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Ditching the Driver, Help


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Look for a good Driving Iron, I just hit my irons 100% times better than woods. I have been using a 3 Wood but even that is not as true as my lower iorns.

 

Any have any they would endorse? Would love to hear some feedback from players using a Driving Iron as well.

 

Thank you,

John Barry

Bring the Funk, Back to Golf

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P790 UDI. If you are just looking for a driving iron it is awesome. 

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3 hours ago, JohnBarry said:

Look for a good Driving Iron, I just hit my irons 100% times better than woods. I have been using a 3 Wood but even that is not as true as my lower iorns.

 

Any have any they would endorse? Would love to hear some feedback from players using a Driving Iron as well.

 

Thank you,

Really hope this doesn’t come off poorly.

I’d honestly save the money and get some lessons on hitting driver. They’re more forgiving than driving irons. Most driving irons are meant for low handicap players with high swing speeds. At the very least, hit some driving irons on a simulator along with your driver to compare the numbers. Especially launch angle, spin, and angle of attack.

Wood swing can can be challenging. It is lower and rounder than irons, so if you have a steep attack it’ll be a struggle to hit woods. There are a ton of great pool noodle drills that help a lot with the driver. 

Best of luck man, it’s frustrating to struggle off the tee. Starting every hole bleh makes golf less fun. 

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17 hours ago, jddaigneault said:

I’d honestly save the money and get some lessons on hitting driver. They’re more forgiving than driving irons. Most driving irons are meant for low handicap players with high swing speeds.

sorry, but I respectfully disagree. The driver is the hardest club in the bag to hit. Longest shaft and lowest loft.

Driving irons these days are like mini hybrids and are certainly not aimed only at low h/caps with high swing speeds.

The shorter shaft length combined with higher loft makes them a very good choice for anyone struggling with the driver.

 

The caveat is you will certainly lose distance over a well struck driver, but if you are 25 yards further back but in the fairway its a lot better than 25 yards further into the trees.

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I'd figure out how to hit a driver if you ax me. There are days when I wished every club in my bag had a head the size of a driver.

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2 hours ago, perseveringgolfer said:

The caveat is you will certainly lose distance over a well struck driver, but if you are 25 yards further back but in the fairway its a lot better than 25 yards further into the trees.

This is precisely why I picked up a driving iron. The course I have the most rounds on is very short. (~6k yds) Fairways are worth more than yards in that situation.

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4 hours ago, perseveringgolfer said:

sorry, but I respectfully disagree. The driver is the hardest club in the bag to hit. Longest shaft and lowest loft.

Driving irons these days are like mini hybrids and are certainly not aimed only at low h/caps with high swing speeds.

The shorter shaft length combined with higher loft makes them a very good choice for anyone struggling with the driver.

 

The caveat is you will certainly lose distance over a well struck driver, but if you are 25 yards further back but in the fairway its a lot better than 25 yards further into the trees.

I’m not so sure about this one. I’ve only hit these a small amount, but I’ve done a bunch of research. I’d love to hear from those who game these.

From golf digest...

“A driving iron is an option if your clubhead speed is more than 95 miles per hour and you launch the ball high. If you don't, and you're playing a hole where a driver might bring danger into play, there are alternatives, says James Leitz, director of golf at Pinewood Country Club

in Slidell, La., a 100 Best Clubfitter.

"Most golfers would do better with a 5-wood because the shaft is longer, and it produces more clubhead speed than a driving iron," he says. "This would produce more ball speed and spin that would keep the ball airborne longer."

The driving iron is a special tool for special players. Your choice off the tee should be the club that puts you in position to play the rest of the hole. For some, it's precision. For most others, it's power.”

You’re better off shortening your driver (tour average is 44.5”, standard length is almost 46” on the rack) and getting lessons to hit a driver. 

While you might keep the UDI in play more, the variance in shots will be massive if you don’t have great ball striking. And that’s if you can get it up in the air. 

If you really don’t want to use a driver, get a 2 hybrid. 

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Thank you all for the opinions and help, and yes, my wood game being so bad revolves around my terrible swing, and the longer the shaft, the worse I am. Pretty sure I am going to cut all my iron shafts down.

John Barry

Bring the Funk, Back to Golf

The Golfer's Trip

 

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I would also suggest looking into a 1 or 2 hybrid.  I've been carrying a 2 hybrid (TM Rescue 11 TP) lofted 16* for the better part of the summer but as a 3w replacement.  It's much easier to hit off the deck than 3w but I mostly hit it off the tee when driver is too much. 

You didn't mention your specific struggle with driver.  I struggle with it as well but more with accuracy (known swing fault).  Recently, I gave in and bought a TM Original One Mini Driver after doing a U-try demo.  Compared with my old 45.5" 460cc driver, I am more comfortable & confident at address and am finding it easier to swing and square up at impact. 

If you're still set on a DI, here is my suggestions:  I would highly recommend a Global Golf's U-Try demo if any are available.  Personally, I find it really easy to do.   If a new club is not in the budget, fish around 2nd swing for some used DIs, hybrids, etc.  You can probably pick up 3 or more clubs for the cost of a new one to try out and see what works best for you. 

 

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9 minutes ago, JohnBarry said:

Thank you all for the opinions and help, and yes, my wood game being so bad revolves around my terrible swing, and the longer the shaft, the worse I am. Pretty sure I am going to cut all my iron shafts down.

It would be nice if golf were easier, and manufacturers set people up for success. I cut my driver, lost about 10 yards but gained so much consistency. Worth looking into. 

You got this. Single digit handicap in no time!

