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3W vs Driver off the tee


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It's a yardage/what kind of approach shot do I want thing. Under 390, I go 3 wood. It's straight and I can get it 250-260, leaving me 140-130 in.

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Most days, I wonder why I even have a 3 wood. When I need to bomb it, I hit my driver, when I need to hit a conservative shot, I go easy on my driver, and if I NEED it in the fairway, I hit my 20 degr

The point isn't that hole. Its that being in the fairway and accuracy don't have that much to do with each other. Shorter hitters arn't more accurate, but they are in the fairway a whole lot more. Being in the fairway is a cocktail of aim line, club choice, distance and impact. Being accurate is your path and face at impact. Its insane to purposefully make yourself shorter to be in the fairway more. Its an optical illusion. Your not more accurate, you are just shorter. A whole lot of people get fooled by this. Missing the same just shorter isn't better. Its worse. There may be some holes where its better in the short-term, but over time its much worse to miss short on the same line than long.

 

Nobody ever misses a fairway and says "dang, I hit it too far for that aim line", but that is usually what is actually happening. Its not your accuracy *unless* you isolate the variable. You have no idea if you are 1,2,3 or 4 in the drawing above. Until/unless you do, you can't fix it no matter how many times you get fit.

 

I disagree with this. I get what you're saying, but a lot of times a shorter club leads to better face angle, strike, and angle of attack. Playing a club too long can make one feel stuck so they do things they normally don't do in order to compensate. I'm sure there are plenty of times where a shorter driver leads to the results you mentioned, but it's not an absolute.

 

Not sure where we are disagreeing? I agree with this post completely.

 

Re: the original topic, I am saying that if the shorter club changes the red line (i.e. you hit it with better path and face) you should absolutely consider "gearing down" to it. But if all your doing is missing shorter on the same line, it is very valuable at all. A lot of players mistake "3 wood is more accurate" for "3 wood is shorter". However, if it actually *is* more accurate (i.e. path and face) then it opens up new options.

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im not mocking it. Im just saying his theory doesn't hold water, especially when you playa course like erin hills and your theory doesn't hold water either....but were off point anyway....the topic is the 3w vs driver.....should fitting be changed? I mean if you get on a monitor and field test a driver with a much shorter shaft but hit it straight and 20 yard shorter, shouldn't that be factored in?

 

Its pretty on-point, actually. You arn't getting straighter. Your just getting shorter on the same line.

 

 

 

Which golfer is the "most accurate", 1, 2, 3 or 4? Two are in the fairway, ones in the trees, one is OB. Are 1 and 2, in your mind, "more accurate" than 3 and 4? (pretend the red ballflight line is straight). If you had to place a bet on which of these players was the best based solely on this diagram, which would you pick?

 

If shortening the shaft changes the line, it should be done. But if it just reduces speed so you are shorter on the same line, its silly.

 

More to the point, which golfer, above, would you rather be? I mean, two of them are in the fairway...

Did your 3 yr old draw this? lol.....

 

Anyway, # 4 hit it 320? wow...and he is in the rough......

 

how far did 1 and 2 hit it? 100 yards? they seem very far behind # 4.....if its only 20 yards, im taking # 2. He is in position to have many options for his 2nd shot ASSUMING its a straight hole....# 4 may have deep rough, trees, sticks, rocks....limbs hanging over......a trap in his path coming from a sharp angle.....# 2 is the play...whats all that stuff around # 3's ball?

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im not mocking it. Im just saying his theory doesn't hold water, especially when you playa course like erin hills and your theory doesn't hold water either....but were off point anyway....the topic is the 3w vs driver.....should fitting be changed? I mean if you get on a monitor and field test a driver with a much shorter shaft but hit it straight and 20 yard shorter, shouldn't that be factored in?

 

Its pretty on-point, actually. You arn't getting straighter. Your just getting shorter on the same line.

 

 

 

Which golfer is the "most accurate", 1, 2, 3 or 4? Two are in the fairway, ones in the trees, one is OB. Are 1 and 2, in your mind, "more accurate" than 3 and 4? (pretend the red ballflight line is straight). If you had to place a bet on which of these players was the best based solely on this diagram, which would you pick?

 

If shortening the shaft changes the line, it should be done. But if it just reduces speed so you are shorter on the same line, its silly.

 

More to the point, which golfer, above, would you rather be? I mean, two of them are in the fairway...

Did your 3 yr old draw this? lol.....

 

Anyway, # 4 hit it 320? wow...and he is in the rough......

 

how far did 1 and 2 hit it? 100 yards? they seem very far behind # 4.....if its only 20 yards, im taking # 2. He is in position to have many options for his 2nd shot ASSUMING its a straight hole....# 4 may have deep rough, trees, sticks, rocks....limbs hanging over......a trap in his path coming from a sharp angle.....# 2 is the play...whats all that stuff around # 3's ball?

 

I drew it in MS Paint. Pretty sweet I think!

 

I don't mean literally which would you rather be on this hole, I mean in general. Everyone in this thread is saying they want to be in the fairway and that means they are accurate. So, the question is, which of those four golfers hit the most accurate shot? Are 1 and 2 "more accurate" simply because they are so short they can't reach the trouble?

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The 3w isn't just more consistent because of playing length, but also because of spin and launch. It's easier to hit a 3w off the deck for the same reason that it's easier to hit a PW vs a 7i. Length is a part of it, but loft (which equates to ease of use due to easier launch conditions and more spin) also play a part in it. The more loft something has, the easier it is to control the club vertically and horizontally, with the assumption that a straighter flight is the goal. In converse, it's the same reasons that I'd rather use my driver to hit a cut shot / hook, intentionally.

 

At the end of the day, I really just hit my 3w vs driver in scenarios where hitting a driver would go too far. I don't have my 3w set up for max distance potential. I finally set my ego aside and lofted up for consistent trajectory, as it's better to have a consistent carry number than it is to have a potential 280 total, but anywhere from 20-50 yards of roll.

