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Hitting Up or Down with the Driver in an Inline Pattern

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Wow, can I ever identify with this post. When I say I try to stay behind the ball hitting driver, as opposed to irons, I mean head behind the ball, slight spinal tilt away from the target, right shoulder slightly down--which I think is exactly what you see in the second set of pictures. With regard to hitting the red or blue ball with an in-out swing and slightly rising club face, that is why I use the open stance in the Trevino method of hitting a push fade. The ball is contacted before the club face gets to close. I have been working on all of this for the past year. Now I can drive the ball 230-250 reasonably accurately with only a 3/4 backswing, which at 67 puts me ahead of most guys 10-15 years younger than I am.

But this methodology does not work for my irons. I pretty much use S&T; with my head directly over the ball. I get much more consistent contact. The planes of my two swings are reasonably similar single-plane, but the two swings are different. In a former life, I could never hit driver and irons well at the same time. Realizing that, at least for me, I had to have two different swings has made me a much better golfer. If I could just improve my short game, I just may be able to get my handicap to single digits before I turn 70.

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Originally Posted by iacas

And after a year more of instruction, consideration, and thought, earlier this week I proposed to Dave that we stop teaching people to hit draws with the driver and allow for perhaps a bit more of a fade pattern - a straight fade pattern.

If you want to hit a draw, by all means, move the ball back to Charlie's position.

First...this is something we have discussed at length this week and I commend Erik on this post. Well thought out and well stated and since I have spent time considering it and helping work it out, I agree...with an optional modification included here. It would be:


A second option to hit the ball on the upstroke with the altered ball position would be to simply aim slightly right and hit a pull-draw. This shot may go a bit lower than the straight-fade but if you want to play a draw (or if the hole calls for it) instead of a fade this is a good option (change of attachment/grip may be necessary which is one reason why this may not be the best option).

Also... quickly... love the plate analogy! And it's ok (in fact honest) for instructors to say they teach things "differently" with the driver than the irons. There is a difference after all...one has the ball on the ground and the other 2" or so in the air. Why such fear of this... is it impossible to believe we are not capable of modifying things with the driver? It is fairly common to hear how a player is a great iron player but not-so-good driver or vice-versa. Trying to make the "same" swing is part of the problem.

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Originally Posted by david_wedzik

Also...quickly...love the plate analogy! And it's ok (in fact honest) for instructors to say they teach things "differently" with the driver than the irons. There is a difference after all...one has the ball on the ground and the other 2" or so in the air. Why such fear of this...is it impossible to believe we are not capable of modifying things with the driver? It is fairly common to hear how a player is a great iron player but not-so-good driver or vice-versa. Trying to make the "same" swing is part of the problem.

Dave

I know Foley teaches a different swing for driver to hit on the upswing. I think its slightly more weight on the backfoot during swing (45/55), what do you think of this method and have you seen his teaching on this?

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Originally Posted by RedFox999

I know Foley teaches a different swing for driver to hit on the upswing. I think its slightly more weight on the backfoot during swing (45/55), what do you think of this method and have you seen his teaching on this?


It's not a bad adaptation. He just presets the weight more 50/50 instead of 55/45 (left/right). Left shoulder (and the rest of the upper body) moves back a little bit, pre-sets a little bit more axis tilt. It's a very subtle change. I'm good with it.

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Interesting stuff. What's the reaction been from your peers in the S&T; teaching community? I know you all swap ideas quite a bit.

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I must say, I don't mind hitting a slight cut with my driver as my miss tends to be a pull hook and coming way to far from the inside. Seems to be far more easier to control and less damage if i hit a 'bad' shot(slight over fade).  Recently I have been teeing the ball up off my left heel and aiming my feet left and just basically hitting a straight push which goes nice and high. Today i was cutting it about 2-3 yards, hardly anything really and only missed one fairway the whole day. I still never hit a shot which starts left of my stance line, hitting either a push-draw or push-fade. What I love most about S&T; is the use of geometry and simple math/science to explain the way the ball moves, and I firmly believe it much easier to drive the golf ball with S&T; as opposed to a 'conventional' swing. Consistency, once you sort out your action, becomes second nature with S&T.;

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So the idea is essentially to tee the ball up a bit more forward? That is funny, because I moved my ball position forward some time ago. When I started getting the S&T; pattern working on my driver, I was launching it at 6-9º, resulting in poor distance. So I moved the ball forward to the inside of my left foot, and things started working better again. Never paid a lot of attention to my ball position, but once I looked at it, I realized it was closer to my left ear before I moved it. Using driveway sticks or something can help making sure you position it correctly.

It's also a good idea to experiment with tee height, since where you strike the ball on the clubface affects the launch angle and amount of spin.

