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metroplex

Hitting the driver consistently on face, but losing out on distance

25 posts in this topic

I understand that it can be difficult to diagnose swing/technique over the internet, and that I need to go to a launch monitor - but I wanted to hear some thoughts on this. I have a R11S 12 degree head, and I've been playing around with different shaft lengths, moving the weights around, etc... and I think I have found a fairly consistent setup with a 44 inch Grafalloy Prolaunch Blue SC (regular flex). My swing radar shows I am averaging 90-92 mph. At the range though, I see an average drive of about 180-200 yards. The black clubface shows very consistent impact. If I hit 10-20 balls, I will see several ball marks that are almost superimposed over one another. It is hit just above the center line of the head, towards the center of the face. The ball flight is straight and high, but once it reaches the peak it just sort of dies and flops down with minimal roll. If the ground is hard, the ball will bounce hard and then stop. My problem is I *think* there might be too much spin, maybe there's too much loft, and my swing speed isn't that hot. But if I swing out of control, I will see a max of about 100 mph. 85-90 mph is more manageable. Right now, it is fairly consistent if my swing is ok - I could live with this, but my golfing buddies are driving 230-260 yards consistently and I'm just losing out on yardage. Any thoughts? If you recommend I get fit, where's the best place to do this at a reasonable cost? My goal is to drive it at the "proper" distance for my swing speed. If it helps, I use TMAG RocketBladez irons (regular flex, steel) and the 6 iron (which is really a 5 iron) yields 145 yards on average, but if I swing properly (and compress the ball with a divot ahead of the ball), I can see 150-160 yards. The 7 iron is more around 140-150 yards.
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....At the range though, I see an average drive of about 180-200 yards.....

Unless you're using brand new Titleists at the driving range like Tin Cup did at the US Open I would not put much stock on the distances and or spin/trajectories that you get using range balls. Bring some slightly used but still way better than range balls to the driving range and see if your results are any different.

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[QUOTE name="metroplex" url="/t/75615/hitting-the-driver-consistently-on-face-but-losing-out-on-distance#post_1015307"] ....At the range though, I see an average drive of about 180-200 yards.....[/QUOTE] Unless you're using brand new Titleists at the driving range like Tin Cup did at the US Open I would not put much stock on the distances and or spin/trajectories that you get using range balls. Bring some slightly used but still way better than range balls to the driving range and see if your results are any different.

I have a hard time believing that range balls are the culprit here.. I can't imagine them causing that much variation in results, as long as the mechanics are the same what are we looking at a 10 yard diff max?

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I have found over the years that the terms "range balls", and "flight consistency" do not collide very well with each other. Very seldom do I hit range balls with the same ball flight, and distance as my own game balls. Most range balls are of the one piece variety. I like 3 piece balls. Most are harder than regular game balls. I like 70-80 compression balls. Some have shallower dimples than some game balls. Not sure what mine have. Add in the fact they most likely have been beat to death and you have good reason not to trust them after they leave the club face.  Rarely, if at all, do I play the same ball more than 9 holes. Range balls to me are not built for anything other than durability. I suspect that if one were to check, quite a few range balls would also be out of round due to their continued use. If they are out of round, they won't fly the same as a new game ball. Let's not forget those range balls that have chunks missing and/or slices in the outer cover.

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I've got a similar problem... My drives off the tee aren't usually more than 200 yards (if I'm lucky) and are probably closer to 170-190... I'm finally getting them to go straight instead of a slicing fade due to changing my grip. What I lack for in distance off the tee I'm trying to make up for in my short game. I occasionally am blessed with an phenomenal shot close to the green. I'm trying to improve there because I don't think my drives will be much longer in the future. If I think about more of a hip turn while swinging my ball goes into a banana slice.
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You're correct. It's tough to diagnose on the net.

At that speed, the stated loft is probably fine.

The shaft may be soft - TM was not known for making the best stock shafts around that time period.

If the ball is falling out of the sky, it could be insufficient spin. Is the ball ballooning? That is a sign of too much spin. Is the flight high yet piercing? Maybe not enough spin.

