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Just now, Vinsk said:

This is what I don’t get. Hell hitting a 4i 180yds with the confidence of hitting the fairway is hard. It’s hard for me to imagine you guys are out there striping your long irons but can’t hit a driver. I would trade that problem any day.

I know people are different but it just seems if you’ve got the ability to stripe your long irons it can’t take too much work to swing your driver and hit the fairway or near to it. 

 

To be fair, I have ancient equipment, with persimmon woods. If I had a modern driver, I might be more inclined to work on it. My current set is as follows. Sam Snead Blue Ridge 3W, top flite 25 degree hybrid. Sam Snead Blue Ridge 3i-pw (these are blades). Off brand 52, 56 and 60 degree wedges. Sam Snead Blue Ridge putter (2 sided). I have other woods from the SSBR set, but since I can't really hit them, I have bottom loaded my bag. The 3i is just a bit too flat for me, and I can't seem to get a hold of it the way I do the 4i. I will probably start learning driver/woods at the start of next year (buying newish ones most likely). The last 4 weeks have been the first time I have taken golf seriously since I was in my teens (I am 30 now). Getting back to hitting these irons well has instilled a spark that I never really had. I've probably hit 400 range balls, 2 18 hole rounds, 500 chips and 500 putt in the last week, which is probably more golf than I have played in the last 5 years all together.

According to most, you shouldn't want to trade it, because strokes gained mumbo-jumbo. I tend to agree that accuracy is more valuable than distance, but it doesn't seem to be a very popular opinion around these parts. But to each their own.

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13 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

I tend to agree that accuracy is more valuable than distance, but it doesn't seem to be a very popular opinion around these parts. But to each their own.

Well people forget that distance is accuracy as well. If we both hit the middle of the fairway and I’m 30yds closer to the pin who’s more accurate? I think you’re reading too absolute. It’s not an opinion, it’s fact as shown by the data and statistics. As we’ve said if your driving is wild and causing penalty strokes then yes, it’s better to hit a club you can keep in play. 

Most courses we’re all playing don’t have US OPEN conditions. Missing the fairway isn’t a death sentence. MOST people will find the green better if they’re hitting a 120yd shot from the rough than a 150yd shot from the fairway.

I made my comment due to irons being a glaring weakness ( I’m the king of shanks) for me. So those long drives landing in the fairway get violated by a follow up shank.

I’m just suggesting that if one has the skill to hit a long iron consistently I would imagine it’s not a crazy hard task to learn to hit driver. 

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1 minute ago, Vinsk said:

Well people forget that distance is accuracy as well. If we both hit the middle of the fairway and I’m 30yds closer to the pin who’s more accurate? I think you’re reading too absolute. It’s not an opinion, it’s fact as shown by the data and statistics. As we’ve said if your driving is wild and causing penalty strokes then yes, it’s better to hit a club you can keep in play. 

Most courses we’re all playing don’t have US OPEN conditions. Missing the fairway isn’t a death sentence. MOST people will find the green better if they’re hitting a 120yd shot from the rough than a 150yd shot from the fairway.

I made my comment due to irons being a glaring weakness ( I’m the king of shanks) for me. So those long drives landing in the fairway get violated by a follow up shank.

I’m just suggesting that if one has the skill to hit a long iron consistently I would imagine it’s not a crazy hard task to learn to hit driver. 

I can see where you are coming from for sure. When I have taken driver in the past (maybe 3 years the last time I swung one) it was always 40-50 yards right of the fairway, no matter how hard I adjusted for it. Perhaps with the range time I have been putting in lately, I should go back for another look. It would probably be about a 40-50 yard gain over my 4i. I did take one 3w today, and it was a solid 35 yards off the right edge of the fairway. I was fuming that I took it. That being said, I did par that hole and it was one of my 6 pars on the day.

For me it has just been what I am comfortable with. I am not trying to stress out when I am on the course because it leads to more poor shots and curse words. When I can hit driver/wood consistently down the middle, or close to it, I will be playing them.

