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albatross

Why does the driver feel so different from other clubs?

33 posts in this topic

I've heard so many pros on TV and other good golfers that are friends say that the driver swing is just like with other clubs, but it's always felt so different to me.  I've worked hard on my game, with and without an instructor.

I hit my irons fairly well, and I can hit my 5 and 3 wood really well most of the time.  Why doesn't that swing translate over to the driver?  I'm talking about a huge difference between the driver and my other clubs.  Often times it's a topped shot, crazy slice, or terrible contact, no where near the face. Where do I start?

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(1) It's the longest club. Especially with the off the rack lengths of 45 or 46 inches that they are selling now. Longer than most people's optimum length.

(2) It's got the least loft. The less loft the easier it is to impart sidespin.

(3) It's the only club ideally hit with a positive angle of attack which creates a good chance of an otherwise acceptable club path before the bottom of the arc starting to be out to in by impact, hence more chance of slice spin.

(4) Almost all of us swing a driver at a lot closer to 100% effort than we do with the other clubs, and get ourselves out of whack.

Greed for distance is a terrible thing. (Or it can be for those of us that aren't the best ball strikers).

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I find choking down 2 inches on my driver makes a world of difference, both in making better contact and avoiding unwanted side spin.

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Make sure you play it far enough forward in your stance. I have a love/hate relationship with the driver but have been hitting it "alright" lately. Keys for me are 1) play it WAY forward in my stance, couple balls past my big toe even 2) set up with hips pre-set forward quite a bit, I believe this is referred to as a reverse K?
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i usually line the ball up just inside my left foot. that helps me hit the ball on the upswing and get the best launch angle. think of yourself as sweeping the ball off the tee, as opposed to hitting down on it like most other clubs

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i usually line the ball up just inside my left foot. that helps me hit the ball on the upswing and get the best launch angle. think of yourself as sweeping the ball off the tee, as opposed to hitting down on it like most other clubs

do you check this?

Lay down two clubs in a cross formation, and set the ball up towards the front edge of the one club, so it is inline with your foot. Make sure you are. Sometimes people think they put the ball forward enough, when its really 2-6 inches to far back.

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do you check this?

Lay down two clubs in a cross formation, and set the ball up towards the front edge of the one club, so it is inline with your foot. Make sure you are. Sometimes people think they put the ball forward enough, when its really 2-6 inches to far back.

i mean i don't check it every time, but i've basically had the ball in the same spot with my driver ever since i was about 13.

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I would check every once in a while. I thought I was aiming down my target line for years, but ended up finding out I was aiming up to 30-40 yards right with my driver. Over the years you can slowly work the ball back in your stance, especially if you start hitting balls slightly fat. Instead of fixing the swing, a lot of times the ball ends up just moving more and more back.

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do you check this?  Lay down two clubs in a cross formation, and set the ball up towards the front edge of the one club, so it is inline with your foot. Make sure you are. Sometimes people think they put the ball forward enough, when its really 2-6 inches to far back.

This. I "see" the ball as more forward then it really is. When I say I play the driver a couple balls past my big toe it's probably closer to my big toe than I realize. Perception is a weird thing!

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This. I "see" the ball as more forward then it really is. When I say I play the driver a couple balls past my big toe it's probably closer to my big toe than I realize. Perception is a weird thing!

Same with me.  I also have to be careful when I flare my left foot not to move the ball back with respect to my left big toe.

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i don't get a tape measure out every time i'm hitting my driver, but i'm sure it ends up in nearly the same spot every time

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i don't get a tape measure out every time i'm hitting my driver, but i'm sure it ends up in nearly the same spot every time

We are not saying every time, but every once in a while at the range make sure everything is kosher. You'd be shocked at how easy something starts to creep slowly away where you think it should be.

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We are not saying every time, but every once in a while at the range make sure everything is kosher. You'd be shocked at how easy something starts to creep slowly away where you think it should be.

oh yeah definitely. i'm sure it happens gradually so it's hard to notice

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Same with me.  I also have to be careful when I flare my left foot not to move the ball back with respect to my left big toe.

Yeah. When I was in Erie, I told them that I was hitting everything low and to the right. They took a picture of my set-up with a 6 iron and my ball was well back of center. Total mind-**** as I felt like I was setting up a ball or more in front of center. :loco:

Dave looked at me and said, "if you needed to keep the ball low and consistently hit it with an open face, where would you put it?" Me, rather sheepishly, "right where it is in that picture..." :8) :doh: Easy fix but one that you need to monitor or it'll start creeping back on you.

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Yeah. When I was in Erie, I told them that I was hitting everything low and to the right. They took a picture of my set-up with a 6 iron and my ball was well back of center. Total mind-**** as I felt like I was setting up a ball or more in front of center.

Dave looked at me and said, "if you needed to keep the ball low and consistently hit it with an open face, where would you put it?" Me, rather sheepishly, "right where it is in that picture..." Easy fix but one that you need to monitor or it'll start creeping back on you.

i just did i little test like this and was shocked at the results. I set up and then lay a club down where the ball was teed up, perpendicular to the target line and the club and therefore the ball was a good 6inches behind my front big toe!! For me to get into the correct ball position it feels as you said, miles and miles ahead of my front foot

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i just did i little test like this and was shocked at the results. I set up and then lay a club down where the ball was teed up, perpendicular to the target line and the club and therefore the ball was a good 6inches behind my front big toe!! For me to get into the correct ball position it feels as you said, miles and miles ahead of my front foot

@mvmac , what is your take on hand position at set up. I tend to keep my hands further back, but I believe an old tip I saw was to keep the hands more towards the left thigh at set up. Just curious, because I wonder if this could help those who tend to move the ball too far back. If they keep their hands slightly more forward at address that they can set up a visual barrier so the ball doesn't go too far back.

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Ya but the OP said sometimes its a topped shot. Meaning the ball is too far forward in his stance.

Move the ball back some, play the ball with different ball positions and see what happens. Also, don't overswing. Try to shorten your swing. I get out of control sometimes with the driver, and its because the club is past parallel. I try to shorten the swing, and amazingly I get better ball contact.

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what is your take on hand position at set up. I tend to keep my hands further back, but I believe an old tip I saw was to keep the hands more towards the left thigh at set up. Just curious, because I wonder if this could help those who tend to move the ball too far back. If they keep their hands slightly more forward at address that they can set up a visual barrier so the ball doesn't go too far back.

interesting thought, i know where my initial problem stems from and i think sadly it's from poor golf instruction in the past. My i was a junior i had coach that taught us to play all iron shots from the middle of the stance, fairway woods a balls width further forward and driver another ball forward. I think that positioning became very drilled into me and hence it's always felt comfortable.

Also how to you tag people in posts? I don't think i know how.

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