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Play the "right" way—or ditch the driver?


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23 hours ago, cnosil said:

Strategy off the tee should always be hit the ball as far as you can but avoid "penalty" shots.     Based on your description it sounds like you spend more time in recovery mode when you play the driver and you are relatively successful with the 3w.   The answer is simple when playing use the 3w and work on your driver.   Seems the general guess is that you are hitting down on the ball.  Put a driver cover about a foot in front of a teed up ball and avoid hitting the cover when hitting the driver.   If you hit the cover you have a descending angle of attack/

I agree with this - hit the longest club you get in play 80 percent of the time plus and go from there. We all have handicaps for a reason. A number of years back we had a nice thread on the minimum distance a male golfer needed to hit the ball to be a scratch golfer. 
 

I believe we settled on 225 if everything else was very good. I know that I played at very close to scratch everything right around 240. 
 

If you are hitting them in play at 245, the tee ball will be the least of your problems. 

You might try a 2 wood (mini driver) or a higher lofted shorter shared driver - same thing. 

 

Of course in time there’s always ….. taking some lessons. That’s a possibility, too. 🙂

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Tour Exotics 3 wood is in the bag because we are allowed 14 clubs.  It's a great club for pulling balls out of the water or from bushes - you never want to put your hand into anything in Florida unless you are absolutely certain that it's safe.  There are rare wind conditions when I might hit it off the tee on a few holes that I play.  

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@GolfSpy MPR question: do you KNOW you tend toward negative AOA with driver or just guessing? The only reason I ask is for years I suspected I hit down on the ball based on launch, flight, etc. When I had my fitting for the Epic Speed test, I found out I actually have a positive AOA that averaged 2-2.5 degrees.

Not that this will really have an impact on your conundrum, mostly just curiosity, but I understand your pain. Up until a couple years ago I never hit driver because I couldn't. Ultimately, I realized like @edingc that I sprayed the ball with a 3 more than I thought I did which finally convinced me to figure out a driver. It's been a slow process for me since I don't have much time for practice, but I'm finally at a point where I can feel/understand what contributes to bad results. Correcting them is a different issue, of course.

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Driver:  :callaway-small:Epic Speed 9* (set -1) Mitsubishi MMT 70X
3W: :bridgestone-small: Tour B JGR 15* Recoil 460ES
3H, 4H: :bridgestone-small: Tour B JGR 19*, 23* Recoil 780ES
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Cut down the length of your driver.  Sounds like it is too long.  You will give up some yards, but you will have more control and be more consistent.  Would also consider what is making you be inconsistent.  Is it inside /out swing, over the top, etc.  are you over compensating, which leads to the hook. Have you thought about taking lessons just for the driver?

Driver: image.jpeg.fc52d8394e47b46eb4edf7c91cee6a3a.jpeg Epic Max 10.5

3 wood: image.jpeg.fc52d8394e47b46eb4edf7c91cee6a3a.jpeg Epic Max

3H, 4H, 5H, 6I-PW: image.jpeg.fc52d8394e47b46eb4edf7c91cee6a3a.jpeg Big Bertha 21

Wedges:  image.jpeg.67fa5c07d7a9bf3435e07576250c1333.jpeg CBX 48*, 54*, 58*

Putter: image.jpeg.45b37ce8f653908d0c5e280dc2a5a30b.jpeg Stroke Lab Double Wide

Ball:  image.png.31e04fcff2f02da06c87e776527834f0.png MTB-Black, image.png.1a61f074ce89df1bc7ab3c3550d5e74e.pngPro Soft, image.png.03268a11c8b91d58188b2554743f9bc2.png Elixir

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I carry a driver but weather I hit it depends on how I am feeling and the way I am swinging. On holes where I can get away with it, as there is a nice wide landing zone I will generally hit it, however if I am having a really good round and are up there to win the comp it will stay in the bag. 

One thing I did notice is that you have Sub Zero versions, when I was looking to change my driver and 3 wood I tried these and found them allot less consistent verses the standard Epic Flash.

