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Leaving Driver in the Bag


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Been struggling all year with my driver causing me to lose balls and take a bunch of penalties. While I have my good days with it, it usually still costs me ~2 or more balls a round if I’m not in an open course. Has anyone gone to just irons for a full 18 and seen improvement in scores due to keeping the ball in play? I know distance can help a lot, but not if you can’t keep it in play. 

Driver: Epic Flash SZ with XStiff Fujikura Pro 63

3W: Epic Flash SZ with HZRDUS Yellow 6.5 UPRT or PXG 0311X 2I HZRDUS Smoke Black S 2.5* upright

3H: Sub 70 939X UST proforce V2 black F3 hybrid soft stepped XStiff UPRT setting

4-AW: PXG 0211  with KBS Tour Stiff 2.5* up 1/4" long

Wedges  54*,60*:  Ping S Tour KBS Tour Stiff 3* up

Putter:  Toulon Las Vegas Stroke Lab 

Ball: Snell MTB or KSigs or Srixon Z Star XV

 

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Maddeningly frustrating when this happens and I suspect it happens to everyone at some point.  If you don’t have a mat and net to hit with at home it can prolong your fix. I suggest setting up a hitti

Depends how good of an iron and short game player you are. You'll probably lose more GIR as you'll have longer shots, but if you can recover nicely you can shoot better. Only way to see if this strate

Not a golf expert by any means, but the stats only get worse leaving driver in the bag.

Posted (edited)

I just think back to when I played an executive course (9 holes) and shot +5. Granted my longest shot into a green was an 8i. Having a 4-6 into a green would certainly mess with my distribution and cause less GIRs. 

Edited by Rbsiedsc

Driver: Epic Flash SZ with XStiff Fujikura Pro 63

3W: Epic Flash SZ with HZRDUS Yellow 6.5 UPRT or PXG 0311X 2I HZRDUS Smoke Black S 2.5* upright

3H: Sub 70 939X UST proforce V2 black F3 hybrid soft stepped XStiff UPRT setting

4-AW: PXG 0211  with KBS Tour Stiff 2.5* up 1/4" long

Wedges  54*,60*:  Ping S Tour KBS Tour Stiff 3* up

Putter:  Toulon Las Vegas Stroke Lab 

Ball: Snell MTB or KSigs or Srixon Z Star XV

 

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Back when I used to struggle with the driver, I usually use my woods or even my trusty 3 hybrid. Like you, I lose golf balls from the tee box using the driver. I did not keep stats before but I was losing about 3 to 4 golf balls average, back then. Luckily, my irons are decent and my scrambling is ok for my level. I usually shoot mid to low 80's back then, with that kind of strategy.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, msg said:

Back when I used to struggle with the driver, I usually use my woods or even my trusty 3 hybrid. Like you, I lose golf balls from the tee box using the driver. I did not keep stats before but I was losing about 3 to 4 golf balls average, back then. Luckily, my irons are decent and my scrambling is ok for my level. I usually shoot mid to low 80's back then, with that kind of strategy.

 

 

Man, i wish i could scramble to low 80s. Maybe my driver isn't my only issue.

Driver: Epic Flash SZ with XStiff Fujikura Pro 63

3W: Epic Flash SZ with HZRDUS Yellow 6.5 UPRT or PXG 0311X 2I HZRDUS Smoke Black S 2.5* upright

3H: Sub 70 939X UST proforce V2 black F3 hybrid soft stepped XStiff UPRT setting

4-AW: PXG 0211  with KBS Tour Stiff 2.5* up 1/4" long

Wedges  54*,60*:  Ping S Tour KBS Tour Stiff 3* up

Putter:  Toulon Las Vegas Stroke Lab 

Ball: Snell MTB or KSigs or Srixon Z Star XV

 

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1 minute ago, Rbsiedsc said:

Man, i wish i could scramble to low 80s. Maybe my driver isn't my only issue.

Check your stats maybe? Dig deeper into the other parts of your game?

 

Lately I changed drivers and I was slicing it really bad. I usually have a slight fade when everything was fine. I was driving the ball like 200 yards max due to this ugly slice. But I was aiming left to give enough allowance for the wicked left to right curve. But if it was a bonus, I was consistently doing that shot shape. Ball ended up in the middle of the fairway all the time. 