I agree that a straight fade is a good shot with the driver. I've used to aim left and fade it onto the fairway with the driver, feels more comfortable.

You still want the same driving force on PP3 right? Is it possible to drive PP3 and hold the lag so much that you hit the ball on the lowpoint or slightly descending with the ball position inside the left foot, or will it at that point most of the time have started ascending? I'm asking because I'm working on PP3 at the moment and would like to know if there is any difference on that part when it comes to the driver.

You mentioned the chart showing distances and angles from the PGA and LPGA Tour, what is interesting to notice (which people pointed out when it was posted) is that the LPGA players on average swing +3.0 degrees up with the driver, and they average 220 yards carry, which is closer to what the average player hit it. I know part of the reason you made the last post about hitting down was to prevent people from conciously hitting up, leading to flipping and keeping the weight back.

With this post, you keep some of the same feelings, but get a higher launch angle because of the club hitting the ball on the upswing. I like the part about the club moving left 0 to 1.5 degrees at impact, which can give a fade spin without trying to cut across the ball. A small fade is on my opinion better than a big fade, it's the shot I prefer with the driver. Aiming at the left side of the fairway and fading it a couple of yards to the middle.

Is that video of Charlie in green on Youtube btw?

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Originally Posted by iacas

It's not a bad adaptation. He just presets the weight more 50/50 instead of 55/45 (left/right). Left shoulder (and the rest of the upper body) moves back a little bit, pre-sets a little bit more axis tilt. It's a very subtle change. I'm good with it.



...though I would go with the smaller modification above (and of course so would Erik and he wouldn't have written the post).  Also I'm not crazy about anything that "artificially" adds axis tilt in this manner.



Originally Posted by Stretch

Interesting stuff. What's the reaction been from your peers in the S&T; teaching community? I know you all swap ideas quite a bit.


Hi Stretch! This has only been shared with a couple people and either full agreement or makes sense type conversations. Will be with Mike and Andy in the near future and get their thoughts...honestly the point isn't really to "be right" in the end (though I think we are here)...it's to get everyone thinking that there are ways to continue doing things better.

*** MOST importantly there isn't much modification from the pattern here at all...more than anything it is an altered ball position and slight change of aim...always a work in progress :-)

Dave

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Is it still possible or a good idea to hit a push draw while hitting on the up swing with the driver? This would require a more inside to out path to still have the driver moving out during the intial upswing, correct? I do swing my driver much different than my irons and I'm getting a push draw most of the time. I'm not sure though if I'm actually striking the ball on a + angle of attack. My swing speed with driver is 110. Does this still warrant a - attack angle? Thanks, Dale

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Originally Posted by david_wedzik

Hi Stretch! This has only been shared with a couple people and either full agreement or makes sense type conversations. Will be with Mike and Andy in the near future and get their thoughts...honestly the point isn't really to "be right" in the end (though I think we are here)...it's to get everyone thinking that there are ways to continue doing things better.


Well, if you are going to call your school Golf Evolution, then you'd better display some incremental changes over time I guess!

Please let us know how those discussions go. There's been enough smack talked about how "S&T; doesn't work with the driver" that any modifications to the pattern in that area will probably draw quite a bit of attention.

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Originally Posted by Stretch

Interesting stuff. What's the reaction been from your peers in the S&T; teaching community? I know you all swap ideas quite a bit.


As Dave said we haven't done a bunch of that yet. Thus far I've discussed it with Dave and James. I may have mentioned it to Mike M as well. If I haven't by before, I have now. :-)

Originally Posted by michaeljames92

What I love most about S&T; is the use of geometry and simple math/science to explain the way the ball moves, and I firmly believe it much easier to drive the golf ball with S&T; as opposed to a 'conventional' swing. Consistency, once you sort out your action, becomes second nature with S&T.;


Sure. And S&T; isn't taking credit for the geometry or math... it just conforms to math and geometry and so on that already existed, and makes it - in my opinion - fairly easy to apply.

Originally Posted by Zeph

It's also a good idea to experiment with tee height, since where you strike the ball on the clubface affects the launch angle and amount of spin.

Indeed. If low point is behind the ball you don't really want the ball sitting close to the ground or you'll either drop-kick some or catch the ball low on the clubface a lot.


Originally Posted by Zeph

You still want the same driving force on PP3 right? Is it possible to drive PP3 and hold the lag so much that you hit the ball on the lowpoint or slightly descending with the ball position inside the left foot, or will it at that point most of the time have started ascending? I'm asking because I'm working on PP3 at the moment and would like to know if there is any difference on that part when it comes to the driver.