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1 hour ago, Bonvivant said:

Most people write this strategy off because strokes gained yadda yadda, but lots of people don't put time in on those awkward (30 to 80) yardage shots that you find yourself with when you drive big on short par 4s. Learning to hit all of my irons well is what I value right now and as long as my score keeps dropping, I plan on keeping it this way

You are correct that full swing, such as hitting your irons well, should be a high priority.  So should be hitting your driver -- and in your case, I might suggest getting an inexpensive used one.  If you were my neighbor, I might even offer you one of my older ones to borrow.  Even an R5 or a first-generation Nike driver is probably an upgrade over the persimmons you're describing.  You don't have to hit it every hole (especially not par-3s).  But I bet on at least some of the longer par-4s, you'll be glad for it once you have it.

But the 30-80 yard shots?  That should take you about an afternoon to learn.  You can easily break it up, too:  separate out ten range balls and hit a half shot (however you define that, but have something that you think is a half shot, such as back until left arm parallel, then forward until right arm parallel, approximately) with the sand wedge with each.  Estimate how far out they go.  Now if you're that far out, you think that's your swing.  If you consistently end up short or long on the course from that distance, adjust your estimates.

Now at least you have a shot in the bag for when you miss the green by ... let's guess 40 yards.  Maybe it's because you almost reached a par-5 in two.  Maybe it's because you hit a great drive on a short par-4.  Maybe it's a bad approach shot;  hey, these things happen, there's a reason you and I have day jobs.     

Repeat with other clubs and with quarter swings.  If you can do it all in one day, that might be your practice for the day.  Or maybe you do this once a week for one (club, swing fraction) pair for the next two months and then at least you have some estimates to start from on the course.

With very little practice on these, I bet you become much more accurate from 50 yards than from 150.  

There's not a lot of low hanging fruit ways to lower your score in golf.  Mapping partial swings is one of them.

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On 7/30/2019 at 1:30 PM, klineka said:

While this may work for you in the short term, you are severely limiting your long term scoring potential by not working on/improving your driver.

Also, hitting the fairway is overrated. Out of the top 10 money earners on the PGA tour this season, only 2 of them are in the top 50 in driving accuracy, and only 1 is in the top 25.

Here are the top 10 money earners this season on the PGA tour and their driving accuracy % along with where that ranks them.

  1. Brooks Koepka 62.39% (93)
  2. Rory McIlroy 60.66% (126)
  3. Matt Kuchar 68.67% (22)
  4. Gary Woodland 64.46% (69)
  5. Xander Schauffele 59.89% (138)
  6. Dustin Johnson 55.61% (T185)
  7. Patrick Cantlay 57.86% (165)
  8. Jon Rahm 62.12% (97)
  9. Justin Rose 59.00% (151)
  10. Paul Casey 67.99% (27)

I agree, however if your driver isn’t just “missing the fairway” and is ending up in the woods or in hazards/OB, then teeing off with an iron is a smarter play. I personally think the PGA tour stat is misleading for high handicap golfers. Missing a fairway is one thing but costing penalty strokes before even getting off the tee is another.

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33 minutes ago, Shindig said:

You are correct that full swing, such as hitting your irons well, should be a high priority.  So should be hitting your driver -- and in your case, I might suggest getting an inexpensive used one.  If you were my neighbor, I might even offer you one of my older ones to borrow.  Even an R5 or a first-generation Nike driver is probably an upgrade over the persimmons you're describing.  You don't have to hit it every hole (especially not par-3s).  But I bet on at least some of the longer par-4s, you'll be glad for it once you have it.

But the 30-80 yard shots?  That should take you about an afternoon to learn.  You can easily break it up, too:  separate out ten range balls and hit a half shot (however you define that, but have something that you think is a half shot, such as back until left arm parallel, then forward until right arm parallel, approximately) with the sand wedge with each.  Estimate how far out they go.  Now if you're that far out, you think that's your swing.  If you consistently end up short or long on the course from that distance, adjust your estimates.

