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Driver: super extension with arms leads to straighter ball flight?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

So late in 2012 and into the first few months of 2013 I developed a slice with my driver.  When I first started playing golf last summer driving was actually one of the better parts of my game, however, as I played more and more and improved my swing I ended up with a terrible slice with my driver. 


I realized that I was coming over the top and this was causing the slice.  I read in several places about the benefits of having a compact swing and I think that this was part of the problem as I was likely standing too close to the ball and coming too much inside on the back swing which lead to me coming over the top on the down swing and thus the ball slicing with my driver. 


I have since fixed this over the last few months and a friend of mine that I played with last weekend had not seen me since I had my slice.  He asked how I fixed it as he is going through similar issues.  I explained that I stood further away from the ball and made sure that my arms were fully extended at address and then made sure to keep this extension as long as possible on the back swing.  I explained that I did not even take the club that far back on the back swing but that the full extension had resulted in much straighter ball flight along with greater distance.  I also found that in extending like this that it helped with my balance and my weight transfer.


Does this sound right to the experienced players and teachers out there?  My question now is if I should adjust my driver.  The ball flight on my drives has decreased, it's not low, but it's not as high as it used to be.  I'm fine with this as the ball is going straighter and I am getting more distance (probably because of better weight transfer).  I have been playing a Taylormade R11s TP driver and it's been on the stock settings which include a 10.5 degree loft. 


Would I get even more distance if I lowered the loft a degree?  If I lower the loft then should I also close the clubface since I think I remember reading that lowering the loft opens the club face?  Currently the club face is set at neutral.  Thanks for your assistance!

post #2 of 12

You've got a great video of an iron swing in your signature. Post that new driver swing if you can. Sounds kind of like my setup -- club shaft starts on the same plane it will be on at impact -- al la Moe Norman. It is longer and straighter for me.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

thanks, I am working on getting my driver swing video taped and will post it as soon as possible. 

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

will try to have my friend video my driver swing this weekend.....I noticed something else at the range last night with my driver.  I guess over time my shoulders at address became too level instead of my right shoulder being below my left shoulder.  I noticed this last night and made sure to keep my right shoulder lower at address while keeping proper spine angle.  Big difference.  I must have gained at least 30 yards last night just by doing this!  I was also making sure to keep arm extension.


Following IACAS's advice, I also made sure that my right arm did not fold to more than 90 degrees or an acute angle.  By allowing the right elbow to bend only at an obtuse angle while keeping spine angle, keeping extended, and along with right shoulder being below left at set up, it made a noticeable difference and I cannot wait until tomorrow on the course where I can hopefully "nuke" some drives!

post #5 of 12

From my experience, increasing your swing arc like that just hides the cast.  And the problem with Band-aids like that is your body eventually figures out a way around them and the problem, or some other problem, creeps into the swing.  Then you're off making more adjustments, which never seem to carry over from round to round.  Maybe one day your shoulder joint is extra loose and the little fix is working perfectly.  Then the next, your a little tighter and you can't get that magic back.  Eventually, you get sick of chasing your tail and either commit to getting better or give up.

post #6 of 12
They aren't band aids if they are fundamentals in the swing.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jclark View Post

They aren't band aids if they are fundamentals in the swing.


Agreed.  I was under the impression that many professionals/teachers suggest not having your shoulders be level at address with the driver.  Over time I guess my shoulders crept back to level and by just making a small change at address as I did last night it made a very nice difference.  I was so happy/amazed that I hit almost 20 straight with the driver to make sure that I could keep doing it and I did. 


Spentmiles - I'm not sure what you were alluding to you in your post, maybe I'm missing it?  A year ago I was not flexible enough to make swings like I do now.  I was not balanced enough either, which is why I was falling out of many of my shots.  Hell, 7 months ago I could not do what I do now.  I'm increasing the arc of my swing because I am getting more balance and flexibility.  I do not think that changing my set up with my driver to the suggested setup is a bandaid at all.  Regarding chasing my tail....I do not think or believe that I have been doing that at all.  I'm simply learning more and understanding my swing more and more.  It's only been one year and 19 days since I first played golf at all.  I'm curious to know what you meant in your post and I apologize if I am not understanding it?  Could you please explain why you believe that this change that I made at address with my driver is a "band-aid"?  What should I be doing instead?  Also please clarify chasing one's tail?  I don't think I've been doing this at all (maybe I'm wrong) as all the feedback I've received is that I am doing great considering the short time I've been golfing and my 12.3L handicap.....

post #8 of 12

Depends on how you achieved the lower right shoulder -- one doesn't want to lower the right shoulder by the action of lowering the right shoulder - watch your head move to the right when you do so.


