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Rory fading the driver


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15 hours ago, RichieHunt said:

It's not about the curve and more about the size of the curve.  Rory has hit a fairly large sized draw in his career.  He's also been incredible from 150+ yards his entire career.  From 75-150 yards, which have a far lesser impact on score, he's been quite poor.

He also hits well up on the driver, even with the large draw.  That means he's really shifting the baseline well out to the right with the driver.  Do that with a downward attack angle with a 9-iron and it's a lot of hook for a short iron.

 

It's not that he can't play well that way.  Others have with a big curve as well like Kenny Perry, Bubba Watson, Colin Montgomerie, Brendon de Jonge, etc.  But I think for Rory he's trying to find more consistency and avoid those blow up rounds and get better from less than 150 yards so he can win 3+ events/season and get back to winning majors.  Even at his best he's been a very streaky player.

 

And we still don't know if this will work best for him.  DJ went from a draw to a fade even though he didn't hit a big draw.  But I think the fade better suits DJ's swing.  There's a junior golfer at my club who's ranked in the top-70 in the world who has a swing meant more for a fade, but insists on hitting a draw and I think it comes back to haunt him.  I don't know if Rory's swing is really suited for a draw, but he should have the talent to make the adjustments over time.  But often times it doesn't work out (ask Luke Guthrie).  

 

In the end, he would probably find similar success by hitting a smaller sized draw.

 

 

 

 

 

RH

 

I think you are right, it's less about the curve but neutralizing his swing for other clubs in his bag. Allows him to be more neutral with the short stuff that he struggles with.

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Posted (edited)

Plenty of guys in the top 30 OWGR still playing a draw as a stock shot with driver and playing very good golf (Dechambeau, Cantlay, Xander, Reed, Webb, Billy, Im, Fleetwood). If you've managed impact dynamics from that type of ball flight your entire golfing career that is a massive reason not to change. The jury is still out on whether or not this is a good change for Rory as his win yesterday seemed more about cleaning up mistakes with the wedges and putter vs. a great driving performance. 

Edited by PureStrikes54
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11 minutes ago, PureStrikes54 said:

Plenty of guys in the top 30 OWGR still playing a draw as a stock shot with driver and playing very good golf (Dechambeau, Cantlay, Xander, Reed, Webb, Cantlay, Billy, Im, Fleetwood). If you've managed impact dynamics from that type of ball flight your entire golfing career that is a massive reason not to change. The jury is still out on whether or not this is a good change for Rory as his win yesterday seemed more about cleaning up mistakes with the wedges and putter vs. a great driving performance. 

Like others said its more about magnitude. Young rory like 2011 was hitting huge slinging hooks, which was probably not great. Slight draw sure but hitting up a lot like rory does and drawing it is a non-ideal combo. 

 

I think overall it will be good for him. 

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Lots of good points here already, but I think you have to talk about course conditions too. 

 

Tour courses are usually set up with tight fairways, thick rough, and super-fast greens. A guy who hits a draw at tour-level swing speeds is going to have a helluva a time keeping the ball from running through the fairway. 

 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, BombinJim said:

That’s what the SG data says, too!

Yep.  I knew it did. But it was easy to see. He made a couple 8-12 footers for par in the last round.  That kept the bounce in his step.  And that means more than a shot in my opinion 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Krt22 said:

Yep, averaging 320+ off the tee and hitting 75% of the GIRs certainly helped as well. 

He did certainly execute in scrambling for sure. Wouldn’t be shocked if he led strokes gained approach. ? 
     I believe the stat was told that he hit the fewest number of fairways for a winner in 30 some odd years on tour.   I don’t know what his strokes gained off the tee for the week was. But that can’t have equaled a great driving week.  Could it ?    Mind you I recall plenty of behind the trees approaches  where he had some of lady lucks help to have a window.   Not talking simply “ in the rough”.  

Edited by bladehunter

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2 minutes ago, bladehunter said:

He did certainly execute in scrambling for sure. Wouldn’t be shocked if he led strokes gained approach. ? 
     I believe the stat was told that he hit the fewest number of fairways for a winner in 30 some odd years on tour.   I don’t know what his strokes gained off the tee for the week was. But that can’t have equaled a great driving week.  Could it ?    

18th SG off the tee despite being DFL for driving accuracy. 9th tee to green, 3rd putting, 1st overall. It's all here.

 

https://www.pgatour.com/players/player.28237.rory-mcilroy.html/scorecards/r480/2021

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17 minutes ago, Krt22 said:

18th SG off the tee despite being DFL for driving accuracy. 9th tee to green, 3rd putting, 1st overall. It's all here.

