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Wildly inconsistent - Driver is biggest problem

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A little background: I'm 31, I started playing golf about 3 years ago. I'm not a big guy, 5'10 160lbs but I hit the ball pretty far. Routine distances for the 3W and Driver are hard to pinpoint but I hit my PW about 150 swinging about 80% effort. I hit my 5i between 200 and 220.

I'll be starting a swing thread as soon as I can convince my wife to come to the driving range with me and film my swing.

My biggest issue in my game is just the wild inconsistency.  I've been trying different training methods, tried slowing down my swing even more and nothing seems to be working. At the driving range I have an excellent ability to control the flight path for all my clubs up until I start getting past the 7i, it starts dropping off pretty quickly after that. I hardly have any mishits with my irons on the range.  As I get up to my 3W and my driver things start to get really crazy. With my 9i I might have 9 out 10 good shots; with my driver its more like 1 out of 10 good shots. I got some chalk and a dry erase marker because I thought I might be hitting the ball in the wrong spots but I discovered that I'm mostly hitting it dead center or slightly high center, which should be perfect for a driver. However, for my mishits they are all over the place. Sometimes they are low and inside and more often the high and on the toe. But even when I hit dead center the ball has a nasty slice. Its been frustrating me to get this figured out because I can hit draws, fades, etc at will with my low irons. I tried to carry over the same principles and setup to my driver and it doesn't seem to work.

With the chalk I think I have narrowed down the biggest part of my inconsistency to just the club face being open at impact. It might be hard to tell without a high frame rate video but I'll see once I get my swing recorded. But that still doesn't explain all the other random mishits, topping the ball, hitting it fat, hitting it on the toe, hitting it on the heal. I'm not really sure why I'm all over the place.

I'm currently using a really cheap Adams tight lies driver (think its standard flex) and pinemeadows 3W which I love when I can hit it right.  I went and tried various drivers at a local golf shop and didnt end up upgrading my driver because I couldnt notice any difference in consistency or distance .  I think the majority of the swing speed readings were between 117 - 120mph but I was swinging much softer then I normally do because I didnt want to break their drivers (I've broken 3 drivers and 2 woods in the past by hitting the ball on the hosle and breaking the club head off).  I don't want to buy an expensive driver and the bash up of top edge and scuff it all up like my current driver. Once I improve my consistency I'll think about getting something better.

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A little background: I'm 31, I started playing golf about 3 years ago. I'm not a big guy, 5'10 160lbs but I hit the ball pretty far. Routine distances for the 3W and Driver are hard to pinpoint but I hit my PW about 150 swinging about 80% effort. I hit my 5i between 200 and 220.

I'll be starting a swing thread as soon as I can convince my wife to come to the driving range with me and film my swing.

My biggest issue in my game is just the wild inconsistency.  I've been trying different training methods, tried slowing down my swing even more and nothing seems to be working. At the driving range I have an excellent ability to control the flight path for all my clubs up until I start getting past the 7i, it starts dropping off pretty quickly after that. I hardly have any mishits with my irons on the range.  As I get up to my 3W and my driver things start to get really crazy. With my 9i I might have 9 out 10 good shots; with my driver its more like 1 out of 10 good shots. I got some chalk and a dry erase marker because I thought I might be hitting the ball in the wrong spots but I discovered that I'm mostly hitting it dead center or slightly high center, which should be perfect for a driver. However, for my mishits they are all over the place. Sometimes they are low and inside and more often the high and on the toe. But even when I hit dead center the ball has a nasty slice. Its been frustrating me to get this figured out because I can hit draws, fades, etc at will with my low irons. I tried to carry over the same principles and setup to my driver and it doesn't seem to work.

With the chalk I think I have narrowed down the biggest part of my inconsistency to just the club face being open at impact. It might be hard to tell without a high frame rate video but I'll see once I get my swing recorded. But that still doesn't explain all the other random mishits, topping the ball, hitting it fat, hitting it on the toe, hitting it on the heal. I'm not really sure why I'm all over the place.

I'm currently using a really cheap Adams tight lies driver (think its standard flex) and pinemeadows 3W which I love when I can hit it right.  I went and tried various drivers at a local golf shop and didnt end up upgrading my driver because I couldnt notice any difference in consistency or distance .  I think the majority of the swing speed readings were between 117 - 120mph but I was swinging much softer then I normally do because I didnt want to break their drivers (I've broken 3 drivers and 2 woods in the past by hitting the ball on the hosle and breaking the club head off).  I don't want to buy an expensive driver and the bash up of top edge and scuff it all up like my current driver. Once I improve my consistency I'll think about getting something better.