Check your setup -- are you hitting up on the ball? There is a long thread on driver setup here.

Is your swing wide (as opposed to narrow) on the backswing and downswing? Are your hands and arms relaxed? How is your tempo? Are you making a full turn? Are you hurrying?


Lots of questions to ask yourself. Keep on reading threads and you'll get a good idea of what might be occurring.

good luck.

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The ball doesn't balloon up, but it has a high launch. Once it reaches the peak of travel, it drops like a duck that was shot. If the ground is hard, I can both see and hear the comet/ball crashing down and making a huge bounce. The carry, if any, is almost non-existent. I see the same type of flight path as my RBZ S2 wood and hybrids off the deck, as well as the Rocketbladez irons. They all have a fairly high flight path with minimal carry. The best shot I had with my Rocketbladez 6 iron (the 5 iron) was 160 yards, and that was about 150-155 yd carry and the rest was roll on a range green. I am using the Green "4 yards more" tee, which tees the ball slightly higher than normal and I can confirm that I am hitting up on the ball. With the shorter ProLaunch Blue SC shaft, I am hitting the ball far more consistently on the club face, but on another forum they commented I was more than 1 inch off on the face of the R11S - but I can confirm with a laser rangefinder that my distances were consistently around 180-200 yards even the ones that hit dead center on the clubface. My swing is far from ideal, but my goal is to get a quasi-straight flight that is consistent so I can actually play off the fairway and not dig through the rough or an adjacent fairway - as well as reducing lost yardage. I have seen some of my drives go to a max of 210-220 yards, but those are like less than 10% of the time. The range balls are the Pinnacle brand (yellow) with the Pro shop's logo screen printed on all of them. I plan to go to a launch monitor and look at my current setup. What are the chances I actually need a new driver and/or a different shaft? Should I just keep working with what I have?
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We need video! In the meantime check youtube for videos on how to increase lag or stop early release.
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The ball doesn't balloon up, but it has a high launch. Once it reaches the peak of travel, it drops like a duck that was shot. If the ground is hard, I can both see and hear the comet/ball crashing down and making a huge bounce. The carry, if any, is almost non-existent. I see the same type of flight path as my RBZ S2 wood and hybrids off the deck, as well as the Rocketbladez irons. They all have a fairly high flight path with minimal carry. The best shot I had with my Rocketbladez 6 iron (the 5 iron) was 160 yards, and that was about 150-155 yd carry and the rest was roll on a range green.

I am using the Green "4 yards more" tee, which tees the ball slightly higher than normal and I can confirm that I am hitting up on the ball. With the shorter ProLaunch Blue SC shaft, I am hitting the ball far more consistently on the club face, but on another forum they commented I was more than 1 inch off on the face of the R11S - but I can confirm with a laser rangefinder that my distances were consistently around 180-200 yards even the ones that hit dead center on the clubface. My swing is far from ideal, but my goal is to get a quasi-straight flight that is consistent so I can actually play off the fairway and not dig through the rough or an adjacent fairway - as well as reducing lost yardage.

I have seen some of my drives go to a max of 210-220 yards, but those are like less than 10% of the time.

The range balls are the Pinnacle brand (yellow) with the Pro shop's logo screen printed on all of them.

I plan to go to a launch monitor and look at my current setup. What are the chances I actually need a new driver and/or a different shaft? Should I just keep working with what I have?

The duck that was shot comment sounds like a lack of spin if these were "normal" balls.

Some range balls have limited flight characteristics where they drop like a duck. I suspect your range balls may have that issue.

You've got to get your distances with real golf balls.

New driver and/or shaft?

Figure out your issues first, and then purchase as needed.

