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If you can't hit driver, DON'T!

295yards

Well-Known Member
May 5, 2009
447
0
If you can only hit driver 230yards on a sunny and you cannot hit it straight you are in deep sh@t on a 400+yard par 4 if you decide to hit iron from the tee!!!
Isn't that what this game is about? figuring out how to overcome most situations.
 

Lefty_SnowBird

Well-Known Member
Jul 6, 2009
45
0
I tried to think smart in my last round on Weds. So i took out the 3-wood on a few holes where I didn't have much to gain from a driver and one time I blocked it out to the driving range (OB) and another one was a slight pull that ended up across the fairway for a chip-out setup.

When you want to play smart and screw up your shot, it's even more frustrating than when you get in trouble because of the driver... So I'll go with driver whenever possible :)
 

Esox

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Aug 6, 2008
860
7
My point would be summed up by this... why do pro's not hit driver on every hole? They are obviously way, way better than any of us could fathom. If a pro is playing a course at like 7200yds. with an avg. driver of 285-290 that is pretty much the same as me playing a 6800yd. or so course with my avg. drive.

I've mentioned before that almost all the guys I play with hit driver on every hole at my club. They can't reach the trouble with a driver but I can. On a bunch of holes the left rough narrows in and then there is a bunker on the right, cutting the fairway down to 20yds. or less on a few at my exact driver distance. The yardage in from there is about 90-120yds. for the most part. My strategy would be to hit a club I hit shorter and straighter, lay back to 130-140 and have a 9i front pin, 8i back pin. All a perfect driver does is get me into PW/SW range and end up with a non-full club yardage a lot of the time.

Example, yesterday I nail a driver on the 360yd. first downwind. Dead straight and rolls to 40yds. out. Hard green with a front pin. Best I could manage was 15ft. past the hole with a 60*. Had I laid back for a full SW or PW I could have gotten the spin I needed to stop it closer.

I'm not talking about people playing smart and not hitting driver because of trouble. I'm talking about people that don't hit driver because they're scared, or they think they can't. Golf would bore the shit out me if I played scared all the time and hit 3w, 5w, hybrid or whatever off the tee. The pros don't hit driver because the courses are set up so driver landing areas are small and they get punished if they miss. They also can hit long irons much more accurately than average players hit wedges. Stop comparing Joe weekend golfer to the pros. Apples and oranges.

Where most of us play, say 6,500 yards on average, I'll take 8i to wedge out of the rough over 4-6i out of the fairway every time. I'll make more pars and birdies from the rough with the shorter clubs than I will from the fairway with the longer clubs. Every time.

The problem is too many average golfers think they're playing smart, but end up hitting just as crappy of a shot with the "safe" club, and end up making a big number. If they hit driver more often, the low scores they make when they hit some good drives and end up with short irons in their hands, more than makes up for a big number or two from a bad drives. Plus they build confidence by learning what it feels like to make pars and birdies.

Kevin
 

Wi-Golfer

Golfer on hiatus.
Supporting Member
Jul 25, 2007
8,147
1,474
Madison, Wi
Country
United States United States
There is 1 hole on my home course where I routinely miss the fairway as it's not very wide. Ball will almost always be in some short rough & with a couple of trees directly between it & the green. I actually relish those approach shots & 100% honestly cannot even guess how many times I have launched over those trees & onto the green.

But like Kevin pointed out, put me in the middle of the fairway on that same hole & I will screw the shot up....makes no damn sense at all. Maybe because for me the ball may be in the rough but it's actually sitting up a bit & it's easy to get the ball up in the air?
 
OP
SilverUberXeno

SilverUberXeno

El Tigre Blanco
Jul 26, 2005
4,620
26
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #35
You all have good points. If I couldn't hit my hybrid 240 yards, I would've been in deep crap.

BUT, playing a par 4 for bogey is better than hitting 3 off the tee. I still maintain that you will SCORE BETTER if you do not hit driver if you can't count on it. You won't shoot under par playing a long course with no driver, most likely, but bogey is better than a triple caused by you hitting a shot OB from the teebox.

When you play golf, you have to play with the game you have, not the game you want. I don't care how long the par 4 is. If driver is going to hurt you, tee off with an iron. Play for double if you have to. If you are hitting 3 off the tee, you're REALLY screwed.

I did go driver on some later holes where it was actually safer to hit it long and try to carry all the trouble. I'm not anti-driver. I'm anti-stupid :)
 

295yards

Well-Known Member
May 5, 2009
447
0
You all have good points. If I couldn't hit my hybrid 240 yards, I would've been in deep crap.

BUT, playing a par 4 for bogey is better than hitting 3 off the tee. I still maintain that you will SCORE BETTER if you do not hit driver if you can't count on it. You won't shoot under par playing a long course with no driver, most likely, but bogey is better than a triple caused by you hitting a shot OB from the teebox.

When you play golf, you have to play with the game you have, not the game you want. I don't care how long the par 4 is. If driver is going to hurt you, tee off with an iron. Play for double if you have to. If you are hitting 3 off the tee, you're REALLY screwed.

