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Driver putting pressure on golf game
Old 05-16-2017, 01:17 PM   #1
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Driver putting pressure on golf game

I am FIRE'd since 2013 at age 44 and have been playing golf off and on for years, maybe playing once every 3 or 4 months or so. Since the start of this year, however, I've been playing more regularly, once a week. Living in Hawaii so can play year round. On a good day, I would shoot in the low 90s and on a bad day, 102 to 105. I just don't know who's going to show up on any given day.

I haven't really taken any lessons (but have read a few books including Ben Hogan's seminal "Five Lessons...") and my game has been inconsistent, with my driver (used Callaway Razr Hawk driver 9.5 degree with regular flex) putting a lot of pressure on my game. Case in point, we were playing a muni course yesterday and, after a birdie on a par 4 15th with a good chance to break 90 for the first time, proceeded to score triple bogeys on 16th and 18th (both par 4) with errant drives resulting in a duck hook on 16th into the trees and a pulled the ball OB on the 18th to finish at 92.

My short game has improved (thanks to youtube videos of Phil Mickelson's short game) and my iron play is OK. It's my driver holding me back.

When I hit my driver well, I could drive 250-260 yards, but those are rare, usually in the 230 range...question is, short of just pulling out my 3 wood to drive with, what options do I have with my driver? I don't think a shaft change is called for but willing to listen...maybe a lesson finally?
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:57 PM   #2
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I was a teaching pro years ago. Most amateurs should have a loft of 10.5 for their driver. Your 9.5 is too demanding for a perfect swing path or it will magnify your slice or draw.

I would imagine you fade and slice the ball. Hogan had a nasty hook that would get him into trouble. So his swing and book was what was best for him to keep it under control. Not what the majority of amateurs need.

Find the old book...Golf my Way by Jack Nicklaus. Do not ever try to hit the ball straight except for very short irons! Learn to hit a fade. It will change your life. Then on the tee box aim for the left side of the fairway. If you hit a soft fade it will land on the left side of the fairway if you accidentally fade it too much it will land in the center of the fairway and best of all if you end up slicing it you will end up on the right side of the fairway .....all 3 are great options.

One final tip. Always swing along the line of your shoulders at address. Do not allow your shoulders to open up at impact make sure on your follow through your shoulders are square to the way you lined up. When you swing this way it is amazing how hard you can swing and make perfect shots.

Let me know how you do.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:06 PM   #3
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I used to have the same problem. I went to a pro who fixed me with a few lessons. I bet you aren't shifting your weight correctly and/or starting down with your arms instead of your legs. Watch this a few times. I hit my driver really straight now and 240-260+ usually.

make sure you are in an athletic stance

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Old 05-16-2017, 02:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Floridatennisplayer View Post
I was a teaching pro years ago. Most amateurs should have a loft of 10.5 for their driver. Your 9.5 is too demanding for a perfect swing path or it will magnify your slice or draw.



I would imagine you fade and slice the ball. Hogan had a nasty hook that would get him into trouble. So his swing and book was what was best for him to keep it under control. Not what the majority of amateurs need.



Find the old book...Golf my Way by Jack Nicklaus. Do not ever try to hit the ball straight except for very short irons! Learn to hit a fade. It will change your life. Then on the tee box aim for the left side of the fairway. If you hit a soft fade it will land on the left side of the fairway if you accidentally fade it too much it will land in the center of the fairway and best of all if you end up slicing it you will end up on the right side of the fairway .....all 3 are great options.



One final tip. Always swing along the line of your shoulders at address. Do not allow your shoulders to open up at impact make sure on your follow through your shoulders are square to the way you lined up. When you swing this way it is amazing how hard you can swing and make perfect shots.



Let me know how you do.


Thanks! I will give your suggestion a try!
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Big_Hitter View Post
I used to have the same problem. I went to a pro who fixed me with a few lessons. I bet you aren't shifting your weight correctly and/or starting down with your arms instead of your legs. Watch this a few times. I hit my driver really straight now and 240-260+ usually.

make sure you are in an athletic stance



So there's hope for me yet! Sometimes, those errant drives and inconsistent ball striking can be so demoralizing that I have considered taking a hiatus from playing golf all too often.
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Old 05-16-2017, 02:54 PM   #6
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A lesson would be a good start. Books and videos are fine, but nothing like having a pro look at your swing. For me driving is the best part of my game. Chipping and putting have been letting me down lately. Actually I have never been a very good putter other than those rare days.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:06 PM   #7
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short of just pulling out my 3 wood to drive with, what options do I have
If I could hit my 3 wood straight consistently and not my driver, I'd be fine with teeing off with my 3 wood. Why not? A good shot in the middle of the fairway with your 3 wood could have got you under 90. I'm just now breaking 100 so I can't give advice, but I see no reason not to use a club that will do the job over one I don't hit well.

For me, it's the other way around. I don't have the distance I want with my driver, but I hit it straight. The only time I use my 3 wood is when I need to slice it around the curve on a dog leg. It's that bad.

I would go to a store and try out some other drivers. I was fitted for my clubs which basically amounted to finding the clubs I hit the best. With the driver, the salesman dialed in a slight draw (to counter my slice) and took a little loft off it. As I said, I hit it pretty straight. It's my short game I need to work on.
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Driver putting pressure on golf game
Old 05-16-2017, 03:17 PM   #8
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Driver putting pressure on golf game

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg52 View Post
A lesson would be a good start. Books and videos are fine, but nothing like having a pro look at your swing. For me driving is the best part of my game. Chipping and putting have been letting me down lately. Actually I have never been a very good putter other than those rare days.


