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Newbie question: Is driving the hardest part of golf?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I've just recently started playing golf again (never took it very seriously years ago as a hobby - now I am)...and while I can grasp putting, using irons, working with wedges and am doing okay with those so far...I have to ask:

 

Is learning how to use the driver the single most challenging part of golf?

 

It seems extremely difficult to get the right power and accuracy and yet seasoned players make it look so effortless. I hit buckets of balls today on the range and they were all over the place. Only a few went straight as intended.

 

Thoughts?

 

(And if you have any tricks that helped you in this area, I'd love to hear them! [like hand/finger placement, certain driver for beginners, stances, books on the subject, YouTube videos to watch, etc.])

post #2 of 23

I think for Most golfers, the driver seems to be the hardest club to hit the ball where you want it to go. Just look at the Pro's, even those guys/gals have problems hitting fairways sometimes, so for a new golfer to wonder about the driver, is not uncommon at all.

 

Most golfers tend to swing to hard with driver. I know for me, if I don't totally Relax my arms and keeps my hands sorta soft, and do a slowish takeaway I have no idea where my ball will go. For others the feeling could be different, one is for sure, you have to swing down the target line.

 

One thing you could do is, is get some face on, and down the line video of you swinging, we have some very good golfers here who can suggest possible changes if need be. Another option would be to seek out a Good PGA teaching pro to look at your swing, money well spent imho. also ya might want to check out youtube, there's a couple of good vid's re: the driving the golf ball there.

 

Good luck, I'm sure others will chime in.

post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottcarmichael View Post

 

 

Thoughts?

 

(And if you have any tricks that helped you in this area, I'd love to hear them! [like hand/finger placement, certain driver for beginners, stances, books on the subject, YouTube videos to watch, etc.])

 

Couple good resources to check out. Basically the driver swing is the same swing you use for all your other clubs with just a couple changes at address.

 

Hitting Up or Down with the Driver in an Inline Pattern 

 

post #4 of 23

I think the driver is the most difficult club to hit well at first, yes. As time goes by it's often one of the easier clubs simply because you have the margin of error of small mis-hits not affecting you too much, but you have to be reasonably proficient first.

 

I think that developing a sound swing first is important. The driver and iron swing are very similar, but differ in a few little ways.

 

Check out the 5 Simple Keys® for developing a full swing. Check out the My Swing sections of the site, and the Swing Thoughts section.

post #5 of 23

I think the driver is the hardest part of golf (more than putting) because a bad drive can have serious penalties, more than a bad putt.

post #6 of 23

I don't think so, driving really long and with good shapes is hard yes, but that's hardly necessary to score well, guys just think they have to because they see the pros do it, but driving about 200-220 straight up the middle is not that hard with today's drivers, a good setup and easy swing.

To me the hardest part of golf is the long shots from the fairway rough, especially an approach, hybrids help but you have to be so precise and get it in the air, very tough IMO.

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDC View Post
 

I don't think so, driving really long and with good shapes is hard yes, but that's hardly necessary to score well, guys just think they have to because they see the pros do it, but driving about 200-220 straight up the middle is not that hard with today's drivers, a good setup and easy swing.

To me the hardest part of golf is the long shots from the fairway rough, especially an approach, hybrids help but you have to be so precise and get it in the air, very tough IMO.

 

 

Actually driving accounts for a lot, and distance matters more than accuracy. You are more likely to hit the green with a 9 iron from the rough than a 6 or 7 iron from the fairway. 

 


 

I would say driving the ball is in the middle of difficulty when it comes to full shots. I would say anything with a long iron or wood from the fairway is the toughest. Then the driver is probably just after that, then mid to short irons. It would be tougher if the club wasn't 460 cc with a huge MOI. 

post #8 of 23
Being brutally honest yes because if we really admit it the driver doesn't lie about the state of our mechanics. It takes some real ego check to not play a round with it. I broke 90 without it a few times. A small fade with your irons becomes a big miss right with a driver.

This whole summer I made a couple of swing changes everything in my bag was straight up to the driver. It had been all my longer shafted clubs that missed right.

The biggest cause for me was coming down above plane even with a great back swing. Imagine skipping stones sidearm and that will give you a picture of your move down. Rotating the shoulder the right one inward forces the club outside hence the slice. So a right elbow slide forward like skipping a stone will keep that shoulder back.