 

I started to score high 80's and was blaming the driver with the ugly shot shape that I was seeing. When I checked the stats, I was not losing golf balls and not getting penalties from lost ball haha. I was actually missing greens because my approach shots were longer than usual, but still reachable and when I come to my ball to try and scramble, my mind was still with my sliced drive that I did not pay attention to my chip / pitch and putt for par. I was just giving a bad effort each time, after the tee shot. 

 

When I got it figured out, the driver I bought had an ADAPTER for left handers and instead of cranking the loft up, I actually lofted it down, thus opened up the face and set myself up for the slice. Once I adjusted it the other way, everything was back to normal. 

 

I remember a time when I was duck hooking my driver and I was getting shots with my driver that ends up about 160 - 180 yards. I aimed right and rode the duck hook all day long. I shot 79 with that kind of drive because I was consistently ending up on the fairway anyway haha. I usually blame the driver right away when I see ugly ball flights but in reality, it's not that bad in my case specially if I have one shot shape to stick with, no matter how ugly it is. 

 

But when I was losing golf balls before, that was when I had a two way miss. That will really mess you up. 

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1 hour ago, msg said:

Check your stats maybe? Dig deeper into the other parts of your game?

 

Lately I changed drivers and I was slicing it really bad. I usually have a slight fade when everything was fine. I was driving the ball like 200 yards max due to this ugly slice. But I was aiming left to give enough allowance for the wicked left to right curve. But if it was a bonus, I was consistently doing that shot shape. Ball ended up in the middle of the fairway all the time. 

 

I started to score high 80's and was blaming the driver with the ugly shot shape that I was seeing. When I checked the stats, I was not losing golf balls and not getting penalties from lost ball haha. I was actually missing greens because my approach shots were longer than usual, but still reachable and when I come to my ball to try and scramble, my mind was still with my sliced drive that I did not pay attention to my chip / pitch and putt for par. I was just giving a bad effort each time, after the tee shot. 

 

When I got it figured out, the driver I bought had an ADAPTER for left handers and instead of cranking the loft up, I actually lofted it down, thus opened up the face and set myself up for the slice. Once I adjusted it the other way, everything was back to normal. 

 

I remember a time when I was duck hooking my driver and I was getting shots with my driver that ends up about 160 - 180 yards. I aimed right and rode the duck hook all day long. I shot 79 with that kind of drive because I was consistently ending up on the fairway anyway haha. I usually blame the driver right away when I see ugly ball flights but in reality, it's not that bad in my case specially if I have one shot shape to stick with, no matter how ugly it is. 

 

But when I was losing golf balls before, that was when I had a two way miss. That will really mess you up. 

 

Ya, the two way miss is killing me now. Everything is set on a draw setting for me but i still get the terrible power fade. Then i overcorrect and then straight pull. Then i am good for about 5-6 holes (straight to slightly pull ~270-280 and towards the end of the round i just lose it with my driver. Basically i need to work on consistency and then work on scrambling and not trying to make hero shots. Really wanting to break 100. I know i am not that bad of a golfer.

Driver: Epic Flash SZ with XStiff Fujikura Pro 63

3W: Epic Flash SZ with HZRDUS Yellow 6.5 UPRT or PXG 0311X 2I HZRDUS Smoke Black S 2.5* upright

3H: Sub 70 939X UST proforce V2 black F3 hybrid soft stepped XStiff UPRT setting

4-AW: PXG 0211  with KBS Tour Stiff 2.5* up 1/4" long

Wedges  54*,60*:  Ping S Tour KBS Tour Stiff 3* up

Putter:  Toulon Las Vegas Stroke Lab 

Ball: Snell MTB or KSigs or Srixon Z Star XV

 

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2 minutes ago, naval2006 said:

I think you can do this only temporarily while you groove swing or search for a driver to suit your swing. 

 

If you want to play good golf you need some reliable driving. 

i do agree that it is a necessary tool. My driver is fitted for me. I just need to get my swing in a good place to utilize it.

