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GlasgowsGreen

Are You Putting Your Driver On A Pedestal?

8 posts in this topic

I had a bit of a eureka moment 2 weeks ago when midway through a round I decided to do something a bit crazy with my driver....hit the ball with my normal swing! ;-)

I’ve been playing for about 3 years and it’s only been in the last 6 months that I’ve been able to use my driver on the course at all. However, the only way I could keep it straight was to do some weird looking drop at the top of my swing. This resulted in about 2 out of 5 drives hitting on or near the fairway, which was an improvement. In the past I would even swing with my right foot back so as to have a more in-to-out line.

So, about 2 weeks my driving was particularly bad and I was losing balls all over the place. Realising it couldn’t get any worse I decided to just swing as if I was using my trusty 3 hybrid RBZ. No weird drop, no right foot back – just a normal swing back and through the ball.

The result – easily the best drive (and best looking technically) I’d ever hit, and that’s including on the range . Without even trying to hit the ball hard I absolutely ripped it up the fairway.

I’ve played 4 times since and my drives have been fantastic (for my level!). I can’t wait to get on the tee now where before I would think about leaving my driver in the bag.

My conclusion – I was guilty of giving the driver too much respect and putting it on a pedestal. It’s just a longer club with a much bigger sweet spot.

So if you’re like me and either scared of your driver or trying some unique perculiar swing to keep it on the fairway, just get up there and swing normally like it’s your favourite club in the bag.

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a lot to be said for that notion......When I first went to the large headed driver (460), I had problems hitting it. I then started reading about ball placement, higher tees, hitting up e.t.c.   It was not until I started teeing the ball a little lower more like I had always done that my drives got better.  The only swing thought/tip I kept was one of Fred Couples hovering about 12 inches back. I now usually set up with the driver head about 6 to 8 inches back, take a few waggles and then just swing through like I always did and voila.....straight and acceptably long most of the time. If a slice or block shows up, I hit a few with a split baseball grip and that helps me keep on line and  turn it over a little better, then I go back to my normal overlap and everything is fine.

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Check out this video:

Basically, the newer drivers need to be tee'd lower, further back, and you don't have to swing up on them as much unless you want the high ball flight.  I'd always read the standard advice, tee it high and way forward, which led to me hitting everything off the crown.  I tried all manner of different tweaks, but even if I got something working for a while, that high-left-popup was just waiting for me somewhere ahead.  I like to hit it low and let it roll.  Nothing more depressing than watching your ball take one bounce and stop immediately.

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I'm using one of those "deep faced" drivers and hitting up. I have a rather average swing speed (100 MPH or so). I tend to have trouble getting center face contact, but at my handicap that's practically a given. So I'm curious what an instructor would say about my switching to the newer kind of driver. Is it more forgiving or less forgiving? Would my swing speed lend itself to one type of driver or the other?

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I first read the title and imagined me with a driver in my hand, putting a ball across a green while standing on a pedestal (and three putting of course).

I have eased my driver concerns ever since I got a HT rather than 9.5.  It was a big switch but it helped me realize that it's just another club with a big ugly head.  Helped me learn to take some of the aura away from it and just hit it with the mentality of a longer iron.  It helped in my ball flight to take some of the swing speed away and just focus on it like a normal wood or hybrid, and not jam it too hard and expect to carry the green.  This was at the suggestion of my instructor.

After talking with my instructor I've reached my ideal situation of consistent fairways and long drives, I'll inch my way back down in degrees to add some distance.  I'm already very close to my goal (2 or less OB drives per round) and it's all thanks to a slower swing speed and not treating my driver like "the big stick."

Excellent post!!

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Originally Posted by spentmiles

Basically, the newer drivers need to be tee'd lower, further back, and you don't have to swing up on them as much unless you want the high ball flight.

Nothing more depressing than watching your ball take one bounce and stop immediately.

It's not depressing when the ball that you hit with the proper launch conditions stops 20 yards ahead of the one you hit down on and roll out there.

I'm not sure where you heard those things, but I would say that I think the opposite of your first sentence is more accurate: tee the ball forward, tee it at a good height for you (depends on a few things), and hit up a few degrees to optimize your launch conditions .

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That's a great post.  It answered a lot of my questions about what people mean when they say "hit up with the driver."

Do you think the club manufacturers are changing any structural elements of drivers that would affect this advice?

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That YouTube teacher is recommending driver of the deck to amateur players for shots into the wind and such.  That is a knee slapper. I can't think of many guys that can hit a 3W off the deck consistently let alone a driver.

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