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chile

Who Doesn't Have a Driver in the Bag?

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When I was a kid I couldn’t hit driver to save my life.  Grew up hitting 3 wood and I think it made me a longer hitter because I always felt I had to keep up with everyone else’s driver.  
 

To me, 3 wood was my driver and 4 wood was my fairway wood.  I could kill that 3 wood and never missed not being able to hit a driver.

The “bunt” drive someone mentioned earlier does work.  I call it my “stinger driver”.  I don’t carry a 3 wood now so off the tee I can hit a stinger 270 on a rope.

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5 hours ago, ncates00 said:

Driver can go just as straight.  You've just got to figure out why for you it isn't...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...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.

...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....Driver confidence bleeds into the rest of your game as well.  

initially, I had a huge problem with my slice...then I realized I wasn't hitting the ball straight on so I concentrated on getting the face around...it seemed to work...sometimes, i'll toe it, though :/...I do need to get more range time as opposed to playing.  100% agree on driver confidence...when I was hitting well, it made the rest of the game much more enjoyable (as less than stellar as it is 😉  ) but i'm new and still have a lot to learn.  i'll be taking some lessons soon...

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Tried the "Original One". It's not that forgiving. Mini-drivers aren't that forgiving. 

I can top a 3W off the tee a lot easier than I can a full sized driver. My swing path is I-O with a 3W but O-I with a standard length driver which results in slices and pulls. However, I don't want to give up that big forgiving club face. Especially not on the first tee. I cannot tell you how many times I've topped a hybrid and shanked an iron.

Every 1/2" mishit on the club face you lose 5% distance. 

So I got fitted for a 44" driver from Ping. It's short. I may sacrifice a little club head speed, but I'm making center contact and thus gained distance and control. 

Last year Cobra made a "Tour length" F9 Driver - 44.25". I wonder if they'll do the same next year?

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I've strongly considered not carrying the driver, but I also do not want to conceded that it has beaten me.  My literal first experience on the course was a company trip that included a round of golf.  After several drives that were worm burners at best, my co-worker suggested I either hit from his tee shots or use a 3w.  I chose the latter, building confidence in making a good swing.  Fast forward to almost 12 years later (2018) and I am joining the church's men's group golf outings with a real wood driver (old Spalding) and ancient irons.  I have a blast hitting the driver and do reasonably well.  Get the bug and purchase a few used clubs to make a more current set of clubs. 

Now I have a TM SLDR C 9.5* driver.  On good swings it is rocket straight to slight fade.  Bad swings used to be hard right slices, but now they are strong slices that are still playable from the far rough. I spend a lot of time with the foam practice balls and foot spray in the back yard. The focus is to evaluate/correlate the impact imprint and ball flight. Making small adjustments has proven to be most beneficial as I approach the tee box now more confident that the ball will be in the fairway and not in the woods, lake or whatever hazard is on the right. 

I like the driver, I like to see it rocket off and there is a great sense of accomplishment when it lands and rolls down the fairway. This has come by working on where I'm hitting the ball on the clubface and then correlating that strike with the ball path and what I need to make adjustments to where I would like it to go.  

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Last summer when I started playing tournament golf, I couldn’t hit my driver to save my life. Horrendous hooks, seemingly no matter what I would do. 

Finally, I got tired of it. I told my instructor that what we were working on just wasn’t working and Id like you take a look at my driver because while my swing was visually getting better, the results were not.

To make a long story short, I got fitted for a much stiffer and 20g heavier shaft and my driver is debatably the best club I have from 5-Driver. I just enjoy hitting it now. Much higher and more penetrating flight, longer average carry and MUCH straighter on mishits.

This last tournament season my Fairway% was 63.5% and when I missed, I typically didn’t miss by much.

 

I highly recommend working with an instructor and, probably most importantly, getting fit. The wrong shaft/head combo can wildly throw off your game.

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There are two aspects to this.

1) The driver is the only club in your bag that requires an upward strike for optimal results.  All the others requie a downward or level sweeping strike.  That is one of the reasons a driver is harder to hit than a 3/5 wood.

