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I'm curious if the more instructor minded folks on these forums have tips for me in this area. I'm usually able to get to the range once or twice a week. Recently, I've also been practicing just swinging at home and am getting my driver speed up to around 108, with some peaks of 115. When I went to the range today, I was completely off. At first, I was trying to smash it, but then I went back to 106 or so SS to control it better, but probably half of my shots were off line. Before, my driving range sessions were pretty good and I was hitting the driver well enough to focus mostly on other clubs.

 

So my question is, is swinging my driver at home without a ball a bad idea? Or should I keep it up and consider today an anomaly? I wish I could get to the range more often, but it's not possible, so I try to practice something at home daily. I'm hoping to get my HC to the low teens this year...

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Without seeing your swing or knowing exactly what happened at the range, I would simply ask this: When you swing at home (or practice on the range), what is the purpose? Are you trying to build speed, make some kind of change, or are you swinging just to swing? My initial reaction is that practicing at home is great as long as there is a purpose.


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Thanks for the reply Matt.

 

My purpose at home is to get my swing speed up and on a consistent plane. I try to imagine a ball where it usually would be and swing as if to hit it. I use my medicus to judge my speed. I just worried I may be doing something that will cause more harm than good.

 

Usually my purpose on the range with my driver is to watch my ball flight and get it straight and not too high.

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Thanks for the reply Matt.

 

My purpose at home is to get my swing speed up and on a consistent plane. I try to imagine a ball where it usually would be and swing as if to hit it. I use my medicus to judge my speed. I just worried I may be doing something that will cause more harm than good.

 

Usually my purpose on the range with my driver is to watch my ball flight and get it straight and not too high.

 

IMHO, Just from the post above you say that you want to lower your handicap. However, I think you might be looking at this goal in the complete wrong way and practicing the wrong things during the winter. Lets be honest you don't need to have a 115 swing speed to play o a single digit handicap you need a good swing. I am not sure what you handicap is but you say lower teens is your goal which tells me you are a 15+

 

This will probably help anyone thinking that distance will lead to better scoring, because it won't if you are not consistent and accurate when increasing distance. You want to eliminate the big number protect par with your life.

 

 

Here are the things that I tend to work on in the winter.

1) I work on my basics, address positions and grip. I want to have a good spine angle, grip, and alignment.

2) I work on my impact positions using an impact bag, this is most important thing about the golf swing, proper positions at impact.

3) i work on what is the weak point of my swing the most, for me it is tempo and transition.

--> whatever you feel needs the most improvement in your swing ()a lot of people it is the transition into the downswing not casting.

 

If you notice distance isn't one of them. A common misconception about lowering your handicap that you have to hit it farther, well you can thank marketing from OEMs for that bull s***. To play to a lower handicap you need the following in your swing.

 

Before I get into a lot of breakdown on how it would improve high to mid handicappers games I wan to say one thing that might change your mind on what area you choose to focus on over the winter. THINK ABOUT PLAYING GOLF FROM THE GREEN TO THE TEE.

 

Majority of players would show improvement in handicap by practicing and putting better. Getting your puts down to 28-32 is the ultimate goal in a single round. Most people will take around 35-40 putts in a round of 90.

 

Then once you have your putting down work on wedges anything from 100 yards an in, you need to get these shots into 10 feet from the hole 15' at worst to really give yourself a chance to make the putt.

 

In the fairway you need to have a solid iron game to hit more GIR protect par is your goal with birdie as a bi-product always aiming for the center of the green is not a bad play.

 

Then once your iron game is good work on hitting more fairways for the tee to get yourself in a prime position for the approach shots. This will give you more opportunity not to be scrambling to save par and in turn lower yuor scores. KEEP THE BALL IN PLAY off the tee.

 

After you get all of that down then you can start to think about working out and getting a little more muscle mass to help you lag the club a little more and release the club properly harder. I honestly would take 105 off the tee all day long if i know I'm not gonna be OB, in a hazard, in the trees, if i have an open shot into the green from the fairway that is a great shot off the tee regardless of if it is 250 or 350.

 

The difference between a 8 handicap and a 3 handicap is mostly short game and putting. The difference between a 3 handicap and a +4 is fine tuning the swing and getting a even better short game and putter.


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Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Black Satin (Blade) 60-10 @ 35.25", 64.00* w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold s400

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Last time I measured, I was a 19 HC, but I'm pretty sure I've improved since then. Since about the end of July last season, I stopped taking score and played mainly to work on shots without getting hung up on score. During the season, on weeks I can't get on the course, I try to at least get to a pitch and putt to practice short game and putting.

