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How to Hit a Driver (Hit it Further and Stop Slicing!)


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Wow, it's been a harrowing week hitting 1800rpm side spin slices with my new club, but following the advice from this thread has helped me reduce the number of fades and slices with hope on the near horizon to actually be able to hit this new club. :beer:

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"Why can I hit my irons ok but slice my driver off the planet?" OR "Why does my 3 wood go farther than my driver?" These are two common questions we see on The Sand Trap and I wanted to put this

Most likely it's an angle of attack issue, hitting down with the driver. Could be playing the ball too far back with the driver.

Yes. I tend to draw it from a square stance but I am trying to hit more "power" fades off the tee. There are a few holes on my home course where I have to fade it (or curve it more than a fade) and I'

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I tee the ball a bit lower;

Definitely don't do this. Teeing it low only encourages you to hit more down with the driver.

Sounds like you spin the ball too much with the driver and the launch angle is too low. Even though the ball might get up in the air eventually the initial launch is low. You want to do the opposite.

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@mvmac. I do not understand the correlation between launch angle and spin rate of the ball. I am sorry for that. I need to get a higher launch angle and lower spin rate. To accomplish that, I need to tee the ball higher or play it more forward in the stance. When I tees the ball, roughly 1/3e of the bal site above the head if my driver.
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@mvmac. I do not understand the correlation between launch angle and spin rate of the ball. I am sorry for that.

I need to get a higher launch angle and lower spin rate. To accomplish that, I need to tee the ball higher or play it more forward in the stance. When I tees the ball, roughly 1/3e of the bal site above the head if my driver.

Downward angle of attack

1) Lowers launch angle

2) Increases spin rate

Upward angle of attack

1) Raises launch angle

2) lowers spin rate

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I need to get a higher launch angle and lower spin rate. To accomplish that, I need to tee the ball higher or play it more forward in the stance.

Yep and make sure you have the hips bumped a little forward at address.

And if that still doesn't work, review that thread again and/or post a swing video.

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To quote Bruce Willis: Yippiayee (and something followed). I try to bump my hips ad address. Gonna tee it a bit higher and more forward.

Thanks McMac, happy camper here :dance:

Goona watch some clips of mr Trackman to let me explain launch angle, because I still do not get that :censored::no: stupid me

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Launch Angle is the angle the ball takes off at relative to the ground

Attack Angle is the direction the club head is moving (up or down) at impact.

To maximize distance with your driver, hitting up on the ball (positive attack angle) is a must.

The driver’s loft should be chosen so that it complements the golfer’s attack angle.

Having a positive attack angle does not guarantee maximum distance. The fit of the club is also an essential piece of the puzzle.

Spin Rate is the amount of spin on the golf ball immediately after impact

Spin rate has a major influence on the height and distance of a shot.

Spin rate is one of the least appreciated numbers, especially in windy conditions.

A high spin rate is the enemy, particularly when hitting in to the wind. One way to reduce spin is to hit a lower lofted club.

I got this from the TM site. Quote: ' More loft generally increases spin rate'. So if I tee it more forward, hitting up on the ball, should I get a less lofted driver? Lower loft, less spin rate, positive angle of attack equals bombs of 300 yards? :whistle:

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I got this from the TM site. Quote: 'More loft generally increases spin rate'. So if I tee it more forward, hitting up on the ball, should I get a less lofted driver? Lower loft, less spin rate, positive angle of attack equals bombs of 300 yards?

Yes more loft would increase the spin but you're not changing the loft of your driver and you want to launch it high with low spin. That's how you maximize carry and get some roll. The thing you need to change is the angle of attack.

You can do this in three ways: more negative AoA with same dynamic loft, more dynamic loft with same AoA, or more negative AoA and more dynamic loft simultaneously. Assumes the same clubhead speed, contact location on the clubface, etc, otherwise "hit it on the bottom of the driver face" would be an acceptable answer (vertical gear effect), as would "swing faster."

