Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
bjwestner

Driver: super extension with arms leads to straighter ball flight?

12 posts in this topic

So late in 2012 and into the first few months of 2013 I developed a slice with my driver.  When I first started playing golf last summer driving was actually one of the better parts of my game, however, as I played more and more and improved my swing I ended up with a terrible slice with my driver.

I realized that I was coming over the top and this was causing the slice.  I read in several places about the benefits of having a compact swing and I think that this was part of the problem as I was likely standing too close to the ball and coming too much inside on the back swing which lead to me coming over the top on the down swing and thus the ball slicing with my driver.

I have since fixed this over the last few months and a friend of mine that I played with last weekend had not seen me since I had my slice.  He asked how I fixed it as he is going through similar issues.  I explained that I stood further away from the ball and made sure that my arms were fully extended at address and then made sure to keep this extension as long as possible on the back swing.  I explained that I did not even take the club that far back on the back swing but that the full extension had resulted in much straighter ball flight along with greater distance.  I also found that in extending like this that it helped with my balance and my weight transfer.

Does this sound right to the experienced players and teachers out there?  My question now is if I should adjust my driver.  The ball flight on my drives has decreased, it's not low, but it's not as high as it used to be.  I'm fine with this as the ball is going straighter and I am getting more distance (probably because of better weight transfer).  I have been playing a Taylormade R11s TP driver and it's been on the stock settings which include a 10.5 degree loft.

Would I get even more distance if I lowered the loft a degree?  If I lower the loft then should I also close the clubface since I think I remember reading that lowering the loft opens the club face?  Currently the club face is set at neutral.  Thanks for your assistance!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Sign up (or log in) today! It's free (and you won't see this ad anymore)!

Sign up (or log in) today! It's free (and you won't see this ad anymore)!

You've got a great video of an iron swing in your signature. Post that new driver swing if you can. Sounds kind of like my setup -- club shaft starts on the same plane it will be on at impact -- al la Moe Norman. It is longer and straighter for me.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks, I am working on getting my driver swing video taped and will post it as soon as possible.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

will try to have my friend video my driver swing this weekend.....I noticed something else at the range last night with my driver.  I guess over time my shoulders at address became too level instead of my right shoulder being below my left shoulder.  I noticed this last night and made sure to keep my right shoulder lower at address while keeping proper spine angle.  Big difference.  I must have gained at least 30 yards last night just by doing this!  I was also making sure to keep arm extension.

Following IACAS's advice, I also made sure that my right arm did not fold to more than 90 degrees or an acute angle.  By allowing the right elbow to bend only at an obtuse angle while keeping spine angle, keeping extended, and along with right shoulder being below left at set up, it made a noticeable difference and I cannot wait until tomorrow on the course where I can hopefully "nuke" some drives!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

From my experience, increasing your swing arc like that just hides the cast.  And the problem with Band-aids like that is your body eventually figures out a way around them and the problem, or some other problem, creeps into the swing.  Then you're off making more adjustments, which never seem to carry over from round to round.  Maybe one day your shoulder joint is extra loose and the little fix is working perfectly.  Then the next, your a little tighter and you can't get that magic back.  Eventually, you get sick of chasing your tail and either commit to getting better or give up.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They aren't band aids if they are fundamentals in the swing.
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Originally Posted by jclark

They aren't band aids if they are fundamentals in the swing.

Agreed.  I was under the impression that many professionals/teachers suggest not having your shoulders be level at address with the driver.  Over time I guess my shoulders crept back to level and by just making a small change at address as I did last night it made a very nice difference.  I was so happy/amazed that I hit almost 20 straight with the driver to make sure that I could keep doing it and I did.

