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How good would Tiger be if he could hit a fairway?

Written by: Tony Korologos | Date: Friday, March 27th, 2009
Categories: PGA TourTiger Woods
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After two rounds at Bay Hill, Sean O’Hair is looking very solid at -8 and he’s got a three shot lead over Jason Gore. Tiger sits five shots back.

How good would Tiger Woods be if he could hit a fairway?

Tiger sits in 5th place so far. Not bad for somebody who hit is averaging only 50% fairways hit, tied for 65th place. The other parts of Tiger’s game are so good, he can still contend when his driving accuracy is so bad.

Really smoke and mirrors so far – a.k.a. amazing short game

Tiger’s short game has been amazing so far. That’s the only way he could hit 50% of his greens in regulation and still be in 5th place. YES, 50%. He’s hit 18 out of 36 possible greens so far. Miss that many greens and that’s how you can log only 24 and 25 putts per round respectively.

Long weekend

It is a long weekend ahead for Gore and O’Hair. Tiger is well within range on a course he loves and plays so well. It will be interesting to see how things pan out. I’ll be watching closely.

9 responses to “How good would Tiger be if he could hit a fairway?”

  1. golfrealist says:

    So what else is new? Woods has made a businessman’s choice concerning his swing..2009 clubs+2009 ball=get out of trouble with minimal penalty. This is why..when people talk about the greatest golfer of all-time they need to be specific about the kind of clubs and the ball they are playing.
    Woods…and this is entirely my opinion..is no better than the 5th best player of all-time.
    Of the others in front of him…Nicklaus..Hogan..Nelson…Jones..he has to concern himself less with off fairway shots than any. Modern course conditioning almost assures hi of best current player because he’s the best chipper in the world and one of the best putters…..

  2. Good points golfrealist. Perhaps over the next couple of seasons we’ll get a better idea of how good Tiger is? When the PGA has to go back to V grooves, those 2009 clubs you mention won’t get him as much spin out of the rough. Then we’ll see if he “needs” to hit more fairways or he can still hit many of those great recovery shots from the long stuff.

  3. daddio says:

    Tiger will probably hit more fairways and play the v groove clubs better than anyone on the tour. the man has had a club in his hand since he could walk it will come to him.I mean it’s only logical it will happen that way. this season is very young he’s going to be just fine. I would bet had tiger played with Hogan..nicklaus..nelson..snead..jones…he would have played their game same or equal too maybe even better than. he has the unique ability to crush the competition on any given day. It’s a matter of perspective,had he been playing back then he probably would’ve been the best.His ability to be the best is what made him the best not the v groove or u groove.Came from practice and the determination to be the best in the world wouldn’t of mattered if they were using broom handles.

  4. Thanks for the comment daddio. I see your concept and I may agree. But we’ll never know because those players didn’t play against each other. I do agree that whatever the situation happens to be Tiger more often than not finds a way to win.

  5. daddio says:

    you’re right. we’ll never get the chance to know.Those players were all in a league of their own in their prime.Hard to say who would’ve came out on top had they all played together.Truth be known i have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone who can manage to win a major in their lifetime.It’s quite an accomplishment in the world of golf.

  6. golfrealist says:

    In every era something paid off..In Jones’ it was being able to drive for distance under control and chipping..In Hogans it was driving in the fairway and playing target golf..For Nicklaus it was critical that he never 3 putt..his distance and iron play meant he’d always have a high % of 15-20 foot putts…For Woods it’s far less important to drive accurately because the conditions of greens in the most modern era means he’ll always have a near makeable chip and a makeable putt….
    I’ve been fortunate enough to view 3 eras in golf because of my age..and I can tell all who haven’t that course conditions..especially greens..are FAR more player friendly than ever…That tells you a lot about Woods..he’s sized up the realities of the game and built his strengths around them..

  7. Yes the greens when Bobby Jones played were mega-slow and bumpy.

    Conditions are a big factor for amateurs as well. Whenever I get on “tour quality” greens which aren’t all beat up and slow, I putt much better.

  8. golfrealist says:

    Tiger is a great..no doubt…The problem with comparing golfers of different eras rest on two aspects of technology..golf equipment (clubs+balls) and course conditioning. My take is that the great players understand what the technological conditions favor and demand…
    Tiger understands these two..and that why…ta da..
    THE QUESTION OF HOW GOOD TIGER MIGHT BE IF HE HIT MORE FAIRWAYS IS…IRRELEVANT!!!
    Tiger knows precisely how better he might be and…it’s not worth it!!! He has sized up the deal and constructed a formula..it’s better tooccasionally drive long and on the fairway..if not..chipping and putting outweigh accuracy..Conclusion..he’ll NEVER drive better because he doesn’t care.

  9. Fencer04 says:

    I don’t think that hitting fairways is irrelevant at all. He isn’t choosing to miss them to gain something else. Especially this past week with the rough being sick deep. The best example being on 16 when he was only able to advance the ball about 50 yards after being stuck in the grass along the right side.

    And to retort to your first post you are saying that because he is the best chipped and putter in the world they lay the courses out to make that important and therefore Tiger wins? Shows me a golf course outside of a par 3 course where chipping and putting are unimportant? You can hit at most 18 drives on a course but you hit as many chips and putts as it takes to get it into the hole.

    I can’t say that he is the best golfer of all time because I didn’t get into golf until the end of some of the other greats careers but I can say that he certainly is head an shoulders above anyone else currently playing.

    Also a quick question? Which one of these things isn’t important anymore or wasn’t important at some time in golf?

    1. Being able to drive for distance under control and chipping.
    2. Driving in the fairway and playing target golf.
    3. Critical to never 3 putt.

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