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Need advice/feedback on higher lofted drivers...


parkinni

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...anyone scoring in the low 80's and playing one?
I'm a consistent 80's shooter, yet I've always struggled to get the most out of my driver (some days it works, and some days it doesn't!), and I tend to go through lengthy spells where my 3-wood gives me consistently better results. For five years I played with an Orlimar HipSteel driver (which was so-so), but last November I had a bit of money spare and went through an exhaustive comparison of the latest sticks, replacing my old HipSteel with a 10.5° TM r5N driver. While it certainly is more forgiving than my old driver, I hit the r5N much lower than I'd like, making my total distance up in roll (which I personally would like to get away from). Lately, I've taken to playing my r5 FW 3-wood off the tee and have found greater overall distance and directional consistency than my current driver is able to give me.

Ten years ago, I used to play a 13° "fairway driver" as my only wood, and was extremely consistent off the tee. This got me to thinking that I might be better served now with more loft on my driver, say, 12° or 13° (?).

Does anyone here compare to me* and successfully play a driver in this higher loft range? I don't know what it is about my 3-wood, but I can nut it all day long and straight and come close to breaking 80 many more times than if I'd used my driver. It's weird, 'cos the head's much smaller and you'd think that it needed a better swing to get the ball out there and in the fairway.

Anyway, if you're reading this and making a 12°/13° driver work for you, please share your experiences and let me know if I need to go down this path. Also, please include what driver model it is that suits you: Sasquatch Lucky 13, Ping G5 13.5°, TM 12°?


* Fyi, I'm 41 years young, 6'2"/205 lbs and play off an honest 12 handicap. On the launch monitor, my average swing speed with the driver is 88-90 mph, and ball speed is between 125-130 mph. The staff at Martin's Golf & Tennis in Myrtle Beach told me that I was right at the crossover point between a regular and stiff flex shaft, but to stick with the regular. I have more of a smooth, medium tempo swing (rather than a hit) so this seems like good advice to me.
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Can't comment on the high loft question, but I can on your shaft. The MAS shaft was extremely inconsistent for me. Give a new shaft a try and see how you go. If you are hitting the ball low, something like the Gralloy Prolaunch might work.

 

Steve

Mavrik Fuji Pro

G410/Epic Flash/Fli Hi Hybrids/woods
PXG Gen3 irons
Cleveland wedges
Odyssey Rossie OG 

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Thanks for the advice, guys. I did think about trying a higher launching/softer tip shaft than the MAS, like the ProLaunch mentioned, or Aldila NVS, but I thought I'd seek some Golfwrx advice first.

 

I often read in the press that most amateurs play a driver with too little loft for their ability and, from my own experience, find that most retailers never suggest a driver above the standard loft of 10.5° no matter what your ability. I just wondered if any members here were playing a 12° or 13° and getting more carry/better accuracy with their drives.

 

I think I might head to the store next chance I get and try hitting a few Lucky 13's and 12° G5's, and see if I learn anything.

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I am certainly not a great golfer (been playing for only 11 months and best score is 90). I am in your ballpark (40 yrs old, 90-94 mph swingspeed, way shorter at 5'7, 210 lbs).

 

Up until recently I was playing a SQ 10.5 deg with regular shaft. I would ocassionally have a good day driving (225-265 when I flush it, 3-6 fairways), but would just as likely have a day when I spent lots of time in the woods or a fairway over and would have been much better going with 3 wood off the tee. To be honest, in 50+ rounds since last July, I probably averaged around 200 when you count all the bad drives with the good ones I remember ;)

 

I read Tom Wishon's book (Search for the Perfect Club) and really buy in to his study on most of us needing more loft (my case at 93 mph and level to slight upward attack angle- about 12-13 degrees)

 

About a month ago I bought an Izzo Zwood 2 wood at 12.5 deg with regular shaft (89.00 at Academy sports- don't laugh). In 6 rounds since I have hit way more fairways and probably average right around 220-230 which is a great tradeoff to be in the fairway or first cut. It makes my second shots look that much better and I can refer to it as a hybrid instead of a rescue club :crazy2:

 

Based on the good results with the 2 wood, last week I traded my Nike SQ in for a Lucky 13 (13 deg regular shaft). In the two rounds since I have hit 8 and 10 fairways and have averaged about 240 carry and roll (Nikon rangefinder distance so accurate). It is so much easier to hit straight and I pulled driver on every hole with full confidence. No problem with the wind (oklahoma was 20-30 mph today) and I shot 92 and 93 my last two rounds from the blue tees when I normally play white (6732yd/72.4/123 slope and 6501yds/69.6/116slope). Not difficult courses, but for me low 90's with bad shots vs high 90's or around 100 with those same bad shots.

