Re: Do you really need a driver in your bag?
Then all you need is a 3i, the ball will roll as far as a driver would go on a normal course.
I've been thinking about this for sometime. I've been playing now for a few years (started after the 09 Open) and I've found that most of the time, I hate to play the driver. Here's the thing for me: My strength does not rely on distance. I hit the ball straight with just about every club in my bag. The driver I usually drive with is about say 230-245 yards whereas my 2 Iron I can hit almost at the same length. Personally, I prefer the feel of my iron game over my driving game so I often just use a 2 Iron off the tee. But that's me. Where I excel at in the game is my chipping game and I often try my best to create chipping situations. So I find even if I lose yardage off the tee, if I want to try and just par a hole on a par 4, using my third shot as a chip shot brings me in much closer for my put. But that's just me and my philosophy might just be garbage for another player.
I wouldn't take the driver out unless there was some other club I wanted to put in. I only hit driver on holes where I think I can hit it .. ie . .wide fairway . .but I see no reason to actually play without one. I've been playing for about 5 years now and this is the first year where I really feel confident with my driver so I'm hitting it more than ever. In previous years, I would barely use it at all and instead hit 3 iron.
For reasons I don't fully understand, I have never played with fairway woods. I keep telling myself to go buy some . . but I never do. This year . .for real.
I will go contrarian here...
When my handicap was higher, I couldn't hit anything and keep it in play. Not sure it would have mattered if it was a 3-wood or a driver.
Now though, with a much improved swing, I'd argue that my driver is the best club in my bag in terms of scoring. I was useless on the week that it was in the shop for a new shaft. The driver gets me to inside a 9-iron on the longer par 4s and within range of reaching the green in two on par 5s. Though, I do hit the hybrid and three-wood (and sometimes even less) off the tee sometimes when a driver might be simply too long and invite trouble. I rather like my driver and would sorely miss it if I didn't have it. Absolutely no way would I play from the tips on my home course without it (almost 7K yards, 74.6/142). I don't think I would be willing to play blues without my driver...
My toughest holes are the par 3s. Those 3, 4, 5 and 6-irons into well-guarded greens are honestly the most demanding shots I have to hit.
And I'm sorry, don't hate... long balls are lots of fun to hit. I would not enjoy playing golf without really letting it fly a few times a round.
I'd argue that if your answer is yes, you should work on your swing and turn that driver into a scoring tool. When you learn to hit it well, it shortens the course dramatically.
I think daSeth is on to something. Driver is probably better used in the hands of a lower handicapper. Or if you are one of those people that just have a knack for hitting it. I don't carry one because I have trouble controlling it. When I took it out, it bothered me to do so and I started taking note of other players and how well they hit it. To see if it was just me or maybe to gain some strategy on when it was good to hit riskier clubs. In my specific observations of this, it is a score killer for most 18+ handicappers. Lots of slicing it terribly into the woods - and blowing up the score. I think to myself - if I would have broken that guys driver in half on the first tee box, would he have scored better today?
It takes an 18 capper 3 to get to the green almost every time anyway - no matter what they use. But instead of going 5i, 7i, chip - they go into the woods / water / OB, etc, back to the fairway, miss the green, chip. You end up with a lot more doubles than bogeys. Getting to the green with irons isn't really as hard as it sounds. But it is easy to get drawn in to assuming you should be on in 2 - even though that is not even close to the norm. The thought on the tee box is that it looks long and I'll need everything I've got. I also notice that there are a lot of terrible golfers who always play from the blues - which just makes thing worse.
If you have more fun getting distance than scoring well - obviously good club to have. A lot of people think that way, and I think that is great. But for scoring, probably best to hit the longest club of the ones you hit pretty straight. You will score better than you think.
My "old" partner use to say "short and straight beats long and wrong". He backed it up with his score too.
It would pay me to leave mine in the bag more often than I do. Someday I hope to make those extra yards improve my game, but for now "better" is more advantages than longer...
Yes, it hurt just a little to say that.
On the other hand, Id rather be in trouble a long way up than a long way back! :0
Having said that, the chap I partnered on the weekend was driving all of 100-150 yards BUT he hit the middle of the fairway every single time which made it easier for him to hit the greens in regulation.