Why players should skip the long-drive contest at the PGA Championship

There really is nothing more fun than making square, ball-to-face, contact with a driver. Watching the ball sailing like a missile into enemy territory. As for the contact you don’t even feel it, it’s as if all of your energy was transferred into a little white ball.

Yes, the feeling is great, but there is no need for PGA Tour players to try and crush balls in a practice round for bragging rights. Although there is a good cause if one chooses to participate, the first, second, and third-place finishers receive money to go towards charities of their choice.

But when you are trying to win a major championship and get ahead in the FedEx Cup, then you should probably worry about keeping your swing as sound as possible.

👀@rorymcilroy's drive in slo-mo

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Bubba Watson, one the tour’s longest drivers, declined to participate in the competition, telling the Golf Channel’s Jason Sobel:

“I’m not going to do it. I’m there to play golf, not to hit it far. I’ve got to practice. I’ve never been to the course. I don’t need to worry about a long drive on the 10th hole.”

I applaud Watson for this act, even if the fans may not like it. The man wants to win, plain and simple. He knows that in order to win his swing must be perfect in a field with the long hitting Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth coming off his third major, and Rory McIlroy who has dominated Quail Hollow in the past.

Think about all the baseball players who forgo the Home Run Derby during the All-Star break because it messes with their swings. We are seeing proof of that right now with Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge.

Judge has been mashing his way into the record books this year with one of the most powerful offensive rookie campaigns since Mark McGwire. But since Judge won the Home Run Derby he has suffered a heavy slump since the second-half of the MLB season resumed. (.182 batting average with 35 strikeouts and only 5 home runs).

It just seems plain silly to put your swing in jeopardy prior to a major championship and with the FedEx Cup playoffs approaching quickly.