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Help a new golfer select his first driver

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I have spent the last ten months trying to learn how to play this game.  I wasn’t able to hit a driver at all until two or three months ago.  I just couldn’t make consistent enough contact to ever have any sort of playable shot.  Once I got over that hurdle, I had the worse slice imaginable.  Now that’s fixed, and I basically have three different trajectories.

 

1.       My most common driver shot starts straight and draws or hooks somewhere between 10 to 50 yards left.  The draws are often playable, but the hooks are usually in the trees.

 

2.        I can correct this by starting the ball more right, but this normally leads to me forgetting to roll my hands over through impact.  So in this case the ball starts right and flies pretty straight.

 

3.       If I find a way to get everything working together properly, I can get the ball started slightly right, and have it draw back to the center of the fairway.  This is the shot my coach wants me to hit, and the one I am working hard to develop as my standard.

 

I have been borrowing a friend’s driver, which I have to return later this week.  It is a Callaway Big Bertha 10° with ProLaunch Blue 65S shaft (2.8° torque, 64 grams).  I choke down on this driver, and take an easy/partial swing.  Today I was able to get onto a Foresight launch monitor at GolfTEC and here are what my baseline numbers look like.

 

Driver ball flight baseline numbers.JPG

 

Here is a high speed video of my swing with the driver:

 

 

Please give me your thoughts regarding what sort of things I should look for in my first driver.  Hopefully, I have provided enough information to get some good feedback. a1_smile.gif

post #2 of 17

Spend like $75 on something out of a used bin at your course. At at 36 hdcp you could hit club that is 10 years old or the newest and best and it won't matter a ton. Just get anything and when you start to figure out your swing/game and your hdcp is in the 8-12 range I'd say really start to look. You will have a great idea about shaft flex, loft, response, and more because you've played so much. Any big purchase now will just be a mistake.

post #3 of 17

Not a bad swing for just 10 months of playing. You look like you take the club a little too far inside which will promote a hook imo, But there are better swing analyzers here. As far as what driver to buy, I would go take a lesson or two from a pro and he will be able to give you some ideas on the proper driver for you.

post #4 of 17

The numbers are inconsistent, which is expected for 10 months - but I'd say work on that right elbow, keep head still, steepen your shoulders, turn the hips sooner and more on the downswing, keep the arms closer to body on downswing, let that left arm bend and stay closer to body on downswing, straighten the left leg use after impact are a few issues...

 

But I am no instructor... I'd probably get a few issues taken care of before you bought a driver to make sure you're getting one that fits. But if you need one now for the future.

 

Look for something in 10.5 degrees, it could be regular or stiff flex depending on how bad the stock shaft is ... you probably have the power for a stiff flex in a softer stock shaft - but you might go Taylormade Sueprfast 2.0 in 10.5 in stiff flex (plays like regular flex) - those are going for less money these days. But I think a better driver is the Adams 9088UL in 10.5, flex depends on that Matrix shaft. Those have been reduced to $200 and you can find them on ebay for less... great driver and will help swing speed.

post #5 of 17

Just my opinion, but looks like your grip is very very strong (both hands). Again just my opinion but I would watch/read as much as you can about the proper grip and adjust yours accordingly, before you buy any new clubs, I would definitely say adjusting your grip will help your ball flight.

 

Your general swing looks pretty good to me.

post #6 of 17

Don't blow a lot of cash on this! You're likely going to go thru several (ok, maybe a lot) drivers as you play more and get better. Your numbers look like a 10.5 degree, regular shaft will be a good starting point.

Every shop on America has last year's drivers on sale at reasonable prices. Golf Galaxy has TaylorMade Burner Superfasts on line for something insane like 129.

post #7 of 17

www.rockbottomgolf.com

Buy the nickent 4dx

50 bucks Amazing driver

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond View Post

Look for something in 10.5 degrees, it could be regular or stiff flex depending on how bad the stock shaft is ... you probably have the power for a stiff flex in a softer stock shaft

Please help me to understand this.  I was under the impression that swing speed should be the primary determining factor for selecting shaft stiffness.  Yet even though my average swing speed is still pretty slow, I feel like I hit stiff-shafted drivers quite a bit better than regular flex ones.

post #9 of 17

You are right - your swing speed should determine your shaft selection.

 

One of the things the smart guys on this forum say is that "what you feel isn't necessarily real".  You may feel that you hit the stiff shaft better, but it is really a matter of factuality.  If your swing isn't fast enough for a stiff shaft, it won't flex and supply you distance. Though you might hit it straighter for some unknown reason (to me), if you don't get any "kick" from it (think longer distance), then you are better off with a regular shaft.

 

You seem like you could be a pretty good athlete. Don't get frustrated with golf. There is nothing natural about a great golf swing. It is learned, found, and lost, tweaked...Great players can't get into times in their lives when some tiny things change unintentionally and their game goes in the tank.  Yet, you can play golf throughout your life with all kinds of people. It is a superb game to be enjoyed!

 

Any regular shaft driver made in the last couple of years will do you well - as long as it isn't designed for a low handicap player (e.g. Ping i15). Ask for a forgiving, large, driver that promotes a high ball flight and you will be well-served by it for a couple of years (I would guess).

 

At this point - I would encourage you to forsake the driver entirely - use your 3 wood and learn to hit it fairly predictably.  In the end you will score better and enjoy hitting from the fairway more often than not.  You can continue to work on your swing, but know that any minute flaw in your swing is magnified when you have a longer club in your hand. 