I might eventually have to take lessons from a pro...but part of me would like a "guarantee" my game would improve significantly to justify the expense of golf lessons.
I sort of went to a golf pro a few years ago but he just looked at my swing (no video), suggested a couple of things and told me, based on my swing, I was setting my sights low if all I wanted to do was shoot in the 80s consistently. Fast forward a few years and I still have yet to shoot lower than 90.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:21 PM   #9
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My driver is the only part of my game that is consistently good. I generally have a slight fade and hit it 270-300. I don't play enough any more to be any good. But, I plan on changing that and did play 9 on Sunday.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:25 PM   #10
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If I could hit my 3 wood straight consistently and not my driver, I'd be fine with teeing off with my 3 wood. Why not? A good shot in the middle of the fairway with your 3 wood could have got you under 90. I'm just now breaking 100 so I can't give advice, but I see no reason not to use a club that will do the job over one I don't hit well.

In retrospect, it would've been a better move to use the 3 wood off the tee for those last 2 par 4s and probably would've come away with no worse than an 87. I've been in those situations when I get into my head when getting close to breaking 90...and things just go haywire.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:28 PM   #11
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A lesson would be a good start. Books and videos are fine, but nothing like having a pro look at your swing. For me driving is the best part of my game. Chipping and putting have been letting me down lately. Actually I have never been a very good putter other than those rare days.
right now driving is definitely the best part of my game

I quit drinking bout two months ago and for the life of me I can't seem to put sober
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:30 PM   #12
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I might eventually have to take lessons from a pro...but part of me would like a "guarantee" my game would improve significantly to justify the expense of golf lessons.
I sort of went to a golf pro a few years ago but he just looked at my swing (no video), suggested a couple of things and told me, based on my swing, I was setting my sights low if all I wanted to do was shoot in the 80s consistently. Fast forward a few years forward and I still have yet to shoot lower than 90.
there was a guy named Jim in houston (Jim's golf by the galleria) who guaranteed he would fix your swing - he did only indoor video and he definitely helped. I think he moved to KC
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:31 PM   #13
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My driver is the only part of my game that is consistently good. I generally have a slight fade and hit it 270-300. I don't play enough any more to be any good. But, I plan on changing that and did play 9 on Sunday.
270-300 is kinda long...js

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Old 05-16-2017, 03:35 PM   #14
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I corrected my driving problems once I quit making believe my ex-wife's head was on the tee. Make sure your tempo and lower body shift is smooth.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:45 PM   #15
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I corrected my driving problems once I quit making believe my ex-wife's head was on the tee. Make sure your tempo and lower body shift is smooth.
definitely - the best drives I hit last thurs in league were my smoothest tempo ones
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Old 05-16-2017, 05:39 PM   #16
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If you can drive it 240-260 yards you might be better off with a stiff flex shaft. If you have too flexible a shaft there will be a tendency to hook it. You might also want to consider using a shorter driver, most new drivers are around 45.5" long. I'm 6'2" and use a 44" long driver, I find it easier to control and to find the center of the club face.
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:54 PM   #17
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If you can drive it 240-260 yards you might be better off with a stiff flex shaft. If you have too flexible a shaft there will be a tendency to hook it. You might also want to consider using a shorter driver, most new drivers are around 45.5" long. I'm 6'2" and use a 44" long driver, I find it easier to control and to find the center of the club face.


I am willing to try anything if it would help. I thought about switching to a stiff flex shaft after one of my playing partners offered his driver with a stiff flex shaft for me to try...and I was able to hit it straight and relatively far.

I will try the 10.5 degree regular flex first then, if there's minimal to no improvement, will look at a stiff flex and possibly shorter shaft.
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:59 PM   #18
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270-300 is kinda long...js

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No, I have 5 or 6 years to go still.
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:05 AM   #19
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I am willing to try anything if it would help. I thought about switching to a stiff flex shaft after one of my playing partners offered his driver with a stiff flex shaft for me to try...and I was able to hit it straight and relatively far.

I will try the 10.5 degree regular flex first then, if there's minimal to no improvement, will look at a stiff flex and possibly shorter shaft.
Go to a professional club fitter and have your swing analyzed. They look at swing speed, launch angle, spin rate, etc., and for about the same price as buying the latest driver off the rack, you can have one built to exactly fit your swing.
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:00 AM   #20
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Even at once a week you're not going to improve much...sorry to burst your bubble. That is unless you're at the range a couple nights a week that you arent playing.

The taking lessons part...dont bother. Again you dont play enough. The instructor will work with you for an hour...by the end you'll be hitting better shots off the tee...but after the lesson is over you wont practice what they taught you...you'll just go back to old habits. Not being judgmental...almost every single person that gets a lesson falls into this rut.

Remember when Tiger changed his swing...took him almost 2 years to start winning again. This is a pro who hits a 1,000 balls a day during that transition...and even he struggled (arguably the GOAT.)

If you want to improve you have to get to the driving range. Its not possible to work on your game on the course. You'll hit one tee shot...then have to wait 15 minutes for the hole to be over to hit another one. You cant work on anything that way.

Watch youtube videos. If you're slicing the ball watch those...hooking the ball watch those videos.

Also...no shame in hitting a 3 wood off the tee if you hit it straight. If you're hitting your driver 250 then your 3 wood will be 220-230. So your next shot will be another club or two...not a huge deal. Remember bogey golf is a 90 on a part 72 course...its not that difficult to break 90 if you keep it in play.
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