Driver Confessions

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GBOGEY
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Driver Confessions

Post by GBOGEY » Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:40 pm

As I've said many times, driver is my weakness and is the number one thing holding me back. I've spent as much range time as possible this winter working on driver as the main focus - I want draws to go left and fades to go right and to have fewer unplayable drives. I've come to the conclusion that my problem is mainly due to two things: taking the club back to the inside (which is my biggest swing flaw of any type); and then failing to transfer my weight, particularly when hitting a fade.

So today I decided to rate every driver on a 3 point scale:
1 point for a fairway
1 point for a playable drive
1 point for a correct curve - fade that fades and draw that draws
Total of 42 possible points

So here's my question - what's the goal and am I being too anal?
Fairway goal should be 8 points but would settle for 7 for now.
Playable drive goal is 13 points
What should the curve goal be - 10? -12? does it matter if the first 2 are there? I think it does in order to perform better under pressure, but I don't know.

Looking for feedback.

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Re: Driver Confessions

Post by jasonfish11 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:25 pm

I'm a big fan of playing one ball flight with driver. It's very rare that a course will prevent you from hitting one shot more than once. Yes splitting it does help, but I was once told (by a former PGA tour pro) "only 10 guys in the world are good enough to move driver both ways consistantly, are you one of them?". He then added that when on tour he had better results playing one ball flight than trying to fit it to the hole.
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Re: Driver Confessions

Post by legitimatebeef » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:15 pm

GBOGEY wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 6:40 pm
So here's my question - what's the goal and am I being too anal?
Fairway goal should be 8 points but would settle for 7 for now.
Playable drive goal is 13 points
What should the curve goal be - 10? -12? does it matter if the first 2 are there? I think it does in order to perform better under pressure, but I don't know.

Looking for feedback.
Too anal, perhaps. Anal retention as I was taught in high school, is characterized by a compulsive, perhaps excessive, need for orderliness. To impose order in one's environment. So in the sense that you might be attempting to manage the crappiness of your driving, to find some way of at least organizing the mess, yes you are being kind of "anal".

I am a holistic guy, if I was in your shoes I would simply keep searching for the problem with my swing. :puke
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Re: Driver Confessions

Post by jattruia » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:35 am

jasonfish11 wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:25 pm
I'm a big fan of playing one ball flight with driver. It's very rare that a course will prevent you from hitting one shot more than once. Yes splitting it does help, but I was once told (by a former PGA tour pro) "only 10 guys in the world are good enough to move driver both ways consistantly, are you one of them?". He then added that when on tour he had better results playing one ball flight than trying to fit it to the hole.
I'm the same. Driver is hard enough to hit consistently with one shot shape, let alone moving it either way when needed. I've made it down to a mid single digit handicap without being able to draw a ball with driver. I HAVE gone from a slice to a fade, but that's about it. If i can play a fade all day, that's all i need and i'll be alright.

If a REALLY needs a draw, i'll get creative or switch clubs. But, i think messing that much with driver could cause more harm than good.

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Re: Driver Confessions

Post by legitimatebeef » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:00 am

Just to add my two cents to this "one ball flight" discussion. At the course I play most often there are several holes where you distinctly do not want to curve it left to right. There just isn't sufficient room. Obviously if you hit perfect flawless shots they will fit just about any tee shot on any hole anywhere in the world, but for percentages you have to rely on something else besides perfect flawless shots.

For instance the final two holes have OB on the immediate right, practically next to the fairway. Even a little fade on the tail of a straight drive can find its way off the course if the turf is firm enough. You get tired of consistently blowing up your score here, via drives that are only marginally offline. So you have to do something else. If I can feel like I can move the driver right to the left, even if it is an ugly low push hook or whatever or even a smothered pull hook, it's a much better feeling standing on the tee.

I don't have a lot of experience on different courses but I feel like most courses have at least one or two holes that would thwart this kind of one-shape-only approach. Then again, to say "thwart" is kind of a moot point because for most people above low single digit handicaps, are thwarting themselves several times per round via marginal ballstrikes. In other words unless you are trying to get around the course in even par or better, you can afford to not attempt the perfect shape for every shot.