 

I'll say in general that the 3w just has a more consistent ball flight for me and in general, a much smaller miss, for whatever reason the rest of the group concludes.

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im not mocking it. Im just saying his theory doesn't hold water, especially when you playa course like erin hills and your theory doesn't hold water either....but were off point anyway....the topic is the 3w vs driver.....should fitting be changed? I mean if you get on a monitor and field test a driver with a much shorter shaft but hit it straight and 20 yard shorter, shouldn't that be factored in?

 

Its pretty on-point, actually. You arn't getting straighter. Your just getting shorter on the same line.

 

 

 

Which golfer is the "most accurate", 1, 2, 3 or 4? Two are in the fairway, ones in the trees, one is OB. Are 1 and 2, in your mind, "more accurate" than 3 and 4? (pretend the red ballflight line is straight). If you had to place a bet on which of these players was the best based solely on this diagram, which would you pick?

 

If shortening the shaft changes the line, it should be done. But if it just reduces speed so you are shorter on the same line, its silly.

 

More to the point, which golfer, above, would you rather be? I mean, two of them are in the fairway...

Did your 3 yr old draw this? lol.....

 

Anyway, # 4 hit it 320? wow...and he is in the rough......

 

how far did 1 and 2 hit it? 100 yards? they seem very far behind # 4.....if its only 20 yards, im taking # 2. He is in position to have many options for his 2nd shot ASSUMING its a straight hole....# 4 may have deep rough, trees, sticks, rocks....limbs hanging over......a trap in his path coming from a sharp angle.....# 2 is the play...whats all that stuff around # 3's ball?

 

I drew it in MS Paint. Pretty sweet I think!

 

I don't mean literally which would you rather be on this hole, I mean in general. Everyone in this thread is saying they want to be in the fairway and that means they are accurate. So, the question is, which of those four golfers hit the most accurate shot? Are 1 and 2 "more accurate" simply because they are so short they can't reach the trouble?

 

Dude. Who cares? Golf isn't a game of accurate. How do you score? Where can you score from?

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im not mocking it. Im just saying his theory doesn't hold water, especially when you playa course like erin hills and your theory doesn't hold water either....but were off point anyway....the topic is the 3w vs driver.....should fitting be changed? I mean if you get on a monitor and field test a driver with a much shorter shaft but hit it straight and 20 yard shorter, shouldn't that be factored in?

 

Its pretty on-point, actually. You arn't getting straighter. Your just getting shorter on the same line.

 

 

 

Which golfer is the "most accurate", 1, 2, 3 or 4? Two are in the fairway, ones in the trees, one is OB. Are 1 and 2, in your mind, "more accurate" than 3 and 4? (pretend the red ballflight line is straight). If you had to place a bet on which of these players was the best based solely on this diagram, which would you pick?

 

If shortening the shaft changes the line, it should be done. But if it just reduces speed so you are shorter on the same line, its silly.

 

More to the point, which golfer, above, would you rather be? I mean, two of them are in the fairway...

Did your 3 yr old draw this? lol.....

 

Anyway, # 4 hit it 320? wow...and he is in the rough......

 

how far did 1 and 2 hit it? 100 yards? they seem very far behind # 4.....if its only 20 yards, im taking # 2. He is in position to have many options for his 2nd shot ASSUMING its a straight hole....# 4 may have deep rough, trees, sticks, rocks....limbs hanging over......a trap in his path coming from a sharp angle.....# 2 is the play...whats all that stuff around # 3's ball?

 

I drew it in MS Paint. Pretty sweet I think!

 

I don't mean literally which would you rather be on this hole, I mean in general. Everyone in this thread is saying they want to be in the fairway and that means they are accurate. So, the question is, which of those four golfers hit the most accurate shot? Are 1 and 2 "more accurate" simply because they are so short they can't reach the trouble?

Its better than I could do!! Just a question....why do they have fairways? if you think # 4 is more accurate, why have fairways at all? But to answer your question, YES, they are more accurate because they hit the fairway! its that simple.....there is nothing that says hitting your drive in rough is accurate. Absolutely nothing.
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The 3w isn't just more consistent because of playing length, but also because of spin and launch. It's easier to hit a 3w off the deck for the same reason that it's easier to hit a PW vs a 7i. Length is a part of it, but loft (which equates to ease of use due to easier launch conditions and more spin) also play a part in it. The more loft something has, the easier it is to control the club vertically and horizontally, with the assumption that a straighter flight is the goal. In converse, it's the same reasons that I'd rather use my driver to hit a cut shot / hook, intentionally.

 

At the end of the day, I really just hit my 3w vs driver in scenarios where hitting a driver would go too far. I don't have my 3w set up for max distance potential. I finally set my ego aside and lofted up for consistent trajectory, as it's better to have a consistent carry number than it is to have a potential 280 total, but anywhere from 20-50 yards of roll.

Isn't the counter to your argument single length irons? Proponents argue with all shafts being 7i or 8i length, higher HC (or anybody I guess) can strike the "long" irons better simply due to length of shafts (and to a lesser extent, the same swing throughout the set).

 

Not disagreeing with you, just bringing up a talking point.

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The 3w isn't just more consistent because of playing length, but also because of spin and launch. It's easier to hit a 3w off the deck for the same reason that it's easier to hit a PW vs a 7i. Length is a part of it, but loft (which equates to ease of use due to easier launch conditions and more spin) also play a part in it. The more loft something has, the easier it is to control the club vertically and horizontally, with the assumption that a straighter flight is the goal. In converse, it's the same reasons that I'd rather use my driver to hit a cut shot / hook, intentionally.

 

At the end of the day, I really just hit my 3w vs driver in scenarios where hitting a driver would go too far. I don't have my 3w set up for max distance potential. I finally set my ego aside and lofted up for consistent trajectory, as it's better to have a consistent carry number than it is to have a potential 280 total, but anywhere from 20-50 yards of roll.

