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  • How do you hit a driver

    Hi guys,

    Got to use my new driver(Nike Sumo 2) for the first time yesterday and today at the driving range. Not very happy.

    I can hit my 3 wood about 190-210 on the fly, with roll it totals about 250-260 meters. I am hitting my driver about 160-170 on the fly with roll about 190-200 meters. When I hit a ball it seams to fly high to me, getting up to about 30-40 meters with a rapid drop off. Now there are probably a lot of things I am doing wrong as I have never hit a driver before.

    Can you guys please give me some pointers on how to hit the thing. I figure it must be something I am doing as Tiger seams to hit the same thing way further.

    There is also another more specific question, can you hit these thing too hard. Is it possible to over muscle the club.

    Thanks guys

    Christopher

  • #2
    Re: How do you hit a driver

    Hi Christopher

    First of all a slightly tongue in cheek "Congratulations", you're hitting your 3 wood pga tour average distance for the driver - when you get the big dog working that ball will really fly Seriously though I think you need to check out your distances; If you are over estimating them then it will cause you some course management issues down the road.

    But back to your question. Your might like to check out this guy and this video in particular, some good stuff which given how you've described your problems might well help.

    It's been posted before on here and has helped me.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=u68RZjdnVMs

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How do you hit a driver

      Originally posted by bdbl View Post
      Hi Christopher

      First of all a slightly tongue in cheek "Congratulations", you're hitting your 3 wood pga tour average distance for the driver - when you get the big dog working that ball will really fly Seriously though I think you need to check out your distances; If you are over estimating them then it will cause you some course management issues down the road.

      But back to your question. Your might like to check out this guy and this video in particular, some good stuff which given how you've described your problems might well help.

      It's been posted before on here and has helped me.

      http://youtube.com/watch?v=u68RZjdnVMs
      Thanks for the reply. Yes I was skeptical about the distance markers at the driving range too, so I checked them with a laser range finder. The markers were out by 10 meters(overstated), so I know my distance is accurate but I didn't think it was that far in comparison to the pros. Nice to know. Maybe I should just leave the driver at home and go with the 3 wood.

      The video is great. It does give me something else to try.

      I just finished hitting 40 balls at the driving range 3 hrs ago, and my arms are feeling very fatigued/tired. Is that normal or is this part of my problem?

      Christopher

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How do you hit a driver

        Just a few quick points:

        1) Carry is king, roll means nothing. I've never, ever heard someone ask how far to roll past a bunker.

        2) I'm hoping the smiley indicates that when it comes to swinging 'the same club as Tiger' you know you're really not... and it's truly the indian and not the arrow at this point.

        3) It's completely possible to overpower a club. You sound like you're ballooning your driver. If the ball has any 'sudden' movement in the ball flight, you're over-spinning it, killing distance. I've hit a few weak R flex drivers... I had a post on here complaining about hitting a drive that would go dead straight for 100 yards or so then make an abrupt right turn. I've since learned that I was spinning the junk out of the ball - wedge type spin numbers with a driver is bad!

        Time for less loft!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How do you hit a driver

          Originally posted by LowPost42 View Post
          Just a few quick points:

          1) Carry is king, roll means nothing. I've never, ever heard someone ask how far to roll past a bunker.

          2) I'm hoping the smiley indicates that when it comes to swinging 'the same club as Tiger' you know you're really not... and it's truly the indian and not the arrow at this point.

          3) It's completely possible to overpower a club. You sound like you're ballooning your driver. If the ball has any 'sudden' movement in the ball flight, you're over-spinning it, killing distance. I've hit a few weak R flex drivers... I had a post on here complaining about hitting a drive that would go dead straight for 100 yards or so then make an abrupt right turn. I've since learned that I was spinning the junk out of the ball - wedge type spin numbers with a driver is bad!

          Time for less loft!
          Thanks for the reply LP.

          1. Yes I recognize carry is king but I thought the driver is supposed to have a good amount of roll to it. When I hit the driver the ball flight looks like a massive wedge shot.

          2. The smile was the sarcastic one, I was hoping to convey that at this point I think it is not the equipment that is at fault but my technique.

          3. If I miss hit, I might get a push or pull shot but no real sudden movements of the ball. It really does look like a huge wedge shot, and there have been times where it looks to stop within 10-15 meters of the first bounce. So can this be caused by the equipment(shaft or the 10.5 loft angle) or is it more technique?

          Christopher
          Last edited by ReefBoy; 11-06-2008, 05:51 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How do you hit a driver

            Tough to say without LM numbers or seeing you hit a driver.

            Where on the face are you hitting? I'll guess high.

            Where in your stance are you playing the ball?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How do you hit a driver

              Originally posted by LowPost42 View Post
              Tough to say without LM numbers or seeing you hit a driver.

              Where on the face are you hitting? I'll guess high.

              Where in your stance are you playing the ball?
              I don't have access to launch numbers at the moment but I will see about posting a video.

              The impact spot is mainly on the sweet spot. The ball is teed up so that 1/2 the ball is over the club head.

              As far as the ball position goes I have been playing with that. I have tried to play it forward(opposite left heel) but that seamed to result in more miss hits. I also tried dead centre and it was better then way forward but also with more miss hits. I settled for a spot in between the two which results in the least miss hits.

              Just thinking about it could I be to vertical in my one plane swing and not enough flat around to hit this thing without a lot of backspin?

              Christopher

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How do you hit a driver

                Trackman has showed that Angle of Attack doesn't really effect spin numbers - the type of ball played and the loft of your driver does.

