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Help Me Understand This Driver Situation – If Possible


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The backstory: I started playing golf about 11-12 years ago on a whim when I was out of town and bored. My son-in-law gave me an old set of his clubs that I used until this year.

 

The SIL is an excellent golfer, and the driver he gave me was a Titleist with a very stiff shaft. Great for him, not so much for me, but it was good enough until I decided if I was going to keep playing.

 

About eight years ago I went to one of the big box stores and a guy watched me hit drivers and I left with a TaylorMade Burner 2.0 10.5 loft and an R shaft. I did much better with it than I did the Titleist.

 

Fast forward to this year. A neighbor and I play once a week and he, also a very good golfer, suggested I may want to look at driver with more loft. So, 6-7 weeks ago I went to a smaller place and spent almost two hours with a guy and a monitor and left with a TaylorMade SIM2 12.0 loft and a senior shaft.

 

 

I’ve done well with it. I get more elevation and I hit it straighter, and further than I did with the Burner. My neighbor has told me multiple times he the driver was a good fit for me. After I bought the driver, I took a lesson and did even better.

 

 

Now the issue: On my home course on the back nine there is a ditch that must be cleared out and back. The first time I played the course I cleared the ditch both times, although I went to the right out of the fairway using the Burner. I haven’t cleared the ditch with the SIM2. Even though it seemed I was hitting the SIM2 further.

 

I played Saturday and realized the main difference between when I first played, and Saturday was the hardware. So, I played yesterday using the Burner and cleared the ditch each time. And I also hit further than I had been hitting the SIM2 on other tee boxes and I’m now hitting the Burner straight, most of the time. Although, I think that’s due to the lesson.

 

I am a senior with a high handicap, and I have a slow swing speed. I retired at the end of last year and I’ve playing once or twice a week since February and 2-3 times a week since I purchased the SIM2 and it’s the first time I have played golf consistently.

 

Now the question: Why am I hitting the Burner better now than I was a few weeks ago? And why and I hitting it better than I was with the SIM2? Am I out hitting the senior shaft on the SIM2?

 

I realize no one can give me a definitive answer. I’m just trying to understand why going back to the old driver is better. Any ideas?

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1 hour ago, TL308 said:

Maybe the old driver is spinning less?

You said you've taken lessons since you originally gave up on the Burner. You're probably getting better center contact now, better smash factor, thus the longer distance.  Or not....  but that would be my hunch.

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It might also just be the 10.5º on the older driver now that you are making better contact, it 'should' be longer if your swing is consistent for both drivers. Just like a 4i is longer than a 7i by virtue of loft.

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6 hours ago, TL308 said:

Maybe the old driver is spinning less?

Maybe, I don't know how to check though.

 

3 hours ago, metbid said:

It might also just be the 10.5º on the older driver now that you are making better contact, it 'should' be longer if your swing is consistent for both drivers. Just like a 4i is longer than a 7i by virtue of loft.

I didn't think about that. Maybe I should move the loft down on the new driver and give that a try.

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1 hour ago, Hohjoe said:

Maybe, I don't know how to check though.

 

I didn't think about that. Maybe I should move the loft down on the new driver and give that a try.

Adjusting for less loft would be good to experiment with.  Just remember, when you go down in loft you also slightly open the club face.  

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I would suggest you hit both drivers on a range or screen with a launch monitor so that you can understand your flight and distance.  Possible that you are hitting the older driver correctly (AoA, swing speed for shaft, centre contact, smash factor, spin rate etc) and better than the new driver you got.

Hitting both side by side will help you figure out your distances in terms of carry and total distance.

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12 hours ago, Hohjoe said:

Maybe, I don't know how to check though.

 

I didn't think about that. Maybe I should move the loft down on the new driver and give that a try.

If you have a chance to get to a simulator, you can gather launch and spin numbers. Then plug them into this to help optimize your driver.


Find your optimal ball flight trajectory and add distance to your golf shots. Use FlightScope's Trajectory Optimizer to plot ball flight in real-time.

 

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Any difference in length? If you were "really" fitted for a Driver, they would take length into consideration. If you're hitting it straighter, less length may have helped control the club head. It's also possible your lesson may have impacted angle of attack. more loft with a higher AOA can decrease distance as well.

