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Driver Trouble! - Off the Deck- no problem. Tee it up - oh no?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Okay, I believe I have a fairly unique issue.  I hit my ping G20 9.5* driver about 245-260 off the deck with a little cut and practically no roll.  If I tee my driver up, I have no idea where it is going...  I can't use the same swing for my driver when I tee it up as I am highly inconsistent and tend to push the ball to the right with an occasional big balloon slice.  I've always been a decent iron player but the driver...  oh the driver...

 

Anyone have similar issue or any tips?  I know I just need to go to the range and play with a setup and consistent swing thought and grove a swing, but I don't know where to start!

post #2 of 18

The swings are the same but where they are struck on the swing arch are not. Shots struck off  the ground are struck with a descending strike and so the small fade with your driver off the deck equals and uncontrollable slice  when struck off a tee. Ballflight Laws and D plane will explain these differences. I have to go work on my clubs but I'll check back and if someone hasn't chimed in when I get back I'll explain further.

 

The guy has an accent but it is one of the best and most simple explanations I've seen:

 

 

Ballflight laws can be found all over this site so I'm sure you can find that information.

post #3 of 18

The secret is not in the dirt.  It's in your head.  A little bird inside your brain tells you that when you see the ball up on the tee the message is KILL IT!!  This is not a useful message so it's up to you to find the bird and suppress the song. 

 

Big slices do suggest that you are OTT.  

post #4 of 18
I have the opposite problem. Can hit driver well of tee but not of the deck. Also I draw/hook /pull drive not cut What I did recently was finding a ground where the ball was sloping away from me and ball slightly below the feet. After a few tries. I was was able to use my driver and cut /slice but not able to hook. Was a very different feeling for me as I need to stand more upright and shorten my swing to more vertical
I find it more natural to hit the woods with ground sloping up with ball above the feet. Why don't you try doing that ? Ball above feet until you start drawing them? Then you should be able to tee with confidence
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  I'll check the video, sounds like what I was looking for.  I do have a tendency to come slightly over the top even with my irons.  I played a small draw all through high school and college and quit playing for a few years.  When I came back to the game, I had to re-work my swing a little and ended up with little fade (my right elbow is my key if I want to fix it my cut).  And I also agree it's in my head lol... That's the beauty of golf  :)      one you find the right swing thought and you commit to your swing, it can do wonders.

post #6 of 18

@JP golf ,

 

Welcome to the site.  If you take a video of your swing, there are several teaching Pros on the site that will help.  I tend to play my woods a bit more forward in my stance off a tee and treat it more like my driver swing.  For you issue, do you keep the ball position the same?

post #7 of 18

I know a guy that also hits his driver better off the deck. He hits somewhere between a fade and a slice off the deck but a much worse slice if he tries to tee it up.

 

Although it's a swing problem it's also explained pretty well in that D Plane video that @Righty to Lefty posted.

 

It's a shame because he's not a bad golfer on his approach shots and has a good short game, but he seems reluctant to try to change anything and just hits the driver off of the deck from the tee box.

 

I used to be fairly decent at hitting my driver off the deck back when I had one of the smaller headed old Big Berthas but I rarely even try it anymore. The last time I did try it the ball didn't go any farther than my 3 wood anyway.

post #8 of 18

There's one difference here between the two shots IMO; expectations. If I hit 5 drivers off the deck while I'm dicking around at the range and I expect them not to do anything but 2 or 3 get off decent, suddenly I feel like I'm hitting 80% of fairways and hitting it better than off the tee. If I hit 5 drives off the tee and expect them all to be perfect but I mishit 2, Then I feel like I'm hacking it up because the ball's on a tee and I want a perfect shot from a perfect lie. I think that you are taking the correct course of action by trying to fix your tee shots, but being able to hit from the deck isn't a good excuse because that's a preposterous shot and it doesn't really help anybody's game. Basically if you're being realistic, the thread title should be "Driver Trouble- tee it up- Oh no?".

 

Not saying this to be negative but I'm reminding you that hitting driver off the deck is a desperate play and working on it or being good at it only distracts from the problem. We have a couple guys on here that get tons of great advice but have too big an ego to actually work on anything properly and just keep making excuses for why they don't get better, so I hope that you have the right attitude for the challenge.

 

(Same thing with people who can hit a 1 iron "great" but still struggle with clubs that matter. I've been guilty of that too. Hit the 1 iron all day; you'll never get better unless you work on your problems.)