Really difficult to explain all the needed swing advice in a post but the downswing move from the top is the number 1 swing killer for every high handicapper. Master the first move and the club will come from the inside.
post #9 of 23

Golf is the hardest part of golf. Joking aside, what part of the game isn't difficult?  The driver is probably the most intimidating and difficult to understand as an beginner and even for the seasoned player it's the hardest club to adapt swing changes.. Just like Brakkus said, you can't hide your misses with the driver (Tiger? ehmmm)

post #10 of 23

Well the driver to me is the easiest club to hit because it has the biggest clubface.Unless your swinging too hard theres a great chance your gonna hit the ball.Like has already been said,you can swing easy and drive the ball around 180-200 yards without much trouble unless your  swing is just terrible.Imagine swinging at a golfball with a broomstick compared to swinging at it with a baseball bat.Im pretty sure the bigger face will be a lot more easier.

post #11 of 23

When I first started playing hitting a driver was the best part of my game. Not great of course but pretty good compared to my sucky iron play (and better than it is today).

 

Driver off of the tee, fairway woods, and little shots right around the green were the places I matched up fairly well with the single digit friends I played with everyday in match play. To have a chance of not losing every hole against them I had to take advantage of all short par 4s and par 5s.

 

Somewhere along the line I became better with irons and worse with the driver.

 

If I hadn't been pretty good with the driver I probably would have given up on golf quickly, but I thought it was a blast hitting that little ball that far.

post #12 of 23
I think the driver is the easiest club to hit when starting. When I first started I couldn't hit an iron to save my life. My wife can smack a driver but can barely hit any other club in her bag. My guess is it has something to do with it always being teed up and being able to cast and still hit it and get away with a lack of a weight shift. But just a guess.
post #13 of 23

I am not sure i would ever start a beginner on a driver of 43 inches. IMO, learning to swing shorter clubs, like hybrids, faster will lead to good technique. To hit the driver long and straight requires the maximum of dynamic body movement coupled with  a very relaxed upper body. Sure, one can 'hit' at the ball on the tee with the big headed thing and make it go 180 with little effort and marginal technique and skill. .  Making the ball go 280 is a much different animal. 

post #14 of 23

Overall I suppose the driver may be the hardest club to hit correctly, with consistency. Then again if you can't use a putter......Yips.....?   That said,  to me the hardest part of golf is the golfer getting his/her physical, and mental games to work together. Developing a  form of personal discipline in both of those aspects is pretty tough to do. Even tougher to keep both under control for more than few holes at a time.   

post #15 of 23

I don't think driving is the hardest part, no.

 

One thing I consistently dread is a green that is a mound and I have an approach shot misses left or right and ends up laying in the rough at the base of the green.  If my swing is into the grain of the grass and the ball is partially or fully buried this shot seems almost unmakable to me.  If I swing too slow the grass will stop the club dead in its tracks and the ball will hop like 2 inches, if I swing too hard it's almost guaranteed to roll or fly past the cup and off the other side.  I never seem to have a good result in situations like this so as far as I'm concerned this is the nastiest shot in golf.

post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strandly View Post
One thing I consistently dread is a green that is a mound and I have an approach shot misses left or right and ends up laying in the rough at the base of the green.  If my swing is into the grain of the grass and the ball is partially or fully buried this shot seems almost unmakable to me.  If I swing too slow the grass will stop the club dead in its tracks and the ball will hop like 2 inches, if I swing too hard it's almost guaranteed to roll or fly past the cup and off the other side.  I never seem to have a good result in situations like this so as far as I'm concerned this is the nastiest shot in golf.

 

Hmmm...that does sound bad. I guess I was coming at this from more of a consistent action that everyone must deal with on a regular basis. Putting is always tough - no doubt about that - but the situation you described should not happen at every hole. Driving, like putting, is pretty much required at every single hole.

post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottcarmichael View Post
 

 

Hmmm...that does sound bad. I guess I was coming at this from more of a consistent action that everyone must deal with on a regular basis. Putting is always tough - no doubt about that - but the situation you described should not happen at every hole. Driving, like putting, is pretty much required at every single hole.


I agree with @Strandly about that into the grain short pitch or chip (especially on Bermuda, and more especially on dormant Bermuda). :surrender:

 

Mostly from the standpoint that it's such a short shot that everybody should be able to hit and doesn't require anything outside of the average person's athletic ability.

 

BTW I think putting is the easiest part of the game. Hand a putter to anybody from a young kid to a senior citizen that has never played golf in their life and they likely won't putt all that badly compared to what they will look like on any other shot in golf.

post #18 of 23

for me, definitely driver is the hardest for me, as I dont really have a one way miss for my driver. Seems like I know which way my irons and wedges are going and will play most of the time straight. But with my woods my  ball curves a lot, the 3 , 5 , 7 wood I can work the reasonable within 30 yard fairways but my driver can curve more than that and I can not really play treeline line courses. i  sometimes wish I could have one way miss, but my body just wouldnt allow it, some days I fade-slice, and other days pull-hook with my driver and it drives me crazy trying to figure it out.

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