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  1. #1
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    Whats the deal with "Longest Drive Competition" drivers?

    I was just reading one of the other threads on what the longest driver is... and I was just kinda curious... If certain drivers win the competition every year... Why arent they used more by your average players or even pros? Most people would kill to get a 400 yard drive? Are they really unforgiving or heavy or something? I've never seen one in person, just the pics on the webpage that were referenced, but it doesnt look like some space age driver that would scare your average person away from it... so whats the drawback...? other than the fact that if i could hit that far id be smacking the ball *PAST* the pin on most of the holes I play :P

    This is completely theoretical, btw, i have no desire to really purchase one of these drivers... or any other driver.. any time soon, just kinda curious. Well.. desire yes... money no :P

    Thx

  2. #2
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    For one, the lofts on the heads are ridiculously low. Some of those guys play like 5 of loft. Secondly they typically play longer shafts, and they are almost always X+ flexes. The long drive championship is to golf what the slam dunk contest is to basketball. The two are totally different.

    The reason why pros don't use these types of setups is because they don't get paid to hit balls 400 yards, they get paid to play golf. Consider the grid that these long drivers hit into. It's much wider than the fairways that professional golfers play most of the time, and these guys still miss the grid more than they hit it. Simply put, swinging out of your shoes to make use out of your XXX flex and 5 clubhead is a good way to hit the ball into the next county, and you can't shoot winning scores if you do this.

    The vast majority of long drive competitors are mediocre golfers. This of course is why they are long drive competitors and not Tour professionals.

  3. #3
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    not entirely true. most of those guys that are in the long drive stuff are scratch or better.
    GOULET!!!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenCityGolfer
    For one, the lofts on the heads are ridiculously low. Some of those guys play like 5 of loft. Secondly they typically play longer shafts, and they are almost always X+ flexes. The long drive championship is to golf what the slam dunk contest is to basketball. The two are totally different.

    The reason why pros don't use these types of setups is because they don't get paid to hit balls 400 yards, they get paid to play golf. Consider the grid that these long drivers hit into. It's much wider than the fairways that professional golfers play most of the time, and these guys still miss the grid more than they hit it. Simply put, swinging out of your shoes to make use out of your XXX flex and 5 clubhead is a good way to hit the ball into the next county, and you can't shoot winning scores if you do this.

    The vast majority of long drive competitors are mediocre golfers. This of course is why they are long drive competitors and not Tour professionals.
    I wasn't aware that the grids they hit into were wide. I think I've watched part of like one competition in my life. I'd guess that they're a bit less forgiving of a driver then, since the shaft is long..? I know the longer the club the harder it tends to be to hit accurately.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHSgolfguy
    not entirely true. most of those guys that are in the long drive stuff are scratch or better.
    You mean like former NBA player Rick Berry? Or that lumberlack looking fellow who's swing that looks like a retarded tornado?

    If these guys were some of the best golfers in the world, they would be playing competitively on tour where the real money is at. How many of them do/have? Most of these guys have swings that were built from the ground up soley to hit the ball as far as possible. Some of the worst looking golf swings can been seen while watching a long drive championship. Some of them have nice swings, and I'm sure a portion of them can actually play golf, but it's a sideshow, and most of the freaks only come out at night.

  6. #6
    I play the driver that won the 2003 competition. It's the SMT shinnecock, although it's 44 1/2" and only stiff flex. It's nice, fairly forgiving. I just got it and my driver swing is still very inconsistent, and it doesn't help that my aims is never where i'm looking. I have a tournament tommorow and my goal is hitting 5 fairways, if I do that i should be able to get into the 80s.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiva
    I'd guess that they're a bit less forgiving of a driver then, since the shaft is long..? I know the longer the club the harder it tends to be to hit accurately.
    Yea, that and the fact that it requires a Superman swing in order to extract any distance out of club with 5 or 6 degrees of loft and a shaft as stiff as rebar.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wadeisabeast
    I play the driver that won the 2003 competition. It's the SMT shinnecock, although it's 44 1/2" and only stiff flex. It's nice, fairly forgiving. I just got it and my driver swing is still very inconsistent, and it doesn't help that my aims is never where i'm looking. I have a tournament tommorow and my goal is hitting 5 fairways, if I do that i should be able to get into the 80s.
    Doesn't this statement sort of illustrate my point for me?

