 and 1996, but will miss this year’s event due to Covid concerns. He said he knew that setting up courses like the Evian golf club would benefit from forcing those taking longer strokes to take riskier strokes, which could cost them more to miss.

“I prefer a few longer par 4s and some accessible par 5s,” he said. “Our Para 5s are so inaccessible that it’s frustrating. On the PGA Tour, the eagles are here, the eagles are there. Make the Par 5s risk-reward holes for us.”

Grant Waite, a former PGA Tour player who has coached many top LPGA players, including longtime successful Patty Tavatanakit, said female players have more distance gains than professional men. This is the result of creating more efficient hits and throwing the ball higher for greater distance.

Waite said the typical amateur male player swings at about 94 miles per hour, while the typical female professional golfer swings only slightly faster at around 96 miles per hour. But the LPGA professional hits the ball 20 to 30 yards farther than the average amateur man.

Female pros “learn to swing a certain way so they can hit the ball properly,” she said. “They also do it very precisely in a way that few people can do.”

He chose Park, whom he called the best player of the last 10 years. “It doesn’t hit for very long,” he said. “It rides the ball straight. It doesn’t fail on longer irons and is very good at wedges and putter. It’s a pretty basic model.”

Easier said than done. gerina batteries, He turned pro in 2010, saying he used to not worry about length but thinks differently about how young players train and prepare for tournaments.

Piller, 36, said that when she first went on tour, there were four categories of actors: “Girls who went out there. Great shooting girls. Long shot girls. And the girls who bombed him.”

Now, he said, there isn’t much difference between long-stroke and bombers. The club trusts its technology, but also appreciates the acceptance of working to become stronger.

“Now it’s all crazy and I jumped in that boat,” he said. “I haven’t gained a lot of yards but I’m getting old and my body needs that balance.”

Piller, who is in the middle in terms of distance, said that what has become more important to him than chasing the distance is to practice with an idea of ​​what he wants to improve.

“A lot of players at our level have been told we need to make time, but we haven’t been told what to do,” he said. “You have to try and find out. Now I feel like every part of my game is sharpening and shining. But there are some boring parts where I still shine.”

Golf, of course, is a game where perfection can only be achieved occasionally and truly great days are hard to come by.

After getting his lap card back, Talley said he went back to his old coach and tried to recreate the shot that had served him so well in the past. After all, it had made it into an elite college at the University of Alabama.

“Now I look back and say that chasing the distance is so stupid,” he said. “In my second year on the tour, I knew golf courses better. I would be used to traveling the world. Looking back, I regret it, but I learned a lot about myself.”

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