 

I practice putting nearly every day on my basement carpet. I hit balls at the face of a wedge and use a laser level to check my alignment. After I hit three balls at the wedge, I practice chipping into a net, Rinse and repeat until all the balls are in the center hole of the net.

 

At the range, probably half the balls I hit are wedge shots where I aim at various flags. The driver is just another piece I practice and I usually hit it very straight, but today was pretty bad. I admit I should probably work on my irons more, but hitting the ball far is just fun. On the course (when taking score) I agree with you about taking a 105 over 115 since I'd be more accurate.

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I admit I should probably work on my irons more, but hitting the ball far is just fun.

 

LOL... That is the number one issue with male golfers that we all just have to get over which is our own stupid egos. If you want to score well leave your ego at the door and play YOUR game, it doesn't matter what club you hit and how far you hit it. What matters is that you get the job done and that is to make par or better.

 

I get more satisfaction from this game by scoring well then putting the ball out 300+ yards, I have a swing speed on a driver that is 115mph bit that doesn't do me any good if i put the ball into the trees, ob, a hazard. I try to eliminate the big number by driving the ball in play. To do that I can't swing out of my shoes and expect good results, if i wanted to I probably could swing a lot harder to 120 but that will be military golf. left, left, right, left.

 

I played golf with a 70 year old man that only hit the ball 240 off the tee I was by him by about 50 yards on every hole but you know what he ended up beating me in score that day and in the end that's how we are measured in golf our scores which give us the handicap number.

 

A score card doesn't have pictures 4 strokes on a par 4 does matter if your tee shot was 300 or 250. you got it in the hole in 4 strokes and made par.

 

So in short nah I'm not gonna give you any advice on how to hit it farther as a high handicap I am giving you advice on how to play better.


KZG VC-420 ML (10.5* Loft & 0.2* Open Face Angle) @ 44.50" (2" Bore Depth) w/ Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7 Stiff

Tour Edge Exotics CB3 Tour 16.5* @ 42.50" w/ RT Technologies Zeus (85g) Stiff (Tipped 1/2")

Srixon Z U45 19.0* @ 39.75" w/ KBS Tour-V X-Stiff (Soft Stepped 1x)

Cleveland 588 MB 3-P @ 38.75" - 35.25" (0.25" under), 60.5* - 64.0* (0.5* upright), 22* - 48* (1* weak) w/ KBS Tour-V X-Stiff (Soft Stepped 1x)

Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Black Satin (Blade) 54-12 @ 35.25", 64.00* w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold s400

Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Black Satin (Blade) 60-10 @ 35.25", 64.00* w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold s400

Lamkin UTX Wrap, Including Grip Core: 1/32 over (top hand), 1/16 over (bottom hand)

Srixon Z-Star

 

Golf Swing & Putting -- Bruce Rearick (Burnt Edges Consulting)

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My advice? Stop practicing the driver at home with no ball, that could cause a multitude of problems IMO, and it can create more problems than it can fix. At home, work on putting and chipping (unless your yard is huge, then hit whatever you want. I have 3 acres, with 2 of those being behind my house. I'll work on 9 iron down at home because I have the space to do so). I also chip and putt a lot at home. I work on positions and impact as well as my setup, grip, etc. I don't hit my driver when I get time to go to the range, instead I hit my clubs that are 165 and in (8 iron down) mostly, with the occasional long iron and hybrid practice. The 3 wood is the longest club I'll ever hit and never more than 10 balls. I don't work on driver at the range unless I have a video camera and full length mirror and it's the only club I'm working on that day. This way I can review my swings and see the flaws that need fixing. I recently sold the longest driver I've ever had because of the fact that it's also more erratic than the R11 I played all last season. I replaced it with a Tour Issued R11 DOT that I'm waiting on the shaft to get here for. Why back to that particular clubhead? Because even if it's 15 yards shorter like my R11 was, I'll take controllable all day long. Distance has never been my problem, accuracy is what gets me into trouble at times. I could hit the Superfast 2.0 v2 I just sold 315 (verified on Trackman), but if it's 315 and a 40 yard window that it'll land in, well, that can get me into trouble when I need to position my ball into a certain place on the course to give me the best angle. I've recently been carrying a 13 degree 3 wood that I pound on for control. I hit that club 265 on average (Trackman verified) and I can control it like the ball is on a string. Hopefully I can take it out of the bag after dialing the R11 in when the shaft gets here.

