Golf's long-hitters set to get 'scary', says David Drysdale

David Drysdale, pictured with his wife and caddie Vicky, opened with a two-under-par 70 in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
David Drysdale, pictured with his wife and caddie Vicky, opened with a two-under-par 70 in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
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David Drysdale says it is "scary" to think how long the new breed of top golfers will be hitting the ball in 10 years' time.

The 44-year-old is no slouch off the tee, with an average of just over 300 yards this season after being around 285 yards last year on the European Tour.

But he found himself "playing a different game" in the same group as young Spaniard Adri Arnaus in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

"Adri was hitting it 50 yards past me," Drysdale told The Scotsman after signing for a two-under-par 70 on the tough Abu Dhabi Golf Club layout.

"You just have to play your own game, but, in recent years, there seems to be more and more of these young guys coming out and smacking it miles.

"It doesn't matter where they hit it, they can still get a short club on it and get it on to the green.

"It's not frustrating, but it's a little bit scary to think where the game is going in 10 years' time when you look at the change there's already been in the last few years."

Drysdale, one of eight Scots in the field for the first Rolex Series event of 2020, was pleased with his day's work at a venue where he has struggled a bit in the past.

"It was a funny day," added the Cockburnspath man. "It was a case of 75 per cent being good and 25 per cent a bit all over the place. I will take it, absolutely.

"I got up and down a couple of times and had a couple of poor tee shots that I managed to nick pars from, which was good.

"The rough is a bit juicy for me. The two lies I had in it left me just having to lump it out."

Drysdale, who is back with Callaway for the first time since 2012, is playing his 19th consecutive season on the European Tour and is on course to clock up his 500th appearance in the Hero Indian Open in the same week as his 45th birthday in March.

"I'd like to win a golf tournament - that's the goal this season," he declared. "The 2019 calendar year was a bit of a shocker, but the game is just about there.

"Two-under is a decent score round there and I'm starting to see signs of some of the old consistent golf of hitting fairways and greens.

"I'm working hard, putting the hours in, and my game is in a decent place."