Isn't the counter to your argument single length irons? Proponents argue with all shafts being 7i or 8i length, higher HC (or anybody I guess) can strike the "long" irons better simply due to length of shafts (and to a lesser extent, the same swing throughout the set).

 

Not disagreeing with you, just bringing up a talking point.

 

The more spin loft a club has the less axis tilt (side spin) you should get. That's why it's hard to really turn a lob wedge. So a higher lofted club should minimize curve misses (slice/hooks) a little. I think the main advantage of a shorter club though is what psg drew. A bad shot goes less distance offline. Why do you think the LPGA is always in the fairway

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An experiment born out of frustration, I started leaving the 'safe' driving club 3 or 4 wood out of the bag and having my 7 wood being the next club down from driver. Thing is, when I started using really forgiving drivers like the Cleveland Classic Custom and the Anser, the driver became easier than the 4 wood. From 7 wood down to putter, I feel I may sometimes miss green but will seldom miss fairway so the confidence is on another level. My as yet untested G25 4 wood is an experiment born out of curiosity, to see if the 4 could become viable again.

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im not mocking it. Im just saying his theory doesn't hold water, especially when you playa course like erin hills and your theory doesn't hold water either....but were off point anyway....the topic is the 3w vs driver.....should fitting be changed? I mean if you get on a monitor and field test a driver with a much shorter shaft but hit it straight and 20 yard shorter, shouldn't that be factored in?

 

Its pretty on-point, actually. You arn't getting straighter. Your just getting shorter on the same line.

 

 

 

Which golfer is the "most accurate", 1, 2, 3 or 4? Two are in the fairway, ones in the trees, one is OB. Are 1 and 2, in your mind, "more accurate" than 3 and 4? (pretend the red ballflight line is straight). If you had to place a bet on which of these players was the best based solely on this diagram, which would you pick?

 

If shortening the shaft changes the line, it should be done. But if it just reduces speed so you are shorter on the same line, its silly.

 

More to the point, which golfer, above, would you rather be? I mean, two of them are in the fairway...

Did your 3 yr old draw this? lol.....

 

Anyway, # 4 hit it 320? wow...and he is in the rough......

 

how far did 1 and 2 hit it? 100 yards? they seem very far behind # 4.....if its only 20 yards, im taking # 2. He is in position to have many options for his 2nd shot ASSUMING its a straight hole....# 4 may have deep rough, trees, sticks, rocks....limbs hanging over......a trap in his path coming from a sharp angle.....# 2 is the play...whats all that stuff around # 3's ball?

 

I drew it in MS Paint. Pretty sweet I think!

 

I don't mean literally which would you rather be on this hole, I mean in general. Everyone in this thread is saying they want to be in the fairway and that means they are accurate. So, the question is, which of those four golfers hit the most accurate shot? Are 1 and 2 "more accurate" simply because they are so short they can't reach the trouble?

Its better than I could do!! Just a question....why do they have fairways? if you think # 4 is more accurate, why have fairways at all? But to answer your question, YES, they are more accurate because they hit the fairway! its that simple.....there is nothing that says hitting your drive in rough is accurate. Absolutely nothing.

 

I think they all have the same accuracy, because they all had the same path and face at impact. The fact that on that particular course the fairway ends in a given place is irrelevant. If cutting your driver down changes the red line it actually makes you more accurate. If cutting your driver down moves you from 3 to 2, its not making you more accurate. You are just missing shorter on the same line and being fooled.

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How about this question. If you only use your 3 wood off the tee, would you be better off putting a 2nd cut down, possibly higher lofted driver in the bag for when a longer distance brings more trouble into play? I.e shorter on the red line.

 

When I was a higher cap, I used a 13* driver (Nike Lucky 13) on a pro launch blue cut to 43.5" with appropriate weight added to the head. I think that is a very good idea for your 3 wood if you can't reliably hit par 5s in two shots. There is a skill line where being able to get in the green complex in 2 outweighs a high-loft driver in terms of score, but most are not at or by that line. I think most players should play two drivers.

 

Most people do not see a huge change in path and face swing to swing over time (our brains remember outliers, so you'll remember it more if you slice one OB, but that isn't the "normal" shot for you) so typically each one of your clubs is going to put your somewhere on that red line. Accuracy is relatively independent of club. Its an optical illusion because shorter shots don't look like big misses (but they are, if you judge in terms of %, which is how you should judge to factor out distance - you didn't miss 20 yards right, you missed 8% right).

 

A pitching wedge from 100 yards that misses by 20 feet is a 7.5% miss. A driver that goes 300 yards and misses by 45 feet is a 5% miss. That driver is in the rough, and the PW is still on the green. People in this thread would tell you to go work on your driver ("your in the rough omg!") but you are actually less accurate with your pitching wedge even though its on the green and you should work on the wedge given those numbers, not the driver.

 

So if you think about all your clubs plotting you at certain points up the red line having a short, heavy, high-loft driver makes a whole lot of sense for a mid/high cap because *it actually moves the red line* it doesn't just put you on the same line shorter the way a typical driver-3wood-5wood progression does.

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How about this question. If you only use your 3 wood off the tee, would you be better off putting a 2nd cut down, possibly higher lofted driver in the bag for when a longer distance brings more trouble into play? I.e shorter on the red line.

 

When I was a higher cap, I used a 13* driver (Nike Lucky 13) on a pro launch blue cut to 43.5" with appropriate weight added to the head. I think that is a very good idea for your 3 wood if you can't reliably hit par 5s in two shots. There is a skill line where being able to get in the green complex in 2 outweighs a high-loft driver in terms of score, but most are not at or by that line. I think most players should play two drivers.