I did go driver on some later holes where it was actually safer to hit it long and try to carry all the trouble. I'm not anti-driver. I'm anti-stupid :)

Todays drivers are very forgiving!
If you are always short and are hitting driver crooked that day than you're probably not going to play well throughout the bag and leaving driver in the bag is probably not a good solution for longer term success.
Some days you will score better than others, by giving up and hitting into a par 4 with a club that struck well leaves you with a second shot that will already require you to save par or even bogey is all around bad golf!
Obviously no one should hit driver on every hole, but somewhere between is a happier medium.
For you hitting hybrid off the tee on a 400+ yard par 4 you still have a shorter club into the green, others have no chance of getting there.
Like I said it pays to be longer off the tee
 
OP
SilverUberXeno

SilverUberXeno

El Tigre Blanco
Jul 26, 2005
4,620
26
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #37
Todays drivers are very forgiving!
If you are always short and are hitting driver crooked that day than you're probably not going to play well throughout the bag and leaving driver in the bag is probably not a good solution for longer term success.
Some days you will score better than others, by giving up and hitting into a par 4 with a club that struck well leaves you with a second shot that will already require you to save par or even bogey is all around bad golf!
Obviously no one should hit driver on every hole, but somewhere between is a happier medium.
For you hitting hybrid off the tee on a 400+ yard par 4 you still have a shorter club into the green, others have no chance of getting there.
Like I said it pays to be longer off the tee

Drivers are forgiving for distance on mishits. But drivers produce very little backspin due to their low loft, so you're much more likely to slice or hook the hell out of a driver than something with higher loft.

Someone who can't hit their driver straight is better off playing for bogey on long holes and putting the ball in the fairway, if the risk for OB or trouble is reasonable. They might actually drop a putt for par once in a while.
 

fisher

Well-Known Member
Nov 16, 2008
1,263
0
Everybody is different. For me the driver is one of the easiest to hit clubs in the bag. Its a confidence thing. I'm as confident with a driver as I am with a 7-iron.

The driver is easy. The ball is teed up perfect every time and you are hitting to a giant target. You just have to know where your misses go. For me I either hit my target line or go right of it. It is a rare day that I miss left of my target line with a driver. Knowing that I aim down the left edge of the fairway and bomb away knowing full well that even if I make an absolutely horrendous swing I will still be in play in the right rough. A moderate miss will still leave me in the fairway most of the time.

I am very lucky to be blessed with the ability to hit the ball a long way. Being long gives me the option to throttle back to a hybrid or iron as the hole dictates. There are 3 par 4s on my home course where I never hit driver, both of these holes require a good line more than distance. I have also found that on both of our par 5s when played from the tipps are easier to par or birdie without the driver since I know I can't get home in 2 on either hole from back there unless its down wind and driver brings fairway bunkers into play on both holes.

Most people I watch who struggle with the driver just have no idea how to aim first off and what makes it worse is that they don't plan ahead for their misses. I watch so many guys with a slice who aim at the center of the fairway with no chance of hitting it or aim blindly at no particular target. You have to pick a realistic target every time.

One of the guys I play with has an ugly over the top driver swing. He rairly misses a fairway by much though because he knows how to aim. For him he just happens to aim 15 yards left of the fairway. The ball cuts reliable for him right back to the center or right side of the fairway.
 

ezra76

Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2006
12,412
16
I'm not talking about people playing smart and not hitting driver because of trouble. I'm talking about people that don't hit driver because they're scared, or they think they can't. Golf would bore the shit out me if I played scared all the time and hit 3w, 5w, hybrid or whatever off the tee. The pros don't hit driver because the courses are set up so driver landing areas are small and they get punished if they miss. They also can hit long irons much more accurately than average players hit wedges. Stop comparing Joe weekend golfer to the pros. Apples and oranges.

Where most of us play, say 6,500 yards on average, I'll take 8i to wedge out of the rough over 4-6i out of the fairway every time. I'll make more pars and birdies from the rough with the shorter clubs than I will from the fairway with the longer clubs. Every time.

The problem is too many average golfers think they're playing smart, but end up hitting just as crappy of a shot with the "safe" club, and end up making a big number. If they hit driver more often, the low scores they make when they hit some good drives and end up with short irons in their hands, more than makes up for a big number or two from a bad drives. Plus they build confidence by learning what it feels like to make pars and birdies.

Kevin

There is a difference between a higher cap player who doesn't have the distance and a lower cap player who does, neither having great control. All I'm saying is that for me and a lot of guys, hitting a 225yd. 5W or 240yd. 3W is better than trying to hit a driver on a tight hole that's only like 380-390.

It's also a different game with real rough. I can hit an 8i out of the rough at my course too... I just have no fricken idea how long it will go, no control over the trajectory and absolutely no spin. That's the difference between sparse, burned out 1.5" rough and thick 3.5" rough.

