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


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Do you know for a fact that your trail wrist is like this? Or is this your feel?

Again, with your handicap level, I'm calling it unlikely. Maybe you do, though. I'm not saying it's impossible, just unlikely.

Inline impact… that's where you want to be. Depending on grip strength, ball position, etc. that will have the trail wrist in a few different conditions. But ideally it's awfully close to inline at impact.

For the purposes of this mini discussion here, too, it's also inline only for a moment. It's fleeting. It goes from lined up ahead of the shoulder to behind the shoulder very quickly.

I've been a member here long enough to know feel isn't real.  My instructor took video on the iPad and showed me how my left wrist (trail wrist) was bowed prior to impact just as Poulters is which led him to suggest I try to "release it" at impact for added distance similar to how DJ's looks.  When I time it right I get added distance, when I mistime it, I snap hook my drive.

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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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When I time it right I get added distance, when I mistime it, I snap hook my drive.

I think that is the issue right there. You shouldn't really be thinking about timing, it should just happen.

When you lack Keys 1-3 then you add volatility to the swing and makes it hard to have a consistent Key 4 & 5, and causes timing issues.

There's a reason PGA Tour players can dial back and speed up the swing and still hit really good shots. It's because they have such solid Keys 1-4 that they don't have to worry about timing.

I really don't see why you should be introducing something into the golf swing that requires such delicate timing. Golf is hard enough already ;)

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Thanks for the no nonsense video. Extremely helpful to compare a typical slice setup vs desirable shot setup.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Very helpful tread. I read thru the first page and took my mental notes to the range as I have been doing one of two things with my driver the last couple weeks: 1. Miss fairway with decent distance or 2. Slow down the swing and lose a lot of distance but keep it in the fairway. Today I was putting balls to the far end of my range with steady swings. Teeing the ball higher and moving it forward (off my left heel) and a little spine tilt. Feels funny since it is new but cannot argue with the result. However I do have a question @mvmac I noticed (and think you wrote) that slightly opening your front foot it makes it easier to turn into the followthru? Can you elaborate on this? Also noticed a few of the pros pics had their feet perpendicular to the target line.
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However I do have a question @mvmac I noticed (and think you wrote) that slightly opening your front foot it makes it easier to turn into the followthru? Can you elaborate on this? Also noticed a few of the pros pics had their feet perpendicular to the target line.

All the players in the first post have their front foot turned out.

Do a little experimenting with it. Set the left foot "square", make a downswing/followthrough. Then turn it 25 degrees "open" and do the same thing. It gives the lead knee more room to transfer forward and around. So it helps with rotation and "using the ground" on the downswing.

Also this,

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  • 4 weeks later...

Re-reading this thread again (for 5th time), in order to have a good strike with the driver. Going to practise all of these points this afternoon, see how it goes:

- Axis tilt (very important thing that I think I´ve forgotten the last time I played... I think, that if I tilt away before starting the swing, it will help me not to come from the outside...

- Tee the ball higher (I have the wrong feeling that if the ball is low, I have more control)

- Move inside out

- Flatten my swrist at the top

- Keep my head behind the ball

- Extend my arms

See how it goes. . .

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A little off topic but I'm going to start hitting my drives with my hips bumped forward a few inches at address according to this post. Question: I don't have much of an axis tilt when I hit my irons, yet sometimes when I make good contact I realize I am in fact tilted.... Does the axis tilt apply to irons as well? If so, that could help explain a few things for me.
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Question: I don't have much of an axis tilt when I hit my irons, yet sometimes when I make good contact I realize I am in fact tilted....

Does the axis tilt apply to irons as well? If so, that could help explain a few things for me.

Yes you should have some axis tilt at address, right hand is lower than the left on the grip so that naturally sets the right shoulder lower than the left. You don't "have to" do it but I prefer players to have a little hip bump at address with their irons (left pic below).

And there should certainly be axis tilt at impact.

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Yes you should have some axis tilt at address, right hand is lower than the left on the grip so that naturally sets the right shoulder lower than the left. You don't "have to" do it but I prefer players to have a little hip bump at address with their irons (left pic below).  And there should certainly be axis tilt at impact. [URL=http://thesandtrap.com/content/type/61/id/129389/] [/URL]

Thanks for that explanation. I think that's one of the things wrong with my setup with the forward shaft lean. I think I am getting my rigid body to lean forward and trying to kind of swing behind myself.

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  • 1 month later...
Had struggles with the driver and I think it's been down to me not getting back to left side. Never thought to pre set hips in address. I thought this would steepend the driver swing too much. Axis tilt has been a priority piece this season and my irons have never been better and it's probably due to my pelvis being more centered even when I turn behind the ball. My guess is that I'm so loaded with a wider stance with the driver I'm late back and can't square the face. It seems to work as my balls are hitting my net lower at the back. I did have some questions for Mike and Erik here but it seems the advice is still to turn behind the ball and load your right side but the pre-set of the hips helps centralise the pelvis. Is that right and the feel I need?
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Had struggles with the driver and I think it's been down to me not getting back to left side.

My guess is that I'm so loaded with a wider stance with the driver I'm late back

Check to make sure the stance isn't too wide.

I did have some questions for Mike and Erik here but it seems the advice is still to turn behind the ball and load your right side but the pre-set of the hips helps centralise the pelvis. Is that right and the feel I need?

