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Do I need more distance?


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Yes forty from a new set. I was blown away. My old set was 20 years old......but still. Funny thing is, i thought my hc would drop like a rock. It hasnt but the potential to make it so is there. I just suck lately. Iron play is great. Now i have tee trouble and putter trouble. ahhhhhhhh. Great game!
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Simple answer is yes. At your age, size, and athleticism, you're at least 3, maybe 4 clubs short. For comparison, I'm a relative short hitter, and at a somewhat arthritic 57, carry a 7-iron 155. I'm between 1 and 2 clubs shorter than most younger players of a similar handicap. I'd bet a paycheck that it's a swing issue that's relatively easy to fix with the right instruction.
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I'm going to throw my 2 cents in and say that you need to get longer. My driver speed is around 107 so I'd say I have about average club speed. With that, I hit my cheap, old irons about the following lengths (I am 6'4, 31 years old): PW = 135 and under 9I = 136 - 143ish 8I = 144 - 152ish 7I = 153 - 165 6I = 166 - 176 5I = 177 - 189 4I = 190 - 210 Without seeing your swing, I would guess it is missing lag.
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Simple answer is yes. At your age, size, and athleticism, you're at least 3, maybe 4 clubs short. For comparison, I'm a relative short hitter, and at a somewhat arthritic 57, carry a 7-iron 155. I'm between 1 and 2 clubs shorter than most younger players of a similar handicap.

I'd bet a paycheck that it's a swing issue that's relatively easy to fix with the right instruction.

I'm going to throw my 2 cents in and say that you need to get longer. My driver speed is around 107 so I'd say I have about average club speed. With that, I hit my cheap, old irons about the following lengths (I am 6'4, 31 years old):

PW = 135 and under

9I = 136 - 143ish

8I = 144 - 152ish

7I = 153 - 165

6I = 166 - 176

5I = 177 - 189

4I = 190 - 210

Without seeing your swing, I would guess it is missing lag.

Yeah wow, you guys have some nice distance. I mean... I can push my 7i 150yds if I really take a go at it, but my accuracy goes way down. That's why I'm at the point where given 150yds I'd just pull my 5 and feel confident I can make an easy swing.  I've always felt being accurate is more important than distance, but it would appear I have lots of work to do... That's basically the reason I started this thread... I think I'm a pretty decent golfer, and constantly improving. I KNOW I could get more distance if I took a couple lessons or fixed something in my swing, but there's always the risk that you mess things up.

I remember reading something Butch Harmon wrote about how you should never make any swing change unless its absolutely necessary, so I keep waffling on whether it's necessary, or just my ego wanting to hit the ball further.

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My distances are actually on the lower side from what I've been seeing around here. Also, I have a very soft swing with my irons for accuracy and contact purposes. I've actually been trying to increase my distances over time. Another thing that makes me Wonder is I don't think I could hit a soft enough 5 iron without making it More of a half swing or chip and even then it would be screaming coming into the green. I can get my 5iron to land pretty softly on the green from like 180 out but not 150.
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Thanks for your input. I know everyone is right,  longer is better.. Was kinda hoping people would share some 'swing change' horror stories that persuaded me to not tinker with something that's working. More I think about it, hitting 9i and PWs into greens is going to make my birdie/par putts easier than hitting 7 and 6 irons. Next step is finding out how to get there with the least amount of change...

I kinda of know what the THERE is for you, scratch. Unless you are extraordinary, which I believe you may be, it will require distance and control of all types of shots. This I do not know however. I really picked up distance when I started covering the ball and hitting the pull-draw, bam, better. Sometimes too well! There are types of shots that has to be learned and practiced. Cuts are my favorite. So what is your plan to achieve your goal?

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I kinda of know what the THERE is for you, scratch. Unless you are extraordinary, which I believe you may be, it will require distance and control of all types of shots. This I do not know however. I really picked up distance when I started covering the ball and hitting the pull-draw, bam, better. Sometimes too well! There are types of shots that has to be learned and practiced. Cuts are my favorite. So what is your plan to achieve your goal?

