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Hi. I have a question and wanted to see what you guys thought. Some background: I'm not a particularly fast player (e.g., low to mid 150's ball speed with driver; low 120's ball speed with a traditional loft 6i.). I used to take the club back flat, come over it initially, but jump to shallow it out. I had a strong grip and I had days where a nice push draw was achievable; other days, it was military golf. Nowadays, I play with a more neutral grip and have much less dynamic movement. I more or less play with some forward shaft lean at address and feel like I hinge the toe up quickly toward my face (to get the club more upright instead of my flat takeaway) while trying to stay more "Kevin Kisner/Charley Hoffman still." The downswing is just swing down and through the ball quickly, feeling the head of the club hit down on/cover/trap the ball and taking a nice divot like a club tracking down a hula hoop where the ball is collected on the way down. I use a simulator, so I work hard on my start line as well. I like to see a 0* azimuth/start line or there about to feel more control over the ball and I'll just adjust my aim for my draw. I mostly hit the ball relatively straight or with a slight draw or if I heel it slightly, it'll fade a bit, but nothing disastrous. I'm relatively comfortable hitting every club in my bag except driver. I'm at a loss with driver. It's so bad. Last time I played, I had little clue where to look for the ball and with my eyes, it's hard to see the ball in the air. That brings me to the issue: I hit the ball pretty solid for my speed. With driver, the problem appears to be figuring out the shape I want to play, the face angle I should have, and how I should aim. First, I'm terrified of a draw with driver. I'll hook it, push it, or maybe get the odd push draw I'm looking for. I've gone the way of the fade. I just feel like I can swing as fast as I want and not fear a disastrous shot and lose a ball. I understand the ball flight laws and I know that the face should be closed to my intended target but open to my path and that face angle for the large part dictates start line. I get that. I also know that with the ball teed up off my front foot, that will allow me to swing up and left to get my path left to hit the fade. For some reason, I feel like I swing faster when hitting a fade with driver. It feels more natural to swing left and hit the cutter. The problem is figuring out the optimal start line. Like I said, with my approach shots, I like to get as close to 0* start line as I can, even with any curve--I just pick a tree or something to the right a little and let it draw back slightly. But I really like trying to get as neutral/straight of a start line as I can--I feel more in control of the ball that way. With a fade driver, I feel like I should toe the club in (somewhere around 7 to 8:30 on the clock) and swing more left. This has given me great results--high flying, low spin fades that start left of straight and bend back toward 0*. When I toe the club in relative to 0*, I feel like I can just let it rip. It'll fade back but rarely over fades, if anything it might just hang there. Right now, I have my driver set to 8*, draw setting on hosel, and weight in the heel as well. The question: Should I, 1) like with my approach shots, strive for a 0* start line and just adjust my aim or 2) strive for a start line of a few degrees left? The problem with #1 seems to be an issue with the ball flight laws. If I keep my swing the same (swinging more left), then I feel like a face angle around 0* will result in what looks like a big push fade. But I do like the idea of controlling my start line and having it more on straight like my approach shots. However, with driver, I do not like the feeling of starting the ball straight because I feel like the ball will only go more to the right from there and I'll lose the ball. The problem with #2 seems to be an issue of knowing how far left to start the ball. For instance, during my last practice session I had start lines just a few degrees to the left (2-4* left) all the way up to 12* left. The 12* left ball was a good ball, 157 mph ball speed, with just a tiny fade on it. I guess a bit of a pull fade. The best ball I hit was a 162 mph pull fade as well. I admit, I like the pull fade feeling best. I just feel like I get through the ball better and hit it more solidly. However, it does make for a different swing and start line than all my other clubs in the bag. Also, I wonder about aiming here. Depending on how much left I start the ball, I may actually need to aim more RIGHT even though I'm playing a FADE due to the nature of the pull fade. Thanks for any tips you might have. I look forward to the responses.
Let's hear your thoughts on it. My view Fade all day Long. Even though I played draw off the tee and approach into the green my whole life never really was able to depend on it. I recently started playing fades and only fades regardless of the situation, gained about 5-7 shots per round. Loss of Distance: 10-12 YDS with my driver, maybe 5ish YDS with irons. but what I gained in accuracy far outweighs the loss of distance IMHO