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Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I don't know where they got the statistic that wooden clubs are 50 yards shorter than the metal ones.
I was playing today and I hit two 250m (275 yards) drives. Most of my drives are 240m with my cobra.

The only problem is forgiveness, if you don't hit the centre you'll hit shorter shots.
Driving distances haven't really improved over the years by much.
post #2 of 20

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

Originally Posted by James_Black View Post
I don't know where they got the statistic that wooden clubs are 50 yards shorter than the metal ones.
I was playing today and I hit two 250m (275 yards) drives. Most of my drives are 240m with my cobra.

The only problem is forgiveness, if you don't hit the centre you'll hit shorter shots.
Driving distances haven't really improved over the years by much.

I would imagine if you played several rounds with the wood vs. the metal, your driving averages would come down quite a bit. Because the Cobra allows you to hit it 240 with even a medicore swing. On a bad day, your Cobra can still put a ball in the fairway vs. the Wooden club is going to leave you with some very long approach shots. I suspect the 50 yard claim is some over exhagertated hype, but I do believe that metal drivers have made the game more accessible and are in fact better for distance and accuracy. if they were not, the tour would still use Golden Bear and Northwestern Wooden clubs.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

I'm sure my average would go down.
But on good hits there isn't really a difference.

I was hitting a steel shafted 2 wood as my driver.
post #4 of 20

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

Originally Posted by James_Black View Post
I don't know where they got the statistic that wooden clubs are 50 yards shorter than the metal ones.
I was playing today and I hit two 250m (275 yards) drives. Most of my drives are 240m with my cobra.

The only problem is forgiveness, if you don't hit the centre you'll hit shorter shots.
Driving distances haven't really improved over the years by much.
Pretty small sample size. Play the rest of the season with the wooden 2 wood and report back on your experiences.
post #5 of 20

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

The 50 yard differential claim that is tossed about nowadays is a combination of driver and ball. The general concensus (right or wrong) is that the difference between the persimmon and balata vs wonder metal and modern ball is about 50 yards, 25 for the club and 25 for the ball, this based on experimentation by various manufacturers, Callaway among them.

Putting real clubs in real players hands will yield different results of course. I expect that a well fitted persimmon club and ball would perform better in a given players hands than an ill fitted modern club and rock, but a well fitted modern club in the average players hands will out perform (on the average) a well fitted persimmon, but not by 50 yards and not on every shot.

The greats of old (Palmer, Nicklaus, Ballesteros, et al) all hit drives in excess of 300 yards with persimmon, but they didn't do it every time. I have hit shots with my persimmon that are better than my modern clubs, but again, not every time. I often play persimmon, though, and really I may be a little more consistent with it, but I think it is attitude more than technology. When I am playing with the persimmon, I am usually trying to just keep it in the fairway and that results in a better swing which gives improved distance.
post #6 of 20

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

Miss one on the heel with your WOODen driver - You'll end up on the ladies tee.
Miss one on the heel with any high moi 460 cc head - and end up in the fairway...
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

Originally Posted by Jay-Bird View Post
Miss one on the heel with your WOODen driver - You'll end up on the ladies tee.
Miss one on the heel with any high moi 460 cc head - and end up in the fairway...
ok, forgiveness is an issue.
But with on centre hits I think wooden clubs are longer.
post #8 of 20

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

Originally Posted by James_Black View Post
I don't know where they got the statistic that wooden clubs are 50 yards shorter than the metal ones.
I was playing today and I hit two 250m (275 yards) drives. Most of my drives are 240m with my cobra.

The only problem is forgiveness, if you don't hit the centre you'll hit shorter shots.
Driving distances haven't really improved over the years by much.
Modern distances are affected by the ball and longer and lighter graphite shafts. With lower spinning balls we are seeing a return to lofts of that era. The reason average golfers driver lofts were weaker back then was to add forgiveness. If your cobra really is shorter, then the loft, flex, or length of the shaft does not suit you.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

do you not think that because there's more mass behind the ball with a solid wooden driver than a hollow metal one that with on center hits the wooden club is better?
post #10 of 20

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

Originally Posted by James_Black View Post
do you not think that because there's more mass behind the ball with a solid wooden driver than a hollow metal one that with on center hits the wooden club is better?
James, I'm sure other guys can offer something a bit more scientific,

Here's a link to a website that has a ton of "useful" information: link

I'll just use my own personal experience though. Comparing 1st and 2nd generation steel heads to quality persimmon with a quality insert is purely subjective. I could crank out some great drives with older TaylorMade or Mizuno drivers, but the swingweights never felt right and they felt and sounded lifeless.

Even when the Callaway BB drivers came out, they main advantage was forgiveness. I played both persimmon and metal (steel or titanium) headed drivers until about 8 years ago when I picked up a used Callaway BB Warbird. It's maybe slightly longer than some of my better persimmon woods, but it's way more forgiving. I can really go after a drive on a tight hole, whereas with persimmon you were almost forced to work the ball and hope you didn't overcook it.

Hitting a straight shot is soooo much easier nowadays because the ball spends lesss time on the face and there's less sidespin.

A proper fitting (or experience and luck) can set a player up with a new balls, a new driver with a new shafts, that can easily driver the ball 40+ yards farther on average. My own average good drive is probably about 15 yards farther with my G10 that my older Callaway and that was about 10-15 yards farther than persimmon because there was less fear of a big bender going OB.

