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tsdugger

Leave the Driver in the Bag?

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As a mid-handicap guy (11.9 trending to 10.8), I find my most productive rounds are ones I leave the driver in the bag. I have been atrocious off the tee this season with the driver, 3w is decent, and hybrid is pure (230-250 yards). Irons are relatively strong so I am less worried about approaching and my course is short enough where the driver isn't always needed - especially from the Men's tees, but taking 30-50 yards off approach shots could accelerate me to a single-digit hcp as I still have a wedge in my hand on ~50% of the holes (180-150 yards in instead of 150 and less). I have played my best golf ever the past couple weeks after a lesson and have dropped 3 strokes off my index since mid-May. Basically, if I am in the fairway I am very competitive. I seem to be able to put it together on the range but as soon as I am on the course I fall apart. Even in my lesson, the pro had me hit 10 balls and said he didn't want to change anything at that point as I was hitting it pure. Basically, driver is the only club which I consistently slice (read: uncontrollable slice) the ball on the course - everything else is a nice easy 5 yard fade, if not straight.

Have you ever given up on a club from pure lack of confidence? Doesn't seem like practice is helping much.

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I rarely use my driver or 3-wood, but I usually play (league) on a short course where I have the (iron) length to get away with it. But I have no intention of playing all/mostly irons indefinitely, I'm going to relearn to hit my woods/metals and keep them in play more. Having a long ball in your repertoire will be essential on most courses. Haven't warmed up to hybrids yet, but I'm using them.

Edited by Midpack

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25 minutes ago, tsdugger said:

As a mid-handicap guy (11.9 trending to 10.8), I find my most productive rounds are ones I leave the driver in the bag. I have been atrocious off the tee this season with the driver, 3w is decent, and hybrid is pure (230-250 yards). Irons are relatively strong so I am less worried about approaching and my course is short enough where the driver isn't always needed - especially from the Men's tees, but taking 30-50 yards off approach shots could accelerate me to a single-digit hcp as I still have a wedge in my hand on ~50% of the holes (180-150 yards in instead of 150 and less). I have played my best golf ever the past couple weeks after a lesson and have dropped 3 strokes off my index since mid-May. Basically, if I am in the fairway I am very competitive. I seem to be able to put it together on the range but as soon as I am on the course I fall apart. Even in my lesson, the pro had me hit 10 balls and said he didn't want to change anything at that point as I was hitting it pure. Basically, driver is the only club which I consistently slice (read: uncontrollable slice) the ball on the course - everything else is a nice easy 5 yard fade, if not straight.

Have you ever given up on a club from pure lack of confidence? Doesn't seem like practice is helping much.

You should check out this thread:

If you're a 12 handicap, you probably shouldn't have this much trouble with the driver. In addition to that thread I linked, I wonder if your driver doesn't fit you at all.

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1 hour ago, DeadMan said:

You should check out this thread:

If you're a 12 handicap, you probably shouldn't have this much trouble with the driver. In addition to that thread I linked, I wonder if your driver doesn't fit you at all.

Thanks for the link - I struggle with hitting the sweet spot, but the main problem (I can feel in my swing) is that I regularly don't release my hands which turns into a push + slice. The slice is sometimes playable, but I am losing  A LOT of distance. Seems that when I offest my alignment to accomodate the slice, I hit it straight.

Crazy game.

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Driver is a good club for me.  I'd die if I had to tee off with the other clubs.

I have a mental block with anything other than the driver on a tee.  It's hard to overcome.

 

Par 3's, short 4's are a real anxiety tee shot every time.  Much lower percentage of good tee shots on those vs just the long holes.

Edited by rehmwa

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Other than unusual circumstances, any time it has crawled into my head to hit less than driver, my shorter club has gone exit stage left.

 

Edited by mcanadiens

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I always found it odd that people want to leave driver in the bag. It's the biggest faced club, you don't make contact with the turf, and it's nice and light. 

I think most people struggle with it because they try to hammer it. They can't hit it far, so they try to swing harder. When people try to hammer it, the most often thing I see is a massive slice. 

Honest to God, I can hit a 250 yard drive (with avg roll out, not sure what my carry is) with a 3/4 back swing and it be almost effortless. It's the most butter feel in the golfing world, to me. 

I also cut my driver shaft down by 3/4" shorter than standard.

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6 hours ago, tsdugger said:

As a mid-handicap guy (11.9 trending to 10.8), I find my most productive rounds are ones I leave the driver in the bag. I have been atrocious off the tee this season with the driver, 3w is decent, and hybrid is pure (230-250 yards). Irons are relatively strong so I am less worried about approaching and my course is short enough where the driver isn't always needed - especially from the Men's tees, but taking 30-50 yards off approach shots could accelerate me to a single-digit hcp as I still have a wedge in my hand on ~50% of the holes (180-150 yards in instead of 150 and less). I have played my best golf ever the past couple weeks after a lesson and have dropped 3 strokes off my index since mid-May. Basically, if I am in the fairway I am very competitive. I seem to be able to put it together on the range but as soon as I am on the course I fall apart. Even in my lesson, the pro had me hit 10 balls and said he didn't want to change anything at that point as I was hitting it pure. Basically, driver is the only club which I consistently slice (read: uncontrollable slice) the ball on the course - everything else is a nice easy 5 yard fade, if not straight.