2) The second is length of shafts these days.  If even a pro like Tiger Woods got his best results with a 43.5 inch driver this year, why are amateurs hitting 45 inch drivers.  Because they are being sold on the "latest and greatest driver which is 'longer' than before".  The trade off to length by a bigger shaft is inaccuracy.  Pro's can control it.  Most amateurs cannot even figure out what they are doing wrong, let alone figure out how to correct or prevent it.  Modern 3 woods are the length of old driver shafts, which is why many people get better distance and accuracy with them.

At the end of the day, a driver is a better option if you can get it fit for your swing.

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On 12/2/2019 at 3:17 AM, onthehunt526 said:

 

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. 

Have a mini SLDR in the garage, been there for years. It was OK but I hit my 3W as far off the tee and the SLDR sucked off the grass unlike my 3W.

I carry a driver and use it often but on narrow fairways I go to the 3W. Some days the driver gives me fits, (and I never know when that will happen), on those days the 3W is my club. I have an old Cobra S3 3W which I will never part with, I even looked on Ebay for another one just in case this one breaks, couldn't find any good ones. I may take it to a fitter and try it against the new F9 but I don't think I'll see better results.

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I don't. I'm still playing a TM Burner Superfast 15* 3 wood off the tee with respectable results for me (180-200). Sometimes even my Cobra 5 wood. Last driver I really enjoyed was a Callaway BB Steelhead Plus with a steel shaft. Fun club and the head was actually smaller than my Burner 3 wood. I do have a TM R7 425 w/MWT that was gifted to me by my late FIL. Considering butt trimming it to a 3 wood length for grins. I just can't get the hang of the new big head drivers.  I'm a hacker, so I can't (read: "my wife won't let me) spend the $$$ on a fitting and a new driver. 😜

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Okay, I'm going the other way on this. I'm going out on a limb here. 

NOT CARRYING A DRIVER IS CRAZY!

Unless you are playing an executive course or something like that.

Hitting driver is one of the great pleasures of golf. Of course I've had days (sometimes weeks) where my driver and I were not getting along. My wife and I have had disagreements too. I didn't get divorced over them. We (either my driver or my wife and I) just spend a little time frustrated with each other and pretty soon all is forgiven. When you get back together, it's often even better than it was before the dispute. (True of both driver and wife.) 

Not having a driver in the bag is a lot like going through life alone. … It's fine, but it's not as good as it could be. 

                    The other option of course is to take out a different driver for every round. You always have a driver, you just constantly have a new driver. If that's your thing more power to you. I don't think I could do that, but in a way I'm kind of envious.... See what I did there?

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I know a guy that has a driver in his bag, but doesn't use it except on rare occasion. I am not sure why he carries it. When he does use it I can kind of see why he leaves in the bag. I told him one day, he will never get better with the driver if he never uses it. Although I am only mediocre with my driver I am getting better each time out. The driver is one of my absolute favorite clubs in the bag.

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I've kinda sorted out my driver issues after my lesson...it's not perfect but the slice has mostly gone away...that being said, after a few rounds I've found I don't use my 3W or 4H and I reach for the 2i or 3i when one the course....

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30 minutes ago, chile said:

and I reach for the 2i or 3i when one the course

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A modern day driver will spin less than a 3 wood and would be more accurate off the tee for most.  You might have to adjust the shaft length and head weight is all.

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I've considered it...

I simply find my well struck 3 wood goes nearly as far as my driver once I've loosened up. I really need the driver on the first 3-4 holes because with a shorter swing, I don't miss it as badly as I would with a 3 wood. Neither one is any straighter than the other either, so I don't feel like there's any benefit to either one.

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I don't use my driver either for a few different reasons:

- I can hit my 3 wood as far if not further than my driver (especially in summer when the roll out is far greater with the lower piercing ball flight I can get with my 3W)

- its far more accurate, I can hit 80% of fairways with it - for very little if any loss of distance.

- during team match play events I found that most of the people I play cant hit as far as I can hit  my 3W  with their driver so it got me playing a more defensive game - I know I can hit the fairway more than they will with their driver and ill still be further.

The only reason I keep my driver in my bag is with preferred lies or a drop within 2 club lengths it gives me more flexibility.

 

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