Last night I used the simulator at Dick' Sporting Goods to try to get a better understanding of what I was doing with my driver swing. I tried 2 different drivers. One was a Maltby 10.5, 43.5" A-Flex shaft that I picked up on the cheap to experiment with and the other was a Nike Machspeed SQ STR-8 Fit HL 13* Driver, standard regular flex shaft.
One thing that I found was that my swing speed was disappointing low in some cases, but validated what I was thinking. Tension was killing my swing. When I was tensed up in my swing (trying to kill it) I was swinging around 85 mph. When I relaxed and took nice tension free swings (starting with relaxing my hands) I was driving the ball straighter and further with around a 95 mpg swing speed. Based on that I am hopeful for the future because I think with some additional tweaks and lessons I could get that up over 100. My best drives were between 250-260, which matches what I see in real life when I get a hold of one. My average seemed to be around the 210-220 range, excluding the occasional disaster.
Went an played today with my son and had one of my better rounds to date. I was staring down breaking 100, but after 13 holes, my son just couldn't keep up and we went home. Ended up with a 74 through 13; and a 52 on the front. Started off the back with 2 pars in 4 holes so things were looking promising. Best drive that I GPS'd before my phone died was 245 in the middle of the fairway which was huge for me. One thing that I noticed on the simulator as well as the course is that with the 13* driver and the ball tee'd up high, I was definitely sacrificing some distance but that the ball was going nice and straight. The roll out was pretty minimal, probably 10% or so of the carry distance which for me is ok because I am not a marksman yet and the not too much rollout was helping to keep the ball in the fairway. The guy on the simulator also noticed, and I did get more distance with a little more loft, but I think I was back to fading and slicing as well. For now, I am willing to make the trade off of a little distance for more fairways hit.
What I found while experimenting on the simulator was that I cannot have any tension in my swing. For me that starts in the hands. I have to keep myself from strangling the club because that is where it all starts to go downhill. If I do that and make sure to get my hands deep, I'm hitting pretty straight even drawing the ball some. This is the first time that I managed to get rid of my monster fade and slice with the driver. Now I have the interesting problem of making sure that I don't forget that I can now put the ball on the left side of the fairway.
About 2 months ago, maybe a month and a half, I was basically playing 130 golf. Now it looks like I'm playing around 100. I know I still have a long way to go but it is nice to sit back and think about that I have dropped nearly 30 strokes in a short period of time. I know going forward it won't drop that fast but it gives me hope that I could be a 90's golfer in the near future, trying to figure out how to break 90.
My continuing personal goal for the year is to break 100 and by the end of the season be a solidly scoring in the 90's consistently. Beyond that, who know's. Long term stretch goal, maybe single digit HC?
Edited by Fromthecoast - 4/25/14 at 6:32pm