Have you ever given up on a club from pure lack of confidence? Doesn't seem like practice is helping much.

I 100% agree with you. My games have been improving like crazy once I stopped hitting my driver and teeing off with a long iron or 3-wood. The only holes that I use my driver on have big, forgiving fairways so that I'm still okay if I slice.

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22 minutes ago, jkelley9 said:

I always found it odd that people want to leave driver in the bag. It's the biggest faced club, you don't make contact with the turf, and it's nice and light. 

I think most people struggle with it because they try to hammer it. They can't hit it far, so they try to swing harder. When people try to hammer it, the most often thing I see is a massive slice. 

Honest to God, I can hit a 250 yard drive (with avg roll out, not sure what my carry is) with a 3/4 back swing and it be almost effortless. It's the most butter feel in the golfing world, to me. 

I also cut my driver shaft down by 3/4" shorter than standard.

Well, op hits his driver like shite and claims to hit his 3 hybrid 230-250, nutted every time.  I hit my 3 hybrid about 210 and for awhile I was hitting my driver about 110 more often than not.  It's not all that odd we would want to keep our drivers in the bag.

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Learn to hit a driver.  It is one of the easier shots in golf (level lie, on a peg, etc...)

if one can hit a 3 wood 250, straight, there is no reason the driver stays in the bag.

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Driver-my best club.

3 shots.  Stay right.  Stay left.  3/4 fairway finder which is Low straight with cut bias.  No attempts at the draw shot.

Always choke to about 43.5.  No fw woods in bag.

Driver rules.

That said,  I don't hit hybrid 250.   

I once hit seventeen pin high from 240 but that's nuts o loosely goosey.

Edited by Jack Watson

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I've been playing a short course almost exclusively this year where I often hit irons from off the tee. I use the driver off the par 5's which have very wide fairways. That's the only reason I've been able to hit so many fairways this year. While it's fun, I feel like I'm neglecting an entire part of the game. 

When I play from the next set of tees however, it's a completely different course. I have to use the driver and woods for those narrow par 4's and the penalties can really stack up. It becomes easy to lose 8-10 strokes per round.

As for the OP, play whatever clubs bring the most enjoyment. Mix it up a little... maybe one out of three rounds beat yourself up with the driver. At some point you might start preferring to use that club.

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1 hour ago, Jack Watson said:

Driver-my best club.

3 shots.  Stay right.  Stay left.  3/4 fairway finder which is Low straight with cut bias.  No attempts at the draw shot.

Always choke to about 43.5.  No fw woods in bag.

Driver rules.

That said,  I don't hit hybrid 250.   

I once hit seventeen pin high from 240 but that's nuts o loosely goosey.

I'm not sure I've ever played with anyone who hit a hybrid 230-250 pure.

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I can't hit any driver longer than 43".  IMO, most amatuers would make much better contact with  42-43" drivers.  Sergio and Fowler both play shorter drivers these days I believe.

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10 hours ago, tsdugger said:

Leave the driver in the bag?

No. Learn to hit it. :-D

If I could only play with one club and a putter, I'd use my 3- or 4-iron. If I could add a second, it'd be the big dog. Distance is king!

FWIW, the link that @DeadMan posted is good one and my go-to when things get out-of-whack with the driver. Don't give up, it's worth the effort. :beer:

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12 hours ago, allenc said:

Well, op hits his driver like shite and claims to hit his 3 hybrid 230-250, nutted every time.  I hit my 3 hybrid about 210 and for awhile I was hitting my driver about 110 more often than not.  It's not all that odd we would want to keep our drivers in the bag.

@bkuehn1952 beat me to it. This is essentially exactly what I was going to say (below)

12 hours ago, bkuehn1952 said:

Learn to hit a driver.  It is one of the easier shots in golf (level lie, on a peg, etc...)

if one can hit a 3 wood 250, straight, there is no reason the driver stays in the bag.

I'm not a golf pro. I'm just saying that my observation (take it for what it's worth) is that people try to muscle and over-hit the driver way more often than not. They get really tense over the ball and I can just see so much tension and rigidity in their swing. Then they hit it 200 yards. My driver swing is the most effortless swing I have in my bag.

I'm not saying you have to play a driver. Hell, I've left my driver AND 3w at home, TWICE. But I did that just for fun to see how my game would change at my home course (mix it up a little). I didn't leave them behind "because I was afraid of them."

Learn to hit it. Sometimes you have to break down your swing to nothing and start all over. We've all done it.

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Note: This thread is 1183 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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