 

Anyway, I suggest you give this thread a read for starters: http://thesandtrap.com/t/44307/hitting-up-or-down-with-the-driver-in-an-inline-pattern 

 

It has lots of useful information about setup and a few key concepts about hitting good drives. Obviously if you play to an 8 your swing must have a few redeeming qualities, so finding a setup and swing pattern that allows you to smack the ball with a bit of confidence on the course will do for starters, and you can make adjustments over time as you adjust. 

 

My one tip would be to play the ball forward and make sure to hit the ball on the upper middle part of the face. If you are hitting the ball off the deck with any crispness then you're probably playing it behind the low point of your swing like an iron and hitting it very thin, which is a treacherous but sometimes playable shot with the driver. Hitting that part of the face increases the effective loft, maxes ball speed, and reduces spin, all of which can fix a lot of things. 

 

Lastly, I second the advice to make a swing thread (http://thesandtrap.com/t/38240/my-swing-video-threads-rules-please-read) There are good instructors here and they are capable of helping anyone play better.

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

@boogielicious - Thanks, when playing the ball off the deck with driver I start with the ball a couple balls front of middle of my stance and slightly behind my left heel (closer to middle than the heel).  Off the tee I start directly off the left heel.

 

@Righty to Lefty - great vid on D-plane.  Video makes a lot of sense.  I'll play with these concepts at the range with the driver.  It might just be that swing thought or understanding of the D plane I'm looking for...  Thank YOU, simple video that might have something that clicks for me!

 

@MS256 - I'm similar to your friend in that I haven't tried to change it on course and you're right, I like the D Plane vid.  My scoring issue is actually more short game and wedge distance, but that's another issue lol...  I find fairways, but I leave a ton of distance off by choosing to not tee it up and i'm obviously not taking advantage of my length on par 5's and long 4's.  With the Driver off the deck I can eliminate the left side and know that I'm going to start the ball at a point and it will only work away from that point (I know the ball won't go left and that if I miss the shot it will be 15- 20 yards shorter and maybe 15-20 yards further right than i had intended).  P.S. - it started with the Bertha (warbird) lol

 

@LuciusWooding - Thanks!  I'll definitely check the link out and you are right I do play the shot slightly behind the low point in my swing hitting it low on the clubface.  I'm new to the forums and didn't know about the video swing threads so thanks for that also!  I am thankful and appreciate your post. 

 

Re: Driver off the deck:  "Desperate play... not an excuse... preposterous shot that doesn't help anybody... only distracts from the problem?"    -  I'm not sure where you are coming from here but we are not on the same page there.  The reason I mentioned hitting driver off the deck is because it gives some idea as to my approach angle and swing plane that I can repeat consistently.  I'm not trying to fix the driver off the deck.  245-260 with a slight cut in the fairway is great (So is a 3 iron 215 down the middle on a short par 4).  Any shot that gives you repeatable and consistent results is a useful shot.  However, it's not always the shot that's going to give you the best scoring opportunities (Thus, I want to hit my driver off a tee and get that extra distance).  Golf is all about risk vs. reward & knowing where you will miss.  Unfortunately, right now- I don't know where my miss is going to be when I tee it up. 

 

My goal is to maximize my game and give myself the best scoring opportunities possible.  This means learning how to get the most out of my driver including distance and being able to hit the ball consistently off a tee.  That's why I'm here.  As far as making excuses and having too big an ego to actually work on anything - No, I won't agree with everything and I do have confidence in my basic understanding of swing concepts and course management- but I'm also open to learning and know that I don't know everything.  Again, I 100% appreciate your response and hope you don't take my reply the wrong way either.  Everything after the first two paragraphs was great, but those first two just threw me off a little.  -I'm assuming my post came off as inflated and/or braggy to you and it wasn't meant that way at all.  -I really just want to hit a driver off a tee lol

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP golf View Post
 

My goal is to maximize my game and give myself the best scoring opportunities possible.  This means learning how to get the most out of my driver including distance and being able to hit the ball consistently off a tee.  That's why I'm here.  As far as making excuses and having too big an ego to actually work on anything - No, I won't agree with everything and I do have confidence in my basic understanding of swing concepts and course management- but I'm also open to learning and know that I don't know everything.  Again, I 100% appreciate your response and hope you don't take my reply the wrong way either.  Everything after the first two paragraphs was great, but those first two just threw me off a little.  -I'm assuming my post came off as inflated and/or braggy to you and it wasn't meant that way at all.  -I really just want to hit a driver off a tee lol

We get posters in here sometimes who make strange claims to get attention, so any post mentioning driver off the deck, the 1 or 2 iron, 64 degree wedges, or being a great ballstriker but a 20+ handicap or such is always a bit of a red flag. So maybe I read too much into it. I sometimes try to be helpful but end up pushing people's buttons to test them a bit, I should probably focus more on being helpful.