                Do you really know where the sweet spot is? Or are you simply referencing the middle of the face where the scorelines aren't?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How do you hit a driver

                  Originally posted by LowPost42 View Post

                  Do you really know where the sweet spot is? Or are you simply referencing the middle of the face where the scorelines aren't?
                  Opps! In that case I am showing my ignorance again Yes I was referring to the middle of the face. In that case where is the sweet spot on a driver and does it change and by how much depending type and manufacturer.

                  Christopher

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How do you hit a driver

                    Originally posted by LowPost42 View Post
                    Trackman has showed that Angle of Attack doesn't really effect spin numbers - the type of ball played and the loft of your driver does.

                    Do you really know where the sweet spot is? Or are you simply referencing the middle of the face where the scorelines aren't?
                    I take it your refering to this:
                    http://trackmangolf.com/newsletter/j...tackAngle.html

                    I'd want to see third party varification (like scientists) on angle of attack relationship to spin before I accept their statement, of angle of contact having no significance on backspin rate, as being true.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How do you hit a driver

                      RB, The sweet spot is where the Center of Gravity lines up behind the face. In my Wishon 919, for example, it's about 3/8" above the middle of the face. It's totally dependent on where the weight is. Ideally, we'd all be hitting drivers where the CoG lines up behind the middle of the face (where the max COR is).

                      AG, I'm pretty happy to trust Trackman at this point.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How do you hit a driver

                        The video bdbl presented makes a lot of good points. The driver setup is significantly different than setup for your other clubs. Especially these big head, long shaft, low loft monsters used today. Treat it as such whenever you line up with a driver.

                        One tell tale sign that something is amiss with your setup is if your shaft has a forward lean. The shaft should pretty much be straight up and down to even a very slight lean back when you set up. Your hands should not be in front of the clubhead. I think you rarely see someone set up to a driver properly who doesn't lean his torso a bit to the rear when taking his stance. You really have to reach down with the right hand to grip the club so if you don't lean straight back as you reach down with the right hand you probably are throwing the right shoulder out a bit as described in the video effectively opening your shoulders to the target. Make sure the ball is forward enough in your stance. When you line up with a driver next time have someone lay a club on the ground up against the tee perpedicular to the target line with the end of the shaft down between your legs. Many times people think they have the ball far enough forward but it is sometime hard to judge from the address position. You cannot line up properly to the ball if you don't have it forward enough in your stance.

                        Do some searches and look at a lot of vidoes about hitting the driver. You will see a lot of the same fundamentals being repeated. Learn the fundamentals and get the mind set that whenever you pull the driver out of the bag it is a unique club that has it's own set of rules.

                        Keep in mind, this is just and opinon from someone with an 18 handicap. It is just something that seems to work for me. I'm not great but I hit my driver a lot better than most of the people with whom I regularly play.
                        Last edited by jambalaya; 06-12-2008, 01:07 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How do you hit a driver

                          Originally posted by jambalaya View Post
                          Your hands should not be in front of the clubhead.
                          Not sure that is strictly true is it?

                          With my driver my hands seem to be placed placed in front of the clubhead automatically by the offset (?) shaft so surely the key reference point is keeping the hands behind or just level with the ball?

                          Or is this a misconception on my part that explains my rubbish driving.

                          As for the sweet spot ,one idea for reefboy would be to hold the club about 6 inches from the head, face up and drop a ball (with the other hand ) on to the face from about 12 inches and just listen to the sound and see the bounce, top, middle, bottom, heel, toe - should give a fair indication of the optimum spot for impact.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How do you hit a driver

                            Originally posted by bdbl View Post
                            Not sure that is strictly true is it?

                            With my driver my hands seem to be placed placed in front of the clubhead automatically by the offset (?) shaft so surely the key reference point is keeping the hands behind or just level with the ball?

                            Or is this a misconception on my part that explains my rubbish driving.

                            As for the sweet spot ,one idea for reefboy would be to hold the club about 6 inches from the head, face up and drop a ball (with the other hand ) on to the face from about 12 inches and just listen to the sound and see the bounce, top, middle, bottom, heel, toe - should give a fair indication of the optimum spot for impact.
                            So you have an offset driver? Didn't think about that acutally. Just pretend you have a straight shaft and let the offset take care of itself. But I think your thought basically works. As the video describes we are trying to hit the ball on a very slight upswing. Depending on where you set your club at address you probably have slight variations on hand position vresus club head. I prefer to set the club near the ball at address where it would be nearer the impact point. So my shaft is almost straight up and down to leaning back a little. In my mind this reinforces the idea of sweeping up on the ball. Some people will set the club further back.
                            Last edited by jambalaya; 06-12-2008, 02:58 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How do you hit a driver

                              I have an unconventional driver swing and setup. At least, I feel it's unconventional - I've never videotaped it, so I actually can't tell.

                              When I setup, I play the ball of my big toe. I setup with what feels like a ton of spine tilt away from target. I hover the club at the ball - certainly this puts the hands behind the clubhead at address. I also tee the ball up by barely inserting a 3.25" tee into the grass - so on average I've got around 3/4 of the ball over the top of the grounded driver.

                              When I swing, I never get all my weight on my left side. And I proceed to smash the hell out of the ball - 1.47 smash factor is my average (verified on my PureLaunch LM).

                              Chuck Quinton has a 'bomb your driver' series of videos developed. He agrees (as I do) that the driver is a specialty club. It's a "maximum distance" type club - you already carry a fairway finder, and we call it a 5 iron.

                              Most don't hit driver off the deck, don't use it around the green, so much like a putter, it's a "one use" club. Learn how to swing it to maximize your distance, and only use that swing with your driver. You'll be glad you did.

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