 

Most people do not see a huge change in path and face swing to swing over time (our brains remember outliers, so you'll remember it more if you slice one OB, but that isn't the "normal" shot for you) so typically each one of your clubs is going to put your somewhere on that red line. Accuracy is relatively independent of club. Its an optical illusion because shorter shots don't look like big misses (but they are, if you judge in terms of %, which is how you should judge to factor out distance - you didn't miss 20 yards right, you missed 8% right).

 

A pitching wedge from 100 yards that misses by 20 feet is a 7.5% miss. A driver that goes 300 yards and misses by 45 feet is a 5% miss. That driver is in the rough, and the PW is still on the green. People in this thread would tell you to go work on your driver ("your in the rough omg!") but you are actually less accurate with your pitching wedge even though its on the green and you should work on the wedge given those numbers, not the driver.

 

So if you think about all your clubs plotting you at certain points up the red line having a short, heavy, high-loft driver makes a whole lot of sense for a mid/high cap because *it actually moves the red line* it doesn't just put you on the same line shorter the way a typical driver-3wood-5wood progression does.

 

Here is where I differ with you. I understand why you are saying you are less accurate with PW in this scenario. In terms of degrees offline I agree with you. The trouble is I see no where to enter degrees offline on my scorecard. A 20 ft miss w PW will probably get me down in less than 2 per strokes gained. I'm robably going to score, make par. If I'm OB not a chance.

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I was always a proponent of closer to the green = and easier next shot. However as I have gotten better, I play to my strengths. I am better in between 100-120 yds than any other distance so unless I can easily get to that distance, I hit my 3 wood, because for some reason I hit that more consistently in the same direction than any other long club. I will still hit my driver if I can't get inside 190, because for me being 160-190 really isn't that much of a difference in shot quality, but 190+ it exponentially drops my GIRs. If I have an option to hit driver and get to 120 I will hit it, otherwise if my 3 wood puts me at 175, I don't mind that over being 140. Also my 3 wood gives me more confidence in my shot shape. I can eliminate the right side with it, and even if I miss with it, I am usually in the left trees and a rescue shot from the left trees is for whatever reason easier than the right. So I guess you could say that I play to my misses with my preferred miss being left. However if I have a tight hole with a hazard on the left and I can't clear it safely with either club (driver or 3w)... I will hit a 5 iron or hybrid and make sure I get in play. Even if that leaves me 200+ into the hole. Sometimes I am just resigned to the fact that I have to play a few 3 shot par 4's.

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I think they all have the same accuracy, because they all had the same path and face at impact. The fact that on that particular course the fairway ends in a given place is irrelevant. If cutting your driver down changes the red line it actually makes you more accurate. If cutting your driver down moves you from 3 to 2, its not making you more accurate. You are just missing shorter on the same line and being fooled.

the only thing you are actually saying is drivers go longer than 3 woods.....we knew that in 1700. nothing you are saying is in any way related to the topic.

 

the original discussion was surrounding the issue with driver accuracy and how a 3 wood is more accurate because its more controllable and if fitting a shorter driver shaft should be part of the fitting process. Your picture should show # 4 hitting a hook or a slice or push / pull into the rough at 300 yards vs # 1 hitting it straight at 280 yards in the middle. paint up that and lets talk.

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Aren't there USGA/R&A limits on driver's CORs, but not fairway woods? So couldn't a fairway wood have a hotter face than a driver, greatly minimizing the distance gap between a driver and a fairway wood. Isn't that part of the reason Koepka and Thomas could hit the 676 yard 18-hole at Erin Hills in two with 3W off the tee?

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It's all about managing the course.

 

I'll go out most of the time and pound drivers off the tee because, I'm trying to figure it out and don't care about putting a couple of triples up after slicing the ball OB.

 

If I want to score, I'm going to hit 3W unless I know there is minimum danger right. I don't see much difference in accuracy 6 through UW, so I'm fine playing out of the fairway or first cut between 115 and 190.

 

If I am hitting Driver we'll, I'll still hit 3W to keep me above 85 and with a full swing in.

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How about this question. If you only use your 3 wood off the tee, would you be better off putting a 2nd cut down, possibly higher lofted driver in the bag for when a longer distance brings more trouble into play? I.e shorter on the red line.

 

When I was a higher cap, I used a 13* driver (Nike Lucky 13) on a pro launch blue cut to 43.5" with appropriate weight added to the head. I think that is a very good idea for your 3 wood if you can't reliably hit par 5s in two shots. There is a skill line where being able to get in the green complex in 2 outweighs a high-loft driver in terms of score, but most are not at or by that line. I think most players should play two drivers.

 

Most people do not see a huge change in path and face swing to swing over time (our brains remember outliers, so you'll remember it more if you slice one OB, but that isn't the "normal" shot for you) so typically each one of your clubs is going to put your somewhere on that red line. Accuracy is relatively independent of club. Its an optical illusion because shorter shots don't look like big misses (but they are, if you judge in terms of %, which is how you should judge to factor out distance - you didn't miss 20 yards right, you missed 8% right).

 

A pitching wedge from 100 yards that misses by 20 feet is a 7.5% miss. A driver that goes 300 yards and misses by 45 feet is a 5% miss. That driver is in the rough, and the PW is still on the green. People in this thread would tell you to go work on your driver ("your in the rough omg!") but you are actually less accurate with your pitching wedge even though its on the green and you should work on the wedge given those numbers, not the driver.

 

So if you think about all your clubs plotting you at certain points up the red line having a short, heavy, high-loft driver makes a whole lot of sense for a mid/high cap because *it actually moves the red line* it doesn't just put you on the same line shorter the way a typical driver-3wood-5wood progression does.

 

Here is where I differ with you. I understand why you are saying you are less accurate with PW in this scenario. In terms of degrees offline I agree with you. The trouble is I see no where to enter degrees offline on my scorecard. A 20 ft miss w PW will probably get me down in less than 2 per strokes gained. I'm robably going to score, make par. If I'm OB not a chance.

