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cooke119

3/4" Off Driver Shaft

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I have always fought my driver, fade or slice. I've taken lessons with little to no help. Now I have had three back surgeries and I'm 67 years old so I know that impacts my swing. However, I hit my three wood great both off the tee and the grass, nice and straight. I also have a TaylorMade mini driver (three wood shaft, smaller head then a driver) which I hit well but of course I suffer from loss of distance. So, I talked to the guys at Dick's Sporting Goods and they recommend I take a 1/2' to 3/4" off my Ping G driver and choke down a little. Any thoughts? Has anyone else tried this?

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2 hours ago, cooke119 said:

I have always fought my driver, fade or slice. I've taken lessons with little to no help. Now I have had three back surgeries and I'm 67 years old so I know that impacts my swing. However, I hit my three wood great both off the tee and the grass, nice and straight. I also have a TaylorMade mini driver (three wood shaft, smaller head then a driver) which I hit well but of course I suffer from loss of distance. So, I talked to the guys at Dick's Sporting Goods and they recommend I take a 1/2' to 3/4" off my Ping G driver and choke down a little. Any thoughts? Has anyone else tried this?

I’m not an expert with this stuff but I’m not sure if the head technology alone is going to give you added distance. It’s all about being able to have good impact with your maximum swing speed. With this in mind it may be beneficial to test various shafts that would enable this to happen. If your current driver shaft isn’t the best for you I don’t believe cutting it down is the best thing for you. There may very well be a shaft that you can keep the length and allow you optimal distance. 

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I'm not a fan of chopping a half or three quarters off a driver.  It is much better to sort out your driver swing and utilize the extra length.  This is especially true as you get older.  A driver ought to be the easiest club to get distance out of.  The thing is...the driver takes longer to "unfold" than any other club in the bag.  That's just how I think of it.  I didn't start swinging a driver well until I stopped trying to hit it farther...and that took me years to understand.  But I'm a smart guy who does lots of dumb things...so there's that.  Point being...make friends with a driver rather than turning it into a 3 wood with a bigger head.

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6 hours ago, cooke119 said:

three back surgeries and I'm 67 years old

I'm in the same boat age only, but with no surgeries but with lower back stiffness sometimes.
I do not make a large shoulder turn and restrict my hip turn to ease the torsional twist to my spine.
I still hit drives out there with younger guys and outdrive most everyone my age.
 
IMO, I suggest selecting a light weight driver with a senior flex and then determine the proper length which you can hit.
I would also find a store which has a good selection of interchangeable driver shafts.
Inquire if they have senior shafts in various lengths along with a selection of club heads.
Try something comparable to your setup along with others to determine if trimming yours or buy a different driver.

When cutting driver shafts, refer to the shaft manufacture guidelines for butt and tip trimming.
Cutting only the length from the butt end changes the way the shaft will preform.
First you should try choking the grip as Dicks SG mentioned to see how you can hit it.
It may need to be both tip and butt trimmed.

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Before u lop off a 1/2" or so just choke down and hit it.  See how that goes.

I like the suggestion of a senior shaft rather than cutting yours.

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I vote for cutting it down as much as you want. That Ping driver is probably 45.75 inches. That is way more length than anyone needs unless you're a giant. Longer shafts require more time to get the club squared up so it would really require you to slow down your swing. This is of course counter to what most golfers do which is swing harder with the driver. Look, if you hit the 3 wood straighter and more consistently then go ahead and make your driver more like your 3 wood. Assuming your driver is adjustable crank up the loft, shorten the shaft and play it more like a 3 wood. Just remember you are going to loose some head weight cutting it down so you may want to put a two inch piece of lead tape on the lower, back, inside portion of the club to rebalance it if it feels light.

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I cut mine off an inch down to 44 in. It did feel funny for a few rounds (I just did a butt trim) but fine afterwards.

BTW, my opinion but I disagree with those who say longer the shaft more the distance if you had a sorted out swing. It can, but by no means is that a given.

Edited by GolfLug

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40 minutes ago, Adam C said:

Longer shafts require more time to get the club squared up so it would really require you to slow down your swing. 

That sentence doesn't make sense. 

Long drive competitors use like 48" long shafts and they aren't slowing down their swing to get the clubhead squared up. 

You can swing really really fast and still be able to have a square clubhead at impact.

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2 minutes ago, klineka said:

That sentence doesn't make sense. 

Long drive competitors use like 48" long shafts and they aren't slowing down their swing to get the clubhead squared up. 

You can swing really really fast and still be able to have a square clubhead at impact.

Okay, I don't think we should ever be using LD competitors as a comparison unless we are specifically talking LD. These men and women are incredibly strong and able to to square up the face even when they swing at high speed. They are also only trying to get one perfect ball in an enormous grid with no penalty for all the errant misses. Longer clubs require more timing to get the face squared up at the right point during the downswing and this usually means a more deliberate motion. I think anyone who plays golf can agree with that statement.

