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Forget the driver, I'm using my 3W off the tee!


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  1. 1. What club would you tee off with (hole is straight, no trouble, 350+ yards)?

    • Driver, of course! I can hit it really well!
      17
    • 3W, still working on the driver.
      9
    • Depends on the day, but typically my driver...
      10
    • Depends on the day, but typically my 3W...
      8


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For a while, I was swinging my driver really well off the tee.  By really well, I mean that I wasn't landing the fairway, but was slightly off due to a fade.  At least I wasn't in the trees...right?  I was happy and kept playing those shots...scoring between 48 and 53 for 9 holes.

Then one day, I noticed that my drives kept getting worse and worse...turning into a slice.  I come up to this one hole, a dog leg left, and I needed 250y to the bend.  Brought out my 3W...straight as an arrow and 245y.  Finished the hole and kept with the driver, all bad drives.  A few days later I replay that course.  Again, driver is terrible and I again brought out the 3W for that dog leg left hole.  A similar shot -- 250y straight as an arrow.  I finished the course teeing off with my 3W...all about 240-250y drives and very straight.

I've now completely abandoned my driver -- teeing off with the 3W 100% of the time (for the Par 4s and Par 5s, of course).  I hit it 240 to 250 consistent, very straight.  At worst, it's about 10y off the fairway.  After all, when I could hit my driver very straight, I was typically around 260-265y, with my bests coming in around 280-290y.  But, the odds of most driver shots being on the fairway were probably 10% at best.

Anyone else tee off with their 3W more often than not?

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Almost the same story for me, my driver was dead on at the beginning of the season, I had one round where I hit almost every fairway with it but then it just kept getting worse and worse.  Right now I am hitting my 3 wood on basically everything, I hit it way better and as a result don't even lose much distance.  Right now I am content with using my 3 wood and will continue to practice with my driver at the driving range until I can get it down.

When I use my 3W I feel like my irons are more on too but that might just be because I am in the fairway more often and can get on a better groove with them.

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I didn't vote, on the course I play the most, there are only 3 driver holes. 7, 10, and 18... 7 is not even really a driver hole but I keep trying to drive the green... my best drive to date leaves me 10 yards short... the course is very sandy so its hard to get roll when you see the ball splash in the fairway 15 yeards short of the green... 10 is a 560 yard par 5 down hill that with a good drive I can get to the green in 2. and 18 is a 460 yard par 4 up hill, a good drive leaves 170 in...

I can hit 10 good drives in a row then duck hook one or slice one, usually on holes that im thinking about not doing one of those 2 things is the one i hit the bad drive on... if im thinking positively and focusing on the target and and not the trouble I usually hit a good shot.

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I went through the same progression this year. I basically got to a point where I had no idea where my driver was going, so I started hitting my 3w. It started off really well. I lost distance but not so much to be a problem from the white tees at my home course (~5,600 yards). The key is that I was hitting it straight and felt consistent with it. Eventually, over the course of only a month or two, the 3w started becoming a little less consistent but still far better than the driver. I also realized that if I wanted to achieve my long-term goals, I needed to figure out the driver. I don't need to hit it 300+ yards but I need to be consistent with it, and the only way that happens is if I use it regularly and keep working on it. So, I bit the bullet and made the switch back to driver. I've been suffering with it in my rounds and working on it at the range and finally today I hit 4 of 5 fairways I used the driver on (9 holes). I'm sure tomorrow it will be inconsistent again but it's all a process and I'm confident that eventually I'll be a consistent ~275 off the tee.
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When I first started playing golf a little over a year ago, my driver was my favorite/best club. I don't know if its normal but I hit it more consistently than any other club in my bag. I feel like I wasn't thinking too much and just trying to learn the game and whatnot but as I have progressed, I've actually gotten worse with my driver... but better with my hybrid and irons and wedges. I'm not sure if its a mental thing or what but I am much more consistent with my 3 wood than my driver now. I know I'm not trying to over swing or fade or draw the ball, I just want to hit it straight and in the fairway. I have a natural little fade, which started as a slice and was really hard to get rid of. But now its kind of stuck in the middle of where I started and where I was at my best. Any tips?