Driver: Epic Flash SZ with XStiff Fujikura Pro 63

3W: Epic Flash SZ with HZRDUS Yellow 6.5 UPRT or PXG 0311X 2I HZRDUS Smoke Black S 2.5* upright

3H: Sub 70 939X UST proforce V2 black F3 hybrid soft stepped XStiff UPRT setting

4-AW: PXG 0211  with KBS Tour Stiff 2.5* up 1/4" long

Wedges  54*,60*:  Ping S Tour KBS Tour Stiff 3* up

Putter:  Toulon Las Vegas Stroke Lab 

Ball: Snell MTB or KSigs or Srixon Z Star XV

 

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id look more into a bunt swing with the driver. choke up an inch. maybe close or open the stance to protect against your miss. swing 80%. basically just giving you 3 wood distance, but with the forgiveness of a 460cc head. 

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2 hours ago, Rbsiedsc said:

 

Ya, the two way miss is killing me now. Everything is set on a draw setting for me but i still get the terrible power fade. Then i overcorrect and then straight pull. Then i am good for about 5-6 holes (straight to slightly pull ~270-280 and towards the end of the round i just lose it with my driver. Basically i need to work on consistency and then work on scrambling and not trying to make hero shots. Really wanting to break 100. I know i am not that bad of a golfer.

If you can't break 100, the issue is your swing, not just driver. You might leave driver at home and one day break 100, but that isn't going to change the fact that you have swing flaws that need to be addressed if you want to really improve. 

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1 minute ago, Krt22 said:

If you can't break 100, the issue is your swing, not just driver. You might leave driver at home and one day break 100, but that isn't going to change the fact that you have swing flaws that need to be addressed if you want to really improve. 

 

Ya, i am working through swing flaws. Been watching Monte's videos and got myself a planemate to help with feels. Had a lesson but all the pro did was teach me how to work the ball after adjusting my grip. (some how i was hitting the ball great that day) My grip is the same as what he taught me but the swing faults are likely still there.

Driver: Epic Flash SZ with XStiff Fujikura Pro 63

3W: Epic Flash SZ with HZRDUS Yellow 6.5 UPRT or PXG 0311X 2I HZRDUS Smoke Black S 2.5* upright

3H: Sub 70 939X UST proforce V2 black F3 hybrid soft stepped XStiff UPRT setting

4-AW: PXG 0211  with KBS Tour Stiff 2.5* up 1/4" long

Wedges  54*,60*:  Ping S Tour KBS Tour Stiff 3* up

Putter:  Toulon Las Vegas Stroke Lab 

Ball: Snell MTB or KSigs or Srixon Z Star XV

 

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When driver gives you guff... leave it in the bag and opt for long iron off the tee.  I use 17' 2 iron sometimes 4wd off tees just to stay sharp with them. 

 

Yes, it leaves a longer club into greens but this way you get more experience with long irons and wedges which helps improve skill.  Other option is to move up a tee box then using irons only won't be as challenging.  I am not a beginner but I do irons only often just for fun.

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23 minutes ago, Rbsiedsc said:

 

Ya, i am working through swing flaws. Been watching Monte's videos and got myself a planemate to help with feels. Had a lesson but all the pro did was teach me how to work the ball after adjusting my grip. (some how i was hitting the ball great that day) My grip is the same as what he taught me but the swing faults are likely still there.

You aren't going to fix a swing flaw in a single lesson, so yes it's likely just there, easy to groove a compensation on the lesson tee though. Highly recommend Monte's efficient swing to get an idea of how to build a solid repeatable swing

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4 minutes ago, Krt22 said:

You aren't going to fix a swing flaw in a single lesson, so yes it's likely just there, easy to groove a compensation on the lesson tee though. Highly recommend Monte's efficient swing to get an idea of how to build a solid repeatable swing

yup, i have that and also the NTC videos.

Driver: Epic Flash SZ with XStiff Fujikura Pro 63

3W: Epic Flash SZ with HZRDUS Yellow 6.5 UPRT or PXG 0311X 2I HZRDUS Smoke Black S 2.5* upright

3H: Sub 70 939X UST proforce V2 black F3 hybrid soft stepped XStiff UPRT setting

4-AW: PXG 0211  with KBS Tour Stiff 2.5* up 1/4" long

Wedges  54*,60*:  Ping S Tour KBS Tour Stiff 3* up

Putter:  Toulon Las Vegas Stroke Lab 

Ball: Snell MTB or KSigs or Srixon Z Star XV

 

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If your driver is not what it needs to be, then leave it at the house and just play up a tee. Odds are you will be playing your approach shots from the same place you would if playing driver from further back.