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My FIL plays a 12* Cobra w/Fuji SIX untipped in regular flex... same SS as you..Definately think you should be playing a R flex shaft to maximize your distance...dont want to make you feel bad but he's 70 years young.

 

I myself play an 11 degree driver and my SS is 110ish with a stiff shaft...high lofted drivers are all the rage now..Dont worry about the number on the bottom of the driver, play what works. Hell notice the 7 wood in my sig...few years ago I wouldn't be caught dead with a 7w. ;)

Woods : Callaway Razr TA, Titleist F3-05
Hybrid : Adams LSP XTD
Irons : Fourteen TC910 3&4I, Nike VRProCombo 5-PW
Wedges : Fourteen RM-11 54/60
Putter : Nike Method 003 Oven

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I think with those numbers you can benefit from more loft. What is your launch angle and spin?
My launch angle with the 10.5* r5N (MAS R shaft) was around 12-13 degrees, and the backspin was somewhere in the range of 2,900 to 3,200 RPM.

 

As I seem to hit my r5 FW straighter than my driver and with a nice 'rainbow' ball flight, while at the same time not giving up any real yardage, I thought I might be better off with a 2-wood loft in the big club. Do my LM numbers suggest this to you?

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My launch angle with the 10.5* r5N (MAS R shaft) was around 12-13 degrees, and the backspin was somewhere in the range of 2,900 to 3,200 RPM.

 

As I seem to hit my r5 FW straighter than my driver and with a nice 'rainbow' ball flight, while at the same time not giving up any real yardage, I thought I might be better off with a 2-wood loft in the big club. Do my LM numbers suggest this to you?

 

With a SS around 90 your optimal launch angle would be around 14-15*. Keep in mind that a 10* clubhead actually has a launch angle of just under 9* so if your 10.5 is a true 10.5 (have it measured) it's probably has a launch angle of around 9.3*. All of this means that a 12-13* club would be absolutely ideal for you as it would launch around 10-11* but your upward angle of attack would get you to the optimal 13. Dig?

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My launch angle with the 10.5* r5N (MAS R shaft) was around 12-13 degrees, and the backspin was somewhere in the range of 2,900 to 3,200 RPM.

 

As I seem to hit my r5 FW straighter than my driver and with a nice 'rainbow' ball flight, while at the same time not giving up any real yardage, I thought I might be better off with a 2-wood loft in the big club. Do my LM numbers suggest this to you?

 

With a SS around 90 your optimal launch angle would be around 14-15*. Keep in mind that a 10* clubhead actually has a launch angle of just under 9* so if your 10.5 is a true 10.5 (have it measured) it's probably has a launch angle of around 9.3*. All of this means that a 12-13* club would be absolutely ideal for you as it would launch around 10-11* but your upward angle of attack would get you to the optimal 13. Dig?

So your saying a 5* driver i have and have a 16.5* launch agnle launches at 3*?

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My launch angle with the 10.5* r5N (MAS R shaft) was around 12-13 degrees, and the backspin was somewhere in the range of 2,900 to 3,200 RPM.

 

As I seem to hit my r5 FW straighter than my driver and with a nice 'rainbow' ball flight, while at the same time not giving up any real yardage, I thought I might be better off with a 2-wood loft in the big club. Do my LM numbers suggest this to you?

 

With a SS around 90 your optimal launch angle would be around 14-15*. Keep in mind that a 10* clubhead actually has a launch angle of just under 9* so if your 10.5 is a true 10.5 (have it measured) it's probably has a launch angle of around 9.3*. All of this means that a 12-13* club would be absolutely ideal for you as it would launch around 10-11* but your upward angle of attack would get you to the optimal 13. Dig?

So your saying a 5* driver i have and have a 16.5* launch agnle launches at 3*?

 

Huh? If you have a 5* driver and a launch angle of 16.5* you're angle of attack is about 12* (improbable). I'm really not sure what you're asking though.

 

A 10* driver does not launch the ball exactly at 10*. Almost all launch slightly stronger than stated lofts.

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I am certainly not a great golfer (been playing for only 11 months and best score is 90). I am in your ballpark (40 yrs old, 90-94 mph swingspeed, way shorter at 5'7, 210 lbs).