 

Your thought process is correct, but your answer is wrong. Missing in a smaller percent is always better than missing in a larger percent, unless the smaller percent miss is into a stroke-losing hazard. In other words, if you are trying to decide what to improve, you lose more strokes hitting a PW 7.5% off than a driver 5% off unless the driver goes into a stroke causing hazard.

 

You can't do this math in your head my friend. You are using words like "probably" and "I think". There is no need to do that. The work has already been done. It doesn't matter what club you are holding, a miss is a miss and it should be measured in percent. You lose or gain strokes on every single shot and you do so in proportion to the percentage of accuracy (i.e. proximity).

 

If a 3 wood causes you to miss 10% and a driver 7% *over time* you will gain more strokes improving the 3 wood and hitting the driver when you need to be accurate, unless, as I have said a hundred times, it brings a stroke-costing hazard into play.

 

The fact that the 7.5% pitching wedge puts you on the green and the driver puts on in the rough is irrelevant to how many strokes each may or may not gain you. You start the hole with a certain expected score given your ability and the difficulty level of the hole. That expected score is then adjusted based on the proximity of each shot you hit. Your brain lies to you and tells you a shot "on the green" is a good shot, but it actually isn't (in this scenario). Your brain lies to you and tells you a shot in the rough is a bad shot, but it actually isn't (in this scenario). You are simply adjusting your expected score every time you swing based on your actual miss being smaller or larger than your expected miss. If you flush a 2 iron to 15 feet, that is an incredible shot, but it isn't all that good in scoring terms (you'll still two putt). Same with the PW. However, with the 100 yard PW, you actually had a chance to hit it to one putt range and missed. That is disastrous in a strokes-gained scenario. With the driver in the rough, you still have an iron shot to hit it close.

 

All shots are created equal unless they go in a stroke costing hazard. Those shots that are close to the hole as a percentage of how far away they started decrease your expected score and they are good shots. Those shots that are not close to the hole as a percentage of how far away they started increase your expected score and they are not good shots.

 

In the contest of this discussion, the misses are exactly the same in the diagram. The percent of deviation from how long the shot was to where it landed is exactly the same. Over time (please note, for the last time, I don't mean *liteally* that hole, i mean it in the abstract) all four of the golfers are identically accurate.

 

If cutting your driver down changes the red line, you should do it. I do it (mine is 44.5" with an extra 16g in the head). I've exhaustively tested it and its more accurate, not just shorter on the same line. A lot of times, though, its just shorter and gives only the illusion of being more accurate.

 

EDIT:

 

I would suggest, and I don't know how to say this without coming across poorly, that good players would be much more upset about the missed scoring opportunity than a drive missing by 5% and leaking into the rough. You can look at the reactions of tour pros when they hit wedges on the green but out of one-putt range. That is because they understand this. All that matters in evaluating if a shot is good or bad is how much it changed (for up or down) your expected score on the hole. Yanking a PW way left (but still on the green) is a much bigger mistake than hitting a driver in the rough. Yet "bad" players will generally think the driver is worse because the pitching wedge "is still on the green". Its a defensive mentality that leads to bad golf. Again, chicken and egg: do they think like that because they are good, or are they good because they think like that?

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I think they all have the same accuracy, because they all had the same path and face at impact. The fact that on that particular course the fairway ends in a given place is irrelevant. If cutting your driver down changes the red line it actually makes you more accurate. If cutting your driver down moves you from 3 to 2, its not making you more accurate. You are just missing shorter on the same line and being fooled.

the only thing you are actually saying is drivers go longer than 3 woods.....we knew that in 1700. nothing you are saying is in any way related to the topic.

 

the original discussion was surrounding the issue with driver accuracy and how a 3 wood is more accurate because its more controllable and if fitting a shorter driver shaft should be part of the fitting process. Your picture should show # 4 hitting a hook or a slice or push / pull into the rough at 300 yards vs # 1 hitting it straight at 280 yards in the middle. paint up that and lets talk.

 

I've typed this at least twice. What I am saying is that for the majority of golfers cutting the shaft doesn't actually make them more accurate, it just makes them shorter on the same line. I said twice (three times?) that (1) it absolutely should be part of the fitting process and (2) you should only do it if it actually makes you more accurate i.e. moves the red line as oppossed to just fools you because you now can't hit it far enough to get into trouble on some holes.

 

There is no golfer alive who will go from a consistent slice/push into the rough to consistently straight in the middle by cutting a half or inch or so off their driver. That is a fantasy. your just losing yardage. Its an optical illusion. If that golfer does exist, he should absolutely cut his driver down tomorrow. But he doesn't. There is no magic line at 44.5" versus 45" where you get 20% more accurate. That is insanity. You could sell me on 3-5%, but nowhere near that. Now, there are plenty of golfers who cut down their driver, don't *Actually measure* anything, and are fooled into thinking they are more accurate. That happens quite a bit.

 

But yes, to answer your post, if you could go from "slicing/pushing into the rough at 300 to hitting it straight up the middle" by cutting down your driver, you should. If you can win the lottery, you should do that too.

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How about this question. If you only use your 3 wood off the tee, would you be better off putting a 2nd cut down, possibly higher lofted driver in the bag for when a longer distance brings more trouble into play? I.e shorter on the red line.

 

When I was a higher cap, I used a 13* driver (Nike Lucky 13) on a pro launch blue cut to 43.5" with appropriate weight added to the head. I think that is a very good idea for your 3 wood if you can't reliably hit par 5s in two shots. There is a skill line where being able to get in the green complex in 2 outweighs a high-loft driver in terms of score, but most are not at or by that line. I think most players should play two drivers.

 

Most people do not see a huge change in path and face swing to swing over time (our brains remember outliers, so you'll remember it more if you slice one OB, but that isn't the "normal" shot for you) so typically each one of your clubs is going to put your somewhere on that red line. Accuracy is relatively independent of club. Its an optical illusion because shorter shots don't look like big misses (but they are, if you judge in terms of %, which is how you should judge to factor out distance - you didn't miss 20 yards right, you missed 8% right).