 

https://www.pgatour.com/players/player.28237.rory-mcilroy.html/scorecards/r480/2021

Sounds about right.  Just imagine if he’d driven it well.  Win by 6 probably.  
 

im not arguing by the way.  Just saying what we’ve all known.  If he makes putts. He wins.  The B game for the rest is good enough.  

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Seems ironic to me that he's gone to a fade just now - his most common miss ( with a couple of famous exceptions ) was a weak push fade with a high right shoulder, that lean to the right was always the telltale sign that he'd be in the trees... now he's switching to a ball flight which he's hated to see for his entire career..I'd love to get inside his head and see which neurons are firing to get that done ! Must be a real jumble and will take a while to clean up the hard drive and replace it with the new pattern.

 

There are certainly plenty of top players still playing draws as mentioned but worth perhaps pointing out that many of the greats were primarily faders - Nicklaus the most prominent example. I remember reading in one of his books that at a certain point in his career for about 18 months he started drawing the ball without knowing why - and he didn't start playing well again until he went back to his customary fade.

 

Making this change certainly pushed DJ forward and at the top level control is much more important than distance, so maybe Rory is doing the right thing, only time will tell. This win was all about the putter indeed, not normally a strength of his - if he ever gets that to an acceptable level then the rest can forget it !

 

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Posted (edited)

They are playing the 2012 pga on golf channel right now. Couple things I notice, Rorys swing looks more upright vs recent years and he is striping the driver. Tigers swing looks so messed up, very bent over at address and cramped on the downswing. He just shanked a driver 210 off the tee but is still somehow in the top 10 on leaderboard. The beginnings of his back issues 

Edited by Redjeep83
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On 5/9/2021 at 11:54 PM, SNIPERBBB said:

The image of the spinny, ballooning fade that comes up short is what comes to mind when people think of the fades they do hit.  Or a banana ball.  When they think of the draws they hit, they see that sexy medium, wind piercing trajectory that goes a mile.  

 

They don't really see how to hit that medium trajectory, wind piercing bomb with a fade. Those that can are the ones that are keeping Slicefixer busy as he is one of the guys that is showing how to deliver the infamous Knuckle Fade, push fade

I always thought GJ described a pull fade. He provided zero evidence for it being a push fade eg launch monitor numbers. And I think a push fade is very different in feel from a pull fade if you are going to hit up on it. Requires substantial aiming left, disconnecting arms through impact, probably a closed stance. The antithesis of what GJ preached.

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1 hour ago, David C said:

I always thought GJ described a pull fade. He provided zero evidence for it being a push fade eg launch monitor numbers. And I think a push fade is very different in feel from a pull fade if you are going to hit up on it. Requires substantial aiming left, disconnecting arms through impact, probably a closed stance. The antithesis of what GJ preached.

From Encyclopedia Terxarcana:

 

Basically, the knucklefade is a fade with a draw swing. The ball does not so much fade as resist hooking. That is what the old timer's would call it. Essentially the ball stays airborne as long as any shot in the game while maintaining a lower spin rate (similar to a draw), and when it hits the ground it runs like a scalded dog. Plus, as the ball does not curve nearly as much as most draws the ball flight is not so much ACROSS the target line, but parallel to the target line so the ball is MUCH less likely to chase off into the rough. A knucklefade is still rolling down the fairway when most draws have found the left rough. Cabrerra (when he is swinging well) aims left and hits a HARD knucklefade.

 

A player is FAR less likely to get body blocked if they set up square to open, which allows the body to really rotate and clear HARD left, which (if the arms are properly acclimated and in-synch) allows the club to release itself lower, more left, and around. As a result, NO manipulation of the club is necessary to square the face. Done correctly with a driver, a low spin fade from the inside is produced, which is the longest, straightest drive on the planet. Cabrerra had it at Oakmont (especially on Sunday), but his swing is still a bit unorthodox and he will have his own timing issues from time to time. The best ball strikers that I have observed when they are playing well will not move the ball either way more than five yards, unless they are trying to sling or carve it. The best that I have observed will strike the ball on a virtually straight path until the ball reaches its apex and the forward momentum is wearing off. Then the slight amount of sidespin kicks in and the ball falls one way or another. It could just as likely be a draw or a fade. EVERY great DRIVER of the ball that I have observed has had the ability to fade it from the inside, which is the ability to aim down the left side, set the face aimed at left center, and rotate through the ball to the LEFT and hold the toe off (or lead with the heel), resulting in a ball that kind of knuckles or bores and then falls right. They KNOW one thing: it ain't goin' LEFT.

 

What some of the old timers used to call "fading it with a draw swing." Driving IS the most important part of a tournament player’s game. Drive it straight and with some distance and you can CHOOSE when to go on the offensive or play more conservatively. Drive it in the junk on every other hole and the GOLF COURSE dictates your whole round......... The knuckle fade is in my opinion, the only way to drive the ball for BOTH distance and accuracy. You can count on this type of fade under the highest level of pressure. It is NOT that easy to groove for some good players, but "once you got it, you got it, and it ain't goin' nowhere!"