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[URL=http://s325.photobucket.com/user/fusionvic/media/golfsmith_launch_zpscb88a494.jpg.html][IMG]http://i325.photobucket.com/albums/k395/fusionvic/golfsmith_launch_zpscb88a494.jpg[/IMG][/URL] I just got back from Golfsmith and tried out a few drivers as well as my R11S. I believe the Jetspeed has higher club speed because it is about 0.5" longer. I understand their Foresight GC2 might not have accurate distance data, but I was looking more at launch angle, club speed, and spin numbers.
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I just got back from Golfsmith and tried out a few drivers as well as my R11S. I believe the Jetspeed has higher club speed because it is about 0.5" longer. I understand their Foresight GC2 might not have accurate distance data, but I was looking more at launch angle, club speed, and spin numbers.

...My swing radar shows I am averaging 90-92 mph...

Your clubhead speed is 10% slower measured on Foresight than on swing radar. I suspect the lower speed is correct.

Gotta work on more speed, I have the same issue. :8)

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Swing radar is said to measure the speed of the toe, which is faster ... so your actual swing speed will show up faster with the Swing Speed Radar on the range. How much? I've heard guesses from 5-10%.

This is difficult to say, but I've had a $300 credit for a new driver burning in my wallet, and I've held off for 3 months now on a new driver. Instead, I'm working on a faster, efficient, consistent swing with lessons and working out.

In 4 lessons, I've picked up 5 mph. I expect to get more.

You might consider the same ... or not. But good luck.

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IMO, neither new clubs, shafts,  nor balls will correct your problem.  Take notice of your post title:  Hitting the driver.... The ultimate challenge for golfers is to control the normal, mental desire to hit the ball.  We, the ordinary golfers of the world, must learn to swing the club effectively which means using the hips to generate the power needed to swing the clubhead at a predictable 100mph.  Trying the 'hit the ball', a typical upper body motion,  is as effective as pushing on a rope.  Wish you success.

May i recommend an old book, 'Learning Golf' by Percy Boomer.  Not full of tips but loaded with a complete understanding of the nuances and difficulties of learning how to swing the club, which is what we must learn to do.  If you did not learn golf as a youth, the learning game is uphill all the way.

Swinging the club is golf's first challenge.  The second is  learning to accept the failure, then move to the next shot.

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I would also look at the side spin on your post.  While your jetspin had the closest to a zero average, the SLDR was the most consistent.  I would say better golfers have more consistent shots and not a higher clubhead speed.

I have played with a 76 year old that has shot his age every hear since he was 68 and I outdrove him on distance every hole but lost on strokes by 10 because he knew where his ball was going.

My advice (coming from a 16 handicapper)... don't get caught up in distance or clubhead speed.  Use those things as tools to know where you are going to hit the ball and concentrate on your actual swing and less on numbers.  The numbers will improve if you concentrate on your swing mechanics.

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If it helps, I use TMAG RocketBladez irons (regular flex, steel) and the 6 iron (which is really a 5 iron) yields 145 yards on average, but if I swing properly (and compress the ball with a divot ahead of the ball), I can see 150-160 yards. The 7 iron is more around 140-150 yards.

I only hit my 6 iron 160 yards. My 7 iron is similar to yours too. But I hit my driver 250 - 275 with a few 300 yarders when needed. If I swung my driver the same as my irons it would probably only go 220. I've never checked my clubhead speed, but I imagine it's pretty high. My guess is that you're casting and losing all your clubhead speed when you start your backswing. Hold your wrist cock and then fire through the ball. I hit the ball more firmly and straighter when I do a slight pause at the top of the backswing. Seems to get all my body parts aligned for the downswing. When I see somebody swinging too fast, I tell them to simply pause to the top of their backswing and voila. To get some driver distance, you got to pucker those cheeKs. :)

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For what it is worth, I went to a Cobra Biocell demo fitting in January, and my numbers were something like 75 mph swing speed and total distance of around 170-180 yards. I'll keep working at it.
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I would seek out lessons from where you are in your swing. Its sometimes important that they can physically see you and show you things like where the club should be in the swing.
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I am going to guess you are flipping, early release makes for slower club head speed.  It also will give you towering drives that go nowhere.

I would definitely get lessons not equipment.  I hit 6 irons in the 170 range and driver in the 240-280 range depending on the strike.

Two years ago I hit the ball you are describing.  No lag, all flip.  All technique.

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