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Why are Drivers so difficult?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Why is that so many of us have such a problem hitting the driver?  You would think it would be the easiest to strike well because of the massive size of modern drivers.  They should have the largest sweet spot and your ball always has a perfect lie (on a tee).  Does the low loft create all the issues?

post #2 of 13
Length of the shaft is the big reason.
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post

Length of the shaft is the big reason.

Especially when the shaft is 325 yards long.  Then you have a problem. ;)

 

To OP:  What Jamo said (shaft length), and then combined with what you said (low loft).  Such a low loft means that any hits other than straight are going to be magnified due to a much higher component of "sidespin."

post #4 of 13
Plus like the putter a driver has almost different mechanics to irons.

Its a full swing but with adjustments. Also the holy grail of a straight shot isn't consistent. You will have to settle for a shot shape that is playable.

If you have flaws in your swing a driver will magnify them almost three fold. That lovely controlled fade on your irons becomes a banana ball with a driver.

Its a great club to use but don't become obsessed with it. I try to think of it now a strategic choice on the tee.
post #5 of 13

I used to think the driver was dang near impossible.  As has been said, it's the length of the shaft, the low loft, and the fact you get to hit it off a tee that make the driver almost a game unto itself.  I had to learn a driver stroke that is only somewhat related to the stroke I use on other clubs.  The way I hit a fairway wood is more akin to the way I hit an iron than how I hit my driver (or so it seems to me.)

 

I struggled trying to figure out how to hit a driver right for about six months (I've only been back to the game about a year now), and I had so many other "issues" to work out that really addressing the driver kept being put off.  Then I came to grips with the fact I needed (NEEDED) a longer opening shot that didn't end up in the woods or I'd never really progress.  I went and got properly fitted by a Titleist Advanced Fitting Center, took a couple of lessons with the new club and put in time on the range finding my own swing.

 

I don't hit 'em all perfectly, and not long ago I got sort of out of whack for a week or so, but overall my driver is now one of my more consistent clubs.  Setting up properly, and a slow deliberate backswing concentrating on keeping the club head on the swing plane, then a decent weight shift are the keys to hitting the thing for me.

post #6 of 13
The biggest thing for me has been choking down on my driver. It takes some of the length out of it and I strike the ball much more consistently.

My fear was losing distance but finding the center(or closer to the center) of the club face more consistently has actually fixed that issue and has kept my average distance consistent but greatly increased my accuracy.


I will no longer get the 300 yard bomb when I would catch it just right once every 8 rounds, but I also have yet to hit the 40 yard slice(every round)
post #7 of 13
The best decision I made this year in relation to my golf game was cutting my driver shaft down. I forget but I think I went down 1.75 inches from 46". The ball marks on my driver face are much more centered near the sweetspot. My second time out with the driver I played the entire 18 holes with one ball. My misses are still misses but not as bad as before. At this rate I will never play a 46 inch driver again.
post #8 of 13

...and don't forget, you're hitting it twice as far with a driver, so your misses will be exaggerated at those distances.

 

Assuming perfect conditions, if you are even just one degree off, if your 125 yard shot was a straight line on the ground it would be something like 7 feet off line (my apology to anyone good enough at math to know I am wrong).  Now figure in the distance up and down so your ball is probably actually travelling something like 225 yards (that is a guess) and you are further off line, now figure in spin and winds and you are further off line.

 

Now, double the distance your ball travels out and the angle makes the error even more great, and with the increased distance comes the time  it has to be affected by spin and wind etc....

 

Now, imagine you are off just 2 degrees and it gets even worse more quickly.

post #9 of 13

I love the driver but only after having figured out why it was that I used to be so inconsistent.   I figured out what worked for me and try to maintain that everytime I use it, the driver is nothing like any club in the bag so it requires a completely separate approach, for me anyways.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonTheSavage View Post

The best decision I made this year in relation to my golf game was cutting my driver shaft down. I forget but I think I went down 1.75 inches from 46". The ball marks on my driver face are much more centered near the sweetspot. My second time out with the driver I played the entire 18 holes with one ball. My misses are still misses but not as bad as before. At this rate I will never play a 46 inch driver again.

 

Would choking down on the club accomplish the same thing without going in and physically getting it cut at a shop?

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Smell Good View Post

Would choking down on the club accomplish the same thing without going in and physically getting it cut at a shop?

Yes, choking down 1.5" on the grip is the same as having 1.5" cut off the grip end. If you are ok with the feel of that 1.5" above your hand, it's a much easier solution.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

I just got back into the game after a very long break.  Right now I am just going with the basics and will attempt the driver later on once the irons are worked out.

post #13 of 13
I had a driver from the start but now I think that was a mistake. I sold mine after 18 months.

The golf swing requires patience and while my scores stayed high at the beginning I believe I made the correct decision in the long run.
I predominantly practiced long irons and hybrids. These are long enough shafts for some difficulty but you are rewarded with some length off the tee.

Now a few years later my dispersion is tighter and I make less errors the time felt right to buy another driver.

First ball I hit 50 yards right haha!
I have worked through alignment and set up issues and now have good control of it enough to consider it a weapon of choice.

I would consider it something to work on after you have developed a repeatable swing with other clubs.
If you devote lots of practice time too it at the start to the detriment of other clubs you could hold yourself back.
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