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Alternative to driver off the tee


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I have been taking lessons and am hitting my irons quite well, but I still can't hit a driver with any consistency (aeroburner).

I have a Wilson 3 hybrid which I can't hit very well either.

I hit my irons quite far. My 6 goes approx 160 to 170 yards.

I know in time, if I continue taking lessons and practicing, I will learn to hit a driver, but meanwhile I would like a few more yards off the tee.

What are the alternatives? I was thinking of getting a driving iron or utility club of some description that looks like an iron, and is a similar length...

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The longer the iron, the more difficult it is to hit it straight.   

Lee Trevino Quotes. If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron.

Work on your hybrid, it's not that much different than an iron.

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19 minutes ago, dennyjones said:

The longer the iron, the more difficult it is to hit it straight.   

Lee Trevino Quotes. If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron.

Work on your hybrid, it's not that much different than an iron.

Don't I know it!

I was hoping maybe science had bridged the gap somehow and invented a utility iron, or something, that might be as easy to hit as say a 5 iron but go maybe the distance of a 2 iron. Wishful thinking i suppose.

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7 hours ago, dennyjones said:

Lee Trevino Quotes. If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron.

It might be worth keeping my 1i in the bag just to set-up that quote. :)

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13 hours ago, TOMBOMB said:

Don't I know it!

I was hoping maybe science had bridged the gap somehow and invented a utility iron, or something, that might be as easy to hit as say a 5 iron but go maybe the distance of a 2 iron. Wishful thinking i suppose.

There are utility irons meant to be used off the tee, I know Titleist, Ping, Cobra, Callaway offer one and other manufacturers might as well.  

My personal experience combined with observations of other high handicappers using them is that they are marginally better than hitting driver because they don't go as far and therefore you can't get in as much trouble.  

Another alternative is trying a mini-driver or 3-wood like the Callaway 3 Deed or Titleist Fd that are designed for use off the tee.  Like the utility / driving iron, they are a little bit easier to hit but what saves you is their shorter distance is more likely to keep you out of bad trouble.  

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Joe Paradiso

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17 hours ago, TOMBOMB said:

Don't I know it!

I was hoping maybe science had bridged the gap somehow and invented a utility iron, or something, that might be as easy to hit as say a 5 iron but go maybe the distance of a 2 iron. Wishful thinking i suppose.

 

2 minutes ago, arturo28mx said:

I would suggest a 5 wood. Very forgiving but still good distance

This is where I'd be headed too, easier to hit than a 2-iron, but similar distance.  And keep working on your driver, its only a matter of time before it catches up to the rest of your clubs.

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1 hour ago, No Mulligans said:

Yes, a five wood.

What's the loft on your driver? Do you hit it high enough? What is your miss like?

10.5 stiff. When I hit it at all, I usually get the right trajectory, and it goes quite far. I tend to miss to the left (which my teacher tells me is a good thing, apparently).

I was leaning toward a driving iron or a hybrid that looked more like an iron than a wood, but maybe I will give a 5 wood a go.

What do you guys think of lofted drivers or mini drivers?

5 hours ago, newtogolf said:

There are utility irons meant to be used off the tee, I know Titleist, Ping, Cobra, Callaway offer one and other manufacturers might as well.  

My personal experience combined with observations of other high handicappers using them is that they are marginally better than hitting driver because they don't go as far and therefore you can't get in as much trouble.  

Another alternative is trying a mini-driver or 3-wood like the Callaway 3 Deed or Titleist Fd that are designed for use off the tee.  Like the utility / driving iron, they are a little bit easier to hit but what saves you is their shorter distance is more likely to keep you out of bad trouble.  

I get the point about distance = more trouble.

I think I might go to my local golf shop and try a 3 and a mini driver as well as a 5 wood.

There seems to be a consensus that driving irons are impossible to hit, and I am far from being a perfect iron striker.

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3 minutes ago, TOMBOMB said:

10.5 stiff. When I hit it at all, I usually get the right trajectory, and it goes quite far. I tend to miss to the left (which my teacher tells me is a good thing, apparently).

I was leaning toward a driving iron or a hybrid that looked more like an iron than a wood, but maybe I will give a 5 wood a go.

What do you guys think of lofted drivers or mini drivers?

The driver is the longest club in the bag and has the lowest loft, both of which make it the hardest club to hit for some.  On the flip side it has the largest club face.

Since you are getting the right trajectory, your loft may be okay.  I'd suggest before you buy anything, try choking up with your driver and see if you have more success.  Choke up so it's as long as a 7i, a 6i, a 5i. a 3w etc. ... see if any of that works.  You may conclude that it is the shaft length that gives you difficulty.  If so, you can choke up and over time make baby steps towards choking up less and less.

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50 minutes ago, No Mulligans said:

The driver is the longest club in the bag and has the lowest loft, both of which make it the hardest club to hit for some.  On the flip side it has the largest club face.

