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looseleftie

New golfer.. Should I not use drivers for first 6 months as I get better??

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Hi,played my first round, pretty poorly.. Driving was terrible, a friend suggest I put away my drivers, and use a 3 or 5 iron for most of my par 4 and par 5 holes T shots...

Thoughts on this anyone??

Good advice or bad advice?

All input appreciated.

Cheers

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In my opinion this is good advice.

If you can't keep the ball in play with your driver I would keep it in the bag during rounds and work on it at the range and keep it in the bag until you can gain control of it.

I would suggest using your 3 wood or 5 wood on the longer holes if you have and can control them. I hope this helps.

Mitch G

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I played for around 6 months with irons and a putter.

I then played for around 6 months with wedges, irons and a putter.

I then played for around 6 months with a hybrid, irons and a putter.

I then played for around 6 months with a 3W, hybrid, irons and a putter.

I then bought a driver.

Currently I only use my driver on wide fairways as I've not spent enough time practicing with it.

In my opinion where you start off with such a high handicap you're given extra shots for that precise reason, e.g. handicap of 36 (US) gives you 2 extra shots per hole on top of par. You therefore have 4 shots to be able to get to a par 4 green and then 2 putts so even teeing off with a 6 iron and following up with 3 more 6i shots should be doable.

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I'd pull the 3 iron (and maybe even the 5) out of the bag before I put away the driver.

Modern drivers have a much bigger head than they did years ago and you will probably hit a 3 wood just as bad.

One of the guys I play with is fairly new and if he does struggle with the driver, I have convinced him to put it away for a few holes - he will use his 3 wood which will slow his swing down enough that once he tees off with the driver - all is good again.

I used to carry a 360cc driver for the same purpose.

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Pulling the driver wouldnt be a bad idea.  With how long the shaft is, it can be difficult to control.  Id pull the 3 and 4 irons out of the bag as well.

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The trick to using a driver as a newer player is to SHORTEN it.      It's common knowledge that drivers are too long today (heck, Tiger shortens his driver considerably), as manufacturers are in the hunt to get every last yard out of them, to use as marketing in the quest to sell the longest hitting driver.     If you cut 2 inches minimum off your driver & slap a new grip on it, I will absolutely 100% guarantee you as a beginner will hit it consistently farther and more accurately, as you will be hitting the sweet spot more often.     It's all about hitting the sweet spot.     Also, slow your backswing WAY down - you want a totally controlled backswing, then accelerate on your downswing - again, always in control.    The guys that have a herky jerky fast tempo swing are the ones looking for their balls in the woods.     Just grab a hacksaw & shorten that driver, you'll thank me ...

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Quote:

I would suggest using your 3 wood or 5 wood on the longer holes if you have and can control them. I hope this helps.

The #1 thing beginners need to do is work on their short game.

The #1.5 thing - which few people talk about - is get your tee shot into play. Get it into the fairway, or at least the first cut of rough. It's tough to make par or bogie if you second shot is always from the deep treeline.

The driver is a special club, and can be very valuable once your swing gets set a little. Most people need extra practice to learn the set-up and swing adjustments for the driver. I would suggest that, as a beginner, you could make progress on your swing more quickly if you stuck to a 3W and 5W - or maybe a hybrid if you can hit it. That way, you can get more experience and practice on the fairway woods.

Also, the 3i solution might not work for a beginner (see TitleistWI ). The 3i is a challenge to hit, and many players of all skill levels use a hybrid instead.

Also, I would think twice about sawing 2" off your driver shaft. With that much of a shaft trim, you'd need to make several adjustments to get the club back into balance. Ask a clubfitter about shortening a driver - next season!

Once you get your fairway woods down in season 1, in season 2 experiment with the driver and the 3i to see if you can work them in.  FYI, the high-launch drivers several companies now make are basically a big-headed 3W.

Also, don't feel you need to cart around 14 clubs in the beginning. If you bring out a couple of FW, or an FW and a hybrid, 5i-PW, a SW and a putter, this is plenty at the start.

If you're just starting consider some golf lessons. You can go the individual route, or attend a spring golf clinic (beginners have a series of group classes, and can learn together). If you learn some basics at the start, it really helps you get going.

Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress.

Suggestion: You might put a What's In My Bag section in either your signature line, or in your Lists. That way, we can tell what model and mix of clubs you play, which would help us give you better advice. Always helps to know what's in your tool kit!

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Originally Posted by WUTiger

Quote:

The #1.5 thing - which few people talk about - is get your tee shot into play. Get it into the fairway, or at least the first cut of rough. It's tough to make par or bogie if you second shot is always from the deep treeline.

Who's not talking about that?  Pretty much every post in this thread is about clubbing down to gain control, ostensibly to keep the ball in play, not to just hit it shorter, right?  If you take out the driver, you take out the joy of hitting good drives.  My suggestion is leave it in, but start really working on your swing.  You should be doing this anyway and don't want to develop an "irons only" swing.  The setup and feels are different for the driver, and you are going to need experience with it if you ever want to be a decent golfer.  Avoiding it only prolongs it.

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Originally Posted by looseleftie

Hi,played my first round, pretty poorly.. Driving was terrible, a friend suggest I put away my drivers, and use a 3 or 5 iron for most of my par 4 and par 5 holes T shots...

Thoughts on this anyone??

Good advice or bad advice?

All input appreciated.

Cheers



Having never seen your swing, it's hard to say. Probably your friend was getting tired of heading off the tee box at a 45 - 90 degree angle to look for your ball. I've also probably suggested teeing off with a mid-iron to more than one new golfer over the years. Even if it's crooked it's easier to find. Continue to practice with the long clubs though (including the driver), because it makes hitting the shorter ones easier. Also consider trying out a few different club setups. Higher lofted drivers have always been around and more people are using one than you'd think (even if they don't know it).

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Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon

I played for around 6 months with irons and a putter.

I then played for around 6 months with wedges, irons and a putter.

I then played for around 6 months with a hybrid, irons and a putter.

I then played for around 6 months with a 3W, hybrid, irons and a putter.

I then bought a driver.

Currently I only use my driver on wide fairways as I've not spent enough time practicing with it.

In my opinion where you start off with such a high handicap you're given extra shots for that precise reason, e.g. handicap of 36 (US) gives you 2 extra shots per hole on top of par. You therefore have 4 shots to be able to get to a par 4 green and then 2 putts so even teeing off with a 6 iron and following up with 3 more 6i shots should be doable.


It sounds like you'd played for 2 years (or 4 Canadian golf seasons since we're lucky if we get 6 months per year) before purchasing a driver.

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I really disagree with this. #1 by far is getting a somewhat consistant iron swing with something like a 6 iron. If you can't walk up to the ball expect to hit the ball 140+ yards, you can not play reasonable golf and being on the course is beyond frustrating. After that to have fun you need to be able to hit the basic short game shots (10 yard chip, get out of the bunker, short pitch). After that you can think about how to score better which will be some combo of better short game, putting, and driving.

As far as what club to play off the tee it depends on you and your course. Go to the range and hit dozen shots each with a driver and then 18, a 3 wood, and 5 wood/hybrid and think about what % of them would be in play for each club and what the distance difference is. Then make an educated choice on what to play.

Originally Posted by WUTiger

Quote:

The #1 thing beginners need to do is work on their short game.

The #1.5 thing - which few people talk about - is get your tee shot into play. Get it into the fairway, or at least the first cut of rough. It's tough to make par or bogie if you second shot is always from the deep treeline.

The driver is a special club, and can be very valuable once your swing gets set a little. Most people need extra practice to learn the set-up and swing adjustments for the driver. I would suggest that, as a beginner, you could make progress on your swing more quickly if you stuck to a 3W and 5W - or maybe a hybrid if you can hit it. That way, you can get more experience and practice on the fairway woods.

Also, the 3i solution might not work for a beginner (see TitleistWI). The 3i is a challenge to hit, and many players of all skill levels use a hybrid instead.

Also, I would think twice about sawing 2" off your driver shaft. With that much of a shaft trim, you'd need to make several adjustments to get the club back into balance. Ask a clubfitter about shortening a driver - next season!