I guess alls I'm really trying to add is that the one-shape-only approach, like most other approaches, is also fraught with its own risk and failure. I understand that you guys think it's the right thing for you to do. (I'm mostly joking around with that last sentence, just want you all to know how it feels when someone says that kind of condescending crap to you, as everyone says to me when I talk about trying to learn my own swing. "Ohhh I know that YOU believe that YOU are doing what YOU think is right for YOU, in YOUR opinion" see how ridiculous that all sounds :fkno )
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Re: Driver Confessions

Post by jasonfish11 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:09 am

Kind of funny. I like hitting a cut, and I prefer the hazard to be on the right side of the course. I feel more comfortable aiming left and moving the ball towards the hazard. So baring some tall trees or a 2nd hazard on the left preventing me from taking that approach, I would feel comfortable with the OB on the right for the holes you mention.

But that is ME and MY opinion.
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Re: Driver Confessions

Post by legitimatebeef » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:24 am

jasonfish11 wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:09 am
Kind of funny. I like hitting a cut, and I prefer the hazard to be on the right side of the course. I feel more comfortable aiming left and moving the ball towards the hazard. So baring some tall trees or a 2nd hazard on the left preventing me from taking that approach, I would feel comfortable with the OB on the right for the holes you mention.

But that is ME and MY opinion.
No matter how comfortable you feel, you would lose balls on the regular on these holes. I'll post pics if you remain incredulous. They are extremely tight and the trees are too tall and too close to the tee to go over. Arguably the designs are a bit unreasonable (as are several other holes in the NYC public golf system) but my point is that, realistically, you are going to consistently run into problems here if you only stick with a left-to-right ball. Not that there's anything wrong with that or that you ought to change your approach. Just offering a different perspective and experience, from a different golf course.
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Re: Driver Confessions

Post by jattruia » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:31 am

I'm with you. I cut the ball, and feel pretty comfortable no matter where the hazard is that i can keep it in play. If a hazard on the right is really going to deter a driver that cuts, then i'll go 3w or hybrid. There's no way i'm going to attempt a draw with driver on one hole per course if it's just going to bring 'snap hook off the planet' into play. I feel like you need to get REALLY comfortable and confident in one ball shape first, especially if driver is the weak part of your game. Hitting one shop shape well will fare much better than hitting mediocre shots of all shapes.

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Re: Driver Confessions

Post by jasonfish11 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:58 am

jattruia wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:31 am
I'm with you. I cut the ball, and feel pretty comfortable no matter where the hazard is that i can keep it in play. If a hazard on the right is really going to deter a driver that cuts, then i'll go 3w or hybrid. There's no way i'm going to attempt a draw with driver on one hole per course if it's just going to bring 'snap hook off the planet' into play. I feel like you need to get REALLY comfortable and confident in one ball shape first, especially if driver is the weak part of your game. Hitting one shop shape well will fare much better than hitting mediocre shots of all shapes.
Yeah this is how I am too.

I have a 3w that my stock shot is a draw (same with my 3h). So if I can't hit a cut, then I hit one of those 2 clubs and deal with the loss of yardage. But unless something very odd is going on in my swing to make me hit a draw/hook that entire day with my driver I'm not going to ever attempt to draw it.

Not only does it bring snap hook in as a possibility like you said. For me it also brings the dreaded double cross push slice into play.
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Re: Driver Confessions

Post by legitimatebeef » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:59 am

jattruia wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:31 am
I'm with you. I cut the ball, and feel pretty comfortable no matter where the hazard is that i can keep it in play. If a hazard on the right is really going to deter a driver that cuts, then i'll go 3w or hybrid. There's no way i'm going to attempt a draw with driver on one hole per course if it's just going to bring 'snap hook off the planet' into play.
On the 18th tee at Silver Lake, realistically it often feels like a choice between likely OB right and snap hook onto the adjacent fairway. I'll take the snap hook every time. Principles are nice and everything but when I get to this tee I often just hope for anything in play (it is the toughest shot on the course and I tend to not be playing and swinging my best at that late stage in a round). Now I could use a shorter club off the tee but then that's making it into a par 5, and that presents its own risk/reward scenario. Look guys the only point I am trying to make here is that no single approach fits every situation. I guess I just reacted to what I perceived as the smugness of your guys' argument. As if it's some clever, innovative approach that most of us are too dumb to think of.