 

And I'll agree with you, hitting driver is fun, but it's not very productive unless you are recording the swings and can analyze the flaws.


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Swinging the club at home is probably nothing more than just a form of exercise. When you swing at home, you have no way of knowing how well you are squaring the club face at impact.

 

I once read about someone who hit into a net in his basement all winter long, and thought he was hitting it well, only to go out in the spring and discover that he had developed a screaming hook. This guy was feeling solid impact, but couldn't see the ball flight to know he wasn't squaring the clubface properly.

 

I assume you are just swinging the club without even hitting a ball. So you have no feedback on ball flight or impact to guide you in squaring the clubface. You need to see the ball flight in conjunction with impact to make the necessary adjustments to improve your swing. So the swing that feels good at home, with good swing speed, may not be anywhere close to a correct swing that will hit the ball solid and straight.

 

The only suggestion I can think of is to go outside and hit wiffle balls. That should provide reasonable feedback for getting the clubface square at impact.

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Don't stop swinging at home, I repeat, don't stop swinging at home. If you are working on plane and not just swinging out of your rear, it wil help. I usually take 150-200 cuts a day with my driver at home, working on nothing but plane. I hadn't picked up a club in two days (range session Friday) and when I went to the course today my plane was off and I was spraying my driver everywhere, by the time I got it fixed, I was 7 over and that's exactly where I finished.

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Don't stop swinging at home, I repeat, don't stop swinging at home. If you are working on plane and not just swinging out of your rear, it wil help. I usually take 150-200 cuts a day with my driver at home, working on nothing but plane. I hadn't picked up a club in two days (range session Friday) and when I went to the course today my plane was off and I was spraying my driver everywhere, by the time I got it fixed, I was 7 over and that's exactly where I finished.

 

I actually got the idea watching Haney where he told his students to take 100 swings a day. I like the idea of hitting whiffle balls. I have those practice golf balls with holes, but they don't last more than a shot or two each. Still, I can see the arguments for and against swinging without a ball at home.

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wd

 

So you had a bad day at the driving range. Get over it. I shot a 96 on Friday. Saturday, I shot a 69 on the first 18 and 74 on the next 18. A 96 to a 69 is a true turn around. Shot probably a 76 on Thursday. I was not particularly discouraged on Friday. I just did not have a good swing and the short game was not able to make it up. (It was also a 25 mph wind, cold and wet.) but it was the same on Saturday.

 

 

You will probably turn it around next time. If you continue to drive the ball poorly then there may be an actual problem but Tuesday I went to Dallas intending to get fit for a driver shaft. I did not have my swing. Sprayed the ball all over the room, low swing speed, low launch, high backspin, then started overswinging to compensate, and decided during the warm up not pay money to get fit when not swinging well.

 

Wednesday, I talked to my pro, told him what happened he said, "Low swing speed?, Low Launch?, High Backspin? Your ball is too far back." I went out and killed the ball every since. Drove the ball further than I have in months. Out drove a 17 year old high school golf kid all day long Saturday and he was impressed. He even said something later in the day.

 

So a bad driving range session is nothing to worry too much about. Sergio is probably not wondering what he should do differently.


 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

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wd

 

So you had a bad day at the driving range. Get over it. I shot a 96 on Friday. Saturday, I shot a 69 on the first 18 and 74 on the next 18. A 96 to a 69 is a true turn around. Shot probably a 76 on Thursday. I was not particularly discouraged on Friday. I just did not have a good swing and the short game was not able to make it up. (It was also a 25 mph wind, cold and wet.) but it was the same on Saturday.

 

 

You will probably turn it around next time. If you continue to drive the ball poorly then there may be an actual problem but Tuesday I went to Dallas intending to get fit for a driver shaft. I did not have my swing. Sprayed the ball all over the room, low swing speed, low launch, high backspin, then started overswinging to compensate, and decided during the warm up not pay money to get fit when not swinging well.

 

Wednesday, I talked to my pro, told him what happened he said, "Low swing speed?, Low Launch?, High Backspin? Your ball is too far back." I went out and killed the ball every since. Drove the ball further than I have in months. Out drove a 17 year old high school golf kid all day long Saturday and he was impressed. He even said something later in the day.