Spentmiles - I'm not sure what you were alluding to you in your post, maybe I'm missing it?  A year ago I was not flexible enough to make swings like I do now.  I was not balanced enough either, which is why I was falling out of many of my shots.  Hell, 7 months ago I could not do what I do now.  I'm increasing the arc of my swing because I am getting more balance and flexibility.  I do not think that changing my set up with my driver to the suggested setup is a bandaid at all.  Regarding chasing my tail....I do not think or believe that I have been doing that at all.  I'm simply learning more and understanding my swing more and more.  It's only been one year and 19 days since I first played golf at all.  I'm curious to know what you meant in your post and I apologize if I am not understanding it?  Could you please explain why you believe that this change that I made at address with my driver is a "band-aid"?  What should I be doing instead?  Also please clarify chasing one's tail?  I don't think I've been doing this at all (maybe I'm wrong) as all the feedback I've received is that I am doing great considering the short time I've been golfing and my 12.3L handicap.....

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Depends on how you achieved the lower right shoulder -- one doesn't want to lower the right shoulder by the action of lowering the right shoulder - watch your head move to the right when you do so.

You want to set up by moving your lead (left) hip slightly towards the target - in this way the head does not move backwards.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Hey hey hey, slow down there.  I didn't mean it as a personal attack.  Believe me, I've spent the majority of my golfing years chasing my tail - meaning, I've wasted a lot of time trying various manipulations in every aspect of the swing.  I don't even know if it's avoidable for people like us, who didn't start golfing when we were little kids, under the tutelage of someone with a sound swing and an even better ability to communicate it.  I want you to get better because it's obviously important to you to do so.  I want the same thing for myself.  So whatever I say, I don't say it out of meanness or trying to be flip.  But I think it's a warning you should heed: don't just play around with little things that seem to correct your issue of the day; it's all in the fundamentals and the less you "do" outside of those fundamentals, the more success you will see.  It's the things that you are doing that are screwing up your swing; a lot more than what you aren't doing.

I wasn't talking about tilting your shoulders at address.  I was talking about setting up with your driver with your arms extended and taking a back swing like you are swinging a diving board from your shoulders.  That's what I tried to do for a while and it does straighten the ball out, at the cost of distance.  You aren't going to be happy for long with doing it that way.  IF, in fact, that's what you are doing.  I'm reading your words, not looking at a picture of you, so your words trigger MY mental images, which may not be anywhere near your reality.

If you look at any pro's set-up with their driver, they aren't holding the club much different than they hold their pitching wedge.  It's not like we're ever going to be professionals, or achieve their angles, or their results, but they have figured out the most efficient ways to do things.  And you'll hear all this, "Every one has their own swing."  What I think that means is, "Everyone has a different set of compensations they've created to minimize the flaws in their fundamentals."  And those flaws may help us break 100, or even 90, but to get low consistently (and be happy with how we're doing it) requires us to strip away those flaws and just do it the most efficient way.  If that was an easy thing to do, then there wouldn't be 9000 posts on here from people wondering how to fix this or fix that (myself included).

I think I'm talking from my own personal frustration more than anything.  I kick myself for all the hundreds of buckets of balls I spent ingraining flaws over the last decade.  And yeah, you can get flaws to work with enough continuous practice, but that's not the road to contentment...  Then again, maybe golf isn't something that can be taught.  Maybe it's something you just have to learn on your own, through trial and error, adding flaws and then taking them away.  I just don't want you to waste as much time as I did, but you sound like you have a lot more raw talent than I ever did.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond

You want to set up by moving your lead (left) hip slightly towards the target - in this way the head does not move backwards.

I like this advice, it works good for providing a stable backswing, just don't over do it.

In regards to the original post, I'll reply with a popular sandtrap reply: feel ain't real. I feel like me right arm is quite straight on the back swing, but it bends. It just feels like it is straight and prevents over-bending.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the idea of 'full stretch' throughout the swing. Esp important at ball contact the arms stretched out. And my take-away thought is 'right hand high'. Watch some pro videos and see the point of contact and the position of the arms: stretched out max.