One trick I was taught years ago was how to maximise your landing zone off the tee. Nowadays hit a fade so I was taught to tee up on the right edge of the tee box and aim at a point 10m from the left edge of the fairway. This provides a much bigger area for the ball to fade in to. You just have to remember to swing on the target line. Naturally if you hit a draw the opposite applies.

Edited by Firebird
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17 minutes ago, Firebird said:

One thing I did notice is that you have Sub Zero versions, when I was looking to change my driver and 3 wood I tried these and found them allot less consistent verses the standard Epic Flash.

I noticed that too. Testing a max ls and with my crappy swing it’s easier to keep in play compared to the EF SZ. 

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38 minutes ago, Firebird said:

One thing I did notice is that you have Sub Zero versions, when I was looking to change my driver and 3 wood I tried these and found them allot less consistent verses the standard Epic Flash.

 

20 minutes ago, rbsiedsc said:

I noticed that too. Testing a max ls and with my crappy swing it’s easier to keep in play compared to the EF SZ. 

On having the Epic Flash SZ: when I went for a driver fitting, my spin rate was so high that the fitter was throwing everything at it that he could to get that down. Unfortunately, the fitting (at a Callaway fitting day) was not done with a high-end LM, so it wasn't measuring AoA, but the spin rates I was seeing (upper 3,000s) were consistent with a negative AoA.

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:cobra-small: F6 5-6W, 18.5°, Fujikura Motore 6.3
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Driver is a weakness for me, as well.  I know that I'm losing shots with it over the courses of the game, and it's an area that I'm working on improving.  At 70 years of age, I know that I've lost significant distance off the tee and, although I've moved up a set of tees, I still find myself often having a FW or longer iron into the green.  For that reason, I believe that it's best for me to continue with my driver and continue to work toward minimizing the push fade that I tend to hit too often (I know why, but fixing it is a work in progress).  I'm also working to improve my impact on the sweet spot, knowing that this will improve my distances -- again, a work in progress.

Good luck in your quest to resolve your issues off the tee box.

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Driver: :ping-small: G400 Max 9 degree set to +1, Aldila Extreme Green 55 gram R shaft 

Fairway: :taylormade-small: M4 3W (16.5*) 5W (21*) 7W (24*) -- stock R shafts.

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I have a lot of the same struggles with the driver. Dispersion is inconsistent and I’m a high spin player. I dropped my driver for a strong 3 wood seeing as how the carry distance was nearly the same but I am in the fairway 80% of the time now. I gave the taylormade 300 mini driver a shot as well but saw better results with the tsi3 strong 3 wood. 

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I took my driver out of the bag earlier this year and I now carry two 3 Woods.  Identical head and shaft, but one is set to 16* and the other 13* with an inch added to length.  Also I can hit both of them iff the deck too.

I'm not a long hitter, but often out drive my driver weilding companions, and hit a few more fairways than before too.

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I don't understand how someone can hit a 3 wood quite well and be bad with a driver. My 3 wood is a club that I basically just take for a walk every couple of weeks as I hate hitting it.

Ultimately, playing golf is about getting the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible, so I'd say do whatever you need to do to achieve that. If that means benching the driver from play, maybe that's the right thing to do, but I'd always suggest working on how to hit it consistently, but do that away from the course. Driver is a weapon that shouldn't be ditched permanently, but if it hurts more than helps, it's not right, right now.

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9 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

 

On having the Epic Flash SZ: when I went for a driver fitting, my spin rate was so high that the fitter was throwing everything at it that he could to get that down. Unfortunately, the fitting (at a Callaway fitting day) was not done with a high-end LM, so it wasn't measuring AoA, but the spin rates I was seeing (upper 3,000s) were consistent with a negative AoA.