The turn is still centered, you just have more axis tilt at address. Hips are bumped forward and you turn the hips in place . This player below has shifted his pressure right.

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Forget the driver use a 3 wood like Henrik Stenson does and still gets almost as much yards as those who use a driver plus you can get better accuracy with a 3 wood.

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I was just concerned about getting too far forward and hanging on the left foot at the top of my backswing. I pretty much ironed out my flaw from before where my left side would dip in an effort to remain centered and then I would not be able to shallow out my swing. I suppose filming my self doing this would be a good idea. Thanks Mike
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Forget the driver use a 3 wood like Henrik Stenson does and still gets almost as much yards as those who use a driver plus you can get better accuracy with a 3 wood.

There really isn't that much accuracy gained by hitting 3 wood. Also distance is a form of accuracy (thanks @iacas ), closer you get to the hole, better chance you have of hitting the green, making par/birdie.

I was just concerned about getting too far forward and hanging on the left foot at the top of my backswing. I pretty much ironed out my flaw from before where my left side would dip in an effort to remain centered and then I would not be able to shallow out my swing.

If you're "handing left" then the head is probably moving forward (towards the target) on the backswing. Or the spine starts tilting towards the target.

Hips stay a little forward, head centered. Probably won't feel "loaded left" if you do this and it will help shallow things.

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Check to make sure the stance isn't too wide. The turn is still centered, you just have more axis tilt at address. Hips are bumped forward and [URL=http://thesandtrap.com/t/76114/how-to-make-a-centered-hip-turn]you turn the hips in place[/URL] . This player below has shifted his pressure right. [URL=http://thesandtrap.com/content/type/61/id/132763/] [/URL]

[quote name="mvmac" url="/t/77244/how-to-hit-a-driver-hit-it-further-and-stop-slicing/150#post_1205726"] There really isn't that much accuracy gained by hitting 3 wood. Also distance is a form of accuracy (thanks @iacas ), closer you get to the hole, better chance you have of hitting the green, making par/birdie. If you're "handing left" then the head is probably moving forward (towards the target) on the backswing. Or the spine starts tilting towards the target. Hips stay a little forward, head centered. Probably won't feel "loaded left" if you do this and it will help shallow things.   [/quote] Thanks for explaining all this and it's very clear why my previous address position was causing my ball flight issues. This set up makes sure you stay inside the ball on the downswing. I was too wide before. I'm guessing driver and fairway woods and perhaps lower lofted hybrids benefit from this set up. My irons have narrower stances and the axis tilt I've been working on gets my divots ahead of the ball mostly. I still make some errors but I'm sure it's on the right track.

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With autumn coming around, wet fairways, my golfseason is coming to an end. This season, I am driving the ball better. I tee the ball a bit higher, ans play it also a bit more forward in my stance. My avarage drive (carry) is not so stable as I would like to. A bad shot will carry around 200 yards. On a normal (what's normal :whistle: ) my drive will be in the range of 220 - 230, with the best shost around 250 - 260. If I play 10 drives, I would say (distance like) I will hit around 6 shots in the 220 - 230 range, and a couple of bad ones (200 yards) and a couple of  screamers (250). So I feel I am in the 220 range. I am narrowing my shot cone, I wrote my fw hits (I do nit use golf game) and I see it getting better. In short: hitting more fairways and getting more balls in the 220 range. With the Png driver, see below.

I do feel that I do not have a problem with getting the ball up in the air. Sometimes I hit balls from the deck when I am at the driving range. The ball will still get up pretty high in the air. When I play a round, I think that I do not have much roll on the ball. The ball will fly, nice carry, lands, hops and stop. Most of the time my playing partners react like 'wow, a bomb' etc. but when we walk up to our balls, they are a bit surprised that my ball is pretty close to theirs. They shoot lower balls with more roll. And on a hard fw, they have more distance in the end.

I am wondering why I do not have more roll on the ball. And what will help to get that part better. I have a few options:

  • I tee the ball a bit lower;
  • I go to my pro and hit some balls with the flight scope watching. Getting the numbers;
  • Take a good look at my driver and decide to get a new one or put another shaft in it.

I have 2 drivers. A Ping G10 (which I currently play with) with a Gaffeloy shaft. The G10 is forgiving. 12.5 degree, 460 cc. Before that I played a Mizuno with a smaller head. Mitsubishi Fubuki s shaft (built for). That shaft is fine when you smacked the driver. But as soon as the swing speed dropped, I couldn't get it around and I started pushing. The mIzuno is a more difficult driver. The Ping is easier to hit and more stable for me. I think I had a bit more roll on the Mizuno, and a bit lower ball flight. So I am thinking about a change of shaft in the Mizuno.

Any suggestions?

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I am wondering why I do not have more roll on the ball. And what will help to get that part better. I have a few options:

I tee the ball a bit lower;

I go to my pro and hit some balls with the flight scope watching. Getting the numbers;

Take a good look at my driver and decide to get a new one or put another shaft in it.

Any suggestions?

Post a video of your driver, face on in your swing thread.

If you hit up on the ball you should get a decent amount of roll, especially on hard fairways. The ball does launch higher initially but doesn't go sky high that you don't get roll. My guess is you hit down on the driver causing a lot of backspin which produces a steeper decent angle when the ball lands.

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