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Dresilved

Abandoned Driver and Lowered My Scores

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I couldn't see a thread about this, so here it goes.

I've played a ton of golf this past 4 years - about 350 rounds, I've studied and practiced, so my technique has improved and the scores have reflected that, slumps and blow-up rounds aside of course. I've gone from hovering around 13 for the last season or season and half to around +8/9 this past 3 months, and the blow-up rounds have almost gone away (for now).

It seems to have started when I played a target oriented course about 3 months ago, it only offered 3-4 chances to pull out the driver. I had to hit a 3W or even a long iron off the tee at least 9 times on 4s and 5s. I walked off with my best score of the year, my first single digits over par on a legit course. From that round I stared using the 3W as an option for shorter par 4s, it quickly became the go-to for anything under 385/390. My FIR stats have gone through the roof, its just so much more controllable and reliable, I'm hitting off of short grass a lot, my GIR stats have gone through the roof and I'm spending a lot less time in the woods. I'm guessing the average par 4 is around the 370-390 mark. I can hit the 3W around 240 off a short tee, that means I'm standing with a short iron or even a wedge in my hand for my second shot and a clear view to the green. My putting is about average for my level so there is room for me to get to 5 or 6. I did not think I would ever be a single digits over par golfer, but for me the 3W has helped to make that happen. Accuracy over distance all day long for me 

I'm looking into the Cobra Long Tom 2, anyone have experience with that?

Just wanted to share, nobody has ever made this recommendation to me, and I can't understand why not, just seems obvious now? Just thought I'd pass it on. 

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You definitely can score lower by not hitting your longest club off the tee box sometimes. I have done it a few times myself. However you will most likely get some comments telling you that you would score so much lower if you can hit your driver better. That may be true also at times but I suggest playing your longest controllable club from the tee box. Distance helps but it doesn't seem to help too much if it's uncontrollable. 

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I sometimes feel if I did this I would definitely shoot lower scores. I just love hitting driver even if it is by far my most unreliable club. I can even hit my 5 wood over 250 off the tee or more and far straighter than my driver but I can’t seem to make myself do it

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15 hours ago, Dresilved said:

Accuracy over distance all day long for me 

If your driver is wild then yes. Is your 8i more accurate than your 3W? If so then why not tee off with that and get your scores even lower? I know golf is crazy and we all have our own talents but I can’t comprehend those who are so proficient with their 3W but absolutely can’t hit a driver. What I won’t believe is that you or  just about anybody else can hit the green more accurately from 140 than 120-120.  Being as close as possible with every shot is the goal barring penalizing areas.

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58 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Being as close as possible with every shot is the goal barring penalizing areas

This is the part that people can’t seem to wrap their heads around. Almost every argument I see from people is essentially claims that they can’t hit driver to save their life but they are Henrik Stenson with their 3 wood (or perhaps Lee Trevino with a long iron). Conning themselves a bit if you ask me. 

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23 minutes ago, HJJ003 said:

This is the part that people can’t seem to wrap their heads around. Almost every argument I see from people is essentially claims that they can’t hit driver to save their life but they are Henrik Stenson with their 3 wood (or perhaps Lee Trevino with a long iron). Conning themselves a bit if you ask me. 

100% agree. But like we see so often they’re going by what they want to see, what ‘feels’ like is happening. Instead of just committing to learning to hit driver they attempt to justify the lack of its importance. Maybe their scores improve ( if their driver is truly wild) but they’re capping their potential. 

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I totally stopped hitting driver, or even a wood, for a while.  It was too dangerous for innocent bystanders.  But, I always knew it was temporary.  Once I got professional help I was able to use it again.  Now I am comfortable with it most of the time.  I do play some short par fours with my 5 wood (adjusted strong, so it's kind of a 4), when I know that even a so-so hit will get me to PW or less and the area in my driver range isn't a good place to be.  As my driver has been improving, I have started to hit driver on some of those holes, and it is working out well.  I am starting to believe the get it closer theory rather than the full shot theory.  The full shot still leaves open the possibility of a bad full shot, which causes more trouble than a bad short shot, at least for me, most of the time.

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For me it all depends on which Jim, (that is me), shows up to play. I can tell by the first few holes whether it is going to be a good day for the driver or a bad day. I can hit my 3W really well and rarely have a bad day with it. If I'm having trouble with the driver I go to the 3W. But I still prefer to hit my driver, I like the increased distance as everyone does.

On courses we play they have doglegs, either left or right, that require a 5W or 3W off the tee or you will out drive the fairway before making the turn. I'm always amazed at guys I play with who insist on using their driver, I don't get it. And of course they end up in the woods having hit a great drive right down the middle, they don't learn. They even tell me they have trouble hitting a 3W off the tee??? How can you have trouble off the tee when you have a perfect lie, yet you can hit it on the fairway??? It must be a mental thing I don't understand. Talk about lack of course management.

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One thing I have noticed is that a lot of amateurs are better off hitting a more lofted driver.  It is possible that your driver not lofted enough and hence are more accurate with your 3 wood.  Look into that and you might well benefit from a driver that is 12* to 14* 🤷‍♀️

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On 8/10/2019 at 9:30 AM, HJJ003 said:

This is the part that people can’t seem to wrap their heads around. Almost every argument I see from people is essentially claims that they can’t hit driver to save their life but they are Henrik Stenson with their 3 wood (or perhaps Lee Trevino with a long iron). Conning themselves a bit if you ask me. 

I would say I'm doing the opposite of conning myself. I see people on this forum saying things like their 7i is their 190 shot, or their 56 is their 125/30 shot, good luck to them. 