Well, you definitely do hit the ball far, based on everything you've said.

It makes sense that you struggle more as you get into longer clubs. It's pretty common for most people. The added loft and shorter shaft length of short irons / wedges means you have more control and also get less of what I'll call here "side spin" (there's no such thing as side spin, per se, just backspin and a tilted spin axis, but you can think of it as sidespin if it helps you). It's a lot easier to shape the ball with longer, less lofted clubs, but it's also a lot easier to mishit them for the same reason.

OK, brass tacks: Normally, I don't advise people to slow down their swing, but if you have so little control that you're hitting drivers on hosels, you need to calm it down enough that that doesn't happen. It shouldn't happen.

The good news is you don't need a new driver to fix your swing faults. The bad news is that a new driver wouldn't fix them even if you got one, haha. The reason you're slicing the ball is because your club face is open with respect to your swing path. Without seeing your swing, I don't know if you're swinging too far to the inside or if you're swinging in to out, but just not squaring the clubface. In either event, check out these threads:

http://thesandtrap.com/t/77244/how-to-hit-a-driver-hit-it-further-and-stop-slicing

http://thesandtrap.com/t/77144/how-to-draw-the-golf-ball-or-how-to-stop-slicing

The driver-specific one is especially great; it's helped me really straighten my driver out. Just guessing, you can probably tee the ball up farther towards your front foot. As in, even with your front heel. It might take some getting used to, but it was a panacea for me; my swing path was great, but I was just not giving the clubface enough time to square up. That and a small change in my shoulder and hips at set up has me driving really well after hitting slice after slice and keeping the driver at home for a year.

But yeah, post a swing thread. Good luck!

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I agree.  Post a swing thread.

There has to be some good things going on with your swing to hit a 5 iron 200 - 220.

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Understand your problem.  I think the best thing you can do is rather then worry about your swing speed is to concentrate on your tempo---and making sure you maintain that tempo from your shorter clubs to your longer ones.

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I went out to the range today after work and tried to setup and record my swing myself. I got some ok video and started a swing thread. Hopefully I'll get some better video the next time I go.

I was really trying to mentally focus on keeping the club face closed throughout my swing. I hit a few non-slice drives but the ball flight was kind of low and they didn't really have the carry they should have.

http://thesandtrap.com/t/81568/my-swing-bankquant

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I went out to the range today after work and tried to setup and record my swing myself. I got some ok video and started a swing thread. Hopefully I'll get some better video the next time I go.

I was really trying to mentally focus on keeping the club face closed throughout my swing. I hit a few non-slice drives but the ball flight was kind of low and they didn't really have the carry they should have.

http://thesandtrap.com/t/81568/my-swing-bankquant

I can't look at video right now, but what you're describing sounds like you're trying to essentially twist the clubhead closed, which has the effect of delofting it. That would explain the low shots you're talking about. The idea is to square the clubface up with the proper loft like you have at address, maybe even adding a bit of loft dynamically by hitting up on the ball.

You may find some of the discussion in this thread helpful:

http://thesandtrap.com/t/44307/hitting-up-or-down-with-the-driver-in-an-inline-pattern

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Understand your problem.  I think the best thing you can do is rather then worry about your swing speed is to concentrate on your tempo---and making sure you maintain that tempo from your shorter clubs to your longer ones.


agree - maybe you don't need to hit it that far for now.    Back it off until you're hitting fairways consistently.    THEN and once you get your swing mechanics and tempo dialed in, then you can ramp it up if you feel the need to.

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I had the same problem you had for the longest time and went and took a couple lessons and the two things the instructor fixed right away was how I was setting up to the ball and my grip. Once I fixed those two things I started hitting the ball straight 8 out of 10. Maybe check out some videos or articles and make sure you are gripping the club properly and setting up to the ball properly as well.

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I'm currently using a really cheap Adams tight lies driver (think its standard flex) and pinemeadows 3W which I love when I can hit it right.  I went and tried various drivers at a local golf shop and didnt end up upgrading my driver because I couldnt notice any difference in consistency or distance .  I think the majority of the swing speed readings were between 117 - 120mph but I was swinging much softer then I normally do because I didnt want to break their drivers (I've broken 3 drivers and 2 woods in the past by hitting the ball on the hosle and breaking the club head off).  I don't want to buy an expensive driver and the bash up of top edge and scuff it all up like my current driver. Once I improve my consistency I'll think about getting something better.

