Jump to content

I Dumped My Driver (at least for now)!


Recommended Posts

Like many, I struggle with consistency hitting my driver (Titleist TSi2 (2019??)).  At 76, I hit it around 200-230 when I catch it just right. I play at least twice a week; problem is, I never know who’s going to show up each round - the ball striker or the slicer!

So this week I retired my driver and used only my Cleveland Launcher 5-wood off the tee. I’ll admit, I hit it only around 180-200 yards, BUT, it was on a rope right down the middle! Every time!  On many holes I had to use it again for my 2nd shot but I was either on the green or very close.  It was one of my best rounds ever!

Now I’m wondering if I’ll ever go back to a driver. I’ve been very pig-headed about this for decades so it was a big deal for me!  It was an eye-opening experience.  Of the courses I play, I might consider the big D occasionally for the carry, but it could be a 3-wood instead!
 

I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks - if you kick him hard enough! 🤣
 

 

  • Like 4
  • Love 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm 71 and beginning the exact same "experiment" you just described.  Odd thing for me is I hit a 3 wood off the deck pretty well; off even a low tee not so much.

PXG 0211  12*  Paderson Kinetixx A flex

PXG 0211 5 and 7 Woods  Paderson Kinetixx A Flex

PXG 0211 5 and 5 Hybrids  MMT A Flex

Cobra 7 Hybrid  A Flex

PXG 8,9,PW,GW Vista Pro A Flex

Cleveland CBX 54/12

Cobra Vintage Nova 33"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently shelved my drivers and started playing my UDI 2 iron. However this time of the year rain makes the course soft and fast rolling shots are not really viable….. with that said neither are towering driver shots lol !

  • Like 1

Ever evolving WITB ~currently~

-Cobra ltdx-ls driver 9 degree / Hazardous smoke blue rdx 7.0                 -Cobra ltdx-ls fairway 13 degree / Hazardous smoke black rdx 7.0
-Callaway Apex utility wood 17 degree/ Hazardous smoke black rdx 6.5 tipped 1/2”                                                            - Taylor Made p790 UDI / Graphite Design Ud Iz 90-X tipped 1/2”                - Titlest ts3 hybrid 21 degree / Tensei AV raw blue X tipped 1”                           -Cobra tour MIM 4 iron / kbs C-taper 120 6.0                                                       -Cobra RF forged 5-Pw/ kbs C-taper 120 6.0
-Mizuno t20 wedges 50 & 54 / project x 6.0                                                              -Odyssey Stroke Lab number 9

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/5/2022 at 5:13 PM, burnsie said:

Like many, I struggle with consistency hitting my driver (Titleist TSi2 (2019??)).  At 76, I hit it around 200-230 when I catch it just right. I play at least twice a week; problem is, I never know who’s going to show up each round - the ball striker or the slicer!

So this week I retired my driver and used only my Cleveland Launcher 5-wood off the tee. I’ll admit, I hit it only around 180-200 yards, BUT, it was on a rope right down the middle! Every time!  On many holes I had to use it again for my 2nd shot but I was either on the green or very close.  It was one of my best rounds ever!

Now I’m wondering if I’ll ever go back to a driver. I’ve been very pig-headed about this for decades so it was a big deal for me!  It was an eye-opening experience.  Of the courses I play, I might consider the big D occasionally for the carry, but it could be a 3-wood instead!
 

I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks - if you kick him hard enough! 🤣
 

 

200-230 at 76? I think that's at the high end of club distance for our age. I'll be 76 in December and generally average now about 190ish occasionally I break the 200 + .and peak in the 170's for my 5W. Most of the guys I play with are in the same boat for age and distance. I did find that working out and/or lack of is making a difference in clubhead speed. I was consistently working out til May when we came back to Ohio - my numbers started to fall off since then - so it's back to the gym. Also you didn't mention how you arrived at the driver head and shaft combo you currently have. This past spring I upgraded from a 410/Alta Senior Shaft to a Taylormade SIM2 Max D with an AirSpeeder A flex shaft. That made a big difference so you might experiment with the head and shaft combo - that might met the distance expectations you're looking for. Note here's an 'unofficial review' of my upgrade.

 

 

Left Hand orientation

:taylormade-small:SIM 2 D Max with Fujikura Air Speeder Shaft 

Cobra King F-9  5 wood
:ping-small:  410  Hybrids 22*, 26*

Cobra Speed Zone 6-GP/Recoil ESX 460 F3 Shafts 

:titelist-small: SM7 54* Wedge

:ping-small: Glide 3.0  60* Wedge

:odyssey-small: O Works putter
:918457628_PrecisionPro:NX9-HD

:CaddyTek: - 4 Wheel 
:footjoy-small: - too many shoes to list and so many to buy

:1590477705_SunMountain: And  BAG Boy

Golf Balls: Snell MTB-X  And Vice Pro Plus 

2020 Official Tester :SuperSpeed: Beginning Driver Speed  - 78

2019 Official Tester :ping-small:  410 Driver

2018 Official Tester :wilson-small: C300

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/5/2022 at 10:32 PM, Bobbers said:

I'm 71 and beginning the exact same "experiment" you just described.  Odd thing for me is I hit a 3 wood off the deck pretty well; off even a low tee not so much.

