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burrito007

Trying to brush my game up and drive is weak-point - need some advice

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OK so I guess a little background first -

I started playing when I was around 12 years old and am now 31.  I played semi-seriously between the ages of 15-17 then went to college etc and fell off.  I took golf up again semi-seriously for one summer in 2005, and then have played maybe 1 round / year if that...

When i was 16ish my handicap was around 12.  I was playing a pretty easy par 67 course and was scoring in the high 30's low 40's on 9.  I played some IJGA tournaments and performed terribly (high 90's low 100s).

I just took the game up again seriously and I have played between 10-20 rounds this summer (some full some 9 holes, some 5-6 holes depending on time/weather).  I have been hitting the range 2x/week as well.

I seem to have gotten my iron game back, and i somewhat remember how to putt and chip.  I am still using my same ping eye2 + irons (4-sw red dot) that I was fitted for at the age of 14 and I see no real reason to change.  I also game a titleist vokey 58 degree, a ping eye 2 2 iron blue dot that i bought off ebay for $20 and had reshafted and regripped.  I also play a ping G25 17 degree hybrid.

So now onto the question.  I have been playing this one par 70 municipal course every week (sometimes twice 18 or several 9 hole outings) some decent rounds with really only one stand-out round (9 holes) where I eagled the first hole par 5 (465 par 5).  My score that day was 39 on the front 9 par 35.  Since then, I have been having trouble breaking 90 on that course  (i have had a few 44/45ish rounds on the front 9 but never a full 18 under 90).  The problem appears to be my drive.

I hit the ball pretty long - using the bushkill scope, I have measured my good drives between 290 and 325.  However, my accuracy is TERRIBLE with the driver.  I can crank out a few good ones in a row, but then I'm in the trees - FAR in the trees because of the distance.

Today I said enough is enough, and left the driver in the bag.  instead of going for monster drives on the 400 yard par 4s I hit my 17 degree hybrid and was out there about 235-240.  I was able to hit a lot of good irons (I am pretty darn accurate from the fairway with my eye2+) and was putting for birdie on almost every hole.  I ended up with a 40 on the front 9 5 over.  5 bogeys and 4 pars.  That is the most consistent golf I have EVER played - and I wasn't getting any breaks.  Two of the bogeys were from unfortunate missed fairways (by maybe 2-3 feet) that resulted in bad looks at the green where my shot knicked low-hanging branches of trees resulting in a missed green.

So to my question - should I just nix the driver?  Should I get a 3 wood?  My goal is to get to single-digits and play respectably in some amateur golf tournaments in the upcoming year.  Ultimate goal is to be as good as I can possibly be.  Is it possible to get to scratch if you can't hit a driver?

In terms of club selection and distance - i have:

17 deg hybrid - 220-240

2i - 220ish

4i - 195

5i - 185

6i - 175

7i - 160-165

8i - 140-150

9i - 125-135

W - 100+

SW - 80+

58deg - 50-60

Forgot to mention - my driver is an R1.  The misses are anything and everything.  Crazy hook - crazy slice - (60+ yard movement).  Popped up drives where i hit the ground first... not so much pushes or pulls though.  I dont see much benefit in changing the settings since it goes right/left in a not-very-predictable way.

On the range I can work it out and end up with a decent consistent drive, but it seems like i can never transfer it over to the course (except for the day i got that eagle - i sailed one out there 325 slight draw and had an 8 iron approach stuck 8 ft from the pin).

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^ This, +1

Also, were you fit (*really* fit, not 10 minutes with the launch monitor at GolfSmith) for the driver?

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no i was not fit for the driver.  I swing usually 80% on the course.  Things tend to go better when I kick it up to 110%.  when I swing 80 my hands tend to get way ahead.

I get a ballooning slice or snap hook.  when i really go for it, i dont snap-hook or mega-slice but I usually get a big fade or big draw that puts me off target in the woods.

irons i swing from 30% to 110% with no problem  (usually i go for the 80%).

will getting "fit" really help?  I hit it on the range and it was really high so i changed the loft to 8 deg.  I was hitting a fade originally so i turned it one setting to draw.  Then i was hitting a nice draw (next day is when i got the eagle).  Then after that the draw started to turn into a hook and a snap hook.  I turned it back to "neutral" and I started to hit it O.K. again for a few shots then it went to fade/slice/push slice.  Now its like rolling the dice.

the only information i gleaned from the golf galaxy swing-fitter is that my clubhead speed on my driver is 105ish when swinging "smooth" and 115 when going for it.

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If you can hit a hybrid 230, hit it off the tee. Learn ,on the range, to hit your driver shorter and constantly. 325 is longer than you ever need to be. When you are hitting it a long way, any little flaw will send it a long way off target. You're seeing this as you go deep into the woods. Lear to hit a drive that you can control and that carries 240 and you can play very good golf for a long time.

Should you get a 3-wood? Sure. Might be good to get a 3-wood you can use off the tee (I never hit my except off the tee). Will it help you brake 90? Maybe. But if you can get the ball 230 out in the fairway, you should be able to break 90 now.

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If you can hit a hybrid 230, hit it off the tee. Learn ,on the range, to hit your driver shorter and constantly. 325 is longer than you ever need to be. When you are hitting it a long way, any little flaw will send it a long way off target. You're seeing this as you go deep into the woods. Lear to hit a drive that you can control and that carries 240 and you can play very good golf for a long time.

Should you get a 3-wood? Sure. Might be good to get a 3-wood you can use off the tee (I never hit my except off the tee). Will it help you brake 90? Maybe. But if you can get the ball 230 out in the fairway, you should be able to break 90 now.

got 3 wood

broke 90.  have shot in the 80s on last two rounds 88 and 85.  couple of 9 holers in there too in low 40s.
next up 70s.

its crazy how boring golf is when every shot is straight and on the fairway =O

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got 3 wood   broke 90.  have shot in the 80s on last two rounds 88 and 85.  couple of 9 holers in there too in low 40s.    next up 70s. its crazy how boring golf is when every shot is straight and on the fairway =O

Just keep using the 3-wood and bag the driver until you get it worked out on the range. Sometimes you just have to sacrifice some distance and wanting to hit it big to keep it in play. I did this my last round to reduce my misses, so when my ball went right, it wouldn't go as far right.

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... will getting "fit" really help?  I hit it on the range and it was really high so i changed the loft to 8 deg.  I was hitting a fade originally so i turned it one setting to draw.  Then i was hitting a nice draw (next day is when i got the eagle).  Then after that the draw started to turn into a hook and a snap hook.  I turned it back to "neutral" and I started to hit it O.K. again for a few shots then it went to fade/slice/push slice.  Now its like rolling the dice.

the only information i gleaned from the golf galaxy swing-fitter is that my clubhead speed on my driver is 105ish when swinging "smooth" and 115 when going for it.

I think you may have a shaft problem, either length or fit.

Take your current driver, and put an impact decal on the face. Note where the impact points are. If they are all over the face, you may have a shaft that is too long. (This is from the GolfWorks clubfitting matrix.)

If that doesn't work, get a full driver fitting. At the spring demo days, I talked to a couple of fitters - both former PGA club pros - about the sequence for driver fitting. Both suggested pretty much the following:

  1. Hit your current drive to get some baseline data.
  2. For replacement drivers, start out with head loft and some shafts that match your swingspeed range.
  3. Then, look for shafts that will give you a good launch angle and spin figures.
  4. Finally, use clubhead loft for fine-tuning once the "in range" shafts are found.

So, I would say get a fitting and focus on shaft.

If you get full fitting, keep the printouts. You can use these as a baseline for gauging what equipment works for you, what doesn't.

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