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Hovering driver

23 posts in this topic

Hey guys, had some good help on this forum before with picking out some wedges and now I'm looking for some good help again but in another area.

I started golfing last year during mid summer but have only been golfing regularly since about 2.5 months ago. I didn't care about getting better last year at all but my competitiveness has started showing this year and it's been frustrating to play consistently, especially being in an area where there aren't any pros and it's hard to get quality help. I had 5 or 6 rounds where I shot in the high 80s and low 90s and I was satisfied with that. However lately my scores are more around 100+. I kept track today and noticed that I would have par'ed or bogey'ed most holes if I could have kept my driver in play, but instead ended up with a lot of doubles and a couple of triples.

A couple of days ago I got paired up with a guy who hovered his driver at address and hit every single fairway despite usually shooting in the mid 90s, while I tried doing various different things (closing my stance, changing my swing, swinging easier, tilting toward my back leg, etc.) and managed to slice 90% of the time, either ending up in the rough or out of play completely.

I'm wondering how many of you hover your driver and if there is any added benefit to doing so. I read a couple of old threads on here but they are a couple of years old, and I noticed that most people who responded that they hovered were high handicappers and didn't see much response from lower handicappers.

Do the guys on tour hover? I never really thought about this before until I saw that guy at our course doing it consistently.

I've been hitting my irons well and my short game has been decent so I'm just looking to keep the ball in play more as I'd have much more fun and do much better. Obviously my swing has some issues which I'm not trying to cover up, because I shouldn't hit slices 90% of the time. I also hit a low drive with a lot of top spin, is this indicative of a swing that is too shallow?

Thanks in advance guys for the responses and happy golfing to you all

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I hover. I feel like it lets me line up the sweet spot better.

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I hover too.  I feel like it makes it easier to have a smooth takeaway and to not snatch the club back.  I believe the term that Jack Nicklaus uses it, "unweighting" the club where you dont exactly hold it up in the air but dont allow all of the clubhead's weight to sit on the ground.

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I do this so I can hit straighter...I don't know how hovering the driver a little and hitting straight relate but somehow it does, for me at least.

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Originally Posted by iacas

I hover. I feel like it lets me line up the sweet spot better.

I hover and waggle.

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I hover as well.  You mentioned that you didn't know of any low handicappers who hover the driver.  I think that I have one- Jason Dufner, who won twice on the tour this year.  He waggles a lot, but his club never touches the ground.  I feel more in control of my driver if I hover, and I hit a lot of fairways.

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Many years ago there was an article in one of the major golf magazines, I can't even remember which, that advocated hovering as a way to keep from getting "stuck" at the beginning of the backswing. I tried it, liked it, and have been doing it ever since.
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Many years ago there was an article in one of the major golf magazines, I can't even remember which, that advocated hovering as a way to keep from getting "stuck" at the beginning of the backswing. I tried it, liked it, and have been doing it ever since.

I don't hover in the way I think you're talking about, but the sole of my driver is barely off the ground before I begin my swing. I think my takeaway is smoother if I'm not grounding the club. I do it with all my clubs, actually.

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Originally Posted by GaijinGolfer

I hover too.  I feel like it makes it easier to have a smooth takeaway and to not snatch the club back.  I believe the term that Jack Nicklaus uses it, "unweighting" the club where you dont exactly hold it up in the air but dont allow all of the clubhead's weight to sit on the ground.

Yes, I remember reading Jack's comments about that too.

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Originally Posted by NuclearMike

I hover as well.  You mentioned that you didn't know of any low handicappers who hover the driver.  I think that I have one- Jason Dufner, who won twice on the tour this year.  He waggles a lot, but his club never touches the ground.  I feel more in control of my driver if I hover, and I hit a lot of fairways.

I hover everything, even the putter. But I lift it only slightly so I am assured of a smooth stroke.

I think the key to hovering is you are moving. I don't like to hover and remain still. I'm getting myself in a comfy position to make a swing and movement relieves any tension. It is only at the last moment where I am ready that everything is still for a moment before the swing formally begins - I think. I'll check it out at the range today to see what I really do.

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I hover the driver too.  Not too long though.  I do it once to be sure I've got the ball at the center of the face.  Eases my mind since the toe of the club is at the ball when the head is on the ground, so I hover it to see that the ball is in the center of the face.  I do that, then set it down, then raise it slightly again, then GO.  Some use a forward press as a "trigger".  My trigger is to pick the head up, then go.

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Originally Posted by NuclearMike

I hover as well.  You mentioned that you didn't know of any low handicappers who hover the driver.  I think that I have one- Jason Dufner, who won twice on the tour this year.  He waggles a lot, but his club never touches the ground.  I feel more in control of my driver if I hover, and I hit a lot of fairways.


Bubba hovers too.

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I was actually thinking of this very thing last night! I've been really struggling with my driver. I read this thread this morning and took off to the range at lunch to try it. It REALLY worked. I didn't all of a sudden become a great golfer but I was very consistent throughout the bucket. The hover and waggle just helped me relax over the ball and clear my mind of the hundred things that I'm thinking at address.

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Wow guys, I wasn't expecting so many people to chime in, so that deserves a big thanks!

I tried this today at the range to get a feel for it and then went and played 9 holes. Needless to say I had a much happier round and found the fairway consistently. One thing I noticed about this is that I'm much more confident when getting ready to hit the ball, and the ball seems to make good solid impact with my clubhead which I only felt every now and then when I grounded my club. I know this was only one day of trying this out but it feels pretty good so far so I hope this keeps working for me. I've been getting a fairly low trajectory, but I haven't been slicing it and have been getting good enough distance that I was satisfied with. It was nice to play up the fairway on most holes today and be confident and relaxed. Hopefully this will start bringing some better consistency from my driver! And I'm glad to see that this thread is helping others try something different also!

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Hate to double post but I forgot something I wanted to ask and can't figure out if I can edit my last post to add it in.

When you hover are you supposed to tee up higher? The guy I saw doing it at our course was doing so. But I just looked at the slideshow of Bubba Watson's swing and he seems to tee it fairly low, unless maybe it just looks that way from the angle. What do you guys do?

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Originally Posted by GaijinGolfer

I hover too.  I feel like it makes it easier to have a smooth takeaway and to not snatch the club back.  I believe the term that Jack Nicklaus uses it, "unweighting" the club where you dont exactly hold it up in the air but dont allow all of the clubhead's weight to sit on the ground.

Didn't Nicklaus also start his swing with a slight forward press?    If I recall correctly, he didn't he do that with his irons?

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I think he kicked his right knee in to start.

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I know your looking for low handicap player but I'm around the same scoring range you are. However the one thing I can do is hit my driver. I hover my driver at address for a couple of reasons. The first is that I feel like I make more consistent contact each time when I hover. The second is that I get a better feel for the club, which keeps me from snatching the club at the start of my back swing. It seems to help me be a little smoother and less jerky than when I rest the club on the ground. Bubba Watson hover his club as do many other tour players. I guess it all on what works for you though. Hope this helps and good luck!!!!
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