Well, I have one small change in mind I want to test out before anything else, maybe you guys can give me some thoughts. I'm not really sure if anyone has encountered this, but I have a tendency to move my hips to the right on my backswing. So the movement is "right and rotate" rather than just "rotate". I hit a natural fade, but a right-slice is rarely my miss (I push left if anything), so I don't think this means I'm coming outside-in (which I gather would result in a right slice). So that would have me believe I'm doing something in my downswing to adjust for the bad hip movement. This is probably leading to a decrease in swing speed?

That's off the top of my head. What I don't want to do is mess with my tempo.. for all of it's shortcomings on distance my swing has a tempo that gives me a great feel for hitting my spots. As for getting to scratch - I think I am a long way off from that for sure! I'm a pretty below average putter I think. I don't 1-putt all that often during a round, so that's got to be a huge focal point for me. Leaving a ton of makeable birdie/par putts out there, which can get really frustrating.

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Well, I have one small change in mind I want to test out before anything else, maybe you guys can give me some thoughts. I'm not really sure if anyone has encountered this, but I have a tendency to move my hips to the right on my backswing. So the movement is "right and rotate" rather than just "rotate". I hit a natural fade, but a right-slice is rarely my miss (I push left if anything), so I don't think this means I'm coming outside-in (which I gather would result in a right slice). So that would have me believe I'm doing something in my downswing to adjust for the bad hip movement. This is probably leading to a decrease in swing speed? That's off the top of my head. What I don't want to do is mess with my tempo.. for all of it's shortcomings on distance my swing has a tempo that gives me a great feel for hitting my spots. As for getting to scratch - I think I am a long way off from that for sure! I'm a pretty below average putter I think. I don't 1-putt all that often during a round, so that's got to be a huge focal point for me. Leaving a ton of makeable birdie/par putts out there, which can get really frustrating.

What you describe matches my exact picture of your swing I was imagining bc I used to do the same thing when I first started. It actually likely is a "coming over the top" issue where you are extended out and losing tons of power before making contact. The left push is a dead giveaway. On the "left pushes" you are merely squaring the club face up to the ball. On the weak fades your club face is more open. You are not getting any compression with your irons and are laying a ton of distance as a result.

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Ok. I understand. Your hips are better than mine I bet! :~( But probably not in sync regardless of your perceived tempo. That's why a trusted swing coach, like I have check me from time to time, helps objectively. Secondly, putting has to be on your short list as a proclaimed and honest below average putter. You need to get to 30 or lower, in my book, as a multiple putting contest winner. Last, since your distance is a little short and your putting is below average is your nine 9 HC just a starting estimate? To me it's just a number but please don't get hung up on it during your changes.
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What you describe matches my exact picture of your swing I was imagining bc I used to do the same thing when I first started.

It actually likely is a "coming over the top" issue where you are extended out and losing tons of power before making contact.

The left push is a dead giveaway. On the "left pushes" you are merely squaring the club face up to the ball. On the weak fades your club face is more open.

You are not getting any compression with your irons and are laying a ton of distance as a result.

Yeah I've thought that might be it for a while, good to get some other opinions.. It's not that I don't have lag, I take good divots ahead of the ball,  it's because I'm adding too much loft to my shots. That's why I can land a 5i softly from 150 but yours won't stick. I'm sure everyone can relate though - it's hard to change something when your game is clicking, so I always just ignored it. Even with my short distances, I'm by far the best iron player in my regular group, so seeing these guys spray their irons all over the course has never motivated me to change, even though they hit it well past me when they connect. So far, this thread has changed my mind haha, seems like nobody is in the "if it ain't broke" camp. Will try this one at my next range session (hopefully tomorrow after work).

