Thanks to reader Pete the Luddite for these graphs from the PGA TOUR's 2005 statistics on money leaders, driving accuracy, driving distance, and ball striking. He writes:
The graphs show, not surprisingly, that there is a strong link between distance and accuracy. The long hitters rank very low in accuracy and the opposite holds true for the accurate drivers - they're short off the tee.
The best examples are the two extremes, Tiger Woods (Distance -2nd, Accuracy - 188st) and Fred Funk (Distance - 197th, Accuracy - 2nd). When you graph up the data for the Top 25 Money Leaders for 2005 (I had to pick a subset), you see that only 3 players in the Top 25 for money rank in the Top 100 for both distance and accuracy.Graphing distance vs. ball striking shows that the long hitters who win the money also know how to use their wedges.
Graphing accuracy vs. ball striking shows that the short hitters who win the money also have good iron games.Yes, the overall picture is that Grip It and Rip It is a fact - accuracy doesn't matter if you can use your wedges.