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Who Doesn't Have a Driver in the Bag?

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how many people don't use their driver?  I've found that I hit my 3W straighter (and the distance is pretty close) off the tee...I would imagine other folks have had the same results.  

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There are days when I'm not on speaking terms with my driver.   I always carry it and always hope the next drive will bring an apology.   

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3 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

There are days when I'm not on speaking terms with my driver.   I always carry it and always hope the next drive will bring an apology.   

this made me laugh harder than it should have....but I get the sentiment

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For the last year, or so, I've been leaving the driver at home in favor of a left-handed club (a 42 degree Cleveland niblick).  This is part of my single length fairway experiment that, so far, has worked out well.  

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4 hours ago, chile said:

this made me laugh harder than it should have....but I get the sentiment

 

4 hours ago, chile said:

how many people don't use their driver?  I've found that I hit my 3W straighter (and the distance is pretty close) off the tee...I would imagine other folks have had the same results.  

Here's a interesting question @chile have you considered a Mini-Driver? They were kind of a fad when Taylormade released the SLDR and Aeroburner lines, I believe Callaway made a Bertha Mini as well. Taylormade even released the "Original One" Mini Driver for the 40th Anniversary of the original Pittsburgh Persimmon from 1979. (I think of they marketed them as Fairway Drivers, they would have sold more). 

 

 

So my suggestion: Either one try a Mini-Driver (I'd go with the SLDR or Aeroburner generation if you're just curious), or go with a shorter driver, just make sure you have a professional do it, unless you really know and understand what you are doing. 

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My husband started using his 3w instead of driver too, but he still carries it. I love using my driver. It is the club I hit the straightest and can control draw/fade easily.  But my husband always likes to point out it is not the same because I am a woman and only hit my driver 220yds...yeah whatever. 

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13 hours ago, chile said:

how many people don't use their driver?  I've found that I hit my 3W straighter (and the distance is pretty close) off the tee...I would imagine other folks have had the same results.  

Until about 2 years ago, I played a Callaway strong 3-wood (12.5 degrees) instead of a driver. It was an ERC II (I think) from the early 2000s, and it had quite a small head, but I was very comfortable hitting it and it went far enough to get around the course without leaving long iron approach shots.

I finally gave it up for a new driver when I tried out my friend's PING G30 and realized that modern drivers are longer and just as accurate as a fairway wood (for me at least). I hit my driver about 30 yards longer than my 3-wood, and I don't seem to lose much accuracy. Now I only tee off with a fairway wood when the hole layout calls for it.

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On 12/2/2019 at 12:17 AM, onthehunt526 said:

 

Here's a interesting question @chile have you considered a Mini-Driver?...So my suggestion: Either one try a Mini-Driver (I'd go with the SLDR or Aeroburner generation if you're just curious), or go with a shorter driver, just make sure you have a professional do it, unless you really know and understand what you are doing. 

I was going to try the mini but have kinda exhausted my gear fund for now :/...I do have a shorter, stiffer shaft (44") for my M2 driver but I don't really care for how it swings...

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On 12/1/2019 at 10:19 PM, chile said:

how many people don't use their driver?  I've found that I hit my 3W straighter (and the distance is pretty close) off the tee...I would imagine other folks have had the same results.  

While driver has less loft and therefore can be more difficult to hit than a higher lofted fairway wood, it you're totally lost with driver, then there are some issues here.  Driver should go further and shouldn't necessarily be totally less accurate than your wood.  Check striking and your delivery numbers.  Driver is too much of a weapon to give up.

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Took the driver out of my bag for over a year. Horrible mistake. I’m starting to still utilize it on the days I’m struggling with it, opting to hit a bit of a bunt shot with it instead of gearing down a club (unless it’s a must for whatever reason). The bunt shot is a good one to develop I think for those that struggle with their driver. 

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18 minutes ago, HJJ003 said:

Took the driver out of my bag for over a year. Horrible mistake. I’m starting to still utilize it on the days I’m struggling with it, opting to hit a bit of a bunt shot with it instead of gearing down a club (unless it’s a must for whatever reason). The bunt shot is a good one to develop I think for those that struggle with their driver. 

That's actually pretty good advice because if you can hit the "bunt" shot, as you call it, you'll gain some confidence and will hopefully be able to add some speed back to the swing.  Hitting the bunt allows you to focus on getting solid contact, control face to path a little easier, and restore some hope as you work on driver.

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On 12/2/2019 at 10:02 AM, FlyingAce said:

  But my husband always likes to point out it is not the same because I am a woman and only hit my driver 220yds...yeah whatever. 

Tell him you are straighter AND longer than most amateur men.

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On 12/3/2019 at 5:43 PM, chile said:

I was going to try the mini but have kinda exhausted my gear fund for now :/...I do have a shorter, stiffer shaft (44") for my M2 driver but I don't really care for how it swings...

You can get an SLDR mini for around $120. It beats $400 for "The Original One".

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The ball is teed up and with today's technology and forgiveness of a large sweet spot on a 460 CC driver ....I just don't understand how a driver for some is more difficult to control/hit vs. a 3W.