Now at least you have a shot in the bag for when you miss the green by ... let's guess 40 yards.  Maybe it's because you almost reached a par-5 in two.  Maybe it's because you hit a great drive on a short par-4.  Maybe it's a bad approach shot;  hey, these things happen, there's a reason you and I have day jobs.     

Repeat with other clubs and with quarter swings.  If you can do it all in one day, that might be your practice for the day.  Or maybe you do this once a week for one (club, swing fraction) pair for the next two months and then at least you have some estimates to start from on the course.

With very little practice on these, I bet you become much more accurate from 50 yards than from 150.  

There's not a lot of low hanging fruit ways to lower your score in golf.  Mapping partial swings is one of them.

This is all great info. Thanks for the good input. I know I don't really have any business hitting the persimmons (or the blade irons for that matter), so I will be on the look out for some good deals on craigslist for the longer stuff. Irons are priority for now, but the long game will come. I'm not sure why I hit them so much more poorly than long irons (which generally is a struggle for most). Perhaps I should create a topic for some input on that as well. Cheers and happy golfing!

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2 hours ago, Vinsk said:

This is what I don’t get. Hell hitting a 4i 180yds with the confidence of hitting the fairway is hard. It’s hard for me to imagine you guys are out there striping your long irons but can’t hit a driver. I would trade that problem any day.

I know people are different but it just seems if you’ve got the ability to stripe your long irons it can’t take too much work to swing your driver and hit the fairway or near to it. 

A lot more people hit their irons better on the driving range than their woods. It’s possible that they practice irons proportionately more than their woods and end up gaining more confidence with irons?

 

1 hour ago, Vinsk said:

Well people forget that distance is accuracy as well. If we both hit the middle of the fairway and I’m 30yds closer to the pin who’s more accurate? I think you’re reading too absolute. It’s not an opinion, it’s fact as shown by the data and statistics. As we’ve said if your driving is wild and causing penalty strokes then yes, it’s better to hit a club you can keep in play. 

Most courses we’re all playing don’t have US OPEN conditions. Missing the fairway isn’t a death sentence. MOST people will find the green better if they’re hitting a 120yd shot from the rough than a 150yd shot from the fairway.

I made my comment due to irons being a glaring weakness ( I’m the king of shanks) for me. So those long drives landing in the fairway get violated by a follow up shank.

I’m just suggesting that if one has the skill to hit a long iron consistently I would imagine it’s not a crazy hard task to learn to hit driver. 

No one has argued that a playable ball 30 yards up in the rough is worse... what most are arguing is that if there’s potential for high risk at 30 yards more distance, it’s best to play the longest comfortable club just as described in LSW.

If you know you could end up in heavy trees the risk is very high and your shot zones will show that. So, to avoid that you hit the longest club you can hit safely. If it’s a 3i then great.

Not being able to hit woods is a big disadvantage in general, but not every time and on some courses not at all.

If someone could hit their woods really well, their shot zones would show that then an iron would not be the play.

 

1 hour ago, Shindig said:

You are correct that full swing, such as hitting your irons well, should be a high priority.  So should be hitting your driver -- and in your case, I might suggest getting an inexpensive used one.  If you were my neighbor, I might even offer you one of my older ones to borrow.  Even an R5 or a first-generation Nike driver is probably an upgrade over the persimmons you're describing.  You don't have to hit it every hole (especially not par-3s).  But I bet on at least some of the longer par-4s, you'll be glad for it once you have it.

But the 30-80 yard shots?  That should take you about an afternoon to learn.  You can easily break it up, too:  separate out ten range balls and hit a half shot (however you define that, but have something that you think is a half shot, such as back until left arm parallel, then forward until right arm parallel, approximately) with the sand wedge with each.  Estimate how far out they go.  Now if you're that far out, you think that's your swing.  If you consistently end up short or long on the course from that distance, adjust your estimates.

Now at least you have a shot in the bag for when you miss the green by ... let's guess 40 yards.  Maybe it's because you almost reached a par-5 in two.  Maybe it's because you hit a great drive on a short par-4.  Maybe it's a bad approach shot;  hey, these things happen, there's a reason you and I have day jobs.     