Are you getting high hooks?

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Dont think I ever hit high hooks... If I end up hooking it, its usually very low.  Biggest missing is probably a high slice. Like skyrocketted to the next zip code slice.

I played last weekend with a guy from work who is almost a scratch golfer and I was struggling a bit off the tee all day but I was telling him how if I hit good drives I can get out around 300. Like a lot people normally say he said "you probably think you hit it 300 but its probably more like 270 or 280) . So around the 12th hole which was a 400yd par 4 he gets up there a smashes a drive way past the 2 other guys we are playing with. I got up last and just really went after it.. Ended up hitting it about 340 yds...all the way through the fairway. I had 60 yards left to the hole and I was 60 yards past him. About 100 yards past the other guys in my group.

I have to take those moments like that when I can find them because he ended up shooting a 78 I think and I shot a 102  ... B-)

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I took a look at your swing videos. I think you might benefit from backing off the ball a hair. Also at address you are slumping at the shoulders and top of your back. Your spine should be a line and the tilt should happen at your hips. Making sense? I think you are getting stuck on your downswing with being too close and your hands are hurrying because you aren't clearing your hips. Try putting a chair or something behind your butt on the range. On your downswing concentrate on hitting the object with your left ass cheek. It sounds corny but it will get you in the habit of clearing you hips.

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You'll never hit the ball consistently until you realize you can't swing that hard (unless you're well practiced like a tour pro). You have two options. You can swing hard and shoot 100 or back off and put the ball in play and shoot in the 70's. Just because you CAN hit it that far doesn't mean you should. When I was your age, I very rarely was outdriven. But I rarely broke 80. Now, I can hit a 5i over 200, but choose to throttle back to about 180-185. If I need to hit it longer, I grab a 4h, 5 wood etc. Learn to hit those 3/4 shots. You'll love the results. Your swing speed has to be 115+ to get that kind of distance. A regular flex shaft is definitely NOT what you want. I recommend a Stiff with a high flex point (lower, straighter flight). If you can afford it, get fitted to find out what shaft works for you. I had a set of Tommy Armour T-1000 (the big titanium shovels). I could hit that SW 185. Doesn't mean I should have.

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To the OP ditto on

Quote:

A regular flex shaft is definitely NOT what you want. I recommend a Stiff

I have an inside to out swing and was a hooker, never a slicer,

the only club I ever sliced was all the used handmedown R-shafted drivers I'd collected. I'd never paid for one at that point.

When I finally went to get fitted for a driver, time after time I did much better with the S flex of the TM burner, it's like that shaft miraculously straightened out my drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vangator View Post

You'll never hit the ball consistently until you realize you can't swing that hard (unless you're well practiced like a tour pro). You have two options. You can swing hard and shoot 100 or back off and put the ball in play and shoot in the 70's. Just because you CAN hit it that far doesn't mean you should.

When I was your age, I very rarely was outdriven. But I rarely broke 80. Now, I can hit a 5i over 200, but choose to throttle back to about 180-185. If I need to hit it longer, I grab a 4h, 5 wood etc. Learn to hit those 3/4 shots. You'll love the results.

Your swing speed has to be 115+ to get that kind of distance. A regular flex shaft is definitely NOT what you want. I recommend a Stiff with a high flex point (lower, straighter flight). If you can afford it, get fitted to find out what shaft works for you.

I had a set of Tommy Armour T-1000 (the big titanium shovels). I could hit that SW 185. Doesn't mean I should have.


Well said.

Sometimes, oftentimes for me, the issue is how to dial it back. It's a constant battle to rein it in.

I've been working on a shorter backswing and that has had some results, and fits better with my range of flexibility, but still, about halfway into a bucket or so one can get "jacked" with adrenaline and bloodflow, it's just plain difficult to refrain from attacking the ball with gusto.  I've done meditation for other things; maybe it's time to put that into practice for golf.

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One thought I might add...I had the same trouble with the low hook shot with my 3w and driver (still do occasionally), my problem was 'flipping' my wrists at impact.  It really doesn't take much flip, might not be noticeable swinging that fast. With your swing speeds, that could be an issue.  Maybe do some slower practice swings to assure inline or flat wrists at contact.

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