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Can I tell you a funny story? I was a batting coach and never tried to changed the swing much. Everyone has holes in though. Can't hit the high pith, low slider, etc. I have a golf one about me. You don't need much change. We might be alike.
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Ok. I understand. Your hips are better than mine I bet! But probably not in sync regardless of your perceived tempo. That's why a trusted swing coach, like I have check me from time to time, helps objectively. Secondly, putting has to be on your short list as a proclaimed and honest below average putter. You need to get to 30 or lower, in my book, as a multiple putting contest winner. Last, since your distance is a little short and your putting is below average is your nine 9 HC just a starting estimate? To me it's just a number but please don't get hung up on it during your changes.

So, I don't keep a USGA tracked handicap, so I suppose anything other than that has to be an estimate. I try to approach the game casually so I'm not that diligent in tracking my scores. That said, my last 10 rounds ranged from a 78 to an 83 (both were single outliers), which I think is pretty consistent. So I just rounded up to 9. I don't keep all my scorecards, but my low round is a 77 and I can't remember the last time I shot above an 85.

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Good scores for sure. Keep the stats and putt counts, putt pistances (where your misses are mostly). That golf story was of a self appointed neighbor golf Marshall who had the nerve to walk from his house located on the 18th tee box to the tee box while I was tee up to inform me who to align myself. After positioning me I informed him I did not think this would work and proceed to slice the ball into his bedroom window. Without a word, he walked off the tee box around the pond back to the side of his house. I re teed a smacked the crap out of it down the fairway and away we went! True story. :-D
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Good scores for sure. Keep the stats and putt counts, putt pistances (where your misses are mostly).

That golf story was of a self appointed neighbor golf Marshall who had the nerve to walk from his house located on the 18th tee box to the tee box while I was tee up to inform me who to align myself. After positioning me I informed him I did not think this would work and proceed to slice the ball into his bedroom window. Without a word, he walked off the tee box around the pond back to the side of his house. I re teed a smacked the crap out of it down the fairway and away we went! True story.

Haha that's awesome.... good lesson to be careful who/how you get advice. Think I'll try the hip rotation and if that fails I'll start saving up to see a pro.

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Yeah I've thought that might be it for a while, good to get some other opinions.. It's not that I don't have lag, I take good divots ahead of the ball,  it's because I'm adding too much loft to my shots. That's why I can land a 5i softly from 150 but yours won't stick. I'm sure everyone can relate though - it's hard to change something when your game is clicking, so I always just ignored it. Even with my short distances, I'm by far the best iron player in my regular group, so seeing these guys spray their irons all over the course has never motivated me to change, even though they hit it well past me when they connect. So far, this thread has changed my mind haha, seems like nobody is in the "if it ain't broke" camp. Will try this one at my next range session (hopefully tomorrow after work).

I guess you might be ok, it just seems like this might be something that will catch up with you sooner or later. I'm curious how you are taking divots in front of the ball without shanking balls. When I had a bad outside to in swing path and I ever hit down on the ball like that I would hit it right off of the hosel. I'm extremely curious to see you swing video. Would you update this thread when you do? I would really like to see how you are hitting your long irons straight but with such an early release and open club face that they loft like a 7 iron. We can do some very interesting things when we are self taught to compensate for our ball flights. When I got really into golf I started taking the club back on an extreme inside path bc I thought it would help me get rid of my slice. It only made it worse bc I then had to come over the ball in a type of figure 8. I never understood why that was happening until someone mentioned that my swing was really weird.

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while my 7i gets me usually 10-20 ft from the hole.

No you don't.

Well, yeah my comment is assuming good lie and good conditions. At 130 yards, assuming both of those, I think I can land it within 20ft maybe 60-70% of the time. But I don't keep track of those stats so I could way off. Maybe I just have a selective memory :P

You have a selective memory.

Start a Member Swing thread or work with a local instructor. Hitting your 7I 135 is not far enough to become a scratch golfer. Driving distances of about 250-255 are the norm for a scratch golfer. 7Is that go 155+ are the norm at that range too.

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Note: This thread is 2045 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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