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Can't Hit my Driver

Discussion in 'General Golf Talk' started by mikeyworm, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. mikeyworm

    mikeyworm Well-Known Member

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    I just started playing golf again after a 5 year hiatus. I am 25 and played a lot in high school. A lot of my game has come through the break and I have shot between 80-86 in each of the 10 or so rounds I played this summer at a 6800 yard 114 slope course in Los Angeles.

    However, I am simply unable to hit my driver. I usually hit my 3-wood off the tee and even with that I am very inconsistent. When I really connect with the 3 wood I can hit it ~250 but every time I pick up the driver I ground it or hit it extremley low, with a large slice.

    I was talking with a friend who is much better than me and he told me that I don't hit the driver well because I am hitting down on the ball too much. I do hit my long irons very high so I know that I have a very steep downswing. No matter how many times I try to be cognizant of hitting through the ball on my drives, I am unable to connect. I am using pretty old Mizunos that I got in high school but even when I take a rip with my friend's newer drivers, nothing changes.

    One thing I have noticed is that I really seem to hit it better with a smaller club head. My 3-wood is very small by today's standards and I really enjoy that. I have a lot of trouble with these 460cc monsters that I see everyone carrying.

    I really want to take the next step and I need to improve my distance off the tee so that I can reach the longer par 4s in two. I only hit my 3-iron 210 so if I hit a mediocre "drive" with my 3 wood I can't reach the 420+ par 4s in two which is very frustrating.

    Sorry this is so long. Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks.
  2. Adam Pettman

    Adam Pettman Well-Known Member

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    Swing easy, don't try and kill it, thats probably why you struggle to hit a big headed modern driver.
  3. mikeyworm

    mikeyworm Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I have tried the swinging easy approach but it doesnt seem to help. I really don't try and kill any shot I take.

    How high do you guys tee it up with the modern drivers? I always learned that half the ball should be above the top of the clubhead, but that seems absurdly high when you are using the modern drivers.
  4. Augster

    Augster Rules Nerd Supporting Member

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    If you are hitting down with the driver, you simply aren't using the driver the way it was designed, and that is why you struggle.

    For best results, you WILL need to change your driver swing. With your current swing, you'll never find "off the rack" drivers that are any good for a downward angle of attack (AofA).

    If you have downward AofA with a driver, you need to have a LOT more loft to make up for the delofting of the negative AofA. You just don't see off the rack clubs, DRIVERS, with 15* of loft.

    I would suggest revamping your swing in order to use the modern-day driver correctly. That is, you need at least a flat, but preferrably upward AofA into the ball. You need to tee the ball high. At LEAST having 1/2 the ball above the crown. Better, the ENTIRE BALL should be above the crown at address.

    The "easy" way to get into the ball that is teed up this way is to REALLY drop your right shoulder at address. This way you are tilting your spine AWAY from the target. Now if you "swing straight", because of the spine tilt, you are actually swinging upward into the ball.

    You really only need to watch a couple of YouTube long drive videos to see this in action.

    Tee it up, tilt your spine, and think "Launch The Ball" while you swing. It is called a Launch Monitor for a reason. It doesn't pick up wormburners and skulls very well. :laugh:
  5. btdickey99

    btdickey99 Well-Known Member

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    I too have a steep swing and hit the ball pretty high with large divots.

    I use to have problems with my driver and irons, and hitting them both good in the same day/round.

    What I learned that helped me off the tee was when pulling up good back slow keeping the driver on the ground(or just above) almost as long as you can before the natural part of your swing starts. by doing this I believe it helps make your swing longer and more smooth.

    also where do you tee the ball up in your stance? I have found if it is slightly farther back in my stance i tend to hit at the very bottom of my swing, rather than on the upswing.
  6. RickinMA

    RickinMA Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    you may want to see a local clubfitter - there's a chance he could put you into a modern driver with a shorter shaft to give you better control.
    You may also want to take a look at a 4 wood to possibly replace your old 3 wood that you're inconsistent with. Today's hot-faced 4 woods will likely hit the ball as far as your old 3 wood and the added loft makes them a bit more forgiving, so it might help consistency. The size of fairway wood heads hasn't really changed that much

    Also, from where I'm playing, hitting a 3 iron 210 isn't "only 210" - it's pretty good

    that fitter might be able to let you try some hybrids to replace those hard to hit long irons too while you're at it :)
  7. riverc0il

    riverc0il Well-Known Member

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    I have the same problem. Inconsistent but doable 3W but huge slice with the driver. Just took up the game this summer and the driver is my worst club. After reading tons of suggestions, I have come to the conclusion that I am not rotating the hips enough/correctly/timely in my back and down swing. Suggestions on the backswing seem to indicate starting more with the hips instead of leading with the arms. btdickey99 also has the other big suggestion covered with the one piece takeway, keeping that triangle with extended arms intact until the club is horizontal with the ground or there abouts. I am working on these two aspects of the swing which I think will help solve a lot of my problems.

    I got frustrated with the distance issue while on the course and not hitting the woods/driver well. But then I realized that two good long iron or hybrid shots combined with a good pitch or chip still gives you a chance at par on a long par 4. Taking a lower club and hitting straight and consistent is more important to me than the long ball and a birdie chance. At this point, I consider boogie golf to be my par any ways.

    But man oh man... I feel ya.... what a good straight and long drive would do to help my game!!! Would be nice to have an extra stroke to play with and be able to rely more on my much more proficient short game (compared to my horrid long game!).
  8. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    I had a similar problem way back in the day and I found 2 things that I have used to this day.

    1. A very very relaxed almost a loose grip.

    2.Choke up on the driver & fairway woods 1-2 inches.

    To this day I still choke up on my fairway woods about 1-2 inches and it really makes it much easier to control the club.
    You think you will loose yardage chocking up?
    I really doubt it and you might even notice more clubhead speed with a choked grip.

    I know you very seldom see anyone chocking up but I would give it a try at the range and see how it works.

    Between to stiff of shafts and gripping ever club at the very end for every single shot is what I see way to much of .
  9. LyleG

    LyleG gear head

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    Most people who struggle with the driver play the ball too far back in their stance with it. The ball should be in line with the inside of your front foot, even all the way in line with your big toe. The longer the club the longer the time it takes to travel around its axis when swung. This means that the ball must be forward to allow time for the head to get to the ball without you having to manipulate it with hand action. Set up on a tile floor and see how far forward this really is. It is almost an optical illusion it appears so far forward. Get use to this and you will hit better drives.
  10. David Hillman

    David Hillman Well-Known Member

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    Check out Anthony Kim and/or Sergio Garcia. Both are choked way up ( no pun intended re: Sergio ) on everything they hit. Kim is so far down the grip he looks like a kid playing with his Dad's clubs.

    I think it works okay, for them, though ;)
  11. SolderJockey

    SolderJockey Well-Known Member

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    Actually you are starting to. Cleveland, Callaway, Tour Edge, Nike, and
    Adams all make drivers with 15 or 16 degrees of loft.
  12. btdickey99

    btdickey99 Well-Known Member

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    yea they usually arent lacking in distance
  13. mikeyworm

    mikeyworm Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, just did this in the kitchen in my office. I was playing the ball farther back than I thought.
  14. Lil_Huth

    Lil_Huth Well-Known Member

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    You have a kitchen in your office? Thats pretty bad ass if its a personal office lol.

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