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When I started playing I didn't hit my driver well consistantly. When I was on, it was really on. But when it was off, it was really off, like out of bounds off. I abandoned my driver for several months. Then I realized I was ignoring the problem, instead of trying to fix it. That's when I took my 1st lessons. Turned out for me, it was mostly my grip that caused the problem. Took me a while to fix my swing, and get into the groove again, but in the long run I think it was worth it.
Now my driver is one of my best shots.
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Didn't vote since these aren't typically the factors swaying me toward 3-wood or driver. If there's no advantage to driver, I'll debate 3-wood or 3-iron.

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I went with 3 wood...My driver will put me about 50 yards out and I'd much rather be a little further out so I can hit a shot I'm comftorable with using my 58° wedge.  Depending on the conditions though I may use my driver, or may go the other way and use a 3 iron.

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If i can hit my 5w or 3w good then i can hit my driver good,if i'm hitting my 5w and 3w bad then i'll hit the driver bad - 3W and driver,there is nothing between them other than the driver has less loft and a longer shaft,assuming your woods are all the same make,same shaft and flex then being good with the 3W but bad with driver then that can only be due to two things,loft or length of shaft,a flatter degree on the face,or the longer shaft which may indicate the degree of the driver is too much for you,so buy a higher lofted driver {assuming you dont already use the highest degree lofted driver already},or cut the shaft down an inch so it matches up with your 3w

That is the extent of my basic understanding of the problem....

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I like hitting an iron. The driver just doesn't always behave and I seldom get to work on it. My 3 wood sucks worse, it's too long and too head heavy and not enormous like the driver. The driver has the most forgiveness of anything, so why not use it instead of the smaller headed and harder to hit 3w? On the other hand, an iron is totally another kind of shot. It's routine, accurate, and steady. You don't need to worry about slicing or hooking or making compensations, you know your yardage and the line is going to be a lot tighter. And the wind is laughable. You can flight that sucker so low it'll run out even directly into the wind.

I can put my 5 iron 200+ yards out and straight. I'm comfortable hitting it off the ground as well, so any hole in the sub 400 yard range is doable. And those 350 yard holes or less? I'm hitting 9 iron or less with some margin for error if I come up short off the tee. Should I move to longer tees? Probably. When I can hit my driver better and afford those 7200 yard courses. And break 80.

If you can't hit your driver, you're not screwed unless you keep trying. If you can't hit an iron from a tee and hit a fairway without error, you're screwed. Once your basic competent iron play is gone you simply can't score. Those clubs with no headcovers on them are really doing most of the work and deserve more credit.

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Depends on the hole and the situation.  If a hole requires a driver, I hit driver.  If not, then I hit the club that makes the most sense.  If I'm uncomfortable with the trouble on a hole, I may hit a 3W or hybrid.  3W is never an automatic choice when I don't want to play the driver.

On my home course, I typically play driver on the first 3 holes, then don't touch it again until I get to #10.  That's 4 potential driving holes where I use a 3W or hybrid instead.  Depending on the wind, any of those holes can become a driver hole.

I didn't answer the poll because, as usual, my answer isn't there.

Originally Posted by LuciusWooding

If you can't hit your driver, you're not screwed unless you keep trying. If you can't hit an iron from a tee and hit a fairway without error, you're screwed. Once your basic competent iron play is gone you simply can't score. Those clubs with no headcovers on them are really doing most of the work and deserve more credit.

The longest iron I carry is a 5I, and that's not nearly long enough to substitute for a driver.  Anytime I'm hitting a shot of 200 yards or more, it's possible to miss a fairway.  I can miss just as badly with my 22° hybrid as I can with my driver, so why not hit the driver when it's indicated?

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Originally Posted by njcl13

If i can hit my 5w or 3w good then i can hit my driver good,if i'm hitting my 5w and 3w bad then i'll hit the driver bad - 3W and driver,there is nothing between them other than the driver has less loft and a longer shaft,assuming your woods are all the same make,same shaft and flex then being good with the 3W but bad with driver then that can only be due to two things,loft or length of shaft,a flatter degree on the face,or the longer shaft which may indicate the degree of the driver is too much for you,so buy a higher lofted driver {assuming you dont already use the highest degree lofted driver already},or cut the shaft down an inch so it matches up with your 3w

That is the extent of my basic understanding of the problem....