It reflects my current headspace too. I admit I am in sort of stage of rejecting most ideas about "course management". I think it's overrated for most recreational players. I believe people like myself suck by and large due to the quality of our swings, not our decisions.
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Re: Driver Confessions

Post by jasonfish11 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:02 pm

legitimatebeef wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:59 am
I believe people like myself suck by and large due to the quality of our swings, not our decisions.
I agree, but it makes me ask the question...

Why try to work on 2 different swings? Why not just attempt to get less sucky with 1 swing?
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Re: Driver Confessions

Post by legitimatebeef » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:29 pm

jasonfish11 wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:02 pm
legitimatebeef wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:59 am
I believe people like myself suck by and large due to the quality of our swings, not our decisions.
I agree, but it makes me ask the question...

Why try to work on 2 different swings? Why not just attempt to get less sucky with 1 swing?
I don't quite see it as 2 different swings. I can be Socratic and an asshole about it and rebut with "Why not just chip the ball around the course? One stroke, keep it simple."

Really though I just always assumed that a drawing driver is a good shot to hit. And why not? Is my question to you. Countless shitty amateurs can hit a reliable draw with a driver, it's not some crazy ask. Being a reductionist (and an asshole :gay ) about it I can say that its really just a matter of swing path. Coming into the ball inside-out with a 45" stick is obviously challenging in practice, in reality, but it's not impossible either.
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Re: Driver Confessions

Post by jasonfish11 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:00 pm

So to be clear to me the discussion isn't fade v. draw. I don't see a problem with either for anyone, both have benefits and I see that question as a personal one.

The discussion I brought up is both fade & draw v. either fade or draw.

But to be fair to GBOGEY I derailed his topic.
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Re: Driver Confessions

Post by jattruia » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:11 pm

He did ask for input, and we are just trying to help by keeping it simple. If driver is a weakness in your game, maybe dial back a little and stop trying to work the ball both ways. Take the drive you naturally hit and work on that. I don't know many people (including those far better than me) that can comfortably work the ball left to right with driver.

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Re: Driver Confessions

Post by Duke of Hazards » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:58 pm

I would go with the end of beef's first comment. Fixing the flaws in your driver swing before attempting to assess ball flight.

I generally try to hit it straight. If it goes left or right, then it's a flaw in my swing. Fortunately, I don't play on any courses where you can't go over trees, so my line is always straight. Sucking it too far inside on the backswing and failing to transition into the lead foot are symptoms of the same issue. Fix that, achieve better contact and you might just forget about all this points business.

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Re: Driver Confessions

Post by GBOGEY » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:10 pm

So I've thought about this a lot because that's what we golf guys do. The problem is similar to Beef's - my most natural shot is a straight ball that is more likely to go right than left. But the two courses that I play most in NJ each have 3 holes that you have to play a fade. We are talking narrow holes with trees on both sides. On two of the 3 holes on my home course if you club down, you effectively make an easy hole a hard one and bring penalty possibilities into play. So I feel like I have to go both ways. BTW - I can usually go both ways with my hybrids, just not my 5W and driver.

I tend to try to play holes like I see them - this is probably wrong. I'm beginning to think that I should stick with one shape except for those holes that require a different shape. But I want to be competent both ways. This is amplified by the fact that my straight/draw can at times be a really bad hook. I am more likely to over draw / hook a ball than to over slice, but I am also more likely to double cross a fade. Basically I stink both ways and just want to find something to lessen the misses because within 150 yards I'm pretty good.

I played a reasonably wide open course yesterday while visiting Tennessee. The course had 2-3 holes that you had to draw, and 2-3 holes where I fade was better. I went back and forth but could easily have just hit one shot.

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Re: Driver Confessions

Post by GBOGEY » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:56 pm

So my current range regimen consists of playing two rounds of golf in my head. I do this mainly to work on my driver but also to make me switch clubs so that I don't fool myself with a false groove. I really don't care how I do on the non-driver shots - it's all about figuring out the driver.

Usually I try to do something where I play 7 draws and 7 fades. Today instead I decided to focus on one shot and only play a fade when a hole absolutely required it. The draws went pretty well. The few fades I hit either went straight or curved too hard to the right. And that's the issue. Going to try this for real on the course next time out, hopefully next weekend.

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