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So if I tee it up and more forward, using my Ping G10 12,5 degree, Am I correct that I changed my angle of attack and that I hit the ball lower on the clubface. I play the ball more forward, and noticed more solid contact, thus driving straighter. But apparently, I do not play it forward enough. Let's work on this!!
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So if I tee it up and more forward, using my Ping G10 12,5 degree, Am I correct that I changed my angle of attack and that I hit the ball lower on the clubface. I play the ball more forward, and noticed more solid contact, thus driving straighter. But apparently, I do not play it forward enough. Let's work on this!!

No, you won't (shouldn't) hit it lower on the face, that would increase the spin. If anything you'll want an off-center hit to err a little high on the face.

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Ugh, difficult stuff. How could we (ever) figure that out without TM?

OK, to conclude, let's start by playing it more forward than I already (thought) I did, tee it fractionally higher, bump my hips (think my right shoulder will automathicly lower) and ripp that ball of the tee :-$

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  • 1 month later...

@mvmac  Just an update. Turning the hips in place has seemingly cured my ball flight ills. The three clubs I struggled with Driver, 3 wood, 17 degree hybrid all were slightly leaky to the right especially the driver.                

Now wow! I'm hitting draws with these clubs. No idea the effect on my distance but straighter means more chances at greens. I missed on the right side of the fairway 6 or 7 times. Not totally unplayable in the majority of these shots but wide and loss of distance meant I only found 2 gir's last time out.

Really hoping this will put me slightly further down the fairway. Thanks Mike

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48 minutes ago, Brakkus said:

@mvmac  Just an update. Turning the hips in place has seemingly cured my ball flight ills. The three clubs I struggled with Driver, 3 wood, 17 degree hybrid all were slightly leaky to the right especially the driver.                

Now wow! I'm hitting draws with these clubs. No idea the effect on my distance but straighter means more chances at greens. I missed on the right side of the fairway 6 or 7 times. Not totally unplayable in the majority of these shots but wide and loss of distance meant I only found 2 gir's last time out.

Really hoping this will put me slightly further down the fairway. Thanks Mike

Great to hear! :banana: 

Keep up the good work.

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6 minutes ago, natureboy said:

What's the best way to bring the flight down while maintaining the positive AoA and not shortening up on the club? Less axis tilt at address?

Depends on what is causing the high launch. Could just be too much delivered loft.

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7 minutes ago, iacas said:

Depends on what is causing the high launch. Could just be too much delivered loft.

I'm not saying lean into the shot a bit like flighting an iron low, but I consciously add axis tilt with driver vs. irons. Maybe just keep axis similar to iron setup? I don't think I'm flipping it much, but it's a possible contribution. Flight is too high (losing yardage) but it's a high parabola not much ballooning.

Assuming no flip what is the best adjustment to lower flight and maintain positive AoA in order to gain back yards?

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1 hour ago, natureboy said:

I'm not saying lean into the shot a bit like flighting an iron low, but I consciously add axis tilt with driver vs. irons. Maybe just keep axis similar to iron setup? 

Maybe. Any chance it could be something as simple as too much loft with with your driver?

1 hour ago, natureboy said:

Assuming no flip what is the best adjustment to lower flight and maintain positive AoA in order to gain back yards?

Just too many variables to really answer the question but I'll try to help. Assuming no flip (a little flip is ok with a driver) and that the weight is transferring somewhat forward, make sure the head/upper body isn't tipping back excessively and/or the arms aren't "slow" to come down on the downswing. Those two things can be tied together. 

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20 minutes ago, mvmac said:

Maybe. Any chance it could be something as simple as too much loft with with your driver?

Just too many variables to really answer the question but I'll try to help. Assuming no flip (a little flip is ok with a driver) and that the weight is transferring somewhat forward, make sure the head/upper body isn't tipping back excessively and/or the arms aren't "slow" to come down on the downswing. Those two things can be tied together. 

Driver is same 9.5 degrees. I hit it a bit lower more regularly last year.

Not guite sure what you mean by 'slow arms' on the downswing? Quick right elbow tuck? I would assume you aren't advocating getting quick from the top?

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