 

So a bad driving range session is nothing to worry too much about. Sergio is probably not wondering what he should do differently.

 

I probably mis-titled this topic. The issue isn't really about having a bad day at the range, it's whether or not my at home practice is helping or hindering my game. The main reason I ask this is I cannot get to the range more than twice a week, usually it's only once, so I have to do something at home. I've been practicing my putting and chipping a lot since I can do it indoor. I figured I can also practice my driver in the backyard because it won't tear apart my yard.

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To those that say they work on "swinging on plane" at home: What do you do check that you're on plane? Mirror? Video?

 

Nothing other than seeing the driver head in the area I'm swinging, which is a best guess really. Hitting at a tee is not much better. I swing outside because ceilings in MA aren't built for indoor driver swings, often at night, so neither video or mirror are a good option. I'm happy to take any recommendations to improve my routine though.

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On the new "Haney Project" he told all four of his new students to do 100 swings per day without a ball. All the way back, all the way through. As long as you practice the right swing, it can only help. If you practice the wrong swing so that may cause more problems. You might video your swing a couple of times, if you do not do it in a mirror just to insure you are accomplishing what you want.

 

You know, I just thought of this, when I was doing some swing changes, I practiced at night with a club grip and shaft cut off just below the grip, then I practiced with a club but no ball. The first time at the course with the ball, I was horrible. And went back to my old swing. I kept practicing at home but everytime on the course, I was horrible, and did not stick with it. Finally, after the layoff with the back problems, when I went back i was able to incorperate the new stuff. But it was entirely different with the ball. Stick with it.

 

 

I am fighting to much draw. I take too strong of a grip and come inside too far but swing in to out and I draw the ball and end up 10 to 15 yards left of the flag. I am having to weaken my grip and not come back inside too far. But I will do this at home a lot before trying to do it out there. I have been doing it on the range those few times I stop on the range, but I know it will not be easy to do. So for now, I am aiming right. It is not too bad because I eliminate the entire right side which is great on the front 9. OB is on the right on the front 9.


 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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Now that you mention it, I was wondering what is the correct way to increase clubhead speed.

 

When I did my fitting at Mizuno, the guy said SS has little to do with muscle and brute force, it's all about technique.

 

He proved it by beating my SS of 95mph by 10mph and the guy shorter and skinnier.

 

So that got me confused. Some say it's technique, some say it's muscle and mass.

 

Assuming both are correct or should be combined, what would be the right way to increase SS? Any drills or areas to pay attention to?

 

Sorry for the thread hijack wd :unsure:

 

But you are right, driving at the range is fun! Actually, that's the club I practice the most to fix the slice. I have less trouble with putting, chipping and irons.


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Now that you mention it, I was wondering what is the correct way to increase clubhead speed.

 

When I did my fitting at Mizuno, the guy said SS has little to do with muscle and brute force, it's all about technique.

 

He proved it by beating my SS of 95mph by 10mph and the guy shorter and skinnier.

 

So that got me confused. Some say it's technique, some say it's muscle and mass.

 

Assuming both are correct or should be combined, what would be the right way to increase SS? Any drills or areas to pay attention to?

 

Sorry for the thread hijack wd :unsure:

 

But you are right, driving at the range is fun! Actually, that's the club I practice the most to fix the slice. I have less trouble with putting, chipping and irons.

 

That is the better question for sure, You increase club head speed with lag and release of your arms and hands. When you have two golf balls throw one using only your arm (right hand for me) don't put any body action into the throw. Leave the ball where it lands then throw a second one putting your entire body into the throw. This will show you that with putting your entire body into the throw only gains you an additional 5 yards maybe 10 at the most. (This is just a visualization of how to generate a lot of speed with your arms only instead of your body).

 

To properly increase club head speed it comes from lagging the club properly in transition (moving the hips first) then releasing the club with your arms extending the trailing arm and slightly rotating the arms back to square flat left wrist. Let look at the 'down the line' view of Ernie Els golf swing (www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUrhiDybiho) paying close attention to the transition and downswing of his lower body and where his arms and hands are during the downswing and release. They pause this video a lot and draw lines all over so it is a great example to take a look at.

 

you want to get the club into the 'slot' with the hips turned slightly open to target and right elbow near the right hip (for a RH). Then you release by extending and rotating the arms, the body stays pretty quite through the swing in comparison. You want to generate the power slowly on the down swing and really start to go for it with the arms from the 'slot' rather then the top of the swing.