  9. #9
    I've never actually played a full round with this club. With my previous driver in all of my tournaments this year I have averaged 2 fairways per round, with an average distance below 200. On good shots i can hit around 260, and can get it up to 280. As I said, the largest part of my problem is my aim.

  10. #10
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    QueenCity - Your point is being made in vibrant color... lol.. thanks I understand now completely

  11. #11
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    haha.

    Glad I could be of some assistance.

  12. #12
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    Here's some questions I posted on another forum and got a reply from SMT Golf:

    1. Why isn't SMT, etc. well known around the golf world if they're winning Ld competitions?

    SMT replied ...

    While an answer to this is somewhat subjective in nature, as I cannot define "well known".. I can say that SMT is relatively well known around the world. 17 International Master Distributors who have all contacted me to sign up ( at quite a huge expense ) as Master Distributors for their country, says a lot for the brand. I mean, if they weren't getting enough requests for the SMT name, I am going to guess that they would not be callin' to sign up for the program. "longdrive" wins... while a lot of fun, something that makes for exciting press releases... and certainly something that had vaulted the SMT name into the spotlight, simply does not sell the equipment that many think that it does.

    Let's put it this way.....

    How many of you guys and gals feel that the sport of longdrive is akin to the game that each of you play or are familiar with? I am guessing..........zero.

    How many of you guys and gals base your buying habits off what you see these folks using each fall? I will go out on a limb here and say........... a few.

    How many of you guys and gals view the sport of longdrive as an "oddity" or "freakshow"? I am gonna' guess... more than a few.

    How many clubheads do you think all of us sell in the 4,5,& 6 degree lofts... COMBINED? ..... I think many perceive the number as huge. Trust me when I say that all component companies combined... those that even take the time or energy to produce low lofts for perceived longdrivers..... is minute in scale.

    In summary... Longdrive as a sport is an awful lot of fun. Many of us would be nowhere else in October every year, except for Mesquite. But do not be confused... it is NOT the money maker that you would think it is.


    2. Are SMT, alpha, bang just as good as callaway clubs? how do they get away with their low prices?

    SMT replied ...

    This answer has been answered through the ages.... CGS or... Cost of Goods Sold. Advertising. player contarcts, endorsements, advertising all add to the cost of good sold. Callaway & Taylor Made spend more per year on office cleaning services than most component companies do in gross sales per year.

    3. Will the avg golfer be able to hit one of these clubs just as well as the big name clubs?

    SMT replied ...

    I would say equally as good, but if they are fitted by a qualified professional, one that you have trust in, or has proven worthy of gaining public trust, through good deeds or participation or referrals... the component should perform better. Not to get into a component vs. OEM speech here... But if you get a company like My Ostrich or Custom Golf Sales involved with your component assembled driver.... and it doesn't perform as you would have hoped... you can call these guys and they will make it right. Now.... try that at Dick's Sporting Goods when you have to find... corey or Jason or whoever the "short blonde haired guy that was here on saturday" was......
    Last edited by SinkLikeAStone; 05-09-2006 at 07:18 PM.
    In the bag:

    SMT 10* Spectrum w/ True Temper stiff
    La Jolla 3 5 7 woods
    Top Flight Tour 4 - P
    Adams Tight Lies SW, LW
    Wilson Blackjack putter
    an assortment of candy wrappers, sunflowerseed wrappers, empty cig packs, nicorette, groove sharpener, Washington Redskins divot tool/marker, and a rulebook.

  13. #13
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    I like the long drive. I have seen it on t.v a couple x's and found it kinda cool.

