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bogeyradloff

Returning Golfer looking for advice on a new driver/irons

7 posts in this topic

To give you a guys a little background, about 5 years ago I started playing golf pretty regularly and took a hiatus due to carpel tunnel surgery I had on my left wrist. I'm 28 years old, right handed, 6'1 and around 250 lbs. The past month or so I had a good friend of mine convince me to pick up my clubs again and start back at it. Played my first round of 18 last week and shot a 115. I've been going to the driving range 3-4 times a week for the past month or so trying to get back into the swing of things.

When I started back up my bag consisted of the following (all used equipment ):

Tommy Armour 845s 440c 10 degree Driver

Full Callaway Steelhead pro series x14 irons (3-p/s wedge) w/ stiff shafts

I found that at the driving range that I was having an absolutely awful time hitting my 3, 4 and 5 irons. 6-p wedge were pretty decent. My buddy suggested I try one of his 3-i hybrids and it seemed night and day over my callaway 3 iron. I went ahead and purchased a HT Max 3-Iron Hybrid with graphite regular flex shaft as well as a Callaway Diablo 4i Edge Hybrid with regular flex shaft.

Over the course of the week I've gone out three times to try out both new Hybrids and I was hitting the ball significantly longer and straighter then I typically do with my driver. I'd say on average I was hitting between 150-175 approximately (with roll).

My problem with my driver is that I have a difficult time getting the ball up in the air and having a consistent trajectory when I tee off. Sometimes I get it up in the air enough and it will sail beyond 200 yards but it's not consistent enough for my liking.

My questions is - is the driver I'm using not as forgiving as both the hybrids, is my loft not as high as it should be considering I have an issue getting the ball up in the air enough? I also have those random shanks where the ball will dribble about 50-75 right off the tee (this also could be a combination of just poor swing mechanics/consistency). I was looking into purchasing a Ping G20/G25, Cleveland Classic, etc.

I'm also questioning whether I should look into having the remainder of my irons re-shafted so they are more of a regular flex shaft rather then a stiff flex?

I was going to look into having my swing analyzed at Golf Galaxy in the near future, but I'm looking for a temporary fix for my poor driving/iron skills.

Any/all help would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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Quality of contact and technique (effective transfer of energy into the ball) trump everything else, probably up to a level most people will never even sniff. I say probably because whatever that level is it is WAY beyond anything I've experienced so I really can't say.

I'm not a fan of changing equipment, the symptoms you describe are classic need instruction not need equipment so unless there is some physical problem, seek competent instruction. Competent can be a tough one though as that might take some effort to find locally. However, there are resources here that can help you if you are willing to take advantage of them.

Temporary fix, when you play take the driver, 3i, and 4i out of the bag. If you don't plan on getting instruction or improving your swing dramatically on your own, then given the distances you quoted and the trouble getting the ball in the air with the driver you should check into having less flex in your irons. Not sure what analysis at GG means but it doesn't sound like competent instruction, hopefully it is helpful though, good luck.

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Originally Posted by M2R

Quality of contact and technique (effective transfer of energy into the ball) trump everything else, probably up to a level most people will never even sniff. I say probably because whatever that level is it is WAY beyond anything I've experienced so I really can't say.

I'm not a fan of changing equipment, the symptoms you describe are classic need instruction not need equipment so unless there is some physical problem, seek competent instruction. Competent can be a tough one though as that might take some effort to find locally. However, there are resources here that can help you if you are willing to take advantage of them.

Temporary fix, when you play take the driver, 3i, and 4i out of the bag. If you don't plan on getting instruction or improving your swing dramatically on your own, then given the distances you quoted and the trouble getting the ball in the air with the driver you should check into having less flex in your irons. Not sure what analysis at GG means but it doesn't sound like competent instruction, hopefully it is helpful though, good luck.

I appreciate the response and am more then aware that I need to look into getting some instruction from a competent individual. I actually just created a post looking for some referrals for good instructors in the Upstate New York area.

I've had close friends of mine who are light years ahead of me in the golf game and they've all stated that my grip and swing are in pretty decent shape who's just picking up golf again for the first time in five years.

My very limited understanding is your typical driver should be fitted to each individual to fit their swing speed, loft, etc. I guess what I'm trying to ask is there a driver that I could use a stop gap that would be more forgiving as a beginner then the current Tommy Armour I have in my bag?

I just have a hard time going to the range and hitting the ball further and more consistent with my 3i and 4i rather then my driver.