 

A pitching wedge from 100 yards that misses by 20 feet is a 7.5% miss. A driver that goes 300 yards and misses by 45 feet is a 5% miss. That driver is in the rough, and the PW is still on the green. People in this thread would tell you to go work on your driver ("your in the rough omg!") but you are actually less accurate with your pitching wedge even though its on the green and you should work on the wedge given those numbers, not the driver.

 

So if you think about all your clubs plotting you at certain points up the red line having a short, heavy, high-loft driver makes a whole lot of sense for a mid/high cap because *it actually moves the red line* it doesn't just put you on the same line shorter the way a typical driver-3wood-5wood progression does.

 

Here is where I differ with you. I understand why you are saying you are less accurate with PW in this scenario. In terms of degrees offline I agree with you. The trouble is I see no where to enter degrees offline on my scorecard. A 20 ft miss w PW will probably get me down in less than 2 per strokes gained. I'm robably going to score, make par. If I'm OB not a chance.

 

Your thought process is correct, but your answer is wrong. Missing in a smaller percent is always better than missing in a larger percent, unless the smaller percent miss is into a stroke-losing hazard. In other words, if you are trying to decide what to improve, you lose more strokes hitting a PW 7.5% off than a driver 5% off unless the driver goes into a stroke causing hazard.

 

You can't do this math in your head my friend. You are using words like "probably" and "I think". There is no need to do that. The work has already been done. It doesn't matter what club you are holding, a miss is a miss and it should be measured in percent. You lose or gain strokes on every single shot and you do so in proportion to the percentage of accuracy (i.e. proximity).

 

If a 3 wood causes you to miss 10% and a driver 7% *over time* you will gain more strokes improving the 3 wood and hitting the driver when you need to be accurate, unless, as I have said a hundred times, it brings a stroke-costing hazard into play.

 

The fact that the 7.5% pitching wedge puts you on the green and the driver puts on in the rough is irrelevant to how many strokes each may or may not gain you. You start the hole with a certain expected score given your ability and the difficulty level of the hole. That expected score is then adjusted based on the proximity of each shot you hit. Your brain lies to you and tells you a shot "on the green" is a good shot, but it actually isn't (in this scenario). Your brain lies to you and tells you a shot in the rough is a bad shot, but it actually isn't (in this scenario). You are simply adjusting your expected score every time you swing based on your actual miss being smaller or larger than your expected miss. If you flush a 2 iron to 15 feet, that is an incredible shot, but it isn't all that good in scoring terms (you'll still two putt). Same with the PW. However, with the 100 yard PW, you actually had a chance to hit it to one putt range and missed. That is disastrous in a strokes-gained scenario. With the driver in the rough, you still have an iron shot to hit it close.

 

All shots are created equal unless they go in a stroke costing hazard. Those shots that are close to the hole as a percentage of how far away they started decrease your expected score and they are good shots. Those shots that are not close to the hole as a percentage of how far away they started increase your expected score and they are not good shots.

 

In the contest of this discussion, the misses are exactly the same in the diagram. The percent of deviation from how long the shot was to where it landed is exactly the same. Over time (please note, for the last time, I don't mean *liteally* that hole, i mean it in the abstract) all four of the golfers are identically accurate.

 

If cutting your driver down changes the red line, you should do it. I do it (mine is 44.5" with an extra 16g in the head). I've exhaustively tested it and its more accurate, not just shorter on the same line. A lot of times, though, its just shorter and gives only the illusion of being more accurate.

 

I understand what you are saying and I don't disagree in part. Like I said earlier in the thread, I agree that being longer off the tee will 1. cause you to miss more fairways, and 2. will generally lead to better scoring.

 

However, what I take issue with is this "always hit driver" generality which I don't think is true. You keep saying except for a "stroke-losing hazard." Being longer will bring hazards, OB into play for many, many recreational golfers. How many balls per round do you think the average golfer loses? "Always hit driver" is overly simplistic. I think there is an equation to be worked out including what is your dispersion/probability of degrees offline, how tight is the hole, what kind of hazard is in play, how far do you need to go to get a scoring club in your hand, etc. I would venture to guess though that the average golfer is losing a lot more strokes from hazards, penalties, and just having to get out of trouble then the strokes they lose by being 20 feet away vs. 8 feet.

 

Again, I agree that longer is generally better unless you are in a hazard. What I am saying is that driver brings hazards into play for many golfers. Thus I think blanket statements like "always hit driver" or "always hit a 3 wood" are not that helpful.

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Interesting topic. I find that a lot of the golfers who pride themselves on being great course managers and tee often with driving irons or hybrids, are usually playing from the shorter tees and do not have to worry as much about length.

 

Before a rabid pack of dogs descends on me, I enjoy varied tee boxes and personally don't like courses designed to have you only haul out your driver and dive bomb all 14 holes.

 

However, I could be one of these golfers who says "back in the day" I used mainly a strong 3W (13*) off the tee and had great fairway accuracy. But then I could say "back in the day" the courses were shorter and I played from the more forward tees.

 

A question was posed if I want to hit 6-iron from the fairway or 8-iron from the rough, my answer is always 8-iron from the rough, especially on a public track.

 

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How about this question. If you only use your 3 wood off the tee, would you be better off putting a 2nd cut down, possibly higher lofted driver in the bag for when a longer distance brings more trouble into play? I.e shorter on the red line.

 

When I was a higher cap, I used a 13* driver (Nike Lucky 13) on a pro launch blue cut to 43.5" with appropriate weight added to the head. I think that is a very good idea for your 3 wood if you can't reliably hit par 5s in two shots. There is a skill line where being able to get in the green complex in 2 outweighs a high-loft driver in terms of score, but most are not at or by that line. I think most players should play two drivers.