One can miss the sweet on a driver by up to 2-3 cm and still hit a relatively okay driver with today's 460 CC drivers....a same miss with a 3W and one could miss hitting the club face on a 3W ......or fat or cold top a ball so bad...it might no go 100 yards. 

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On 12/2/2019 at 7:02 AM, FlyingAce said:

My husband started using his 3w instead of driver too, but he still carries it. I love using my driver. It is the club I hit the straightest and can control draw/fade easily.  But my husband always likes to point out it is not the same because I am a woman and only hit my driver 220yds...yeah whatever. 

I think you're husband is just trying to get in your head because deep down inside...he's embarrassed his wife can SMOKE him on the links...just sayin.

 

You do know...that few women can drive the ball 220...the only women I see driving a ball 220+ are competitive young females (provincially or nationally ranked) or girls from the university golf team at the range or at some top level Am events I've attended....obvious it goes without saying all the gals in the top 100 on the LPGA can smash the ball.

So as a 40 something woman ....you are a bit of a unicorn to hit a drive 220....it's very rare to see a woman at a course drive the ball straight and consistently over 200 yards.

It's so strange that the guys at your club don't want to golf with you.....if you played up here in Vancouver....there would be many many guys that would enjoy golfing with you.

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Would it be out of line to suggest spending some time on the range with your driver? How tough is the rough you are playing? Would 20-30 yards be worth hitting a club that is a bit less accurate? I can't imagine giving up distance for hitting it "straight" or "straighter". I'd suggest going to the range and fixing whatever issue that you think you have with driver.

I used to play with a 4i off the tee, which netted me 180 yards. I gained 50 yards off the tee with 2 range sessions with a driver. It was worth more than I could have imagined.

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On 12/5/2019 at 11:03 PM, Bonvivant said:

Would it be out of line to suggest spending some time on the range with your driver? ...

not out of line at all...but even when i'm hitting the driver good 230-250, I can still hit my 3W 200-220...straighter.  

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9 minutes ago, chile said:

not out of line at all...but even when i'm hitting the driver good 230-250, I can still hit my 3W 200-220...straighter.  

Driver can go just as straight.  You've just got to figure out why for you it isn't.  But before diving into that, you must realize that the less loft, longer shaft, more ball speed, and longer distance is by nature harder to hit straighter.  Driver isn't about hitting it straight; if you can play a predictable and somewhat consistent shape, then do it.  Driver is all about giving yourself as short of a shot into the green, whilst keeping it in play, as possible.  Distance is the premium here, but obviously no good if it's not in play.

That said, you need to look at strike first of all.  If you're not hitting it out of the middle, all bets are off.  Start there.  Then look at controlling face to path.  For a functional draw, you want the face to point inside of the path in which you are swinging.  The ball should start right and bend back to target, but optimally not cross it.  The opposite is true for a fade.  There is nothing wrong with a bit of shape so long as you can play it.

If you struggle with a push fade (i.e., a ball starting right, going more right), you're starting the ball out to the right and that is fine if you want to eventually get a draw, but you gotta get the ball to curve back.  My suggestion would be to get the feeling of the club head winning the race through the ball, instead of the grip.  This will give you more club head speed and allow the club head to "catch up" and release through the shot.  Be careful not to pull the ball or hit the ball out of the toe in an effort to make the ball draw back; that's a cheater way of doing it that will only bite you.

If you struggle with a hook, I really recommend getting a driver that allows you to open the face at address and then gripping the club in your hands with the face open.  That will give you freedom to sling the head but without fear of the ball going left.  I have a Callaway Rogue Draw 9* that I have set -1* and I reinstalled the grip to that change.  Now, my driver sits flush on the ground with an open face to allow me to throw the head through the ball without a hook.  You might wonder why I have a Draw version; I like the draw version because I like the feeling of the weight of the head like that.

 

If you want advice on how to hit a nice fade, you'll need to talk to someone else haha 🙂.  I don't hit fades very well.  I know the science behind it, but I have a natural draw pattern and I cannot execute a fade pattern; it ends up being a straight push or push fade.

On 12/6/2019 at 2:03 AM, Bonvivant said:

Would it be out of line to suggest spending some time on the range with your driver? How tough is the rough you are playing? Would 20-30 yards be worth hitting a club that is a bit less accurate? I can't imagine giving up distance for hitting it "straight" or "straighter". I'd suggest going to the range and fixing whatever issue that you think you have with driver.

I used to play with a 4i off the tee, which netted me 180 yards. I gained 50 yards off the tee with 2 range sessions with a driver. It was worth more than I could have imagined.

100%.  I understand a person's fear of driver.  I've been there.  It's no fun not being able to play golf because you're losing balls and getting out of position.  You've just got to take time away from playing and go practice and fix driver.  Driver is a must, in my opinion.  You can't get away from it unless you're Stenson.  You're giving up more than you are gaining when you look at the numbers.  It may not seem like it when every tee ball goes OB or in the water, but if you take the time to learn how to hit driver and hit it well, you'll play so much better in the long run.  Driver confidence bleeds into the rest of your game as well.  

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