Bobbers,  I had the same issue. So I just drop the ball behind the tee markers and hit off the deck. That’s why they call it golf — all the other 4-letter were taken!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/5/2022 at 10:32 PM, Bobbers said:

I'm 71 and beginning the exact same "experiment" you just described.  Odd thing for me is I hit a 3 wood off the deck pretty well; off even a low tee not so good. 

Bobbers,  I had the same issue. So I just drop the ball behind the tee markers and hit off the deck. That’s why they call it golf — all the other 4-letter were taken!

 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

58 minutes ago, tony@CIC said:

200-230 at 76? I think that's at the high end of club distance for our age. I'll be 76 in December and generally average now about 190ish occasionally I break the 200 + .and peak in the 170's for my 5W. Most of the guys I play with are in the same boat for age and distance. I did find that working out and/or lack of is making a difference in clubhead speed. I was consistently working out til May when we came back to Ohio - my numbers started to fall off since then - so it's back to the gym. Also you didn't mention how you arrived at the driver head and shaft combo you currently have. This past spring I upgraded from a 410/Alta Senior Shaft to a Taylormade SIM2 Max D with an AirSpeeder A flex shaft. That made a big difference so you might experiment with the head and shaft combo - that might met the distance expectations you're looking for. Note here's an 'unofficial review' of my upgrade.

 

 

Tony,  the operative phrase is.. “when I catch it just right.”  AND I need the roll! 😆

Great point about working out. I’ve slacked off a lot these day. Need to get back on schedule. 

Nice choice on your new driver!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, tony@CIC said:

Also you didn't mention how you arrived at the driver head and shaft combo you currently have.
 

I forgot to mention, my brother-in-law works for Titleist so I got my driver new from the factory with their “regular” shaft for half price. 🫢    Never tried getting fitted or experimenting with different shafts. Something to look into!

Thanks!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, burnsie said:

Also you didn't mention how you arrived at the driver head and shaft combo you currently have.
 

I forgot to mention, my brother-in-law works for Titleist so I got my driver new from the factory with their “regular” shaft for half price. 🫢    Never tried getting fitted or experimenting with different shafts. Something to look into!

Thanks!

Now THAT is the brother-in-law from heaven...well done.  And if that gent happens to need another cousin I'm available, and would only expect (but appreciate) let's say a 40% discount.  Keep it in mind.

  • Haha 2

PXG 0211  12*  Paderson Kinetixx A flex

PXG 0211 5 and 7 Woods  Paderson Kinetixx A Flex

PXG 0211 5 and 5 Hybrids  MMT A Flex

Cobra 7 Hybrid  A Flex

PXG 8,9,PW,GW Vista Pro A Flex

Cleveland CBX 54/12

Cobra Vintage Nova 33"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I bench the driver a few times a year.  I roll with my 3-wood off the tee.  I did just pick up the new Taylormade Stealth 2 iron.  Lose some distance, but much more accurate/consistent so I'll take it.  

  • Like 1

Bag: Big Max Dri Lite Summit Black/Red

Driver: Callaway GBB Epic

3 Wood: Callaway Epix Max - Project X HZRDUS Smoke iM10 60g

2 Iron: TaylorMade Stealth UDI - KBS Tour 120g Stiff

4-AW Irons: TaylorMade P790 - KBS Tour 120g Stiff *fitted

54* & 58* Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5

Putter: Mizuno M Craft I Blue

Ball: Vice Pro Plus

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know that for me, hitting driver for a long time was hit or miss until I worked out some issues with a lesson. I'm 47 but my driver swing tops out at around 100mph so I've never been a masher. When things were off, I just used my 3w to tee off and be in the fairway, but I would still miss greens a lot from some longer distances. Research shows that the driver is still the best play for many golfers, I know higher lofted heads or drivers that are adjustable tend to fit me better and keep me in the fairway further out than a 3/4w does. 

Of course, that said - I'm looking out for a 3/4w for my bag right now for those tighter holes where I'd rather hit a 200 yard fairway shot rather than be hitting 3 from the tee. 

  • Like 1

In my  :wilson_staff_small:  carry bag:
:callaway-small: Mavrik Max 10.5* R Flex Evenflow RipTide
:cleveland-small: Hy-Wood
:cleveland-small: Launcher 5h
:wilson_staff_small: D200 6i-PW
:cleveland-small: CBX 54* & 58*
:cleveland-small: #10
:bridgestone-small: e12 Contact
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

77.  I no longer carry a driver or any fairway woods and haven't for some time now.  Works for me.  I carry a Ping G30 Stretch 3 wood (*13) adjustable, and 4 Cleveland XLS hybrids (16*, 22*, 25*, 28*).  The longest iron in my bag is a 7i (Callaway Mavrik) 8i, 9i, P, G, PM grind 56* and 60*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am only 38 but I have moved into a "thriver" setup that is working (mostly) for me and much better than my standard driver. I play a 13* Nike Driver with a 43" shaft so it is closer to a 3 wood except it is 460cc and thus it is a tee only club. It goes fairly high and spins a good bit but I find it much easier to catch it out of the center most days. Good luck @burnsie with your setup and never stop experimenting! 