For me, the difference in shaft length is huge.  I didn't know this much when I bought the club, but my current Burner 2.0 driver is a whopping 46.5" long!  Whereas, my 3W is 43.75" long.  That's 2.75 inches difference in shaft length.  For a guy who just started golfing this season, that's a big difference.

Again, I played a round yesterday and shot the 3W unbelievable.  It was automatic -- 250y straight.  I took out the driver and hit a 2nd ball on a very generous fairway.  Ended up connecting and blasted a straight shot down the fairway.  To my surprise, it was only about 265y though.  Perhaps I got a better bounce with my 3W?  Anyway, for that particular Par 5, that extra 15y didn't mean anything to me...and it usually wouldn't.

I wish that I could get my hands on a strong 3W...something with a loft between my 9.5* driver and current 15* 3W.  That was be ideal...as I could probably get my usual "driver" distance then.

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It depends a lot, but like a few others above, it's not a simple matter of hitting 3W because the driver is giving me trouble. When my driver swing is working well, my 3W is usually also working well, but it's usually a bit lower and straighter. So on those days, it would really depend on the situation. I would normally hit driver in a wide open situation, but a 3W if it were a narrower landing area.

When my driver is giving me trouble, which it has lately, then the 3W is almost never any better. In those cases, I would probably drop all the way to a 4I. Late in a round when I start to get tired, I have learned I should probably go even lower because my longer clubs give me trouble. Better to have a very short tee shot in play than flubbing a longer club or hitting it badly OB...

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** Additionally, I was looking at TM Burner Specs and the new Rocketballz specs.  It seems that the Burner 2.0 driver had the long of all shafts @ 46.5".  The TP version is 45.5", the RBZ standard is 46", and the RBZ TP version is 45.75".

So, why would a club manufacturer give the "amateur" a club that is the longest of all, verses the TP version, which is shorter?

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Originally Posted by formula428

** Additionally, I was looking at TM Burner Specs and the new Rocketballz specs.  It seems that the Burner 2.0 driver had the long of all shafts @ 46.5".  The TP version is 45.5", the RBZ standard is 46", and the RBZ TP version is 45.75".

So, why would a club manufacturer give the "amateur" a club that is the longest of all, verses the TP version, which is shorter?

I use the Superfast 2.0 as well.  I am thinking about getting it shortened a little or getting a different driver.

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3W but still working on the driver.  Im not yet confident enough with my driver to hit it until I have some margin for error.  The 3W is a safe play and still puts me in a good position for my 2nd shot.

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Formula,maybe cutting a few inches off your driver will help,i dont believe its drastically expensive to have it done,nevertheless if you can hit a few drives with somebody's driver and if that driver is around the same length as your 3w,and if you hit it well you know what your problem stems from,anyway your hitting the ball a fair distance with the 3w,enough to stick to the 3w,20 yds or so is barely worth worrying about,i'd like to hit my driver 250 yds but cant

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Originally Posted by formula428

For a while, I was swinging my driver really well off the tee.  By really well, I mean that I wasn't landing the fairway, but was slightly off due to a fade.  At least I wasn't in the trees...right?  I was happy and kept playing those shots...scoring between 48 and 53 for 9 holes.

Then one day, I noticed that my drives kept getting worse and worse...turning into a slice.  I come up to this one hole, a dog leg left, and I needed 250y to the bend.  Brought out my 3W...straight as an arrow and 245y.  Finished the hole and kept with the driver, all bad drives.  A few days later I replay that course.  Again, driver is terrible and I again brought out the 3W for that dog leg left hole.  A similar shot -- 250y straight as an arrow.  I finished the course teeing off with my 3W...all about 240-250y drives and very straight.

I've now completely abandoned my driver -- teeing off with the 3W 100% of the time (for the Par 4s and Par 5s, of course).  I hit it 240 to 250 consistent, very straight.  At worst, it's about 10y off the fairway.  After all, when I could hit my driver very straight, I was typically around 260-265y, with my bests coming in around 280-290y.  But, the odds of most driver shots being on the fairway were probably 10% at best.

Anyone else tee off with their 3W more often than not?


If the notion of teeing off with a 3W bothers you, pick up a 12 degree driver (I use one BTW..Mizunp JPX 800/12 deg).  I hit the fairway 50% or more of the time in the 240+ range..the rest being slightly off.  It will do wonders to your game/score.

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