  14. #14
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    queen city, why dont you take a look at this before you get a bigger head about thinking you are so right about this. only 2 out of the 10 guys on the pinnacle distance team have handicaps that are not scratch and they are 2 and 4. http://www.pinnaclegolf.com/players/default.asp
    GOULET!!!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHSgolfguy
    queen city, why dont you take a look at this before you get a bigger head about thinking you are so right about this. only 2 out of the 10 guys on the pinnacle distance team have handicaps that are not scratch and they are 2 and 4. http://www.pinnaclegolf.com/players/default.asp
    Despite the fact that most long drive competitors are not a part of the corperate Pinnacle team, even with these people, how many of them play on any of the major tours?

    What people fail to realize is that being a scratch golfer, and being an elite touring professional are two completely different things. Tour players are not simply scratch golfers, they have other intangible abilities which allow them to play at a higher level than anybody else regardless of handicap. Most scratch golfers on planet Earth don't get paid to play golf, and the only reason these particular scratch golfers get paid to play something like golf is because they can hit the ball a mile.

    As I said before, some of these guys can really play, but most are mediocre. If: Woods, Mickelson, Goosen, Singh, Furyk, and Els are the pinnacle (no pun intended), and you and I exist on the bottom end of the spectrum (aside from total weekend hacks which you can't really count), what does that make your typical "scratch" golfer? Upper-Mediocre? The gap in talent between people like you and I and your typical long-driver is much smaller than the talent gap between the vast majority of them and the touring pros. Look at it like this...Is it more likely that a long drive competitor with a 0 handicap would beat an elite touring pro heads up, or more likely that a nobody-golfer with a 10 handicap would beat your typical 0 handicap long driver heads up? I know where my money would be.

    Shooting a low round of 64 when your out with your friends is a lot different than shooting 64 in a major tournament competiting against the best in the world live on international television. Shooting a 64 because your whole game is polished, and you excell in every facet of the game, is much different than shooting a 64 because most of your 425 yard drives just so happened to give you some kind of playable wedge shot more often than not that day. Some scratch golfers are only held back on account of limited resources. Most are held back by their ability, or lack thereof.

  16. #16
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    Actually, the rules for drivers in the long drive competition are in line with USGA club rules. Drivers have to be approved (and no, they don't use 5* loft drivers). I think for the WLDC they have a full list of approved clubs. Additionally, the clubs my not be longer than 48" (or 50" depending on how your measuring), same as PGA.

    These guys are all about turn, swing speed, and extension.

    I've been reading up because I am going to try to qualify for districts at a local event here in June.

  17. #17
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    I believe the current long driver is of a brand called Alpha. I checked their site and you can order a 4* loft driver. A clubfitter's site also could fit it with a $ 1.200 shaft (the Marix Ozik TP7). That shaft is claimed to be 1000x stronger than kevlar.
    GRIP IT AND RIPP IT
    "I'll always remember the day I broke ninety. I had a few beers in the clubhouse and was so excited I forgot to play the back nine."

    Driver: Nak NP-1 9.5* Graphite Design Tour AD I-65 stiff
    3-wood: Alpha V5 15* Fujikura Rombax 7W06 stiff
    Irons: Miura Tournament Blades i2-PW TT DG S300
    Wedges: Mizuno MP-R 52* and 56* True Temper S300
    Putter: Scotty Cameron American Classic VII Napa Custom
    Ball: Taylormade TP red LDP

  18. #18
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    Although I'm sure it would be somethin akin to topping the ball... i'd love to see how I could hit with one. I bet i'd get like NO air at all haha.... Probably be happy with 150 yards rolling :P And I have a reasonably fast swing on the days i'm feeling comfortable....

  19. #19
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    If it helps, I have a swing speed of about 125-130 and hit fairly high with an 8.5 with an average drive of 300-335

  20. #20
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    Smile better than

    Alpha, SMT, Bang, Geek---are as good or better that the standard brands that you find in a retail golf store. They can and should be custom built for your size, swing speed and ability.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by QueenCityGolfer
    Despite the fact that most long drive competitors are not a part of the corperate Pinnacle team, even with these people, how many of them play on any of the major tours?

