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Do you really need a driver in your bag?

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
If you hit it about ~220-260 yard with a driver and find your ball on non-fairway often, and 3W for ~200-220 on fairway most of time from the tee, why do amateur, most of us anyway, need a driver….is that a ego thing? My 3W tee shot makes straight pretty much every time. My driver may make it 50 yard longer but not necessarily straight every time. Your drive may be not-so-long or not-so-straight, and this may cost extra shot. Is it still worth struggling with driver? I'm little sarcastic but asking serious question, so no hate answer please!
post #2 of 57

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

I think this way often, to leave the driver home, hit 3W or long iron, sacrifice a little distance but gain a good look for my second shot. For me, yes it's ego. I do not want to let the club defeat me, I want to learn to hit it and I guess I feel pay my dues by hitting bad shots, learning (hopefully) from them and eventually one day gain confidence to hit it. Plus I spent $400 bucks!!! I can at least use it as a towel rack.
post #3 of 57

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

Originally Posted by Fastrack View Post
If you hit it about ~220-260 yard with a driver and find your ball on non-fairway often, and 3W for ~200-220 on fairway most of time from the tee, why do amateur, most of us anyway, need a driver….is that a ego thing? My 3W tee shot makes straight pretty much every time. My driver may make it 50 yard longer but not necessarily straight every time. Your drive may be not-so-long or not-so-straight, and this may cost extra shot. Is it still worth struggling with driver? I'm little sarcastic but asking serious question, so no hate answer please!
I use a driver as often as you'd use your 60 degree wedge - maybe more maybe less. I could get around without it, but it's nice to have the extra yards on a long hole.
post #4 of 57

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

IMO, you don't NEED a driver, but if you aspire to make it to a low handicap, you'll eventually find that you really wish you had one you could hit. In my case, I'm a high enough handicap that I probably would do as well or better just to forget about the driver, and possibly even the woods, and play 4I or less off the tee every time. It helps that I play a short course (9 holes at just under 3000 yards from the longest tees). In fact, the last time out I think I only hit driver on 3 holes.

However, if you can put the driver in the fairway or playable rough most of the time, those 20-40 yards versus your 3W do make a pretty big difference. On a 400 yard par 4, if I find the fairway with my driver, have a shot at the green with my irons. With a 3W, I'm probably looking at a 5W or another 3W to get there, so unless it's wide open around the green, I'll most likely lay up and play for bogey. Even if I miss and have to chip out with the driver, I'm probably not a whole lot worse than that --- between the extra distance on the tee shot and, with luck, some forward progress getting back to the fairway, I probably still have a pretty good chance to reach the green in 3.

So I guess what I'm saying is, no, you certainly don't NEED one, at least at my level where I'm thrilled to hit mostly bogeys. However, if you play a medium to long course, and have at least fair control over it, the extra length can make up for some of the trouble it may cause. I think that's especially true if you don't expect too much and let badly-missed fairways make you angry-stupid.
post #5 of 57

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

I've known several players who removed their driver from the bag. Simply said a higher lofted club is easier to hit so I guess it may be worth it to give up some yardage rather than sacrifice an extra stroke.
post #6 of 57

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

In your scenario, no, of course not since being long and crooked is seldom helpful. However, any club can be friend or foe, it's just dependent on the player's skill level. Do any of us need a driver? No. But, is it advantageous to have one (and hit it well)? Absolutely.
post #7 of 57

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

you dont NEED any club in your bag by those standards.

My drives go rather straight so yes, I do find it a necessity in many holes. There's a fine line between playing it too aggressive and playing it too safe. I personally play on the aggressive side of the line because its what makes the game fun for me.
post #8 of 57

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

If you want to get better and lower your HC, you will at some point have to have a driver to reach long par 4's or par 5's in two. But looking at your HC, I don't think that time has come yet. When you find that you want to reach par 5's in two, then you'll need your driver.