Since you are getting the right trajectory, your loft may be okay.  I'd suggest before you buy anything, try choking up with your driver and see if you have more success.  Choke up so it's as long as a 7i, a 6i, a 5i. a 3w etc. ... see if any of that works.  You may conclude that it is the shaft length that gives you difficulty.  If so, you can choke up and over time make baby steps towards choking up less and less.

Good advice! Pity I sold the bloody thing...

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I am one of the few people that carry a 2 wood.  It is almost as long as my driver but easier to shape shots.  Also long off the fairway and great if I need to punch under some trees.  If I am struggling with my driver though I will pull my 4 wood for 230 yards of straight.  

I also own a 1 iron but I only pull it out of the shed to try on the range from time to time.  I can hit it but it is usually under 200 yards and with a hard right turn.  

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On 10/6/2016 at 0:59 PM, TOMBOMB said:

10.5 stiff. When I hit it at all, I usually get the right trajectory, and it goes quite far. I tend to miss to the left (which my teacher tells me is a good thing, apparently).

It's certainly better than the high slice that most novice players start with. If you're hitting a hook (launches straight, curves toward your side of your stance), that usually means you have an inside-to-out swing path (excellent for the driver), and are turning your hands over too much to close the clubface (not so good but fixable with small grip/release changes). If you're hitting a pull (launches left, flies straight), that's usually an outside-in swing path (not great but very common) coupled with a closed face that lines up the face to the swing path. This requires more work to fix (lower your backswing to flatten your swing plane and weaken your grip a touch) but the straight pull, if consistent, is usually playable.

Edited by Liko81
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4 hours ago, Liko81 said:

It's certainly better than the high slice that most novice players start with. If you're hitting a hook (launches straight, curves toward your side of your stance), that usually means you have an inside-to-out swing path (excellent for the driver), and are turning your hands over too much to close the clubface (not so good but fixable with small grip/release changes). If you're hitting a pull (launches left, flies straight), that's usually an outside-in swing path (not great but very common) coupled with a closed face that lines up the face to the swing path. This requires more work to fix (lower your backswing to flatten your swing plane and weaken your grip a touch) but the straight pull, if consistent, is usually playable.

Thanks for the advice. I am indeed hooking the ball, and the new 5 wood I bought is really bad for hooks (as is my hybrid, and so was my driver). I don't really hook my irons much. I'm wondering if I should try a driving iron, or some iron biased utility club, until I get a handle on the hooking.

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On 10/6/2016 at 4:07 PM, TOMBOMB said:

Thanks for all the advice. I just ordered an Adams Tight Lies 2 5 wood. I got it dirt cheap - €60 brand new. Why are Adams clubs so cheap?

$50 on eBay brand new.

It's all supply and demand is my guess. I just don't think Adams is considered the most popular brand. 

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I use old Taylor Made clubs from eBay and golf shops.

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On 06/10/2016 at 6:59 PM, TOMBOMB said:

10.5 stiff. When I hit it at all, I usually get the right trajectory, and it goes quite far. I tend to miss to the left (which my teacher tells me is a good thing, apparently).

 

They have trees on both sides of the fairway at my course so a miss is bad whichever way I hit it!

5w is a good option but if you like irons then trying to go lower with your irons to a 4i might work.  If you can carry a 6i 170 then you might be able to get a 4i carrying 190 and rolling out to 200.  If that is on the fairway then it beats 220 with a 5w in the trees.  And a 4i isn't as scary as a 2i by a long way, especially if you got a super game improvement model.  It might be the case that with a bit of practice you can get it to a point where you can rely on it.  

I think it can be very difficult to stay objective when going through this sort of process.  If you can hit your 6i 170 and get it on the fairyway most of the time then even that isn't a bad option for the immediate term.  Sure getting it further is better but only if it stays playable.  Whatever you buy probably isn't going to fix things straight away and the real answer is going to involve a lot of practice with whatever club you choose.

 

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On 12/10/2016 at 9:47 AM, ZappyAd said:

They have trees on both sides of the fairway at my course so a miss is bad whichever way I hit it!

5w is a good option but if you like irons then trying to go lower with your irons to a 4i might work.  If you can carry a 6i 170 then you might be able to get a 4i carrying 190 and rolling out to 200.  If that is on the fairway then it beats 220 with a 5w in the trees.  And a 4i isn't as scary as a 2i by a long way, especially if you got a super game improvement model.  It might be the case that with a bit of practice you can get it to a point where you can rely on it.  

I think it can be very difficult to stay objective when going through this sort of process.  If you can hit your 6i 170 and get it on the fairyway most of the time then even that isn't a bad option for the immediate term.  Sure getting it further is better but only if it stays playable.  Whatever you buy probably isn't going to fix things straight away and the real answer is going to involve a lot of practice with whatever club you choose.

 

I played today and left my hybrid and wood in the bag, and only hit 4 to 6 irons off the tee, depending on the width of the fairway. I only lost 2 balls and hit almost all fairways! The trade off was I got no birdies and only a few pars. Still, my scores were impressive (for me). I think this kind of strategy limits most of the really horrible shots, and the penalty strokes that go with them. Good advice, thanks.

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Note: This thread is 2734 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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