Here's a good video and commentary. Sure, a girl, third my age, way longer than me on the drives. Stop the video at 11, 12, 13 seconds and observe the right arm.

http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-instruction/blogs/theinstructionblog/2011/06/monday-swing-analysis-yanis-at.html#entry-more

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

its funny how I came across your comment with regards to STANDING FURTHER AWAY FROM BALL AT ADDRESS as I have just come in from playing the last few holes at my club doing just that and getting good results.

I have been playing GOLF for a number of years now but Ive always had a tendency to hit ground before Ball, so I thought make my backswing more round myself and flatter which I can achieve by standing further from the ball, and it worked!! not only straighter but further.

So I come home and check out Google to see if anyone else recommends this....

Obviously I have only played a few holes today using this method...so can't wait to get out next time to see if I can repeat the same...

CA Cornwall England

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • 2017 TST Partners

    PING Golf
    Leupold Golf
    Snell Golf
    Talamore Golf Resort
    Lowest Score Wins
  • Posts

    • Thanks for your questions Swede. Regarding data for irons, if I understand what you are asking, the driver data can't really be correlated. Each iron would have it's own ideal launch conditions (launch angle, spin rate, ball speed) which would be based off of the player's swing speed.  The ball is designed to perform differently with longer clubs than shorter clubs, but if you can get dialed in with your driver, you'll be pretty close with the rest of the set also. The driver/shaft combo certainly affects the trajectory as well, and sometimes guys are playing the wrong ball and the wrong driver.  But what I see more often is a player who goes through the fitting process when purchasing a driver and irons, then they play whatever ball happens to be on sale.  It would be like using a different driver every time they played!  When trying to optimize trajectory, the ball is a good place to start.  Why buy a new driver when moving to a different ball can make the difference?  Sometimes the ball will help some, but to get where a player needs to be a different shaft or driver might be needed also. A lot of guys will go through a ball fitting whenever they get a new driver, which is not a bad idea.  Usually, if your previous driver fit properly and the new one fits properly, the ball will work just fine.  I usually suggest going through a ball fitting at least every-other-season just to make sure.  Sometimes our swings evolve...maybe your swing has improved or swing speed has increased, or it could be the other way, but it's good to make sure your stuff is correct.
    • To be clear, I have never talked about "the Titleist fitting." I don't know what they do to fit players. I'm simply talking about their recommendation to start at the green and work backward, but ultimately to consider all the shots you play in a round of golf, not just ones with the driver. I'm not talking about "here's two balls, try them out." I'm talking about the idea of "here are 30 kinds of golf ball. I eliminated a few because they felt horrible off my putter. I eliminated a few more for poor performance around the green. I eliminated some more for poor spin or flight with my irons. Of the six that I had left, these two performed well with my driver, so one of them is a good fit. If they have a super official "ball fitting" process, I wasn't talking about that, nor was I talking about a "here is a Pro V1 and a Pro V1x… hit some shots and pick one." So… I wish you hadn't devoted that much attention to the "Titleist method" in your post when that's not at all what I was asking. My point was… I'm skeptical that the Bridgestone method (only hitting a few balls, not doing much to account for consistent tee heights, ball position, players getting "warmed up" during the process, etc., only using the driver and disregarding the rest of the shots) is a great method, either.
    • 1. Golf is elitist. So far from true but I still get way too many people who chuckle at my interest in golf- as if I should be embarrassed that I enjoy such a snobby pastime.  2. Just swing your swing- and stop obsessing about getting a "pretty" swing. Sorry, but that's not sound advice - when I get rid of the key elements that are holding me back, yes, sure- then I'll make the most of what I've got. I'll swing that swing. Until then, not a chance, now that I have learned about the fundamentals . There's work to be done to make my future golf far more enjoyable and competitive.   3. Lessons are expensive. Nope- look hard enough and you can find quality swing guidance at a reasonable price.  I agree with lotsa others above but these resonate for me at my level of play right and interactions with people now. 
