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jayisu

breaking a 10 handicap and dealing with draw/hook

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I was never a good golfer, two or three rounds a year, big slice, occassional good hole, couldn't get off the tee, 18-25 over every round.  I quit for five years and started playing regularly (once a week with one practice a week) about 4 months ago. I started around 95-100 and am now 80-85 with a best round of 77 which is six over on my course.  I still struggle off the tee, but have improved chipping and approach shots.  I average 30 putts per round, 7 fairways and 4 greens.  When I play blue tees I am shooting an 82-85 and white tees are 78-81.  Recently, I have developed a nice draw on my irons and added a ton of length.  I think it is because I am striking the ball better and have improved my weight shift.  I still spin out on drives, but it is getting better.

The shot shape is new and is difficult to play because I have always played a left to right ball flight and still fear it.  I also over cook the draw and turn it in to a slight pull hook that screws with accuracy quite a bit.  My distances are also off.  I was hitting a 7 iron about 140 and am now hitting it 165-170.  My PW used to be 100 and is now 120-130.  I want to move my handicap from 12 down to the 5-7 range, but am struggling to know what the key is.  I am sticking with the ball flight, but struggling to mentally trust it and play it properly.  It is hard to aim right of the green and trust it to fall on.  Can I lessen or control the draw with a weaker left hand, do I need to play a shorter backswing?  Has anyone else had a similar transition and successfully used it to improve their scores?

In the bag:

Ping G10, older, driver

3w is G325, don't know the brand

Callaway forged X irons

Hogan Edge 3 hybrid

60/10 old ping wedge

(borrowed clubs, no other wedges, I just change my swing and loft on the 60 degree to chip with or am creative with other irons)

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similar experience here. I still do not get out enough regularly, maybe 2-3 times a month. I do practice often in backyard though and its helped a lot. My progress is not nearly as good as yours, but also I had gone for several years not playing at all.  When I first got back into the game a couple of months ago, I would barely break 100. This was a little disappointing as I used to shoot in the 80's when I was playing 2-3 times per week. Now I am shooting pretty consistent 94-95 with one 92 thrown in there.  The short game is pretty sound though, and my putting averages to about 17 per side. I hit a lot of fairways, very few greens. My biggest problem seems to be on my 2nd shot off the fairway, I am either way short, or off to the left but pin high. I also only recently began recording every round, utilizing handicap rules. Not for competition purposes (I don't compete), but for a way of measuring improvement. In the past, I would not even keep score that much or tear the card up half way through the round if things went too far south. Now, I write em all down.

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If you are playing it out right of the target it is leaning towards a hook.  You really want a small draw, ball starts out 5 yards right and draws back to where you were aiming.  That is a combination of club path and grip/clubface.

Funny but I have been working on a draw with driver for a while.  Based on adjustments I can go from a baby fade (very playable) to a snap hook.  It makes me a little afraid of the draw, its benefit (length) gets taken away quite quickly if you hook a couple out of play.

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You are right, it is scary.  It feels out of control right now, I am hoping that as I work with it I can get it back to a straight or slight fade trajectory.  What have you been doing to work on the draw?  Mostly hand action?

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Draws, I hit my 3 wood. The driver only hits baby fades that have lots of carry.
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Originally Posted by jayisu

You are right, it is scary.  It feels out of control right now, I am hoping that as I work with it I can get it back to a straight or slight fade trajectory.  What have you been doing to work on the draw?  Mostly hand action?

No, no intentional hand action.  I have found a correct swing on the right plane and path.  The balls draws because of the dynamics of the swing.  Inside out face closed to path.  Shot my best round of the year last night, one driver got a little hooky other than that some good high draws.

If you are trying to make it draw especially with your hands go back to the fundamentals.  Grip, path lag.

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