 

Most people do not see a huge change in path and face swing to swing over time (our brains remember outliers, so you'll remember it more if you slice one OB, but that isn't the "normal" shot for you) so typically each one of your clubs is going to put your somewhere on that red line. Accuracy is relatively independent of club. Its an optical illusion because shorter shots don't look like big misses (but they are, if you judge in terms of %, which is how you should judge to factor out distance - you didn't miss 20 yards right, you missed 8% right).

 

A pitching wedge from 100 yards that misses by 20 feet is a 7.5% miss. A driver that goes 300 yards and misses by 45 feet is a 5% miss. That driver is in the rough, and the PW is still on the green. People in this thread would tell you to go work on your driver ("your in the rough omg!") but you are actually less accurate with your pitching wedge even though its on the green and you should work on the wedge given those numbers, not the driver.

 

So if you think about all your clubs plotting you at certain points up the red line having a short, heavy, high-loft driver makes a whole lot of sense for a mid/high cap because *it actually moves the red line* it doesn't just put you on the same line shorter the way a typical driver-3wood-5wood progression does.

 

Here is where I differ with you. I understand why you are saying you are less accurate with PW in this scenario. In terms of degrees offline I agree with you. The trouble is I see no where to enter degrees offline on my scorecard. A 20 ft miss w PW will probably get me down in less than 2 per strokes gained. I'm robably going to score, make par. If I'm OB not a chance.

 

Your thought process is correct, but your answer is wrong. Missing in a smaller percent is always better than missing in a larger percent, unless the smaller percent miss is into a stroke-losing hazard. In other words, if you are trying to decide what to improve, you lose more strokes hitting a PW 7.5% off than a driver 5% off unless the driver goes into a stroke causing hazard.

 

You can't do this math in your head my friend. You are using words like "probably" and "I think". There is no need to do that. The work has already been done. It doesn't matter what club you are holding, a miss is a miss and it should be measured in percent. You lose or gain strokes on every single shot and you do so in proportion to the percentage of accuracy (i.e. proximity).

 

If a 3 wood causes you to miss 10% and a driver 7% *over time* you will gain more strokes improving the 3 wood and hitting the driver when you need to be accurate, unless, as I have said a hundred times, it brings a stroke-costing hazard into play.

 

The fact that the 7.5% pitching wedge puts you on the green and the driver puts on in the rough is irrelevant to how many strokes each may or may not gain you. You start the hole with a certain expected score given your ability and the difficulty level of the hole. That expected score is then adjusted based on the proximity of each shot you hit. Your brain lies to you and tells you a shot "on the green" is a good shot, but it actually isn't (in this scenario). Your brain lies to you and tells you a shot in the rough is a bad shot, but it actually isn't (in this scenario). You are simply adjusting your expected score every time you swing based on your actual miss being smaller or larger than your expected miss. If you flush a 2 iron to 15 feet, that is an incredible shot, but it isn't all that good in scoring terms (you'll still two putt). Same with the PW. However, with the 100 yard PW, you actually had a chance to hit it to one putt range and missed. That is disastrous in a strokes-gained scenario. With the driver in the rough, you still have an iron shot to hit it close.

 

All shots are created equal unless they go in a stroke costing hazard. Those shots that are close to the hole as a percentage of how far away they started decrease your expected score and they are good shots. Those shots that are not close to the hole as a percentage of how far away they started increase your expected score and they are not good shots.

 

In the contest of this discussion, the misses are exactly the same in the diagram. The percent of deviation from how long the shot was to where it landed is exactly the same. Over time (please note, for the last time, I don't mean *liteally* that hole, i mean it in the abstract) all four of the golfers are identically accurate.

 

If cutting your driver down changes the red line, you should do it. I do it (mine is 44.5" with an extra 16g in the head). I've exhaustively tested it and its more accurate, not just shorter on the same line. A lot of times, though, its just shorter and gives only the illusion of being more accurate.

 

I understand what you are saying and I don't disagree in part. Like I said earlier in the thread, I agree that being longer off the tee will 1. cause you to miss more fairways, and 2. will generally lead to better scoring.

 

However, what I take issue with is this "always hit driver" generality which I don't think is true. You keep saying except for a "stroke-losing hazard." Being longer will bring hazards, OB into play for many, many recreational golfers. How many balls per round do you think the average golfer loses? "Always hit driver" is overly simplistic. I think there is an equation to be worked out including what is your dispersion/probability of degrees offline, how tight is the hole, what kind of hazard is in play, how far do you need to go to get a scoring club in your hand, etc. I would venture to guess though that the average golfer is losing a lot more strokes from hazards, penalties, and just having to get out of trouble then the strokes they lose by being 20 feet away vs. 8 feet.

 

Again, I agree that longer is generally better unless you are in a hazard. What I am saying is that driver brings hazards into play for many golfers. Thus I think blanket statements like "always hit driver" or "always hit a 3 wood" are not that helpful.

 

I don't think you should always hit driver. Stroke-causing hazards eliminate clubs, whether it be driver because there is a lake at 260 or hybrid because you have a forced carry. Whether or not a certain club brings a hazard "into play" is player-dependent. If a 20 cap has a horrendous slice and there is a lake at 230 and on the deep right, driver probably brings it into play for that slicing high cap. For me, it doesn't. I agree with every single thing you have written here - stroke-costing hazards are death in golf, and your number one job is to avoid them.

 

What I am saying is that the definition of "accuracy" being used in this thread all over pages 1 and 2 isn't optimal. There is a cut-off point where cutting your driver down is just making you shorter. Nobody is advocating you cut it to 36", so obviously there is a point at which every player will cease to hit it better (better path and face) and start to simply miss shorter.

