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Struggling With Driver After Returning to the Game


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I've been playing golf recreationally for about 20 years now (I'm 34) and have always wanted to improve, but still stuck in the 100-110 range after years of lessons and thousands spent. I took about 2 years off of golf due to lack of time and money, as well as frustration with the game. However, with my wife starting up with new clubs and lessons, I've been getting back into golf this summer, having played a few times and practicing at the range.

 

The reason I've never been able to shave strokes off my score is that I simply have not been able to strike the ball consistently. Fat and thin shots have been less of an issue as of late, but I've been a victim of severe slicing (more a problem of the past) and severe hooking (more of a recent problem). I love the short game and have practiced it a lot, and my putting is generally about 15-16 putts per 9. Distance is not a problem either, but I can't hit my tee shot and consistently play from the wrong fairway or incur penalty strokes and have any shot at even averaging a bogey over the course of a round.

 

This year, I had, at the recommendation of my wife's golf instructor, all of my clubs regripped with midsize wraps (I have big hands). I like the feel, and I've been pretty happy with the results with my irons so far. From 3h all the way down to the wedges, I consistently draw (sometimes hook, but I'm getting there) the ball, with my misses being severe hooks. I almost never miss them to the right. The driver and 4w, however, are a different story. I just really have no feel yet with the 4 wood - I have hit it 240 straight, but more often than not I top it or lose it to the right. Or sometimes the left. I'm not as worried about the 4 wood since I can get a reliable 200 and sometimes 220+ out of the 3h. I'm more concerned about the driver - again, I can hit it straight 260+, but what can tend to happen after a while is I will feel the grip turn in my hand at impact, causing a low hook that goes nowhere. This, despite new grips and a new glove. This only really happens with the driver, and I'm not sure if it's because of my relative swing speed with the driver vs the other clubs? Might it be something due to grip pressure? I would assume I need to grip it tighter with my left hand if it slips, but that doesn't really seem to help. I was thinking I could maybe even try a jumbo grip on the driver...my biggest fear with that is I sometimes miss high to the right. However, I'd rather work on getting the club face closed with a more stable grip if I can completely eliminate this grip turning issue.

 

Any thoughts on how I can stop this issue and hopefully start shooting under 100?

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Stop focusing on the size of the grip you use and start focusing on improving your swing in a sensible way.

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  • iacas changed the title to Struggling With Driver After Returning to the Game

I'll bet the problem has nothing to do with the size of your grips and everything to do with your attitude.  If you try to really smash the longer shots your swing will go haywire.  You would be better served if you just let the driver be the driver and refrained from attempting to put something extra into the shot.  

I speak from experience.  My nagging swing fault has been, for years, the pernicious habit of swinging too hard on long shots with long clubs.  It rarely works.

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22 hours ago, brianb9986 said:

I've been playing golf recreationally for about 20 years now (I'm 34) and have always wanted to improve, but still stuck in the 100-110 range after years of lessons and thousands spent. I took about 2 years off of golf due to lack of time and money, as well as frustration with the game. However, with my wife starting up with new clubs and lessons, I've been getting back into golf this summer, having played a few times and practicing at the range.

 

The reason I've never been able to shave strokes off my score is that I simply have not been able to strike the ball consistently. Fat and thin shots have been less of an issue as of late, but I've been a victim of severe slicing (more a problem of the past) and severe hooking (more of a recent problem). I love the short game and have practiced it a lot, and my putting is generally about 15-16 putts per 9. Distance is not a problem either, but I can't hit my tee shot and consistently play from the wrong fairway or incur penalty strokes and have any shot at even averaging a bogey over the course of a round.

 

This year, I had, at the recommendation of my wife's golf instructor, all of my clubs regripped with midsize wraps (I have big hands). I like the feel, and I've been pretty happy with the results with my irons so far. From 3h all the way down to the wedges, I consistently draw (sometimes hook, but I'm getting there) the ball, with my misses being severe hooks. I almost never miss them to the right. The driver and 4w, however, are a different story. I just really have no feel yet with the 4 wood - I have hit it 240 straight, but more often than not I top it or lose it to the right. Or sometimes the left. I'm not as worried about the 4 wood since I can get a reliable 200 and sometimes 220+ out of the 3h. I'm more concerned about the driver - again, I can hit it straight 260+, but what can tend to happen after a while is I will feel the grip turn in my hand at impact, causing a low hook that goes nowhere. This, despite new grips and a new glove. This only really happens with the driver, and I'm not sure if it's because of my relative swing speed with the driver vs the other clubs? Might it be something due to grip pressure? I would assume I need to grip it tighter with my left hand if it slips, but that doesn't really seem to help. I was thinking I could maybe even try a jumbo grip on the driver...my biggest fear with that is I sometimes miss high to the right. However, I'd rather work on getting the club face closed with a more stable grip if I can completely eliminate this grip turning issue.

 

Any thoughts on how I can stop this issue and hopefully start shooting under 100?

I recommend starting a My Swing thread in the Member Swings Section. It is easier for us to help you if we can see your swing. The thread below has excellent full swing drills too.

 

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I agree with @boogielicious that a swing peek is in order for any specifics to be dished. 

With that said, I have seen many people think its the driver when its just a magnification of an existing swing flaw that they can manage with shorter clubs with higher lofts.  

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I will go back to taking video of my swing once I get my regular phone back. Lots of room on the range and have a tripod, etc. I also think I'll try to get some powder spray or something to see where I'm hitting the ball on the face of the driver, as I read that hitting a heel shot can cause the face to twist closed, causing that nasty shot. I'm going to practice for a bit today and play a quick 9, so I'll see how that goes.

Regarding the comments on my grips, I have tried everything sensible over the last 20 years from upgrading my equipment to lessons from various pros. The grip size was never mentioned until now, yet it seems like it can make a lot of difference for many players. I was just looking for input from anyone that may have tried bigger grips on their bigger clubs or experienced the problem I'm having. I don't -think- I overswing with the woods; I try to have a smooth, in-tempo swing for all of my clubs. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/23/2020 at 7:15 AM, boogielicious said:

I recommend starting a My Swing thread in the Member Swings Section. It is easier for us to help you if we can see your swing. 

Posted! I'll try to get better video from head on in the future.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/23/2020 at 10:02 AM, TourSpoon said:

I agree with @boogielicious that a swing peek is in order for any specifics to be dished. 

With that said, I have seen many people think its the driver when its just a magnification of an existing swing flaw that they can manage with shorter clubs with higher lofts.  

After taking lots of video over the last few weeks, I can't get over how true this is. I noticed that as my club length increased, I would come out of my posture more and more, probably causing my to spray my woods and hybrids all over. I've been working on trying to stay in posture with all my clubs, and got some good results yesterday with 4-wood and driver(!) at my backyard net. Really solid shots. Of course, there's a hole in the net which I can't fix, my mat and rubber tee are now mostly destroyed, and my tripod is falling apart as well 😞. I'll get to the range in one of the next few days and see if I can replicate this feeling on camera, and actually see which direction the balls fly.

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