 

I remember getting into a funk a couple of years ago - put my driver away for a month - scored some great rounds as I was only giving up about 20-30 yards on average when I teed off with my 3 wood. 

post #10 of 17
I would echo the TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 2.0. I bought one used, as I was just picking the game up after years off, and have found it to be great. You can find it on GlobalGolf for $115 in very good condition. I got mine in the same condition and it has been an exceptional value.
post #11 of 17

Use the money for lessons instead.  With the money you are contemplating on spending, you could get a few hours of good lesson.

post #12 of 17

Buy a used Diablo Octane from Callaway Preowned.  You can get one in good condition for about $100.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukari View Post

Use the money for lessons instead.  With the money you are contemplating on spending, you could get a few hours of good lesson.

 

I take regular lessons and practice three or four times most weeks.  I know my swing isn't great, but you would think it's perfect if you saw my swing four months ago.  a2_wink.gif

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old1964 View Post

One of the things the smart guys on this forum say is that "what you feel isn't necessarily real".  You may feel that you hit the stiff shaft better, but it is really a matter of factuality.  If your swing isn't fast enough for a stiff shaft, it won't flex and supply you distance. Though you might hit it straighter for some unknown reason (to me), if you don't get any "kick" from it (think longer distance), then you are better off with a regular shaft.

 

I'm a beginner myself and totally yield as any sort of authority on the topic, but in my experience i would have to object. I started a few months ago with a super flexible shaft on a piece of crap acuity driver. I was hitting 175 - 200 on good contact drives at the range. I upgraded a few weeks back to a super stiff Callaway 9.5 degree and it noticeably improved my distance and my accuracy. ( and i use the term "accuracy" very loosely). It could just be that its coinciding with improved swing mechanics but I'm putting most of my drives at the fence (which is marked 250) and occasionally I hit one over the fence.

... shrug... 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old1964 View Post

You seem like you could be a pretty good athlete. Don't get frustrated with golf. There is nothing natural about a great golf swing. It is learned, found, and lost, tweaked...Great players can't get into times in their lives when some tiny things change unintentionally and their game goes in the tank.  Yet, you can play golf throughout your life with all kinds of people. It is a superb game to be enjoyed!

 

Any regular shaft driver made in the last couple of years will do you well - as long as it isn't designed for a low handicap player (e.g. Ping i15). Ask for a forgiving, large, driver that promotes a high ball flight and you will be well-served by it for a couple of years (I would guess).

 

At this point - I would encourage you to forsake the driver entirely - use your 3 wood and learn to hit it fairly predictably.  In the end you will score better and enjoy hitting from the fairway more often than not.  You can continue to work on your swing, but know that any minute flaw in your swing is magnified when you have a longer club in your hand. 

 

I remember getting into a funk a couple of years ago - put my driver away for a month - scored some great rounds as I was only giving up about 20-30 yards on average when I teed off with my 3 wood. 

 

This is really good advice... I'm in the process of trying to overcome the temptations that be and actually follow it. I think the issue for us new golfers is the idea that distance = progress when actuality course management and discipline = progress and will be reflected on the score card. 

 

best of luck!

post #15 of 17

Any idea how fast your swing is divot dave?  What distance do you normally hit your 7 iron?

I know that I am no golf expert and would be interested in learning more about the stiff shaft phenomenom.

I'm pretty sure I saw and old thread on here about that very question...how a guy with a slow swing speed hits way further with a stiff shaft...someone who is industrious could probably find it e2_whistling.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

I'm a beginner myself and totally yield as any sort of authority on the topic, but in my experience i would have to object. I started a few months ago with a super flexible shaft on a piece of crap acuity driver. I was hitting 175 - 200 on good contact drives at the range. I upgraded a few weeks back to a super stiff Callaway 9.5 degree and it noticeably improved my distance and my accuracy. ( and i use the term "accuracy" very loosely). It could just be that its coinciding with improved swing mechanics but I'm putting most of my drives at the fence (which is marked 250) and occasionally I hit one over the fence.

... shrug... 

 

 

This is really good advice... I'm in the process of trying to overcome the temptations that be and actually follow it. I think the issue for us new golfers is the idea that distance = progress when actuality course management and discipline = progress and will be reflected on the score card. 

 

best of luck!

 

The most difficult part of my decision to forsake my driver for a while was putting up with the guys I was playing with. However, after beating almost all of them a few weeks in a row made that easier.

 

Enjoy the game...it should be enjoyed.

post #16 of 17

I recently helped a friend pick out his first "good" driver and after testing all the newer stuff, the PING G15, 10.5 deg, reg. shaft was the clear winner for max distance, avg. distance and fairways hit.  His swing speed was a little lower than yours (avg. 85mph).  I too after testing all the newer stuff a couple years ago ended up with a PING (i15, 9.5 deg) and for me it was the clear winner for distance and fairways hit over all the other brands.  Now that the G20's are out, the G15 is bargain priced. 

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipless View Post

Please help me to understand this.  I was under the impression that swing speed should be the primary determining factor for selecting shaft stiffness.  Yet even though my average swing speed is still pretty slow, I feel like I hit stiff-shafted drivers quite a bit better than regular flex ones.

There is no standard between OEMs as to what is a stiff, regular, senior, etc. so one OEM's stiff flex is another's regular flex. 

 

As to your question, it is not only speed but quickness and how you load the shaft that also helps determine the shaft that fits you. A stiff shaft can have a high, low, or mid bend point, low torque or high torque ... and other traits.

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