 

Now, that's for playing. Now get on the range and work out the issues with the driver!

 

BT

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Cobra King LTD Pro 9.5* HZRDUS Black 7 6.0 @ 44.5"
King LTD 14.5 - Aldila RIP Beta 80 S @ 43"
F6 5-7 @ 17.5 - Aldila RIP Beta 80 S @ 41.5"
Mizuno MP5 4-PW - Aldila RIP Tour 115 R
Mizuno MP-T5 52, 56 & 60 - TT Wedge
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Epic Flash Heavenwood 19* - Aldila RIP Phenom 80 S @ 42" 
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Why leave it in the bag?  Leave it in the car.  Replace it with something else you could use.

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Golf Jobs
Driver: Titleist TS3 9.5 w/ Tensei Blue 55 S
3W: Titleist 915F 15 w/ Diamana D+ 80 S
3H: Titleist 915H 21 w/ Diamana D+ 90 S
Irons: 4-GW Titleist T100 w/ Project X LZ 6.0
Wedge: Vokey SM8 54.10S TC w/ Project X LZ 6.0

Wedge: Vokey SM8 60.04L TC w/ Project X LZ 6.0
Ball: 2019 Titleist ProV1

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My old pro used to say you don't need a driver to break 90, but you do need it to break 80. I think that's probably true. 

 

I struggled with the driver for a long while and my interim solution was to get a Taylor Made SLDR Mini Driver. That club was automatic off the tee for me and I got hooked on playing from the fairway instead of combing through the trees for my ball. This season I worked harder on my swing and I can now control a driver. I don't know if my scores are any better...if they are it is only a couple of strokes on average. 

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12 minutes ago, me05501 said:

My old pro used to say you don't need a driver to break 90, but you do need it to break 80. I think that's probably true. 

 

I struggled with the driver for a long while and my interim solution was to get a Taylor Made SLDR Mini Driver. That club was automatic off the tee for me and I got hooked on playing from the fairway instead of combing through the trees for my ball. This season I worked harder on my swing and I can now control a driver. I don't know if my scores are any better...if they are it is only a couple of strokes on average. 

I believe in this, especially breaking 90, but it's gonna be hard to break 80 without a reliable driver or club that goes about maybe 220 yards average? I was shooting in the 80's before with a 5 wood as my driver, back then when I hated the driver. 

 

But of course it depends on the length of the course. 6000 yards below, even without a driver, breaking 80 can be done. But if it is going to be a longer course, it is doable but you need a hell of a short game to do it. 

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Selectively leaving it in the bag is fine but I feel like my driver is pretty easy to hit and a weapon for me. Getting into something that was properly fit and consistent made a world of difference. 

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Maddeningly frustrating when this happens and I suspect it happens to everyone at some point.  If you don’t have a mat and net to hit with at home it can prolong your fix. I suggest setting up a hitting station at home a la Cogorno (among others) and practice daily swinging and hitting to groove a proper swing. Then take that to the range after a week or so. Lots of great vids out there but you need daily deliberate practice to see improvements. Months of it sometimes. 

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5 hours ago, msg said:

I believe in this, especially breaking 90, but it's gonna be hard to break 80 without a reliable driver or club that goes about maybe 220 yards average? I was shooting in the 80's before with a 5 wood as my driver, back then when I hated the driver. 

 

But of course it depends on the length of the course. 6000 yards below, even without a driver, breaking 80 can be done. But if it is going to be a longer course, it is doable but you need a hell of a short game to do it. 

 

Depends on how long you can hit it and how good your short game is.  There are people that can hit 3 wood 280 yards... yet they pull out driver and live and die by it.  It's all relative and managing your game.

 

If you have a good short game, even if it took 3 shots to reach a par 4, you could make par.  Let's say it's 400 yard long hole, which for most people is a long par 4.  180 drive (which is less than driver and for some more like a 5 iron), 150 iron to a comfortable wedge distance, 70 yard wedge, one putt... see what I'm saying?  You don't have to be long or hit driver to score... you need a short game.