Playing persimmon woods is still fun and if you can consistently keep one of those between the ditches, your confidence with a modern driver will be very high.

PS. to the guy who mentioned pros playing Golden Bear or Northwestern persimmon . . . 1.) if you mean MacGregor, rather than specifically "Golden Bear" persimmons, yeah they rocked, and 2.) if you ever seen a Northwestern driver in persimmon or even one that a pro would have used, you should buy it because it's a rarity for sure.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

I think I need to get my driver fitted for me.
I strike it well but it goes pretty short.

great post sean, I don't know why I was able to hit the wooden club so far though.
Oh well, I'll be playing again tomorrow with the "woods" and blades. It's improved my ball striking a lot.
post #12 of 20

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

When I play my old woods a good hit is 240- 250 yds, but it needs to be hit on the screws. I don't get it on the screws every time, more like about half to two thirds of the time. I am consistantly longer with my graphite/titanium driver, but only by 10-20 yds. Also my modern driver is more controlable than my old persimons driver, but I really like the challenge of the old woods. Really makes me slow down my swing and focus more.
post #13 of 20

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

I am wondering how your carry distance compared between the two drivers...

You say there was not a big difference in total driving distance, but what loft is your wooden driver? and do you have any clue what spin rate it produces in comparison to your metal? I am just thinking you may be getting more roll out of the wooden driver resulting in a drive that appears closer in distance at the course you happened to play.

Just throwing it out there.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

Originally Posted by tws1098 View Post
I am wondering how your carry distance compared between the two drivers...

You say there was not a big difference in total driving distance, but what loft is your wooden driver? and do you have any clue what spin rate it produces in comparison to your metal? I am just thinking you may be getting more roll out of the wooden driver resulting in a drive that appears closer in distance at the course you happened to play.

Just throwing it out there.
It's a 2 wood so around 13*.
The height depended on what ball i was using, I started with a V1 and the ball flew pretty high but my longest drives were with a Noodle+.
I think your right about the roll, I think the wooden one carried 210m and rolled for another 30-40m while my own driver would fly longer but roll less.
edit:

I'll be playing again today, I'll see what the distances are like
post #15 of 20

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

At the "suggestion" of this thread, I played today with my Wilson laminated maple driver. Overall, didn't hurt, didn't help. Once I figured out how to hit it, I got almost all of the distance I get with the Titleist 975J, but the wooden driver was short on carry, long on roll. It wasn't any straighter, and I didn't get it up in the air like I do the Titleist. What I liked about the wooden driver is that it's heavier (13 oz.) than my metal diver (11 oz.), and has a shaft that is two inches shorter. That gives me a better connection with the clubhead. It feels really good when you hit the sweet spot.

I have a 2w that I might try because I know I can get that club in the air.
post #16 of 20

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

Originally Posted by James_Black View Post
... The only problem is forgiveness, if you don't hit the centre you'll hit shorter shots.
Driving distances haven't really improved over the years by much.
In summer of 1978, I broke the metal shaft of my persimmon-headed driver - it snapped about 3" above the hosel in a normal tee shot. In the reshaft, I had the pro shop give me a 46" shaft (43.5" was standard back then.)

I started hitting the ball about 270 yds. (as opposed to about 240 yds.). Trouble was the lack of foregiveness, and not just shorter shots. I missed two or three times a nine, and went way off line - deep in the woods, often meaning a sideways chip shot to get back to the sunshine.

The high-MOI jumbo drivers are somewhat boring by comparison. You need a slow, smooth swing to get best distance and reasonable control. With the persimmon drivers, you could jump on a few shots on the back nine to get a little extra carry. But with high-MOI, it has to be smooth all the time.

P.S. After first frost, I had the pro shop cut it back to 43.5"
post #17 of 20

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post
In summer of 1978, I broke the metal shaft of my persimmon-headed driver - it snapped about 3" above the hosel in a normal tee shot. In the reshaft, I had the pro shop give me a 46" shaft (43.5" was standard back then.)

I started hitting the ball about 270 yds. (as opposed to about 240 yds.). Trouble was the lack of foregiveness, and not just shorter shots. I missed two or three times a nine, and went way off line - deep in the woods, often meaning a sideways chip shot to get back to the sunshine.

The high-MOI jumbo drivers are somewhat boring by comparison. You need a slow, smooth swing to get best distance and reasonable control. With the persimmon drivers, you could jump on a few shots on the back nine to get a little extra carry. But with high-MOI, it has to be smooth all the time.

P.S. After first frost, I had the pro shop cut it back to 43.5"
Yeah bubba watson looks real smooth lol. I think you got that backwards actually, you can wail on the big headed driver much easier than the tiny by comparison persimmon ones.
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 

Re: Wooden Drivers are just as long as metal ones!

The high-MOI jumbo drivers are somewhat boring by comparison. You need a slow, smooth swing to get best distance and reasonable control. With the persimmon drivers, you could jump on a few shots on the back nine to get a little extra carry. But with high-MOI, it has to be smooth all the time.
that's what I think too.
But for a different reason.

It takes no skill to smash a big drive with my cobra, you step up to the ball and swing.
With the persimmon clubs you needed to have a good swing and really focus on the shot.
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