Don't get me wrong, when I go to a course with 50yd. wide fairways and rough I can hit a mid-iron from, I'll bomb driver all day long. When I've only got 20yd. fairways and rough I can only really only hit a wedge out of sitting down, then the driver must be used carefully.

As far as hitting a bad shot with a 3W or whatever shorter club. That miss would have been a lot worse with a driver using the same swing.
 

295yards

Well-Known Member
May 5, 2009
447
0
There is a difference between a higher cap player who doesn't have the distance and a lower cap player who does, neither having great control. All I'm saying is that for me and a lot of guys, hitting a 225yd. 5W or 240yd. 3W is better than trying to hit a driver on a tight hole that's only like 380-390.

It's also a different game with real rough. I can hit an 8i out of the rough at my course too... I just have no fricken idea how long it will go, no control over the trajectory and absolutely no spin. That's the difference between sparse, burned out 1.5" rough and thick 3.5" rough.

Don't get me wrong, when I go to a course with 50yd. wide fairways and rough I can hit a mid-iron from, I'll bomb driver all day long. When I've only got 20yd. fairways and rough I can only really only hit a wedge out of sitting down, then the driver must be used carefully.

As far as hitting a bad shot with a 3W or whatever shorter club. That miss would have been a lot worse with a driver using the same swing.

That just common course management, not a total do not hit driver scenario! Playing for bogey golf is ridiculous, go have some fun man!
 

Fourputt

Littleton, Colorado
Sep 5, 2006
973
0
That is all grand if you hit an 18.5* club 235 to 241. That is about 10 yards longer than I hit my driver. :laugh:


Amen! Actually here in Colorado I hit my driver about where he hits his hybrid. My home course is 7000 from the back tees and 6500 from the middles. If I don't hit driver on the holes which require it, I can't possibly reach some of the par 4 holes in 2. The longest par 4 (430-440) I usually hit driver, then 4W or 4H. Even if I started with the 3W it would be unreachable. :confused:
 

daddymack

Well-Known Member
Mar 27, 2005
133
0
I just had about a 3 week run where I could really hit my driver. Yesterday it vanished just as quick as it came.

Better to have been able to hit your driver and lose it then to never have been able to hit it at all.

Then again, maybe not.
 

ezra76

Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2006
12,412
16
That just common course management, not a total do not hit driver scenario! Playing for bogey golf is ridiculous, go have some fun man!

See, that's the difference. I am playing bogey golf with a driver on a tight hole because it's 3 off the tee after going OB.

Heck I hit my 22* on a 500yd. par 5 off the tee. Then hit 5i, then hit a 60* wedge. Judging by where my ball ends up vs. others, I outdrive about 70% of the guys I play with using a 5W, 90% with my 3W and 99% with my driver. I've played with 2 guys longer off the tee than me this year... not counting Twofast. One is a 1.5 handicap the other a +.3.

Now take into account how accurate I am. About 20% fairways with driver, 40% with 3W, 70% 5W and 90% with hybrid. At my course I'll take a club or 2 more to get a fairway lie. I can hit any shot I want from the fairway. From the rough I have 1 shot, hit down steep and hang onto it for dear life. Then even if I hit the green from a thick lie, there is not chance in hell it will stop.
 

MIKE1218

Top Bloke
Dec 21, 2006
3,485
6
See, that's the difference. I am playing bogey golf with a driver on a tight hole because it's 3 off the tee after going OB.

Heck I hit my 22* on a 500yd. par 5 off the tee. Then hit 5i, then hit a 60* wedge. Judging by where my ball ends up vs. others, I outdrive about 70% of the guys I play with using a 5W, 90% with my 3W and 99% with my driver. I've played with 2 guys longer off the tee than me this year... not counting Twofast. One is a 1.5 handicap the other a +.3.

Ez, why can't you break 80? 3wood is 260 in the fairway every time, I remember reading a bunch of posts about how well you strike your irons, you've said that the shortgame is your strongest point, etc etc etc. Do you have 55 putts per round?
 

ezra76

Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2006
12,412
16
Ez, why can't you break 80? 3wood is 260 in the fairway every time, I remember reading a bunch of posts about how well you strike your irons, you've said that the shortgame is your strongest point, etc etc etc. Do you have 55 putts per round?

40 putts the other day. I hit 7-8 GIR per round and avg. about 34-35putts right now. Even with no driver I still only hit 4-5 fairways per round... and that's counting the fairways that aren't the hole I'm playing. :D

My putting might stink but it's my tee shots that are really holding me back lately. I won't say my "short game" is my strongest point because that includes putting. My strongest point is my wedge game. I can hit every shot there is with a wedge and do very often. I avg. a chip in about every 27holes. I've holed 3 in the last 3 rounds. See my thread in the hacker's section about last round. I had an unbelievable striking round but started getting pumped up and hitting irons over greens. I ended up hitting the 17th at 153 with a 9i. Also missed 2 putts totalling 30inches, hit one ball OB and lost my ball on the 18th. Didn't really look all that hard, just said "screw it, I need the double to get my cap higher".
 

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