bkuehn1952 wrote: ↑
Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:05 pm
It seems to me that swinging slightly upward at a teed ball would create some differences versus an iron swing where one is attempting to trap the ball into the ground with a descending strike. Yes, a very high percentage of the two swings are the same (e.g. rotating the upper body, maintaining the head relatively steady, etc...). Still, the swings do differ and if one is hitting the driver with a slightly descending swing, the results may not be too good.
Additionally, often with driver in hand, one is just letting it fly rather than using a more controlled swing to hit an exact distance, like one often does with irons.
As you should know Brian, I have deep respect for you and your golfing abilities, yet, I don't see it quite the same way as you do. Here's my reasoning.
Before I start, I do agree that the swing paths are somewhat different, just not that the swing mechanics are all that different. One of your key phrases, "...swinging at a teed ball...," is wherein lies the problem. Though I'm sure you know the difference between swinging AT and swinging THROUGH the ball, and that you aren't necessarily trying to be that literal when you say AT, I believe most golfers in general subconsciously think they swing AT the ball and the term "at" is an accepted one throughout the sport. But, in fact, a good swing does not hit AT the ball. The ball just gets in the way. If you tee up a ball 1/2 inch off the turf on a par 3 to make a 138 yard 9i shot, do you change your swing mechanics to swing your 9i? Not really in my opinion. At least I don't. I may move the ball a touch forward, but I make the same swing and still try to make a downward strike on the ball to trap it, leaving a thin divot forward of the ball. However, if I move that teed ball 4 inches up in my stance, it'd be difficult to strike down on it if I set up with my head behind the ball like I would with a driver. Yet, I could still make ball-first contact with my same 9i swing, but it would likely be after my swing has already bottomed out, meaning that I would go through the ball on an upswing (likely skulling it).
IN MY OPINION, making the same motion THROUGH the ball on a full swing shot, no matter which club you have in your hands, is the most likely way to have ballstriking consistency. Fundamentals and swing mechanics are nearly the same. I am a trapper of the ball (not a picker by any means) with my irons, yet I hit up on the ball with my driver, and I no longer need two different swings to do both. I used to try to have two, but I realized it was a lot of extra effort for far worse results. When I began to understand how similar those two things needed to be, that's when I began to play some good golf (and btw, hit the ball further). But, maybe that's just me.
I now use the same swing thoughts before I make my take-away, whether I'm standing on the tee with driver or over a short-iron approach off a tightly mown fairway. The length of the club dictates my path. My basic swing is the same. I can make the ball go high or low off the tee by little nuances in my swing and set-up, or make the ball check immediately on the green with a lower trajectory off the wedge, taking a divot ahead of the ball. The mechanics for both swings are the same and I do not HIT AT the ball on either. When I do HIT AT the ball, well, that's when I have bad ballstriking days.
Frankly, I'm guessing we actually agree on the basic principals, but our semantics may not.
As an aside, I was having driver issues a few years back. I told the teaching pro of my woes. He gave me a 2-hour lesson. Yet, he never had me take the driver out of the bag for the entire lesson. An 8-iron got me hitting much better drives. I have been a better ballstriker across the board ever since.