You want to set up by moving your lead (left) hip slightly towards the target - in this way the head does not move backwards.

post #9 of 12

Hey hey hey, slow down there.  I didn't mean it as a personal attack.  Believe me, I've spent the majority of my golfing years chasing my tail - meaning, I've wasted a lot of time trying various manipulations in every aspect of the swing.  I don't even know if it's avoidable for people like us, who didn't start golfing when we were little kids, under the tutelage of someone with a sound swing and an even better ability to communicate it.  I want you to get better because it's obviously important to you to do so.  I want the same thing for myself.  So whatever I say, I don't say it out of meanness or trying to be flip.  But I think it's a warning you should heed: don't just play around with little things that seem to correct your issue of the day; it's all in the fundamentals and the less you "do" outside of those fundamentals, the more success you will see.  It's the things that you are doing that are screwing up your swing; a lot more than what you aren't doing.


I wasn't talking about tilting your shoulders at address.  I was talking about setting up with your driver with your arms extended and taking a back swing like you are swinging a diving board from your shoulders.  That's what I tried to do for a while and it does straighten the ball out, at the cost of distance.  You aren't going to be happy for long with doing it that way.  IF, in fact, that's what you are doing.  I'm reading your words, not looking at a picture of you, so your words trigger MY mental images, which may not be anywhere near your reality.

If you look at any pro's set-up with their driver, they aren't holding the club much different than they hold their pitching wedge.  It's not like we're ever going to be professionals, or achieve their angles, or their results, but they have figured out the most efficient ways to do things.  And you'll hear all this, "Every one has their own swing."  What I think that means is, "Everyone has a different set of compensations they've created to minimize the flaws in their fundamentals."  And those flaws may help us break 100, or even 90, but to get low consistently (and be happy with how we're doing it) requires us to strip away those flaws and just do it the most efficient way.  If that was an easy thing to do, then there wouldn't be 9000 posts on here from people wondering how to fix this or fix that (myself included).


I think I'm talking from my own personal frustration more than anything.  I kick myself for all the hundreds of buckets of balls I spent ingraining flaws over the last decade.  And yeah, you can get flaws to work with enough continuous practice, but that's not the road to contentment...  Then again, maybe golf isn't something that can be taught.  Maybe it's something you just have to learn on your own, through trial and error, adding flaws and then taking them away.  I just don't want you to waste as much time as I did, but you sound like you have a lot more raw talent than I ever did.

post #10 of 12
Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond View Post


You want to set up by moving your lead (left) hip slightly towards the target - in this way the head does not move backwards.


I like this advice, it works good for providing a stable backswing, just don't over do it.


In regards to the original post, I'll reply with a popular sandtrap reply: feel ain't real. I feel like me right arm is quite straight on the back swing, but it bends. It just feels like it is straight and prevents over-bending.

post #11 of 12

I like the idea of 'full stretch' throughout the swing. Esp important at ball contact the arms stretched out. And my take-away thought is 'right hand high'. Watch some pro videos and see the point of contact and the position of the arms: stretched out max.

Here's a good video and commentary. Sure, a girl, third my age, way longer than me on the drives. Stop the video at 11, 12, 13 seconds and observe the right arm.  



post #12 of 12

its funny how I came across your comment with regards to STANDING FURTHER AWAY FROM BALL AT ADDRESS as I have just come in from playing the last few holes at my club doing just that and getting good results.


I have been playing GOLF for a number of years now but Ive always had a tendency to hit ground before Ball, so I thought make my backswing more round myself and flatter which I can achieve by standing further from the ball, and it worked!! not only straighter but further.


So I come home and check out Google to see if anyone else recommends this....


Obviously I have only played a few holes today using this method...so can't wait to get out next time to see if I can repeat the same...


CA Cornwall England

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