    What people fail to realize is that being a scratch golfer, and being an elite touring professional are two completely different things. Tour players are not simply scratch golfers, they have other intangible abilities which allow them to play at a higher level than anybody else regardless of handicap. Most scratch golfers on planet Earth don't get paid to play golf, and the only reason these particular scratch golfers get paid to play something like golf is because they can hit the ball a mile.

    As I said before, some of these guys can really play, but most are mediocre. If: Woods, Mickelson, Goosen, Singh, Furyk, and Els are the pinnacle (no pun intended), and you and I exist on the bottom end of the spectrum (aside from total weekend hacks which you can't really count), what does that make your typical "scratch" golfer? Upper-Mediocre? The gap in talent between people like you and I and your typical long-driver is much smaller than the talent gap between the vast majority of them and the touring pros. Look at it like this...Is it more likely that a long drive competitor with a 0 handicap would beat an elite touring pro heads up, or more likely that a nobody-golfer with a 10 handicap would beat your typical 0 handicap long driver heads up? I know where my money would be.

    Shooting a low round of 64 when your out with your friends is a lot different than shooting 64 in a major tournament competiting against the best in the world live on international television. Shooting a 64 because your whole game is polished, and you excell in every facet of the game, is much different than shooting a 64 because most of your 425 yard drives just so happened to give you some kind of playable wedge shot more often than not that day. Some scratch golfers are only held back on account of limited resources. Most are held back by their ability, or lack thereof.

    Actually John Daly is (or was) a member of the Pinnacle Long Drive Team. And I personally know of some very good golfers that compete yearly in Mesquite with some of them very close to scratch. Like you said there aren't very many, if any that could play on a tour. But you shouldn't make it sould like they can't play a high level game of golf.
    I've competed at the World Finals on two occasions and had a 1 hadicap at the time. I'm sure the biggest reason is I usually had a wedge into the greens. But remeber most of us don't use those drivers for the normal game of golf. A person can't be consistant enough with the length and weight of the long driver to keep out of trouble with it on a golf course.

  22. #22
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    Phil drove one hole 393 yards at Pebble, I think it was Sunday..

  23. #23
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    If you wanted to dredge up an older 'long drive' thread, you really should have chosen this one:

    MOI Intruder Long Drive Head

  24. #24
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    We work a lot with the guys in the LDA...have our own team (which includes former Green bay Packer Bill Schroeder) and much of what Queen City said is correct except the grid used in LDA competition is NOT wider than most fairways...the average width is (depending on local rules) 40-55yards wide...and the qualifying and finals grid are 40 yards wide.

    All heads used have to be approved by the USGA and a few years ago the lower lofts were really dominant...but we are now, as of recent years seeing players using higher lofts...many in last years championship were 6-8* lofts

    Currently, the winner last year in the WLDAC was Adams...in the beginning, the top guns were Bang, Alpha, SMT, Geek..etc...because the OEMS did not see LDA as a viable means to advertise their wares....so small companies could afford it as a stepping stone to bigger things.

    But a few years ago, on the day of the finals, Callaway approached a player who had advanced all the way there using an Alpha, and offered him a cash bonus to leave his Alpha in the van and hit their Callaway...he did, he won...and ever since then, the OEMS have had a presence at the LDA.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoolCat
    If you wanted to dredge up an older 'long drive' thread, you really should have chosen this one:

    MOI Intruder Long Drive Head
    Where the hell is "Boss" anyway!?!? I want to hear how the Lord shined down on him and brought him to victory in his LD competitions.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverologist
    Where the hell is "Boss" anyway!?!? I want to hear how the Lord shined down on him and brought him to victory in his LD competitions.
    Jason "The Boss" Godwin didn't make it to the Quarter Finals...was eliminated early

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