The point I was really trying to make is that these modern drivers keep getting longer because it's one of the only ways manufacturers can validate claims about improved distance. The longer the club gets, the harder it is to hit well. This is one of two reasons why you hit your 3 wood better than your driver, or your 8 iron better than your 4 iron. The other of course is loft. So the more you can get your driver to spec out like a 3 wood, the more consistency you will see.

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13 minutes ago, Adam C said:

So the more you can get your driver to spec out like a 3 wood, the more consistency you will see.

This isn't really true with amateurs. Most amateurs aren't significantly more accurate with their 3 wood than their driver.

Someone that hits 15% of fairways with driver and 60% of fairways with a 3 wood are outliers. 

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19 minutes ago, klineka said:

This isn't really true with amateurs. Most amateurs aren't significantly more accurate with their 3 wood than their driver.

Someone that hits 15% of fairways with driver and 60% of fairways with a 3 wood are outliers. 

Not sure where you are getting this info from but I strongly disagree and would question the validity of the source. Either way this thread started with a post that included the statement that he hits his 3 wood well and his driver less so. Hence my statements on length and loft.

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Thanks guys you have given me a lot to think about. The shaft in the Ping G is the stock Alta R flex 55, which I measure against my 3 wood and it is 2" longer. When the weather warms I'll try choking down before I do anything.

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On 12/9/2018 at 8:14 AM, cooke119 said:

I have always fought my driver, fade or slice. I've taken lessons with little to no help. Now I have had three back surgeries and I'm 67 years old so I know that impacts my swing. However, I hit my three wood great both off the tee and the grass, nice and straight. I also have a TaylorMade mini driver (three wood shaft, smaller head then a driver) which I hit well but of course I suffer from loss of distance. So, I talked to the guys at Dick's Sporting Goods and they recommend I take a 1/2' to 3/4" off my Ping G driver and choke down a little. Any thoughts? Has anyone else tried this?

I’ve got a 43” driver and a standard 45” one now, but the 43” was 46”.

However, taking 3” 2 from the butt end and 1 from the tip stiffened it a lot more. I don’t think that’s what you want.

If I were you, I’d likely get a senior or ladies flex then cut that down. Start with a fitting, especially since you have back pain. Swing normally even if only 75 to 80mph or less.

 

On 12/9/2018 at 2:44 PM, Club Rat said:

IMO, I suggest selecting a light weight driver with a senior flex and then determine the proper length which you can hit.

Agree with this for sure!

I hear Honma makes really light heads.

Edited by Lihu

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27 minutes ago, Lihu said:

I’ve got a 43” driver and a standard 45” one now, but the 43” was 46”.

However, taking 3” 2 from the butt end and 1 from the tip stiffened it a lot more. I don’t think that’s what you want.

If I were you, I’d likely get a senior or ladies flex then cut that down. Start with a fitting, especially since you have back pain. Swing normally even if only 75 to 80mph or less.

Don't take length off the tip of a shaft unless you are trying to stiffen the shaft or change the launch conditions. Butt trimming will have a very small impact on stiffness and should be used to adjust length.

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37 minutes ago, Adam C said:

Don't take length off the tip of a shaft unless you are trying to stiffen the shaft or change the launch conditions. Butt trimming will have a very small impact on stiffness and should be used to adjust length.

Yeah, my shaft broke and instead of paying $300 I paid $10 and had them cut off 1”.

The resulting club was perfect albeit short, that is short hitting distances 😁

That’s why my son gave me his old driver. Went to the range with Mevo and registered 106mph with a 248 carry and 1.32 SM with cooler range balls.

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4 hours ago, Adam C said:

Not sure where you are getting this info from but I strongly disagree and would question the validity of the source.

I'm pretty sure he's right: amateurs aren't exactly great with their 3-woods, either. The heads are smaller, the ball is almost on the ground… etc. I think he's right.

Also, longer clubs don't "take longer to square up."

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I realize that I can't use a blanket statement on the accuracy of a 3 wood vs a driver for all amateurs. However for what we are referring to in this thread I think it holds water. First, we are talking about off the tee so both clubs are teed up. Second, the original post already said he hits the 3 better/more consistently. Third, if you just look at the comparison for 3 vs driver in the terms of validity from physics, a 3 wood will always be more accurate for the reasons already discussed. A longer driver shaft is harder to control. Longer and lighter driver = more head spead = less time to get the head in the correct launch position. The other element is loft. Drivers have little and 3 woods have more. More loft = more backspin. More backspin = less side spin = less slice or hook. This is not something that can be debated, these are just facts.

In my opinion the reason why some amateurs hit the driver better has nothing to do with it being (easier to hit) and everything to do with practice. Go to any course or driving range and count the number of people practicing with a 3 wood. Especially with higher handicappers. Everyone is hitting the driver. And this carries over to the course. The reason they may not hit the 3 better is because they rarely ever use or practice with it. Everyone wants to hit it as far as possible so the driver gets the majority of any practice time. Spend an equal time practicing with both and see how much difference there really is. 3 wood will be straighter and probably not much shorter especially when averaged out over multiple hits.

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