 

I've played rounds with only a few clubs, never included more than a hybrid as my longest club, and often shot better scores because I was never in trouble (in the 70s easily).

 

Don't be confused by the pros playing bomb and gouge... for amateurs its more like bomb and drop.  The margin of error for an amateur is much larger than a pro and they would be better served not playing more club than they can control reliably (and that can change from day to day).

 

Edited by jons1

----------------
Golf Jobs
Driver: Titleist TS3 9.5 w/ Tensei Blue 55 S
3W: Titleist 915F 15 w/ Diamana D+ 80 S
3H: Titleist 915H 21 w/ Diamana D+ 90 S
Irons: 4-GW Titleist T100 w/ Project X LZ 6.0
Wedge: Vokey SM8 54.10S TC w/ Project X LZ 6.0

Wedge: Vokey SM8 60.04L TC w/ Project X LZ 6.0
Ball: 2019 Titleist ProV1

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When I was a junior, I sometimes used to grab a fairway wood if my driver was going sideways.

 

My dad would rain down hell on me "Put that thing back and play the game right.  You take the correct club for the job  - PERIOD".    

 

To this day I still cannot pull out a 3-wood on the tee from the PTSD.  But, I learned how to hit the driver.

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16 minutes ago, Golfah said:

When I was a junior, I sometimes used to grab a fairway wood if my driver was going sideways.

 

My dad would rain down hell on me "Put that thing back and play the game right.  You take the correct club for the job  - PERIOD".    

 

To this day I still cannot pull out a 3-wood on the tee from the PTSD.  But, I learned how to hit the driver.

 

Your dad was right... you should always use the correct club for the job... but that's not always driver.  The best players in the game, the best players to have ever touched a club, don't hit driver on every hole. 

----------------
Golf Jobs
Driver: Titleist TS3 9.5 w/ Tensei Blue 55 S
3W: Titleist 915F 15 w/ Diamana D+ 80 S
3H: Titleist 915H 21 w/ Diamana D+ 90 S
Irons: 4-GW Titleist T100 w/ Project X LZ 6.0
Wedge: Vokey SM8 54.10S TC w/ Project X LZ 6.0

Wedge: Vokey SM8 60.04L TC w/ Project X LZ 6.0
Ball: 2019 Titleist ProV1

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Dude, golf is about hitting the driver.  Period.

 

Nothing beats a well hit driver shot.  Period.

 

Irons might get you more consistency, but you lose the thrill of a well hit shot.  Period.

 

How will you feel dude, the other guys in your group, hitting it long and straignt with their drivers, and you take out a 4 iron.  Little do you know that you are being laughed at.  I sure would laugh at you.

 

Life is about risks dude.  You can hit that driver.  You gotta believe you can.  God bless and all the best as you complete this journey.  Period.

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1 minute ago, TheSouthernGentleman said:

Dude, golf is about hitting the driver.  Period.

 

Nothing beats a well hit driver shot.  Period.

 

Irons might get you more consistency, but you lose the thrill of a well hit shot.  Period.

 

How will you feel dude, the other guys in your group, hitting it long and straignt with their drivers, and you take out a 4 iron.  Little do you know that you are being laughed at.  I sure would laugh at you.

 

Life is about risks dude.  You can hit that driver.  You gotta believe you can.  God bless and all the best as you complete this journey.  Period.

 

 

Yeah, and when you card a 75 and they card a 95... guess what dude, the people in your group will realize they are morons.  period.

 

If you're playing for drunken idiotic fun on the course... of course, hit driver on every hole and donate the balls to charity as needed.  But if you're actually trying to shoot the best possible score, there's a hell of a lot more strategy and course management involved.

----------------
Golf Jobs
Driver: Titleist TS3 9.5 w/ Tensei Blue 55 S
3W: Titleist 915F 15 w/ Diamana D+ 80 S
3H: Titleist 915H 21 w/ Diamana D+ 90 S
Irons: 4-GW Titleist T100 w/ Project X LZ 6.0
Wedge: Vokey SM8 54.10S TC w/ Project X LZ 6.0

Wedge: Vokey SM8 60.04L TC w/ Project X LZ 6.0
Ball: 2019 Titleist ProV1

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