    • Let me address the things you mentioned and clarify a little bit, because I think there is some misconceptions on some of the aspects. There is perception that the Titleist fitting covers everything and the Bridgestone only addresses the driver.  One of the biggest issues I have with the Titleist method is it's not a real golf ball fitting.  They give you a Pro V1 2-ball pack and a Pro V1x 2-ball pack and basically tell you to hit some shots and see which one you like best. So regardless of swing speed, handicap, launch numbers or anything else, they are saying you can pick this ball or that ball.  The other models in Titleist's line are not included and competitor models are not included.  I know for a fact that there are many players who don't fit into either of those models, but Titleist doesn't offer other options or comparisons.  They claim the Pro V1 and Pro V1x have the best distance, best short game spin, best flight characteristics, softest feel and great durability.  I hate to tell everyone, but there is no such thing as a perfect golf ball.  The laws of physics and aerodynamics apply to Titleist just like everyone else.  A ball that is designed for high spin will not be as long as a lower spinning model and will tend to curve more, and a ball designed for distance will not have the same type of performance on approach shots and around the green. Titleist also doesn't offer any data that shows how those models stack-up for players, or how they perform compared to their ideal numbers.  Sure, people love the spin that they get around the green, but do they need that much spin?  Is all that spin hurting them in other areas?  High spin actually gets a lot of players in trouble and costs them more strokes than it saves them.  Similar to the Titleist method that has players go through the process on their own, after a Bridgestone tech works with a player and their driver and shows them the data, a 2-ball pack is given to the player to continue their testing on the course with irons and short game.  As far as the number of shots on the launch monitor is concerned, you are correct...typically 3 or 4 shots with each ball is recorded.  It's not a lot, but it's 6-8 more shots over a launch monitor than a Titleist fitting. Obviously it would be great to do more, but a fitting could easily stretch to an hour per player, so a typical 4-5 hour event we could only help a handful of players.  A normal fitting takes about 15 min, so that is 16-20 players per event.  At that number, the cost of each fitting was right around $40/player.  If an hour was spent with each player, it would cost almost $200/player which isn't cost effective. On the launch angle issue, what I said was there are many things that can affect the launch, including the ball.  I didn't say 2* wasn't possible and I didn't say in the example I posted that only 1/2* could be attributed to the ball.  Honestly, I can't say how much of that 2* is related to moving to a different model...even if other variables like tee height, ball position were removed, the difference in loft will vary from player-to-player due to different swing speeds, swing paths, angle of attack etc which is unique to everyone.  Plus depending on what model is used first and which model is recommended could have a smaller or larger affect than other combinations.  You could probably make the same case for every category if you wanted though, right?  You could say how much of the difference in spin was caused by the ball change and how much was the result of some other variable?  Spin is more important than the launch angle, so even if the l.a. stayed the same, the drop in spin would have made a nice difference by itself.  But we know the player was launching the ball too low with too much spin, a lower spinning/higher launching ball was recommended and the results were a more efficient trajectory and an increase in performance. I believe the key is to be able to show a player in black and white what their launch conditions are with their current ball and how it compares to their ideal numbers.  If you can't show a player the areas that need improvement, then how can you confidently recommend the best ball for them?  The truth is, most people are playing the wrong ball, so it's not that hard to make an improvement, and honestly there are probably a handful of different makes/models that would be better.    
    • 1-5. Putting matters most. Uh huh. What are the chances I gain 2 strokes because I (or just about any golfer) 4 putted? It's happened. Rarely. What are the chances I (or just about any golfer) hit an errant tee shot and blow 2 strokes? 40% every tee shot for me. 
  • TST Blog Entries

  • Blog Entries

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Dragondrake
      Dragondrake
      (57 years old)
    2. Mistabigevil
      Mistabigevil
      (36 years old)
    3. Taylor56
      Taylor56
      (61 years old)
  • Get Great Gear with Amazon