As a former decently high level athlete, I know a little bit about strategy, playing to my strengths, the mental game and being honest with myself about my true capabilities - which is what I mean about doing the opposite of conning myself, like most golfers do. I understand what my strengths and weakness are. My strength is undoubtedly my iron play, not my driving ability, and by a long way.  There is a solid 12-15 yard gap between every single iron/wedge in my bag. People who don't hit their irons very well experience a smaller distance gap between clubs as they go through the bag. A 15Y gap between an 8 and 9 becomes a 5Y gap or even less between a 4i and a 5i, and usually the shot shape is not the same. I don't have that problem, my irons are relatively consistent through the bag. Of course I will hit more greens with a PW than a 5 iron, but I still hit a good number of greens with that club, but the point is being in a position to go at a green, which is more likely to happen with a 3W than a driver... its my strategy, I'm simply playing to my strengths. 

Vinsk you said " that you or  just about anybody else can hit the green more accurately from 140 than 120-120" I disagree, they're both wedge shots for me, 120 is 50GW and 140 is about about a full PW, I can hit all my wedges at the same skill level. Ball shape, shot shape, distance consistency - all the same. I'd say on any given day if I threw down 20 balls, the GIR stats would be very similar, proximity to the hole might favor the 50 but not by much. So no, for me, I don't find either shot more or less difficult.

My point is, when you get to the low-mid 80s, the transition, from being a +12/13 to single digits over par is tight, you need to find something that gives you an edge, for me (currently) the 3W puts me in possible GIR position more times than with a driver. Ive gone from an average 8/9 GIRs in a round to more like 12/13 on average. Thats 4 more chances at birdie and 4 less scrambles for par. That for me is the difference between +12 and +8

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1 hour ago, pganapathy said:

One thing I have noticed is that a lot of amateurs are better off hitting a more lofted driver.  It is possible that your driver not lofted enough and hence are more accurate with your 3 wood.  Look into that and you might well benefit from a driver that is 12* to 14* 🤷‍♀️

To be honest, I have the feeling that its the driver itself, or I should say the shaft. Its an old driver, old technology and is regular flex shaft, everything else in my bag is stiff, its on my to-do list to get fitted with something new and more current. I've put it off, cause I don't want to mess with what I have going on at the moment. When my game goes sideways/backwards, which invariably it will, I will have the new driver to look forward to, something different to work on, but in the mean time, dialing in my irons is a lot of fun

 

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Have you been properly fitted for a driver? I get what you’re saying. It’s just odd that you Henrik Stenson your 3W but your driver is a mess. Just as you stated the gaps with your irons are..so should be the gap with your 3W and driver. You obviously have a functioning swing. If those 3W tee shots of yours were 30yds farther I’m sure your scores would drop even more. It just seems a golfer as good as you would be able to develop a driver swing to give you that much more advantage off the tee. Maybe it’s not your swing but actually the driver that’s the problem?

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16 minutes ago, Dresilved said:

To be honest, I have the feeling that its the driver itself, or I should say the shaft. Its an old driver, old technology and is regular flex shaft, everything else in my bag is stiff, its on my to-do list to get fitted with something new and more current.

You didn't mention this in the OP. If the rest of your game is solid and the driver is the odd duck in your bag, it's likely your driver doesn't fit your swing. There's no good reason you can hit the ball solidly with every other club in your bag. With a good fitting driver you should be as accurate as you are with your 3w and 20 yards longer.

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16 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Have you been properly fitted for a driver? I get what you’re saying. It’s just odd that you Henrik Stenson your 3W but your driver is a mess. Just as you stated the gaps with your irons are..so should be the gap with your 3W and driver. You obviously have a functioning swing. If those 3W tee shots of yours were 30yds farther I’m sure your scores would drop even more. It just seems a golfer as good as you would be able to develop a driver swing to give you that much more advantage off the tee. Maybe it’s not your swing but actually the driver that’s the problem?

At 240/45Y, I certainly wouldn't call my 3W a Henrik Stenson. It keeps me in play more, my driver has me in the fairway about 50% of the time which isn't terrible, but with the 3 its more like 70%, I would say those numbers are not much different from most golfers at the same level. But no, I have not been fitted for the driver. It'll happen when the time feels right for change 

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2 minutes ago, Dresilved said:

At 240/45Y, I certainly wouldn't call my 3W a Henrik Stenson. It keeps me in play more, my driver has me in the fairway about 50% of the time which isn't terrible, but with the 3 its more like 70%, I would say those numbers are not much different from most golfers at the same level. But no, I have not been fitted for the driver. It'll happen when the time feels right for change 

I’m just thinking with a properly fit driver you’ll get that 3W accuracy and be 270-280yds with that 3W swing on it! 

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You guys are hitting your clubs as far, if not further than the touring pro’s. With these distances and your index numbers, you must be terrible around the greens. Just saying!

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11 minutes ago, CharlieB said:

You guys are hitting your clubs as far, if not further than the touring pro’s. With these distances and your index numbers, you must be terrible around the greens. Just saying!

Why would you assume anybody who can hit the ball as far as a tour pro is also hitting the ball as consistently well as a tour pro?

Hell it doesn't even have to be a tour pro. I know lots of people who don't hit it as far as I do and are better golfers than I am.

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12 minutes ago, CharlieB said:

You guys are hitting your clubs as far, if not further than the touring pro’s. With these distances and your index numbers, you must be terrible around the greens. Just saying!

You think 240 with a 3W is tour distance? 140 with a PW, really?  

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