Just last week, I reached both of the par 5's on the back 9 in two using the driver off the tee. Now had I used my 3-W, I may or may not have gotten there in two. I know it would have been a heck of a lot more difficult second shot to get there in two.

Now only if I can putt to make those eagles, I would have a lot lower HC...
post #9 of 57

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

Barring the putter, my driver is used more than any other club in the bag. I may only hit the 3 wood or 5 wood once or twice, and any individual iron from 3-9 may or may not get used during an 18 hole round. But I've worked really hard at grooving a good swing with the driver, so it goes out strait or with a small draw 75% of the time. With a smooth swing I find the driver as easy to hit off the tee as a 3 wood, but good for an extra 35-45 yds. For my current game, removing the driver would add strokes, but that's not the case for everybody. Most the guys I play with (20-40 cappers) would benefit from leaving the driver at home.
post #10 of 57

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

I hit my driver more reliably than my 3w. ???
post #11 of 57
Thread Starter 

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

We all need a driver or two or many. My recent frequent slice and hook have made me mad, working on longer driving makes me tense.
post #12 of 57

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

Originally Posted by Fastrack View Post
If you hit it about ~220-260 yard with a driver and find your ball on non-fairway often, and 3W for ~200-220 on fairway most of time from the tee, why do amateur, most of us anyway, need a driver….is that a ego thing? My 3W tee shot makes straight pretty much every time. My driver may make it 50 yard longer but not necessarily straight every time. Your drive may be not-so-long or not-so-straight, and this may cost extra shot. Is it still worth struggling with driver? I'm little sarcastic but asking serious question, so no hate answer please!
It's like saying that casino always hold an advantage so you won't play casino. I think you don't have to try to minimize your score every time you are out there. I guess we play golf to maximize our happiness (sorry for the lack of better word) and the number of strokes is just one factor. For me, leaving a driver home is like taking some fun out. So I guess it's an ego thing and there is nothing wrong with that imo, well, unless you slice the ball into the wood and spend 15 mins finding your ball.
post #13 of 57

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

Depends on if you are missing fairways by 5 yards or 25 yards. Most public courses don't have very punishing rough so it's pretty easy to play out of it. If the rough is challenging than yes I agree 3 wood would be the play if you can't hit the fairway with the driver. The flip side is are you missing more greens because of the longer second shots? Makes you wonder how many strokes you are really saving by hitting 3 wood. My driver is my problem club and when it's not working I just pick and choose what holes to try it.
post #14 of 57

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

Well I guess you dont if you tee off with the ladies.
post #15 of 57

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

The old Pro at our old CC bet he could drop everyone's handicap by two strokes with one change. Bet was made and he sent out 3 foursomes without their drivers. All shot better than their handicap and it was between 3 and 4 strokes better. Don't know if it was Hawthorn effect or not. I still use my driver and use it in the fairway if the lie is really good. We all have our love/hate relationship with our drivers and putters since we use these the most.
post #16 of 57

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

I went the other way. I took my 3 and 5 wood out of the bag, and lowered my handicap by a lot more than 2 strokes. I haven't refigured my HC in a while, but I've had 2 full rounds in the 80's and 3 9's in the low to mid 40's, so it was a good move for me. I hit my driver well, but I can't hit a fairway wood consistantly to save my life, so using a 5 iron and laying up from a good drive on the par 5's has made a huge improvement in my game.
post #17 of 57

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

Originally Posted by alomar123 View Post
Well I guess you dont if you tee off with the ladies.
Nothing wrong with that.
post #18 of 57

Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?

I'm not hitting my driver very well for the past couple of months so I haven't even been using it... I hit my 3 wood long enough and I'm very accurate with it so I don't feel the need to pull the driver. Sure I can't reach the longer par 5's in two, but it leaves my a nice wedge shot in.

My friend on the other hand is just starting out, and he has NO woods in his bag, just irons until he's more consistant. Then I'm pretty sure he'll start with a 5 wood, then work down to a 3w etc...
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