Repeat with other clubs and with quarter swings.  If you can do it all in one day, that might be your practice for the day.  Or maybe you do this once a week for one (club, swing fraction) pair for the next two months and then at least you have some estimates to start from on the course.

With very little practice on these, I bet you become much more accurate from 50 yards than from 150.  

There's not a lot of low hanging fruit ways to lower your score in golf.  Mapping partial swings is one of them.

The implication that 80 yard shots can be learned in a day isn’t quite true. I agree that the mechanics is much easier if you have a good full swing, but learning to master it well enough for a decent chance at an up-down takes a lot more effort... :-)

 

43 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

This is all great info. Thanks for the good input. I know I don't really have any business hitting the persimmons (or the blade irons for that matter), so I will be on the look out for some good deals on craigslist for the longer stuff. Irons are priority for now, but the long game will come. I'm not sure why I hit them so much more poorly than long irons (which generally is a struggle for most). Perhaps I should create a topic for some input on that as well. Cheers and happy golfing!

I’ve seen quite a few people play persimmons in my area. It’s more for nostalgia than anything else. They still use modern balls :-)

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7 hours ago, Lihu said:

The implication that 80 yard shots can be learned in a day isn’t quite true. I agree that the mechanics is much easier if you have a good full swing, but learning to master it well enough for a decent chance at an up-down takes a lot more effort... :-)

 

True, I should be more careful with my words.  Still, someone knowing a shot that should go about 50 yards will make a big improvement from 50 yards, if only that they aren't guessing -- which all too often leads to shot that go way too short or way too far, or figuring during the downswing that they swung back too far, etc. 

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1 hour ago, Lihu said:

I’ve seen quite a few people play persimmons in my area. It’s more for nostalgia than anything else. They still use modern balls :-)

Was just telling my long time friend about my woes and mentioned getting a new driver/wood. He said "Stick with persimmons, they command respect". Lol waddaguy

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6 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

Was just telling my long time friend about my woes and mentioned getting a new driver/wood. He said "Stick with persimmons, they command respect". Lol waddaguy

Do you play him for money?

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32 minutes ago, billchao said:

Do you play him for money?

Of course not. I knew someone was going to say that. 

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7 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

"Stick with persimmons, they command respect".

Lol. Yeah...cuz golf is just so easy with all this new technology. I need to make it harder. 

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16 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

Was just telling my long time friend about my woes and mentioned getting a new driver/wood. He said "Stick with persimmons, they command respect". Lol waddaguy

 

9 hours ago, billchao said:

Do you play him for money?

That would be my first though, if he also suggested playing with 50 year old blades and a “flat stick” for a putter 😂😂😂

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46 minutes ago, Lihu said:

 

That would be my first though, if he also suggested playing with 50 year old blades and a “flat stick” for a putter 😂😂😂

Nah. Its somewhat by choice. Always have played with em and just getting back into it. If I keep improving the rest of this year, I might treat myself to a fitting/full new set early next year. 

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On 8/3/2019 at 11:14 AM, Bonvivant said:

That is what I did today. Quite a short course at just under 5000 yards from the whites, but I shot my best round there ever (92). Playing a 6000 yard course tomorrow, and planning on the same strategy. Leaving the ego at home and hitting my 180 yard 4 iron off of tees. Most people write this strategy off because strokes gained yadda yadda, but lots of people don't put time in on those awkward (30 to 80) yardage shots that you find yourself with when you drive big on short par 4s. Learning to hit all of my irons well is what I value right now and as long as my score keeps dropping, I plan on keeping it this way

I felt that way too. Plus driver was just never an option. I couldn’t hit one. Once I did learn to hit one and hit one well I started seeking out more challenging courses. Playing the back tees, etc. Ultimate goal right now is my club championship. I was even through 5 last year before a massive blow up. Thinking I’ll be much more prepared this season..... enough about me tho. The iron off tee strategy will make you a better player but my advice is to still at least consider being fitted for a driver some day and giving it a chance. Don’t by stock. Make sure you are fitted for a driver. It’s life changing!

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