 

In the context of evaluating cutting length off your driver, saying you are "in the fairway" more is irrelevant and borderline harmful. What matters is if your deviation from you target line is decreasing. The fairway is irrelevant to this judgment on the effectiveness of cutting your driver. Not only is using fairway as the judge irrelevant, it will lead a high percentage of players to a really bad and harmful conclusion - they are more accurate, when in reality they are just shorter (cutting down may cause you to go from golfer 3 to golfer 2 in the picture, for example)

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I think we are agreeing a lot more than disagreeing. I agree with pretty much you said here and also think most people's idea of accuracy is skewed. When people talk about the LPGA or someone like Furyk being "so accurate" when he is dead last in distance on tour. I think your diagram shows why someone who is longer can seem less accurate when they are actually incredibly accurate (like DJ, Rory, or Bubba). However, your diagram also shows why many golfers should put away the driver because a longer ball has more potential for trouble. If someone actually is inaccurate using degrees offline, a longer club will be just that much work. Again, I am not talking about rough vs fairway, I am talking about penalty strokes, very penal hazards, etc. A shorter club should have a tighter probability cloud, whether it is on the red line or not (I am assuming a shorter shaft and more loft would typically "move the red line" for most people, further tightening the cloud). But yes, if hazards, are not in play for you I agree that longer will tend to be better on balance.

 

So in summary longer is better, except when it's not.

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https://www.amazon.c...e/dp/1592407501

 

You'd lose almost every time. The study has been done. Being able to hit an iron that is shorter with more loft more than makes up for the lie.

 

And it was 20 yards we were discussing, not 15. Two clubs. 8 iron vs. PW. 6 vs. 8.

 

We don't have to argue about it. Its a very good book if you haven't read it. The number one factor in how close you hit your irons is how close to the hole you start because it is so much easier to hit a shorter club with higher loft.

don't think so....its a busted theory.....and a business guy can say whatever he wants....playing from the rough is not the same or better than the middle of the fairway....as a golfer, how can you even seriously say this? no argument, it just doesn't make sense.

 

Look at Spieths sudden death hole....from rough to sand trap.....if he was in the middle of the fairway on his tee shot, you think it would have taken a miracle shot to win? he was just as well off from his tee shot? lol

 

Spieth's sudden death win is a perfect example of strokes gained. I'm kinda going from memory, but just put in the numbers into the ol' calculator. (Spoiler alert: tsecor, you're kinda on the right track)

 

I think 18 was playing about 455y, PGA scoring avg of 4.15. Jordan got a member's bounce off a tree and actually landed in the fairway about 225 out (-0.21), after Berger yanked his tee shot into the left rough but with 265 carry, so let's say 180 ytg (-0.16). So there's 45y difference from fairway to rough, and the strokes gained difference is only 0.05? (not 0.3 btw) Almost no difference, why? On average, these guys are really good.

 

Berger hits his approach to the green but with a lengthy putt, let's say it was 45 feet (I have no idea) but that shot would be worth 0.22 SG. That beats the pants off Jordan dumping it into the bunker with 15 ytg (-0.11). That's where the strokes gained difference really lies, in the approach shots.

 

So Berger's putting from 45 feet, that's 2.09 PGA scoring average to 2.46 for Spieth in the bunker from 15 yards. That's a 50/50 chance of getting up & down, where Berger's almost guaranteed a two-putt. On average. We know the rest.

 

Human beings play the game, statistics just help tell the story.

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3w is my favorite club in the bag & smack it almost as long as my driver & more accurately most of the time, for those reasons it comes out on most par 4's usually leaving me 7-pw in.

Driver gets used on really long par4's & all par 5's, unless I am having a super driver day, in which case it'll come out even on those 3w par 4's leaving some really short scoring irons.

However, my really great scoring days usually come when I have a plan & I actually plot my game, usually the night before, I'll decide what distance I want into every green & stick to the plan, I find myself using 2 hybrid off the tee quite a lot as well as 3w & then driver becomes my par5 only club.

I am most comfortable with my 3w off the tee though, my confidence is at its highest.

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You'd lose almost every time. The study has been done. Being able to hit an iron that is shorter with more loft more than makes up for the lie.

 

And it was 20 yards we were discussing, not 15. Two clubs. 8 iron vs. PW. 6 vs. 8.

 

We don't have to argue about it. Its a very good book if you haven't read it. The number one factor in how close you hit your irons is how close to the hole you start because it is so much easier to hit a shorter club with higher loft.

don't think so....its a busted theory.....and a business guy can say whatever he wants....playing from the rough is not the same or better than the middle of the fairway....as a golfer, how can you even seriously say this? no argument, it just doesn't make sense.

 

Look at Spieths sudden death hole....from rough to sand trap.....if he was in the middle of the fairway on his tee shot, you think it would have taken a miracle shot to win? he was just as well off from his tee shot? lol

 

Spieth's sudden death win is a perfect example of strokes gained. I'm kinda going from memory, but just put in the numbers into the ol' calculator. (Spoiler alert: tsecor, you're kinda on the right track)

 

I think 18 was playing about 455y, PGA scoring avg of 4.15. Jordan got a member's bounce off a tree and actually landed in the fairway about 225 out (-0.21), after Berger yanked his tee shot into the left rough but with 265 carry, so let's say 180 ytg (-0.16). So there's 45y difference from fairway to rough, and the strokes gained difference is only 0.05? (not 0.3 btw) Almost no difference, why? On average, these guys are really good.

 

Berger hits his approach to the green but with a lengthy putt, let's say it was 45 feet (I have no idea) but that shot would be worth 0.22 SG. That beats the pants off Jordan dumping it into the bunker with 15 ytg (-0.11). That's where the strokes gained difference really lies, in the approach shots.

 

So Berger's putting from 45 feet, that's 2.09 PGA scoring average to 2.46 for Spieth in the bunker from 15 yards. That's a 50/50 chance of getting up & down, where Berger's almost guaranteed a two-putt. On average. We know the rest.

 

Human beings play the game, statistics just help tell the story.

 

Absolutely. Strokes gained is descriptive of a population. While helpful, it is not the end-all-be-all for predicting individual outcomes.

 

That being said it beats the pants off of total putts, fairways hit, GIR, etc. for stats.

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