Fighting The Driver

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Fighting The Driver Empty Fighting The Driver

Post by Conehead on Tue 31 Jul 2012, 12:32 pm

My love / hate relationship with my Driver is reaching breaking point.

14 fairways hit one week and then the next I can't hit it to save my life and have wild slices,pull hooks, tops the lot.

I had a lesson a few weeks back and hit it amazing so my teacher couldn't even tell me what I'm doing wrong as I only hit good drives. Went to the range last night and I was hitting my 6 iron further that's how bad I was connecting with my driver. I had a really low trajectory and was either pull hooking them or massively slicing them.

Anyone else struggle as bad as I do with "The Big Dog"? It really does make or break my round as my irons are rock solid.

I've started taking a lot of 5 woods off the tee as i'm consistent with that but I'm playing a course in a few weeks time where length is needed so won't get away with 200 yard 5 wood shots yet I'll be 3 off the tee a lot if I don't somehow gain some type of consistency.

Got a lesson booked again soon and I know it's hard for anyone to give tips without seeing my swing but if anyone out there who hits the driver well has any nuggets of wisdom or tips that have worked for them feel free to share!

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Post by incontinentia on Tue 31 Jul 2012, 12:47 pm

Yes I struggle sometimes with the driver for me it's usually a ball position issue (ball too far back in stance). Maybe you could check your set-up and make sure that it's correct for the driver i.e. ball in line with left heel, weight favouring right foot etc. Other than that maybe try some impact tape and see if your problems have anything to do with an off-centre hit.
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Post by SetupDeterminesTheMotion on Tue 31 Jul 2012, 1:47 pm

Sounds like an over the top swing. Arms going before the body, giving a lovely out to in swing.

The ones going left is when the clubface is closed, the fade is when you leave the face open.

The problem could be in your take away, bring it inside & causing you to have a big loop on the way down.

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Post by twoeightnine on Tue 31 Jul 2012, 1:57 pm

Can't give you any advice but do have sympathy. Mine is gives out a very mixed bag! I played a round a couple of months ago and was hitting the ball beautifully, then all of a sudden about the 14th hole I stepped up to the ball and a little voice inside my head said, "you're going to hit one of these badly." Why? Of course I did!

I have the same thing as you when I go for a lesson and hit the ball well. I wonder if maybe I am get a little more tired on the course or think less.

One thing that I have realised is that my course is relatively forgiving off the tee so I can get away with being a little wayward but when I play on other courses my wayward nature is highlighted. So I wonder whether if I played on a different course I would learn to be straighter.

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Post by barragan on Tue 31 Jul 2012, 1:58 pm

same problem here -

i hate practicing with the driver, so never really get round to fixing it. tend to rely on long irons / hybrid off the tee, meaning longer irons into greens. only tend to use driver from 4 of our tees, though not especially long course at just over 6500 yards, and only twice a round at my away course. i think one of the main issues for me(and probably many others) is the setup is incorrect. just bought it off the shelf, and for a start its got a 46" shaft. i'm only 5'10", so thats probably a bit longer than required. still no real prospect of getting a new driver in the near future, so i'm stuck with it for now.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Tue 31 Jul 2012, 2:19 pm

Have a similar problem (it's not an out-to-in path for me) and my main miss is a high block/fade. After a few of them I start subconsciously keeping my weight back at impact and then I start hitting pull-hooks.
Went back to a 13° 3-wood recently and I don't have any problems with that so have just bought two older, smaller-headed drivers (Callaway GBB and a Titleist 975d) which, so far, on the range are way better than all of the balloon-on-a-stick 460cc drivers I've tried. Re-gripped them both after trimming shaft for a 44" finished length as well. Only tried the 975d on the course once so far and I hit the first 8 fairways I used it on. Went a bit awry on the last few holes but definitely enough of a confidence booster to keep going with it.
It's obviously me and not the big drivers that're the issue but I've pretty much given up on them now. As a bonus, I'd forgotten how great the 975d feels as well - very solid.
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Post by mystiroakey on Tue 31 Jul 2012, 7:32 pm

A driver is a low degree club, so it makes sense that it can go wrong more than other clubs. It exagerates the problems in your swing

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Post by Conehead on Wed 01 Aug 2012, 12:19 pm

Had a lesson last night and set up and head movment seemed the main issue.

I was playing the ball a bit too far back in my stance so moved that forward a few inches and I was moving my head to the left to get it in line with the ball instead of hanging back on impact. Straight away those changes made a huge difference. I was sliding my hips to the left as well when i moved my head which was also killing my ball striking.

Nothing wrong with the actual swing, just basic mistakes that a pro spotted within a couple of swings. Just need to make sure I realise now when i'm falling into bad habits.

