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pholmes

Question for Mike or someone that's observed really good players

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I only play about once a year, and today was it, so I don't have too much time to work on my swing. I've heard people say that they swing at the driver as if it were any other club in the bag. I realized today I could hit virtually every fairway swinging my driver at a super controlled speed(probably 75 percent). I also noticed I was about 45 yards behind my usual landing areas, but it was a very stress free way to play, and I lost no balls. Around hole 16 I realized that when I was playing well I could basically go at my driver full force, and be fairly accurate, so I felt like my plan of hitting fairways at the expense of distance was a product of not being comfortable with my swing and maybe I needed to rethink things. In your experience, how do good players walk that tight rope, how do good players, with time to maintain their swing, approach how hard they decide to go at their driver? If that's too vague, how hard do you go at your driver? Thanks in advance.

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Well most Tour players usually swing no more than 90% with their driver and if they do want to go after it they do just the opposite of what many think is they try and relax their swing to let it reach maximum speed.

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Yeah, when I swing my hardest I try to get really loose and relaxed in my arms and shoulders, maybe my question is self evident? The better you are swinging the harder you can go at driver with confidence, how often do top tier players feel so comfortable. I almost never do, as I shouldn't feel comfortable, as I never practice and haven't earned it. I also think sequencing, like body working in synergy is what makes me hit it long and straight, and for me, that takes a lot of upkeep.

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Yeah, when I swing my hardest I try to get really loose and relaxed in my arms and shoulders, maybe my question is self evident? The better you are swinging the harder you can go at driver with confidence, how often do top tier players feel so comfortable. I almost never do, as I shouldn't feel comfortable, as I never practice and haven't earned it. I also think sequencing, like body working in synergy is what makes me hit it long and straight, and for me, that takes a lot of upkeep.

I agree with you on the sequencing. It's tough to be able to dial that in at will. Some days I can get in that rhythm right away, and sometimes not.

To take a beginner's shot at your first question...I think the pro's decide to really let a driver go when there is room to miss, and when the hole calls for it, in order to score. I heard that on a Playing Lessons on GC...forget who the pro was. Anyway...my 2 cents.

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I only play about once a year, and today was it, so I don't have too much time to work on my swing. I've heard people say that they swing at the driver as if it were any other club in the bag. I realized today I could hit virtually every fairway swinging my driver at a super controlled speed(probably 75 percent). I also noticed I was about 45 yards behind my usual landing areas, but it was a very stress free way to play, and I lost no balls. Around hole 16 I realized that when I was playing well I could basically go at my driver full force, and be fairly accurate, so I felt like my plan of hitting fairways at the expense of distance was a product of not being comfortable with my swing and maybe I needed to rethink things. In your experience, how do good players walk that tight rope, how do good players, with time to maintain their swing, approach how hard they decide to go at their driver? If that's too vague, how hard do you go at your driver? Thanks in advance.

I would say you want to create as much speed as you can while staying in balance.  For some players that might feel like 90% and for others it may feel like 70%.

For good players I would say there really isn't a tight rope to walk because good swings produce good mechanics (Keys 1-3) and good mechanics tend to produce speed.  Poor players feel like they "swing too fast" because things are out of sequence.  They don't turn enough, arms lift, weight stays back and they flip.  The clubhead overtaking the hands, especially if it's a thin shot, makes the player feel like they "rushed" the swing.

So assess the priority piece/Key and make that better.  Like anything else you just have to put in some time. As you said, by the time you got to 16 you felt more confidence to add more speed, your body just needed to get comfortable with swinging faster and that takes more reps.

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