You still want to have a driving force, yes... both PP1 and PP3. You'll still catch the ball on the upswing if you continue to drive. Even if there's an angle between your left arm and the clubshaft, that radius is going to be lowest approximately below your left armpit or thereabouts. If it's not slightly upward it'll be pretty level.

Originally Posted by Zeph

You mentioned the chart showing distances and angles from the PGA and LPGA Tour, what is interesting to notice (which people pointed out when it was posted) is that the LPGA players on average swing +3.0 degrees up with the driver, and they average 220 yards carry, which is closer to what the average player hit it. I know part of the reason you made the last post about hitting down was to prevent people from conciously hitting up, leading to flipping and keeping the weight back.


Sure, yes. But they swing like girls... (seriously). :-D Imagine how far they'd hit it if they swung down.

Frankly, Dave and I have talked, and we think we could raise the driving average of the average LPGA Tour player 10% if they'd come to us for ten hours of lessons. But that's a discussion for another time. They average 220 or 230 or whatever yards of carry, but the average male golfer swings faster .

Originally Posted by david_wedzik

...though I would go with the smaller modification above (and of course so would Erik and he wouldn't have written the post).  Also I'm not crazy about anything that "artificially" adds axis tilt in this manner.

Yeah, I could have been clearer there. I might be more okay with it than Dave, so long as the change in axis tilt is minimal (5 degrees - about the same as we'd prescribe when we pre-set our hips a little farther forward) AND the student was able to properly slide forward from there without the head going backwards at all . In other words, an inch is fine. Three wouldn't be. Foley's setup would have the ball a bit farther back because your left shoulder has moved back a touch.

Originally Posted by david_wedzik

MOST importantly there isn't much modification from the pattern here at all...more than anything it is an altered ball position and slight change of aim...always a work in progress :-)


Yeah, that's the thing. It's basically a ball position change as well as an understanding that you're playing a different shot (not a push draw) with the driver to maximize distance within the pattern.

Originally Posted by granitegolf

Is it still possible or a good idea to hit a push draw while hitting on the up swing with the driver? This would require a more inside to out path to still have the driver moving out during the intial upswing, correct?


If you understand the geometry, and can repeat it, we'd be fine with whatever you do. I'll post a bit more below about the "CP release" and the "CF release" below. Read those things.

Originally Posted by Stretch

Well, if you are going to call your school Golf Evolution, then you'd better display some incremental changes over time I guess!

Please let us know how those discussions go. There's been enough smack talked about how "S&T; doesn't work with the driver" that any modifications to the pattern in that area will probably draw quite a bit of attention.


We'll let you know. :-) And yes, we're trying to live up to our name! :-D

CP vs. CF Release

Note that the "CP pattern" is a full-on MORAD pattern that involves a LOT of pieces - left arm out at P5, upper center going forward, etc. That's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about the " release " only.

Here's a depiction of the CP release versus CF release (it may not be a perfect example, but it's a quickie one):

cp_vs_cf.jpg

Red arrows show clubhead position on downswing, green arrows post-impact. Orange lines show shaft/clubface at P6. Purple shows base line of the plane (kinda - it doesn't really translate to 2D very well). Blue lines are shaft and elbow planes. Yellow arrow shows the armpit connection (what we'd call "pressure point 5" which is a MORAD term - it's not in TGM and doesn't have an accompanying power accumulator).

On the left we see what's really close to a CP release. A CP release is called "swinging left" and comes from "centripetal" or "pulling inward" (let's avoid discussions of whether there are actual centrifugal forces, etc. That's what they're called, so for our purposes, they're just names.). Note how quickly the handle disappears and how much of the clubhead and shaft are still visible.

On the right we see something close to a CF release. CF is for centrifugal, or forces outward from the center rather than inward like the CP release. This image (Lucas Glover) isn't the best one but it's the one I could think of most quickly. Notice a few things - the base line is shifted well left, the clubhead is under the plane and then swings out to the right more, and comes through above the plane, pressure point 5 is lost, the clubface has rotated past toe-up already by about 30 degrees, the hands are well above their plane at both P6 and impact (i.e. "handle raised" instead of "low and left"), etc. Note that the hands are still visible and the clubhead will disappear at about the same time.

You'll be more "CP release" if you maintain PP5, keep the rotation of the body up, maintain the flying wedge, and angled hinge. CF swingers tend to slow the body a little, their arms fly off their chest, PP5 is lost quickly, and they will tend to lose the wedge quickly, and roll 3 through impact (horizontal hinging).

I don't want to get into a whole big thing about CP release vs. CF release, but here's the take-away as far as "hitting up and playing a draw" goes.