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On 9/3/2019 at 11:48 AM, MrKindness said:

My buddy swears by the TaylorMade Gapr 17 degree. He is great with his long irons and bought it so he didn’t need to hit a driver off the tee box. If I was better with my long irons I would consider buying one as well.

I have the Gapr Lo at 19 degrees. While it feels amazing if you consistently square it up, if you miss the center it will punish you.

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I'll echo the unpopular opinions of @jddaigneault and @PlaidJacket.  If you're a 20 handicapper, you're going to struggle with a driver, that's normal.  Buying a different club may help you by a stroke or two right now, but that's not the route to real long-term improvement.  Instead of buying an expensive band-aid, you'll be better off investing in lessons and practice.

I'd also think twice about the binary approach to your choice, either driving iron in the fairway or driver in the trees.  It won't work that way, you'll still hit the DI in the woods, just a little less often than the driver.  And when you do hit it into the woods, you'll be 30 yards further back.

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On 9/4/2019 at 6:31 AM, perseveringgolfer said:

sorry, but I respectfully disagree. The driver is the hardest club in the bag to hit. Longest shaft and lowest loft.

Driving irons these days are like mini hybrids and are certainly not aimed only at low h/caps with high swing speeds.

The shorter shaft length combined with higher loft makes them a very good choice for anyone struggling with the driver.

 

The caveat is you will certainly lose distance over a well struck driver, but if you are 25 yards further back but in the fairway its a lot better than 25 yards further into the trees.

Guess I'll be another to state an unpopular opinion. I had a  love-hate, sorry make that hate relationship with my driver. While I got distance, it had such a great slice that my drives had the profile of a fishing hook. I could not fix that slice even with lessons from 2 different Pro's. So I bought a Ping Crossover/Driving iron. No success. 

While I was getting fit this year, I was so impressed with the fitter I asked him if he gave lessons. Yes - not cheap $120./hr. I booked a half hour lesson - he immediately identified 3 simple things I was doing wrong. Today I'm wowing my golfing partners with long straight drives.  Lesson (no pun intended) learned - it's not the equipment. 

FYI I've got a Ping Left hand crossover3i for sale if anyone is interested. 

 

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Allow me to play devil's advocate for a minute.  Why can't the OP do both?  Take some lessons, but in the mean time find some DI that he can hit better off the tee.  While the "take lessons" advice has its merit, IMO there is something to be said for how comfortable you feel swinging a certain club. 

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5 minutes ago, TwoCoatsOfWax said:

Allow me to play devil's advocate for a minute.  Why can't the OP do both?  Take some lessons, but in the mean time find some DI that he can hit better off the tee.  While the "take lessons" advice has its merit, IMO there is something to be said for how comfortable you feel swinging a certain club. 

Imo as mentioned by others the di isn’t a feasible option. I would save the money and invest in lessons. 

Par 4s become par 5s many times when playing with a driving iron. The miss with one is going to be penal. It may not put the op in the woods but it’s going to leave him way short.

while more forgiving than 1,2,3 irons from yester years the di is still a demanding long iron and requires a good swing with good speed to obtain decent results

the cheaper option would be to play the longest iron currently in the bag that is most comfortable and can be struck well and put into play the vast majority of the time.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, TwoCoatsOfWax said:

Allow me to play devil's advocate for a minute.  Why can't the OP do both?  Take some lessons, but in the mean time find some DI that he can hit better off the tee.  While the "take lessons" advice has its merit, IMO there is something to be said for how comfortable you feel swinging a certain club. 

I certainly have no problem with a dual approach, I just recommended improving the swing as it is the only path toward becoming a truly better player.  Of course you're right, the OP wants to continue playing right now, and if a different club can help him overcome a specific problem, good.  I do wonder whether a relatively low-lofted iron will be much better than what he's using now, most players struggle more with longer irons than with short irons.  I hope @JohnBarry will let us all know what he decides and update us as to his progress.

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On 9/6/2019 at 10:55 AM, DaveP043 said:

I'd also think twice about the binary approach to your choice, either driving iron in the fairway or driver in the trees.  It won't work that way, you'll still hit the DI in the woods, just a little less often than the driver.  And when you do hit it into the woods, you'll be 30 yards further back.

I went down the "driving iron" approach this year and it was a $70 mistake (what I ended up being out after selling the club). Loved the look of the driving iron, but couldn't hit it further than my 4 iron and it was a heck of a lot harder to control than my driver.

I'd rather be long and in the trees than short and in the trees.

Granted, this strategy doesn't work on a course where bad shots end up in the water or out of bounds... 

 

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21 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Imo as mentioned by others the di isn’t a feasible option. I would save the money and invest in lessons. 

Par 4s become par 5s many times when playing with a driving iron. The miss with one is going to be penal. It may not put the op in the woods but it’s going to leave him way short.

while more forgiving than 1,2,3 irons from yester years the di is still a demanding long iron and requires a good swing with good speed to obtain decent results

the cheaper option would be to play the longest iron currently in the bag that is most comfortable and can be struck well and put into play the vast majority of the time.

 

 

All good points and I generally agree.  I'm not inclined to use a DI that's why I suggested hybrids and/or (cheaper) used clubs earlier. 

But I think it's a slight disservice to a high handicapper to state just take lessons and get better.  IMO, that doesn't offer much advice.  Although true, it's a blanket answer that applies to almost any situation/question.  Maybe a DI will work for him or swinging one might help him hone in his driver/FW swing.  I don't know, I can't say for sure.  Anyway, I'll get off my soap box and put the issue to bed. 

I look forward to hearing an update from JohnBarry on his progress.

 

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