 

The set up changes needed to hit the knucklefade are as follows: • Align your body where you want the ball to start. • Align the clubface to a point between where you want the ball to start and the primary target, so the ball can land and run out to your primary target. • Position the ball slightly more forward than normal. • Some players like to stand slightly closer to the ball. Once the setup is ready, concentrate on two things: • Unwinding the body left in order to delay the toe catching the heel. Really try hard to bust it into the left trees with NO HANDS. To practice this, hit some balls with a glove/washrag under your upper left armpit so that your upper left side does not block, stays connected with the trunk, and goes left with the trunk. The thought of trying to "hit the biggest draw that I can hit without using my hands and arms,” usually produces a powerful knucklefade. • Always make sure your last thought is where you want to start the ball and not where you want it to end up. If you set up correctly and make a good swing it will fade slightly. You must trust it to do so. If your last thought is your primary target, then you will almost inevitably swing at the primary target and a push or snap hook will result. So focus on bustin' it at your starting point. Because the mass of the clubhead is on one side of the shaft being swung on an inclined plane, the clubhead naturally wants to open on the backswing and then close on the through swing. The clubhead’s natural arc is #$ from the inside to back to the inside. When you combine the two -- clubhead traveling from the inside and a clubhead that wants to close naturally through impact if the arms are in synch and properly acclimated to the body -- the shot produced is a very soft draw. This is difficult to hit with a driver due to the low loft of the clubhead and the fact that the ball does not stay on the face for very long (that is grip the face). That is why most good player’s draws off of a driver have a sort of tumbling draw flight (that is, lacking spin). Because the slightly open face of the knucklefade adds a slight amount of loft which keeps the ball on the face for a nano-second longer, the fade has a much better flight.

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1 hour ago, David C said:

I always thought GJ described a pull fade. He provided zero evidence for it being a push fade eg launch monitor numbers. And I think a push fade is very different in feel from a pull fade if you are going to hit up on it. Requires substantial aiming left, disconnecting arms through impact, probably a closed stance. The antithesis of what GJ preached.

Knuckle Fade isnt supposed to cross the line

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for sharing but I meant I know what was written, I just think what he described was what he thought was happening and not what was actually happening. I mean his anecdote about Cabrera and that description above are not evidence. Someone can say something and it not be true. Just his first few points about the set up describe a pull fade set up: stand closer, set the face halfway, weaker grip - sounds like a pull fade.
 

Not that there’s anything wrong with a pull fade, just a lot of assumptions have been built on it being a push fade based off zero evidence - zero launch monitor data. show me some numbers.

 

And to hit a push fade is a very different feel to irons. Substantially so for some (many? Most?) players.

 

Even if you set up a push fade via the set up, you have to aim well left with a closed stance else change your swinging action or also change your action, or the *feel* of your action, which was the opposite of what GJ used to preach.

 

What matters is not the semantics but

- what works (what yields the best results the most of the time)

- what feels best

- what is repeatable

- what has good smash, CHS, carry, spin, trajectory

Push or pull is not relevant but I’m a big believer that if you try to set up a push fade at set up, and want to strike it after low point, you are courting disaster.

Edited by David C
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4 minutes ago, SNIPERBBB said:

Knuckle Fade isnt supposed to cross the line

Yes I know that. But if I aim body left edge, have a minus path because I’m teeing it up after low point and want a positive AoA, and have a face closed to target line but open to path, that ball doesn’t have to cross the target line. And I can hit it with a closed face.

 

Technically pull fade.

 

Again it matters less how or what, as long as the numbers are good and you can repeat it.

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Posted (edited)

The golfer can even aim

fairly straight and have it fall right and not over fade.

 

And the beauty is small changes in face angle still keep you in the short stuff.

 

Whereas a push fade introduces a short wide block slice with the big stick due to added loft. Or a hard hook. I just find face override shot shaping to be more inconsistent.

 

Especially as club golfers.

Edited by David C
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  • 3 weeks later...

A ball that shoots out low, climbs steeply,  stays on line most of its flight and drops off to the right like it fell off a table at the end has been my bread and butter shot since the late 70's. I can't explain why but it was a lot more dramatic in the days when woods were wood and balls were wound balata. I subbed on a league last week and the younger lads were asking me how I achieved my ball flight, since I call up a draw when needed and they didn't perceive any changes in my swing. The best description of the power fade producing shot I can give is to set up square, come at the ball from the inside, and chase the ball down the target line with the clubhead. That will keep the clubhead imperceptibly open through impact.

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