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Post by raycastleunited on Thu 02 Aug 2012, 6:35 pm

SetupDeterminesTheMotion wrote:Sounds like an over the top swing. Arms going before the body, giving a lovely out to in swing.

The ones going left is when the clubface is closed, the fade is when you leave the face open.

The problem could be in your take away, bring it inside & causing you to have a big loop on the way down.


Any suggestions for how to fix an over the top swing?

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Thu 02 Aug 2012, 7:26 pm

This is my go to fix for when I slip into starting an over the top downswing.

Once I reach the top, I feel like I move my arms down to squeeze the side of my torso. Then I consciously try to swing out through the golf ball with the club head moving from 7 o'clock though to 1 o'clock Target line sits on 12 o'clock through 6 o'clock.

Hope this helps

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Post by raycastleunited on Thu 02 Aug 2012, 8:03 pm

1GrumpyGolfer wrote:This is my go to fix for when I slip into starting an over the top downswing.

Once I reach the top, I feel like I move my arms down to squeeze the side of my torso. Then I consciously try to swing out through the golf ball with the club head moving from 7 o'clock though to 1 o'clock Target line sits on 12 o'clock through 6 o'clock.

Hope this helps

Thanks Grumps. That's exactly what I do too. I've been using that method to fight coming over the top for the last couple of years, some days I win the fight, some days I don't! Just wondering if anybody had any other tips.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 02 Aug 2012, 9:04 pm

Conehead

I can well sympathize with driver problems as it is by far the biggest weakness in my game. Many well bang on about the importance of the short game, which it is, but when you struggle with the driver it means you start the whole with too much pressure on other parts of your game.

This is doubly problematic for me as my three wood is even worse. I feel my irons are quite good but I never get the chance to use that advantage because i am either hitting a long iron instead of a mid iron or have to play from the rough.

I often having the feeling when hitting a driver that I have guided myself through the strike instead of releasing the club head. Can anyone else relate to this feeling, and if so can you explain it better than I can?
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Post by mystiroakey on Thu 02 Aug 2012, 9:10 pm

Grip it and rip it. If you think that sounds abit to simple then no it really isnt in your case- You dont guide any golf swing,If you do you are tensing up with your woods and not getting any coil whatsoever- Develop a good swing and tecnique and really make sure you get through the ball. Your weight transfer is probally not would it should be.

I am not a fan of specific tips to help a golfers problems- they are only short term fixes- the problem is from the set up and take away . Fix that and you fix all full shots- Dont think a wood needs a different swing to an iron. It really doesnt- Irons are just easier to hit therefore disguise the problems

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Post by barragan on Fri 03 Aug 2012, 8:43 am

Same here mac. Can't explain it any better though. Guiding the club through impact is something i seem to do to.

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Post by super_realist on Fri 03 Aug 2012, 8:47 am

I did something last weekend i haven't done in more than ten years(no, it wasnt shagging a woman). I put a three wood in my bag.
Results were staggering. I actually think Oakey was right and that I should have one in my bag. Going to see if a 13 deg one is even better before making a purchase.

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Post by JAS on Fri 03 Aug 2012, 9:08 am

I've been through a few phases of driver going wrong, weak fades, pulls left etc. Came to the conclusion that if I'm tentative with it it will fade right (not getting throught it) If I pull it left usually means I'm over aggressive (lunging and/or casting across) so to me tempo is king with the driver and the only way to get that is to build the confidence to trust your swing. Technical issues play their part yes particularly in my case I have to drill width & weight shift also about a month ago I had an alignment issue creep in and produce big destructive lefts (open shoulders at address). I'm at a place where I'm getting regular lessons and so flaws are getting picked up before they develop too much.
So, what's working for me is tempo, trusting my swing and getting lessons which are stopping flaws developing and helping me understand what is going wrong and how to correct it. It's a never ending path but I'm happy how far along that path I've progressed this year.


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Post by navyblueshorts on Fri 03 Aug 2012, 9:10 am

raycastleunited wrote:Any suggestions for how to fix an over the top swing?
Make sure you don't take the club back too far inside the line and make sure you absolutely start the downswing from the lower body - under no circumstances hit from the top with the arms/shoulders. If you start down with the lower body it tends to make the hands drop inside on the way down and there's no way you can come over the top like that.
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Post by raycastleunited on Fri 03 Aug 2012, 10:26 am

navyblueshorts wrote:
raycastleunited wrote:Any suggestions for how to fix an over the top swing?
Make sure you don't take the club back too far inside the line and make sure you absolutely start the downswing from the lower body - under no circumstances hit from the top with the arms/shoulders. If you start down with the lower body it tends to make the hands drop inside on the way down and there's no way you can come over the top like that.