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On 8/29/2021 at 8:48 PM, TL308 said:

Adjusting for less loft would be good to experiment with.  Just remember, when you go down in loft you also slightly open the club face.  

I dropped the loft yesterday and hit well with it. Some drives were longer I believe, I was on a course I'm not familiar with. Going straight wasn't an issue, thankfully.

On 8/30/2021 at 7:26 AM, pganapathy said:

I would suggest you hit both drivers on a range or screen with a launch monitor so that you can understand your flight and distance.  Possible that you are hitting the older driver correctly (AoA, swing speed for shaft, centre contact, smash factor, spin rate etc) and better than the new driver you got.

Hitting both side by side will help you figure out your distances in terms of carry and total distance.

 

On 8/30/2021 at 7:48 AM, boogielicious said:

If you have a chance to get to a simulator, you can gather launch and spin numbers. Then plug them into this to help optimize your driver.


Find your optimal ball flight trajectory and add distance to your golf shots. Use FlightScope's Trajectory Optimizer to plot ball flight in...

 

Maybe I can rent the screen at the local Dick's Sporting Goods for a few shots. It's the only place, I know of anyway, in my area that has a screen to hit into.

 

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23 hours ago, RayG said:

Any difference in length? If you were "really" fitted for a Driver, they would take length into consideration. If you're hitting it straighter, less length may have helped control the club head. It's also possible your lesson may have impacted angle of attack. more loft with a higher AOA can decrease distance as well.

I didn't compare the length between the two. Good idea to check. The fitter did take the length into consideration.

 

I also think the lesson help me with realizing how my setup was incorrect. I did do better with the new driver after the lesson. I was just surprised it helped, seemingly, with the old driver.

Thanks to everyone for the tips and suggestions. Something to think about.

 

Maybe when the remnants of Ida move through the area I'll have to play back-to-back days using one driver each day. Nothing wrong with playing more for science.

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2 hours ago, Hohjoe said:

Maybe I can rent the screen at the local Dick's Sporting Goods for a few shots. It's the only place, I know of anyway, in my area that has a screen to hit into.

If the screen is an issue, another option is a launch monitor and hitting on a range.

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  • 1 month later...

Also a senior and short hitter. I have to lay up at times when others don't. what I am trying to say I guess is play the driver that gets best overall results. Could even carry two drivers.

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On 8/29/2021 at 12:42 PM, TL308 said:

Maybe the old driver is spinning less?

If you have a slow swing speed you actually made benefit from more spin. 

1 hour ago, gg194 said:

play the driver that gets best overall results. 

This

On 8/29/2021 at 9:42 AM, Hohjoe said:

Why am I hitting the Burner better now than I was a few weeks ago? And why and I hitting it better than I was with the SIM2?

 

Because Golf.

 

Okay, now for my best advice. IMO - You should find an instructor/coach that you trust. One of the things to cover during lessons with him/her would be equipment. The problem you have right now is there are way too many unknowns. First of all, your sample size is tiny. Second of all its unlikely that you are putting the exact same swing on the ball with each driver. The look of each one at address may be causing you to do different stuff. The fact that you know they are different lofts may cause you to do different stuff. etc.... 

 

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To update: I did carry two drivers for a few rounds. At my home course, playing in the heat in the afternoon, I had the luxury of being able to hit two drives off the same tee because no one else was playing. So, I tried both drivers side-by-side for a few holes.

 

I still did a little better with the old driver and I was better than before with the new driver, because of the lesson.

 

One day I got the bright idea of cranking the new driver down to the loft of the old driver and that has produced the best result. I picked up 15-20 yards and I’m hitting it straighter more consistently.

 

A neighbor and I usually play a round of golf a week and he has noticed the difference. He usually out hit me and now I’m closer and a time or two or three I have out hit him. So, new driver and old loft is what I’m using and I’m happy with it

 

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I’m thinking the opposite from what one poster said… I think you spin the Burner more and hit it further.  The Sim is a low spin head.  At your age and swing speed I think you need the spin to keep the ball in the air for more distance.

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Heck, I am 62 and on good days still swing the driver well over 100 mph,  but I am much more consistent with a spinnier 10.5 degree Ping G400 than I am with a 12 degree SLDR. Granted, when I absolutely pound one the SLDR will go further, but not down wind, not enough backspin with the low spin driver to keep it airborne.

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