 

Anyway, that's the right attitude to have, I think.  There's a lot of really good info and resources available here so an open mind can be a big help. Hell, I just won a dozen free balls from one thread so there's all sorts of advantages to being a member here. And welcome to the trap, since I haven't said so already.

 

And if you're from a warm climate, please spend a few minutes fanning warm air towards the northeast. We'd appreciate that. 

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciusWooding View Post
 

We get posters in here sometimes who make strange claims to get attention, so any post mentioning driver off the deck, the 1 or 2 iron, 64 degree wedges, or being a great ballstriker but a 20+ handicap or such is always a bit of a red flag.

Completely understand, and I see how my post could come across that way.  Thanks again for the feedback!  I look forward to being a productive contributor and learning a few things too. 

 

P.S.  it was 72 degrees Sunday  - Monday was 3 inches of snow and ice!  I don't know whats going on lol - Virginia Beach, Norfolk area in VA.

post #12 of 18

@JP golf hey man, just thought I'd mention something that has been working for me. I'm a fairly new golfer so take this for what it's worth, but I have been hitting my driver consistently well lately.

 

Like you, I had trouble pushing and slicing. After reading one of Hogan's books, I tried hitting a few drives with my right foot about 6 inches back. For whatever reason (don't really want to know why lol) it helps me see and feel a more in to out path, and the ball usually draws quite a bit. I'll do this for maybe 4-5 shots, then even out my feet again and boom, hitting it straight with maybe a baby draw. The only thoughts I have are Key #1 with a splash of Key #3.

 

Anyway...kind of feel silly giving an 8 HC advice when I'm shooting 85-88 avg w/o an official HC lol...just trying to contribute as much as I've received.

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BENtSwing32 View Post
 

@JP golf hey man, just thought I'd mention something that has been working for me. I'm a fairly new golfer so take this for what it's worth, but I have been hitting my driver consistently well lately.

 

Like you, I had trouble pushing and slicing. After reading one of Hogan's books, I tried hitting a few drives with my right foot about 6 inches back. For whatever reason (don't really want to know why lol) it helps me see and feel a more in to out path, and the ball usually draws quite a bit. I'll do this for maybe 4-5 shots, then even out my feet again and boom, hitting it straight with maybe a baby draw. The only thoughts I have are Key #1 with a splash of Key #3.

 

Anyway...kind of feel silly giving an 8 HC advice when I'm shooting 85-88 avg w/o an official HC lol...just trying to contribute as much as I've received.


Thanks man!  Handicaps are overrated!  I believe your post is a great drill to work on D-plane -check out the vid early thread.  Pulling the back foot back would go right inline with getting your swing to get more on the right plane and hit the ball with an ascending blow....  Makes sense to me!  - I'll play with this at the range (as soon as this snow goes away) when I'm working on a couple swing thoughts regarding my swing plane.

 

P.S.  85-88 is good, you might be surprised what your true HC is when you get one established.  The only difference (IMO) between 85-88 and 78-81 is eliminating a couple bad holes and knowing where you miss.  Then just play smart and take the big hazards out of play.

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP golf View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BENtSwing32 View Post
 

@JP golf hey man, just thought I'd mention something that has been working for me. I'm a fairly new golfer so take this for what it's worth, but I have been hitting my driver consistently well lately.

 

Like you, I had trouble pushing and slicing. After reading one of Hogan's books, I tried hitting a few drives with my right foot about 6 inches back. For whatever reason (don't really want to know why lol) it helps me see and feel a more in to out path, and the ball usually draws quite a bit. I'll do this for maybe 4-5 shots, then even out my feet again and boom, hitting it straight with maybe a baby draw. The only thoughts I have are Key #1 with a splash of Key #3.

 

Anyway...kind of feel silly giving an 8 HC advice when I'm shooting 85-88 avg w/o an official HC lol...just trying to contribute as much as I've received.


Thanks man!  Handicaps are overrated!  I believe your post is a great drill to work on D-plane -check out the vid early thread.  Pulling the back foot back would go right inline with getting your swing to get more on the right plane and hit the ball with an ascending blow....  Makes sense to me!  - I'll play with this at the range (as soon as this snow goes away) when I'm working on a couple swing thoughts regarding my swing plane.

 

P.S.  85-88 is good, you might be surprised what your true HC is when you get one established.  The only difference (IMO) between 85-88 and 78-81 is eliminating a couple bad holes and knowing where you miss.  Then just play smart and take the big hazards out of play.