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Originally Posted by bogeyradloff

I appreciate the response and am more then aware that I need to look into getting some instruction from a competent individual. I actually just created a post looking for some referrals for good instructors in the Upstate New York area.

I've had close friends of mine who are light years ahead of me in the golf game and they've all stated that my grip and swing are in pretty decent shape who's just picking up golf again for the first time in five years.

My very limited understanding is your typical driver should be fitted to each individual to fit their swing speed, loft, etc. I guess what I'm trying to ask is there a driver that I could use a stop gap that would be more forgiving as a beginner then the current Tommy Armour I have in my bag?

I just have a hard time going to the range and hitting the ball further and more consistent with my 3i and 4i rather then my driver.

Is a newer driver more forgiving than your current 440c head? Yes, sure.  However if you are not hitting the ball in the air, than you have a swing fault.  A newer driver won't fix it.  Get a few lessons, likely just one will help you identify the problem and help identify drills to help you fix the problem.

That being said, if you want a new driver, you can go buy one and play with it.  The difference between different drivers isn't as big as you might think.  What I mean to say is that if you don't consistently hit the ball in the air, the best driver and fitting in the world isn't going to magically get the ball into the air.  As you improve in the game and start to groove a reliable swing, you will start to appreciate the different characteristics of different drivers (face angle, loft, etc) and then you can get a driver to help correct small flaws (reduced spin, open vs. closed face, etc)

Going to the driving range and taking the same flawed swing over and over again isn't going to resolve much. If you can practice 3-4 times a week, a good instructor will be able to give you drills that will make your practice more effective.  If you have a pretty solid foundation for your swing (your friends said you have a good grip and functionally sound swing) than likely you just have a few small adjustments to work on.

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I am VERY sympathetic to the impulse to try to buy a solution to your problems. If you have plenty of money to buy yourself a new "starter" driver, well... Why not? :-P. Pick up something like a Ping G20/G25, Callaway Razr X Black / X-Hot, or TaylorMade Rocketballz, or similar. The big 460cc headed drivers are more forgiving. But think of it as a "starter" and pick one up off a used rack if that is an option. Don't spend the money you could otherwise use for lessons though! The lessons will do much more good than the club. Personally, I wouldn't get an adjustable club at this point for a couple of reasons. First, the temptation to tinker with the thing may keep you from focusing on fixing swing problems. Second, and most important, in six months or a year when your game is coming together, you will be much better suited to get fitted to a higher end club, perhaps with a non-stock shaft that fits your much more consistent swing. Right now, you really need to hone that swing.
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Originally Posted by PirateJim

I am VERY sympathetic to the impulse to try to buy a solution to your problems. If you have plenty of money to buy yourself a new "starter" driver, well... Why not? . Pick up something like a Ping G20/G25, Callaway Razr X Black / X-Hot, or TaylorMade Rocketballz, or similar. The big 460cc headed drivers are more forgiving. But think of it as a "starter" and pick one up off a used rack if that is an option. Don't spend the money you could otherwise use for lessons though! The lessons will do much more good than the club.

Personally, I wouldn't get an adjustable club at this point for a couple of reasons. First, the temptation to tinker with the thing may keep you from focusing on fixing swing problems. Second, and most important, in six months or a year when your game is coming together, you will be much better suited to get fitted to a higher end club, perhaps with a non-stock shaft that fits your much more consistent swing. Right now, you really need to hone that swing.

I completely agree with going the used route, and it's not that i'm swimming in cash and want to drop money on a new driver for the hell of it I just feel like there's no way it can make my driver game any worse then it already is. Coincidentally enough I did some research online and worked on some more fundamentals of my swing relative to stance, club grip, back swing and fore swing, and was hitting the ball much more consistently at the range today (200-225 pretty darn straight 20-30 times out of 100 balls - I also practiced my hybrids and irons some too).

I haven't gotten much feedback on my forum post here looking for a reputable instructor in the Upstate New York area so my next question would be - what type of accolades or certification should I be looking for? What is considered a reasonable hour rate that most instructors charge in your guys experiences?

Thanks again for all your help guys it's much appreciated.

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One more thought. Way back in 1957 a fellow named Ben Hogan wrote a series of articles for Sports Illustrated that were later published under the title Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf. It's a classic, an easy read, and still valid. Not a bad starting point, IMO. http://www.amazon.com/Ben-Hogans-Five-Lessons-Fundamentals/dp/0671723014/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie;=UTF8&qid;=1367536459&sr;=1-1&keywords;=five+lessons
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