  1. In an inline pattern (a "CP release" or one very close to it), hitting up on the ball will be done while the clubhead is moving left relative to baseline. With a clubface square to the target at impact, that's a fade when baseline is pointed at the target.
  2. You can hit a draw on the upswing one of two ways. This is the first: from a parallel left stance, you can hit a CF fade. I'm not a big fan of going CF because it's a different swing, rate of closure goes up, your arms leave your body and things can get out of sync, etc. Basically, you can swing like Lucas Glover - manually forcing the path further out to the right.
  3. You can aim farther right and hit a little pull draw. This isn't as problematic as with the irons because you are catching the ball on the upswing, so any loss of loft from hitting the ball with a slightly closed clubface can be made up for a little bit with the positive angle of attack. Still, you might want a driver with a little bit more loft, and you have to be really diligent in not aiming right for any club but your driver, and you have to be comfortable aligning right with your driver... me, I feel a little weird doing that. Remember, too, if you swing up four degrees the clubhead path is about two degrees left, so you'll be aiming six degrees or so to the right. That's more than you think (the below shows three degrees open - consider what 4 to 6 degrees closed or right would feel like...):

3degrees.jpg

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Great example using the idea of the plate and the 3 lines/dots.  Very easy to understand the geometry.  I'll get out and try this today, see which one goes further.

Handle location stays the same?  Or is it more neutral due the ball being more forward?

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Originally Posted by mvmac

Handle location stays the same?  Or is it more neutral due the ball being more forward?


I don't know that I'd call it "back" but you don't want it excessively forward, as you could guess, Mike. :-) The farthest forward would probably be so the shaft had no shaft lean left or right, and the farthest back would be a few degrees of shaft lean away from the target.

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I like what Tom Wishon had to say

http://www.iseekgolf.com/clubfittingandrepairs/7313-angle-of-attack-its-role-in-fitting

A few selected charts from the article (since pasting the entire article isn't cool):

Quote (Tom Wishon article linked above) :

Player Ball Speed Launch Angle Spin Rate Angle of Attack Driver Loft Carry Distance
Charles Howell III 172mph 7.0° 2800rpm -5° 11.5° 278yds
Charles Howell III 174mph 12.8° 2100rpm +5° 8.0° 306yds

Quote (Tom Wishon article linked above):

Optimal Driver Launch Parameters for Maximum Carry Distance

Clubhead Speed (mph) Angle of Attack (degrees) Ball Speed (mph) Launch Angle (degrees) Spin at Launch (rpm) Carry Distance (yards) Dynamic Loft at Impact (degrees) Probable Driver Loft
75 -5° Down 105 14.1 3170 145 17.1 23
75 0° Level 107 16.1 2690 156 18.6 19
75 +5° Upward 109 18.9 2310 167 21 15
90 -5° Down 129 10.6 3130 195 13.1 19.5
90 0° Level 131 13.4 2700 208 15.4 15.5
90 +5° Upward 132 16.0 2210 221 17.7 11.5
105 -5° Down 153 8.0 3060 243 10.1 14.5
105 0° Level 155 10.7 2520 259 12.3 12
105 +5° Upward 156 13.8 2070 274 15.2 10
120 -5° Down 177 5.7 2880 291 7.4 12
120 0° Level 178 9.0 2430 309 10.4 10
120 +5° Upward 179 12.1 1910 326 13.2 8

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The longest drivers on the PGA tour hit up on the ball with the driver with fades (JB and Bubba)  Good info and illustrations on hitting up on the ball with the driver.  Mvmac touched on it earlier; could someone please discuss maintaining flying wedge and pressure point #3 trailing forefinger on grip with no forward shaft lean at impact (if hitting up on the ball)?  I've read Clampett's Impact Zone a few times; he'd say that there will be loss of accuracy if hitting up on the ball due to more difficulty maintaining shaft plane with initial target line at impact.

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Originally Posted by uttexas

The longest drivers on the PGA tour hit up on the ball with the driver with fades (JB and Bubba)  Good info and illustrations on hitting up on the ball with the driver.  Mvmac touched on it earlier; could someone please discuss maintaining flying wedge and pressure point #3 trailing forefinger on grip with no forward shaft lean at impact (if hitting up on the ball)?  I've read Clampett's Impact Zone a few times; he'd say that there will be loss of accuracy if hitting up on the ball due to more difficulty maintaining shaft plane with initial target line at impact.


We're talking about a level or two degree upward strike. If you've maintained the flying wedge, you can still have a little forward shaft lean and strike upwards.

Clampett is correct if you fail to maintain any flying wedge and flip the club which, as we all know, a lot of people do with an iron and which is even easier with a driver. Not a necessity though.

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But for Charlie, how can he get to that +5, that might mean teeing the ball up past his front foot, so it might not be feasable.

How do you determine your own angle of attack if you don't have a camera, or is a camera pretty much required?

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