Did you check where you impact the face? I got high spin with very positive AoA (average was 4) because I would  strike low on face. After watching Monte’s Drive 4 Dough, saw his clip of lowering tee height influenced a more level and centered strike. Swing now around +1 degrees with much more centered strike 

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9 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

but the spin rates I was seeing (upper 3,000s) were consistent with a negative AoA.

If you are hitting with a positive angle bit make contact on the bottom of the driver face spin will be high. 

Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

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Ball: Titleist Prov1

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I'm an old hacker, but when the driver heads south, I'll choke up on the grip an inch or two to improve contact, control, and consistancy.  The larger driver  head  vs. the 3W gives greater confidence standing on the tee.  I've also adjusted my loft to 11.5 degrees to keep the ball in the air longer.  My best drive has been 245 yards vs about 200 for the 3W.

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Golf is supposed to be fun. Play whatever club you want off of the tee that gives you the best chance to score your lowest score. I'm an 8.9 index and I either use my 3 wood or 2 hybrid off of the tee depending on the hole. Remember, "fairways and greens". 

Steve Uhlenbrock
"The Happy Prof"

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On 8/17/2021 at 5:52 PM, RickyBobby_PR said:

The right way is to get the ball in the hole with the least amount of strokes. 
 

Ariya Jutangarn rarely even carries driver. 
 

Play golf the way that gives you enjoyment and let’s you score your best

It's all about fairways and greens - hit what works for you - even the pros know when to step away from the driver to assure "fairways and greens"!

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Take the stress away from your game by playing the 3 fairway off the tee. The game will be more enjoyable. Keep trying your driver with your local Pro. 

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11 minutes ago, Scotland4ever said:

It's all about fairways and greens - hit what works for you - even the pros know when to step away from the driver to assure "fairways and greens"!

It really isn’t about fairways.  Fairways are desirable but chasing fairways at all costs isn’t a good approach.  Data analytics has changed the way golf is played.  

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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15* set  to 16.5* w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 816H1 19* set at 18* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
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The experiment continued this morning. I did swap a shorter shaft into my driver, but I decided that today would be 3w on any hole I would normally have hit driver off the tee. The results:

  • Hole 1: 235 down the right side of the fairway
  • Hole 4: 218 in the fairway
  • Hole 5: sweeping draw, 243 in the middle
  • Hole 6: 219, high fade
  • Hole 8: 246, right rough, no problem
  • Hole 9: 187, lost it right, hit a tree and came back in the fairway

All told, Arccos gave me a -1.2 SG:Driving for the round, compared to my 10 round average of -5. I think that might be my best SG:Driving on the front nine of my course.

I am planning to go in for a driver fitting next month on a scheduled trip to the Twin Cities. I think I might keep playing 3w off the tee until then.

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:callaway-small: Epic Flash Sub Zero, 9°, Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI 70 X
:callaway-small: Mavrik Sub Zero 15°, Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI 70 S
:cobra-small: F6 5-6W, 18.5°, Fujikura Motore 6.3
:callaway-small: XR Pro 20°, Project X 75 Black HYB S
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4 minutes ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

The experiment continued this morning. I did swap a shorter shaft into my driver, but I decided that today would be 3w on any hole I would normally have hit driver off the tee. The results:

  • Hole 1: 235 down the right side of the fairway
  • Hole 4: 218 in the fairway
  • Hole 5: sweeping draw, 243 in the middle
  • Hole 6: 219, high fade
  • Hole 8: 246, right rough, no problem
  • Hole 9: 187, lost it right, hit a tree and came back in the fairway

All told, Arccos gave me a 1.2 SG:Driving for the round, compared to my 10 round average of -5. I think that might be my best SG:Driving on the front nine of my course.

I am planning to go in for a driver fitting next month on a scheduled trip to the Twin Cities. I think I might keep playing 3w off the tee until then.

Saw your Twitter post that you lost more strokes on your short game.  Did you have more or longer short game shots than normal or was it just a bad day with the wedges?   Seems like you didn’t put yourself if bad position off the tee so 3wd seems like a good option there. 

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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
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