Thanks Navy - sounds sensible and something to try out on the range. thumbsup

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Post by Lairdy on Fri 03 Aug 2012, 10:37 am

Further to navy's comment try what Furyk does - take it back way out side and loop it back in on the downswing. Its something thats helped me recently. I feel like I have loads of room for my arms therefore I dont get tight and launch my upper body first - the lower body sort of naturally wants to go first when you do this. Thats what I found anyway. Best to keep it as a practice drill on the range at first.

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Post by raycastleunited on Fri 03 Aug 2012, 1:39 pm

Lairdy wrote:Further to navy's comment try what Furyk does - take it back way out side and loop it back in on the downswing. Its something thats helped me recently. I feel like I have loads of room for my arms therefore I dont get tight and launch my upper body first - the lower body sort of naturally wants to go first when you do this. Thats what I found anyway. Best to keep it as a practice drill on the range at first.

I tried this too, last year. It fixed the out to in swing, but created an in to out swing. So great for hitting a draw but coming down from so far inside mae it hard to shape the ball.

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Post by mystiroakey on Fri 03 Aug 2012, 1:47 pm

pre shot routine lads- its all about a techincally good repeative swing with all clubs

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Post by navyblueshorts on Fri 03 Aug 2012, 4:34 pm

mystiroakey wrote:pre shot routine lads- its all about a techincally good repeative swing with all clubs
No!?!?!?!? Really??? Cool
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Post by mystiroakey on Fri 03 Aug 2012, 4:59 pm

Do you have a pre shot routine?

most of the players i know dont. I try and also fail half the time.

the message needs to get out there dude. It makes a massive difference and yet less than 1 in 50 golfers do it religiously.

Giving out tips to correct a fault in someones swing on a forum isnt worth it tbh. Better to see a pro. but getting the basics right and being mentaly prepared.. AND realising that a swing is a swing with any club- (never try and swing a full normal shot differently based on the club in your hand) is key

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Post by oldshanker on Fri 03 Aug 2012, 10:21 pm

Seems like all of these tips will overload you - JAS had it right, tempo, tempo, tempo.

Long low takeaway - slow down - late man sausage - slow down

and let the club do the work!!

The most consistently straight drivers I have seen, never seem to hit the ball hard, hardly seem to put in any effort and those are the swings I try to emulate.

It's worked wonders for my driving consistency, given me a slight high draw and is surprisingly long.
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Post by oldshanker on Fri 03 Aug 2012, 10:23 pm

Yahoo late man sausage - I ask you!!!

Of course it should be late c o c k
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Post by mystiroakey on Fri 03 Aug 2012, 10:28 pm

natural tempo is key. do the same with your other clubs an all.

the longest drivers i have seen crush it. and i mean crush it! some big hitters have great strength and tempo and seem like they arnt trying- however allthough there smash factor is well up there they club head speed is also deceptively fast! ernie els is clearly a good example for the later!

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Post by oldshanker on Fri 03 Aug 2012, 11:17 pm

mystiroakey wrote:natural tempo is key. do the same with your other clubs an all.

the longest drivers i have seen crush it. and i mean crush it! some big hitters have great strength and tempo and seem like they arnt trying- however allthough there smash factor is well up there they club head speed is also deceptively fast! ernie els is clearly a good example for the later!

No arguments there mysti - but the original poster didn't ask how to hit the longest drives in the world, he just wants consistancy! I know Nick Jaklaus said 'first hit it long - then learn how to hit it straight', but most people would happily forgo 26.2337 yards of length for consistant accuracy.
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Post by Lairdy on Mon 06 Aug 2012, 4:08 pm

raycastleunited wrote:
Lairdy wrote:Further to navy's comment try what Furyk does - take it back way out side and loop it back in on the downswing. Its something thats helped me recently. I feel like I have loads of room for my arms therefore I dont get tight and launch my upper body first - the lower body sort of naturally wants to go first when you do this. Thats what I found anyway. Best to keep it as a practice drill on the range at first.

I tried this too, last year. It fixed the out to in swing, but created an in to out swing. So great for hitting a draw but coming down from so far inside mae it hard to shape the ball.

I know, its easy to get carried away and go completely the other way. I'm very guilty of over thinking my swing and forgetting its all about path and face angle - and the ball flight those two factors produce. The ball flight is the indicator that lets you know when you have went too far the other way. That and the pro telling you!

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Post by navyblueshorts on Mon 06 Aug 2012, 5:27 pm

mystiroakey wrote:Do you have a pre shot routine?...
Yes. Have had one the last 30 years or so.

mystiroakey wrote:...Giving out tips to correct a fault in someones swing on a forum isnt worth it tbh. Better to see a pro. but getting the basics right and being mentaly prepared.. AND realising that a swing is a swing with any club- (never try and swing a full normal shot differently based on the club in your hand) is key
Half the pros I've spoken to don't know very much. Ray was asking about things to fix an OTT swingpath; personally, I thought my suggestion was pretty much spot on but maybe it wasn't given this is a forum.
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