Nice! Well glad it made sense/might help haha. And thanks for the encouragement and advice. It's only been the last 2 months that I've shot sub-90 rounds consecutively and I can attribute a lot of that to hitting fairways with my driver. I definitely need to play more for my misses when approaching greens, that's great advice.

 

EDIT: Watched that video..awesome. Definitely ties in with that drill!

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

UPDATE:  I played with the back foot back drill yesterday at the range and it helped...  I hit about 35-45 shots with the foot back (same alignment, just sliding back foot back- helped me get a more inside to out swing path in relation to the target line, Thus getting me on a little better plane - at least I think that's how it's working lol).  When I went back to more normal alignment (keeping the same plane & path in relation to the target line, just moving my foot back to it's regular position)- I was hitting them straight.  Since I'm used to playing a fade, my natural alignment is left of where I want the ball to finish- (a target at the left side of the fairway is comfortable for me).  After doing this drill yesterday I can choose a target that's closer to where I want the ball to finish but I HAVE TO COMMIT and TRUST IT (the tendency for me with this approach makes me feel like I will push the ball right since my target is more the middle of the fairway- (I feel aimed right of target but i'm not)-  If I fight that and don't trust the swing path and plane, I will try to correct and pull left which make me revert back to an outside-in swing and get a slice). 

 

I hope I explained that right, but it helped me swing a little more inside-out and on plane - which allows me to hit a straighter shot.  Sample size is too small to tell but it's promising so far...  Good thing is it's only minor adjustments and feels okay.  It's more being able to trust the alignment and swing and believing the ball will go where I want it to.  I have to commit to it and that was my swing thought... COMMIT! 

 

I also teed the ball a little higher (I usually tee the ball low).  Teeing up higher helped me be more aware of ascent angle but I didn't focus on it (subconsciously, I think it makes me swing a little more "up" on the ball) ... 

 

Overall, I think it's a promising approach! 

 

Thanks @BENtSwing32 & @Righty to Lefty!  I have a good starting point to do some work with my driver off the tee and that's what I was looking for!  - Again, great video, it does wonders for my visualization and helps me trust the swing.

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BENtSwing32 View Post
 

I definitely need to play more for my misses when approaching greens, that's great advice.

 

That's the fastest way IMO for someone to get in the 80's consistently.  It's a game of misses!  I see it all the time with some guys I play with. One misses right of his target 85% of the time, but he doesn't play for it.  If the pin is on the right side of the green and he goes for the center or at the pin he misses right and leaves himself with no green to chip up and down.  If he was to play that same shot to the left side of the green or even off the left side of the green and miss it, he ends up on the flag stick... if he hits it true he's simply on the left side of the green or chipping with a lot of green to work with and an easy up and down for par.

 

Same thing for yardages.. The same guy will be on a par 5- 230 from a guarded green and he's hitting 3 wood?  If he hits it great he's 20 yds from the green with a delicate pitch/flop over a bunker, if he misses he hits it 190 with a slice into the water...  If he grabs a 9 iron and plays a simple 130 yard shot he leaves himself with a simple 100 yd shot into the green from the center of the fairway.  If he misses with the 9 iron he's still 110-120 out and in the fairway.. took the bunker and water completely out of play. 

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys.... Gaining some confidence with the Driver again...  Unfortunately, I played MB a couple weeks ago and only hit it about 3 times over 3 days.  Still have some work to do with the driver, but now it's more of just getting comfortable and trusting where the ball will go.  It's amazing what a little positive visualization can do.

 

Dropped the G20 from the bag for now as I hit the 3 wood just as far (off the ground)...  Put the R1 back in the bag to hit off tee on occasion (that club is a monster!)

 

I have to make myself hit driver on course more often to get the confidence (not as worried about scores over the next few weeks)-   I would say on average I might hit 2 drivers a round (if that)...  Can't get confident if I don't put it in play and get some PT with the driver right?

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

UPDATE:  simply teeing up higher and slightly tilting my spine angle a little more away is helping me hit the ball with an ascending blow...  I'm still learning to trust it, but I was hitting some monster drives the past couple of rounds.

 

My new miss:  My misses tend to be left with a draw with this approach (and I'm used to hitting a cut with the driver before).  It's still a small battle sometimes to commit to my target line because it doesn't fit my eye yet (Naturally, I still feel like my miss will be to the right so aiming right still feels funny on some holes).  Playing a couple best ball tournaments has taken the pressure off and allowed me to commit to my target line with this new approach and it's working wonders so far. 

 

Thanks again guys.  The thoughts about D-plane and being conscious where my club is bottoming out helps me commit to the shot and trust the swing.

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