Once you get your fairway woods down in season 1, in season 2 experiment with the driver and the 3i to see if you can work them in.  FYI, the high-launch drivers several companies now make are basically a big-headed 3W.

Also, don't feel you need to cart around 14 clubs in the beginning. If you bring out a couple of FW, or an FW and a hybrid, 5i-PW, a SW and a putter, this is plenty at the start.

If you're just starting consider some golf lessons. You can go the individual route, or attend a spring golf clinic (beginners have a series of group classes, and can learn together). If you learn some basics at the start, it really helps you get going.

Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress.

Suggestion: You might put a What's In My Bag section in either your signature line, or in your Lists. That way, we can tell what model and mix of clubs you play, which would help us give you better advice. Always helps to know what's in your tool kit!



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For many years, I would only drive with my #3 wood during March & April.  then, as the weather warmed up in KY, I would use the Driver.  Back then, my Driver was a #2 12* which stayed in the fairway.

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Originally Posted by WUTiger

Also, the 3i solution might not work for a beginner (see TitleistWI). The 3i is a challenge to hit, and many players of all skill levels use a hybrid instead.

Also, I would think twice about sawing 2" off your driver shaft. With that much of a shaft trim, you'd need to make several adjustments to get the club back into balance. Ask a clubfitter about shortening a driver - next season!

About the 3-iron: amen!  I favor a 5-wood over a 3-iron because its an easier club to hit.

About shortening the driver shaft, what people often forget about cutting down a shaft is that by cutting it down you make it stiffer.  You cant just cut 2" off of your driver and expect it to perform the same.  If you have a reg flex now you pretty much will end up with a stiff.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

Quote:

Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon

I played for around 6 months with irons and a putter.

I then played for around 6 months with wedges, irons and a putter.

I then played for around 6 months with a hybrid, irons and a putter.

I then played for around 6 months with a 3W, hybrid, irons and a putter.

I then bought a driver.

Currently I only use my driver on wide fairways as I've not spent enough time practicing with it.

In my opinion where you start off with such a high handicap you're given extra shots for that precise reason, e.g. handicap of 36 (US) gives you 2 extra shots per hole on top of par. You therefore have 4 shots to be able to get to a par 4 green and then 2 putts so even teeing off with a 6 iron and following up with 3 more 6i shots should be doable.

It sounds like you'd played for 2 years (or 4 Canadian golf seasons since we're lucky if we get 6 months per year) before purchasing a driver.


Pretty much yep!

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Originally Posted by TitleistWI

About shortening the driver shaft, what people often forget about cutting down a shaft is that by cutting it down you make it stiffer.  You cant just cut 2" off of your driver and expect it to perform the same.  If you have a reg flex now you pretty much will end up with a stiff.

This is true  - but keep in mind, the context here is a rank beginner.     I am absolutely convinced cutting the length way down will help a beginner.      I didn't ask, but assumed he's not gaming a new R11S where it wouldn't be wise to cut the shaft that much.    Its solid advice for a beginner to shorten the length of hte club - increasing the stiffness & weight balance is of little concern to a rank beginner, shaft length will allow him to hit the sweet spot more often, which is what counts where's he's at.    Sure, later when he improves, it won't be necessary to lop that much off ...which btw is where I'm at now, I left the length slightly longer on my current quality  driver (but still shorter than stock) ...

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Lots of good advice here IMO.

1. Don't give up on the tee shot.  It's the most important shot for most beginners, because it sets up your entire hole.  I know putting and short game are big portion of strokes, but most of the aspiring golfers I see the tee shot makes a HUGE difference.  From the fairway, you might be looking at bogey.  From the trees, you're looking at a minimum of triple bogey.  It's hard to learn how to hit an iron if you only ever use them to make choppy half-swings from jail.

2. I'd ditch the driver for starters and hit a hybrid.  They're easier to hit and much more useful.

3. If I were going to mentor a true beginner (not as a professional instructor, but as someone with 25 years of golf experience), I'd only let them start out with 7 or 8 clubs.  A couple hybrids, four irons, a couple wedges, and a putter.  Maybe a fairway wood, depending on their aptitude.  Learn the swing without distracting yourself trying to decide between two or three clubs which, at your skill level, will produce basically the same shot anyway most of the time.

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