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      Introducing TST "Clubs!"   08/28/2017

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Going to get a new driver soon, and I need some help choosing - hopefully all this info helps you help me!

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Hey Guys,

First post here! Might be long by the time I'm done, but I'll try and tell a story and keep it interesting and I hope you have a good read and can help me out! I look forward to returning the favour one of these days. If you want to skip it, look down below for the boldness. Here we go.

I came here because it seems like the place to ask about clubs. I've read and watched about them, but because of the variety and the differences between people I need somebody to tailor that information to me. Because of that, I'll give you as much info as possible about my golf history as briefly and painfully as possible!

My family has always been into golf, and by that token I've had golf clubs since I was, let's say, 10 years old (now 22). I've never golfed all that regularly, but being athletic and always having an interest I've kept a level of talent above zero since I was that young. I had a membership at a semi-private course for a year that I used FAR less than I should've, which I regret seeing as it was so close to me (and such a nice course). But I would say on average over the years I play 3-7 rounds a year. (seems low now that I think about it for how much I love the damn game)

Fast forward to this past year: Being in Canada, my golf season is relatively short. Coupled with me just not getting out, I golfed a total of 54 holes in 2013. The first 36 of those were over 2 days at a tournament my uncle is involved in, 18 practice on a Friday and the 18 that counted on the Saturday. I shot 102 on Friday and 92 on Saturday, with some pretty terrible putts (36 total putts I think, maybe 38), here for reference if it means anything (if it does, or if it doesn't, let me know what you think). 92 is my best round ever, with most hovering around 105-110.

I've always hit my irons well, and I did those 2 days. Fairly straight, and fairly consistent. I don't hit my irons terribly long (I'm 6'3", only about 175, but I have a looong swing and it's a point of conversation when my relatives see me take my first practice swing on those rare family outings) but I hit them consistent and they progressively get long enough to land me on the green from a decent range (I don't need to hit my pitching wedge 120 yards because I like being able to full swing it 90 yards! [I'm guessing those yardages based on memory, I'm not sure my exact distances]). One guy even commented on how straight I hit them. Thanks! My surprise to that is the reason I'm here.

I slice my driver. A lot. I hit my 3 wood off the tee that whole day except for the first three holes which went from a decent drive, to mostly to the right, to my full on slice that looks like it's going to come back to me by the end of it. Anyways, I finish my 18 and play the next 15 on the next day. I was with a different foursome each day. At the end of the 15th hole an old fellow I didn't know before that day said "I want to see you hit your driver with that swing. 16 is nice and straight. Even if it's just for shits!"  "Well okay, I guess" I said.

Here's where I should mention my equipment. I have a full set of Ram's. No idea any details on them, but they've worked for me for....7 years? maybe a tad more. Got them when I was younger and probably shorter and weaker by a bit. I'll post a picture if anyone wants, but I'll try and find details tomorrow if I think it will help. They're probably long enough for me (shaft length wise). The driver is a regular flex shaft. My cousin-in-law knew this, and knew my swing.

So the old man says "Hit your driver", and my cousin says: "You know, you probably need a way stiffer shaft with that swing speed. Here, try my [Taylormade Burner, it's got a stiff shaft in it]." Okay.

My face when I hit it 280 yards dead down the middle. (we measured with his GPS phone app. This is from their website: that's the green of 16, and I put it about 5 yards in the long stuff past the end of the fairway. Birdied the [hardest] hole. One of two on the day out of probably less than 15 in my life thanks to my horrific short game)

17 is shorter, but he let me use his driver again on 18 and the same thing happened. What a feeling!

If you want to skip the story and history, start here:

I'm pretty sure I was slicing because my shaft was regular stiffness when I needed at least a stiff shaft, if not extra stiff because of my clubhead speed. I hit my cousins stiff shaft burner dead straight ~280 yards on a first attempt. My last 18 holes of 2013 I tried friends' drivers with stiffer shafts and still sliced a bit, making me think I have the slice that plagues too many amateur golfers, but that day at the tournament still gives me hope.  My parent's offered to buy me a new driver for Christmas because my dad was in the same tournament this happened in and heard the story (different foursome) from my relatives/cousin.

What driver's do I try out, and what are the best options based on anything I've said!

My local golf town (Canada) has a simulator that I plan on testing clubs in. I want to go in with an idea of a few clubs to try. I've watched some reviews, and watched Rick Shiels' Driver Test videos. I haven't seen them in a few weeks, so I don't recall the longest drivers he hit, but I want your opinions on his methods and the results from what you see. I like him.

One main thing I'm looking for, seeing as I haven't had any professional lessons, is the importance of adjustability. How do I know the driver I hit the longest in the Sim wont be beaten by a different one at a different loft/weighting? I feel like adjustability is important because my swing might change, but I think I'm quite consistent even though I may not golf that much so Maybe the one that's best is best not to change. But maybe I go for forgiveness given my inexperience!

That's it. Sorry if it's too long. I tried to give bold landmarks for importance. Please leave comments and ask questions if it's necessary! I'll answer anything and everything if I have the technology. I look forward to this fantastic learning experience and I'll give an update if and when I make a final decision!

Thanks, good day, and here's to many more!

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First off: Congratulations in shooting your personal best in a competition! Now, as to advice, I would say that the shaft may be culprit but your swing is more likely. With a 280 drive though a regular flex is certainly not going to be optimal for your swing speed if you don't have a very slow tempo. A softer shaft will generally cause someone to hook it rather than slice it though. Try heading down to a local golf shop and just hitting different drivers, old and new. See what you like and what works, as well as what doesn't. Ideally, you could do this all with a fitter and have them help you to evaluate all of your options to find the best driver to suit your needs. However do be warned that you may find that it's the Indian rather than the arrow. If they give you a measure of confidence though and you have some money to burn it may be worth it. I know that I hit it better when I feel comfortable over the ball. Final thought: Don't be afraid to try older models. My current driver is a G10 with 10.5* of loft and a stiff ProLaunch Red. Despite trying out new club heads and shafts in combination I still haven't found something that can beat it for me.

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If you have a golf galaxy or golfsmith near you - hit a bunch of used drivers on their launch  monitor & see which one gives you the best numbers & just looks & feels good to you.     I wouldn't drop dime on a new high dollar driver at this point of your development ... until you really have developed a solid repeatable swing.

Year before last, I thought I was ready & went through the whole fitting process - bought a new high buck driver & within 6 months of playing alot, my swing improved dramatically & I couldn't use an offset driver I just bought & just paid through the nose for.     I put over a hundred rounds this year on a $35 driver I got in the used rack at Golfsmith after demo-ing lots of used drivers & have never played better ...

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