 

Now you always want to stay in balance and not lose control of your body, you will need to feel that your body is swinging about 60% of what it does currently (that is for over swingers it will actually be working more around 75 to 80%).

 

Another way to visualize and understand the release is that hole the club straight and move only your shoulders and body to turn the club face from open to close, it won't turn the head very fast at all. Then only turn the head open to closed with your wrists as fast as possible you will notice how much faster the club head turns from side to side.

 

Also stand at address doing nothing but opening the club with your wrists where your arms would be in a V, then close them by making an X with your forearms as fast as possible (at the V position your left hand is pointed at the ground and right hand at the sky, at the X position your right hand is pointed at the ground and left hand at the sky.) That move right there is the release, from 3" behind the ball to 3' in front of the ball. You just have to time it well with your shoulders and body to square the face but that's where all the power comes from is that move, how hard you cross your arms from V to X position. Here is a video of Ernie Els on a driver I want you to focus on what his arms arm doing between 0:13 and 0:16 of this video --> www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sCYiLnbQJ8

 

Hope that helps you out a little in getting the arms to do your work and lag the club then release for pure power. Here is a guy that has a shoulder turn of 166* and a huge amount of lag that is 150 pounds and 5'11" that will drive it over 400 yards. Most of us can stick to a 90* shoulder turn and parallel to the ground, but he doesn't look like a body builder it is all technique.


KZG VC-420 ML (10.5* Loft & 0.2* Open Face Angle) @ 44.50" (2" Bore Depth) w/ Graphite Design Tour AD DI-7 Stiff

Tour Edge Exotics CB3 Tour 16.5* @ 42.50" w/ RT Technologies Zeus (85g) Stiff (Tipped 1/2")

Srixon Z U45 19.0* @ 39.75" w/ KBS Tour-V X-Stiff (Soft Stepped 1x)

Cleveland 588 MB 3-P @ 38.75" - 35.25" (0.25" under), 60.5* - 64.0* (0.5* upright), 22* - 48* (1* weak) w/ KBS Tour-V X-Stiff (Soft Stepped 1x)

Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Black Satin (Blade) 54-12 @ 35.25", 64.00* w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold s400

Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Black Satin (Blade) 60-10 @ 35.25", 64.00* w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold s400

Lamkin UTX Wrap, Including Grip Core: 1/32 over (top hand), 1/16 over (bottom hand)

Srixon Z-Star

 

Golf Swing & Putting -- Bruce Rearick (Burnt Edges Consulting)

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Now that you mention it, I was wondering what is the correct way to increase clubhead speed.

 

When I did my fitting at Mizuno, the guy said SS has little to do with muscle and brute force, it's all about technique.

 

He proved it by beating my SS of 95mph by 10mph and the guy shorter and skinnier.

 

So that got me confused. Some say it's technique, some say it's muscle and mass.

 

Assuming both are correct or should be combined, what would be the right way to increase SS? Any drills or areas to pay attention to?

 

Sorry for the thread hijack wd :unsure:

 

But you are right, driving at the range is fun! Actually, that's the club I practice the most to fix the slice. I have less trouble with putting, chipping and irons.

 

It's odd how effortless a 106mph swing can feel. I'm tall, but lanky so I'd say technique is most important. When I first figured out how, I though my meter was off until it was confirmed the next day when I was trying too hard and hitting 95mph. One thing I've found when I'm swinging well is after a range session, my shoulders, upper back, and leg muscles have slight soreness. When I was trying too hard, it was my arms that were sore.

 

When I was taking lessons, my instructor told me I should feel a pop in my hands in my swing. This is the lag catching up with your arms/body.

 

Another great tip I got off the golf channel was from Tom Watson. He advises people to take practice swings and make their swoosh as loud as possible. It's pretty unscientific, but you can definitely hear the difference between a 95 and 105mph swing.

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To those that say they work on "swinging on plane" at home: What do you do check that you're on plane? Mirror? Video?

 

Nothing other than seeing the driver head in the area I'm swinging, which is a best guess really. Hitting at a tee is not much better. I swing outside because ceilings in MA aren't built for indoor driver swings, often at night, so neither video or mirror are a good option. I'm happy to take any recommendations to improve my routine though.

 

Back to the topic. I forgot a detail. Before my routine, I stretch and warm up with the orange whip. It's a really helpful tool for lag, balance, and tempo. After 10-20 driver swings, I swing the whip again to get the proper feeling back.

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