Nike Sumo 13* Driver - Pinhawk 20* OL Hybrid - PTxPro 5-PW - Equalizer II Wedges - LAB Golf DF 2.1 Putter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course you realize that this flies in the face of the "Stroked Gained" analytics.    If you are throwing away strokes off the tee (topped, heeled, OB), then it makes sense.  But all the analytics say you are better off  with an iron or hybrid in than a 5w, all other things being equal.   I would think you could look at a higher loft driver (say, 12 or 13 degree) -- maybe with a shorter shaft, or not.  That would seem to be a better option.  A driver will have a lot more forgiveness than a fairway wood off a tee.    I was fitted for a 12 loft Ping driver a few years back and could find fairway probably 80 - 90 % of the time.   Problem was it maxed out at around 200, and that was too short for the courses and tees I was playing.  Disclosure, I am 63 and a 10 HDCP, so I understand the continuing challenge of finding distance.     

I don't buy the SG analytics for everyone... just sayin'.   For instance, the SG says you should take 3w and bomb it as far as you can on par 5's and get as close to the green as you can.   That's fine if you ignore the mis-hits and crooked shots that add strokes.  230 yards out on a Par 5 is probably 2 pitching wedges if I chose to play it that way.   Better than the topped 3w that went 25 yards-- and I am still 210 out and have to (try to) hit 3w again!     

Still, I would evaluate other driver options, because on average (per the analytics), you will be better with the added distance and forgiveness.     

Edited by saz0418
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

or you could move up a tee or 2. It is just a game after all and meant to be fun. 5 wood, 7 iron, birdie sounds like more fun than 5 wood, 5 wood, chipping. My group is just getting to 70 and we play from several tees.

When the driver returns to form, either that one or a fitted new one, you can always move back.

I agree with others that adding a little loft and a really good shaft for your swing would help with wayward balls. The whole equipment scene right now is not geared for seniors. When we started with wooden drivers the general rule was around 12 degrees of loft for the driver.  Maybe start there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/5/2022 at 5:13 PM, burnsie said:

Like many, I struggle with consistency hitting my driver (Titleist TSi2 (2019??)).  At 76, I hit it around 200-230 when I catch it just right. I play at least twice a week; problem is, I never know who’s going to show up each round - the ball striker or the slicer!

So this week I retired my driver and used only my Cleveland Launcher 5-wood off the tee. I’ll admit, I hit it only around 180-200 yards, BUT, it was on a rope right down the middle! Every time!  On many holes I had to use it again for my 2nd shot but I was either on the green or very close.  It was one of my best rounds ever!

Now I’m wondering if I’ll ever go back to a driver. I’ve been very pig-headed about this for decades so it was a big deal for me!  It was an eye-opening experience.  Of the courses I play, I might consider the big D occasionally for the carry, but it could be a 3-wood instead!
 

I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks - if you kick him hard enough! 🤣
 

 

I was once in a similar situation.  I would slice my driver but hit my fairway woods dead straight off the tee.  I was on the range one day and the club pro happened to walk by.  I mentioned my issue and he had me hit my driver and 3 wood for him.  Basically he said my swing with the two different clubs was vastly different.  Wirh my 3&5 woods I brought it from the inside resulting in straight to slight draw every time.  With the driver, no surprise, I was coming over the top. He had me focus on coming from the inside with the driver.  Using alignment sticks, I was able to groove an inside out swing which has held up for me over the last few years.  I've gained distance and accuracy.  

Bottome line, IMO, if you can hit your fairway woods straight, you'll be able to fix your driver.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/19/2022 at 4:33 AM, MWL_9 said:

I bench the driver a few times a year.  I roll with my 3-wood off the tee.  I did just pick up the new Taylormade Stealth 2 iron.  Lose some distance, but much more accurate/consistent so I'll take it.  

Same but it's the Mini Driver that saves me most of the time. The 4 Wood or Driving Iron is also a good fairway finder for me and the driver(s) are getting better as I go through lessons and fittings. 

I just started played again after stepping away for about 10 years, then having back surgery.

 

Screenshot 2022-08-20 082051.png

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot of interesting comments on this subject!  Thanks for all the feedback.  I see I’m not the only one.  

Problem is, I’m just not ready mentally to give up the driver (even though I have lately!)

I think I’m going to take Bear1’s advice and try to fix my driver issues with a lesson or two. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, burnsie said:

Problem is, I’m just not ready mentally to give up the driver (even though I have lately!)

I think I’m going to take Bear1’s advice and try to fix my driver issues with a lesson or two. 

Kinda same for me, so lessons and fittings have helped

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...