 

Up until recently I was playing a SQ 10.5 deg with regular shaft. I would ocassionally have a good day driving (225-265 when I flush it, 3-6 fairways), but would just as likely have a day when I spent lots of time in the woods or a fairway over and would have been much better going with 3 wood off the tee. To be honest, in 50+ rounds since last July, I probably averaged around 200 when you count all the bad drives with the good ones I remember :idhitit:

 

I read Tom Wishon's book (Search for the Perfect Club) and really buy in to his study on most of us needing more loft (my case at 93 mph and level to slight upward attack angle- about 12-13 degrees)

 

About a month ago I bought an Izzo Zwood 2 wood at 12.5 deg with regular shaft (89.00 at Academy sports- don't laugh). In 6 rounds since I have hit way more fairways and probably average right around 220-230 which is a great tradeoff to be in the fairway or first cut. It makes my second shots look that much better and I can refer to it as a hybrid instead of a rescue club :D

 

Based on the good results with the 2 wood, last week I traded my Nike SQ in for a Lucky 13 (13 deg regular shaft). In the two rounds since I have hit 8 and 10 fairways and have averaged about 240 carry and roll (Nikon rangefinder distance so accurate). It is so much easier to hit straight and I pulled driver on every hole with full confidence. No problem with the wind (oklahoma was 20-30 mph today) and I shot 92 and 93 my last two rounds from the blue tees when I normally play white (6732yd/72.4/123 slope and 6501yds/69.6/116slope). Not difficult courses, but for me low 90's with bad shots vs high 90's or around 100 with those same bad shots.

Thanks for such an informative post, mkirt. The driver is such a hit or miss club for me (and always has been), that I find myself going through long spells where it doesn't consistently work for me, but then I'll have a short time where it's almost right where I want it to be.

 

Last weekend was a case in point. I played a morning round at Cheraw State Park (SC) using my driver and routinely added a shot per hole because I was having to chip out of the trees on most holes, or play my second shot out of deep rough. After suffering for 17 holes, I hit off the 18th. tee with my 3-wood and put the ball right in the middle of the fairway and at least as far as my best driver has ever put me. After lunch I vowed to keep the driver in the bag, and played my 3-wood off the tee on all par-4's and 5's. To cut a long story short, I shot 11 strokes better in the afternoon using my fairway wood off the tee and it should have been more except I put an approach shot in the water on one hole, and lost my drive in the trees on the final hole probably due to tiredness (36 holes in 90*F heat).

 

If I could find a driver that I could consistently get along with like I do my 3-wood, I'd be one happy camper. The more I think about it, and hear from individuals like your good self, the more inclined I am to give a SQ Lucky 13 a whirl. Thanks for the insight, and good luck with your game.

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It's not just the extra loft of a 3 wood that makes it more consistent. The shorter shaft helps as well.

 

I cut my driver down to 44 inches and I feel much more confident in it. Most pros have theirs the same length or shorter.

 

Cheers

 

Steve

Mavrik Fuji Pro

G410/Epic Flash/Fli Hi Hybrids/woods
PXG Gen3 irons
Cleveland wedges
Odyssey Rossie OG 

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It's not just the extra loft of a 3 wood that makes it more consistent. The shorter shaft helps as well.

 

I cut my driver down to 44 inches and I feel much more confident in it. Most pros have theirs the same length or shorter.

 

Cheers

Steve

Thanks for pointing out the shorter shaft aspect of the 3-wood: I'd temporarily forgotten about that :idhitit: I'm a little hesitant to mess with my TM shaft as it's already 44.75" long, and the last time I cut one down (1½" off a 46" long Adams driver) it completely changed the balance of the club, and seemed to be way too light....like a fly-swatter!?

 

I see what you mean though, as the shorter shaft should allow you to center strike the ball more often, which is what I find happens with my 3-wood.

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Mid to high 70's and an 11.5 loft with a low kicking high torque shaft. That's me at long last.

 

Goodbye ego, hello fairway.

I hope the "mid to high 70's" is your score and not your SS :idhitit: Seriously though, you seem to have the perfect attitude about your game. Get over the macho ego thing and play with what works. Nobody cares about how low your driver loft is, it's your score at the end that counts.

 

Golfer Gavin pointed out that "more loft = more distance": is it possible that I could pick up enough height with a higher-launching/softer-tipped shaft in my 10.5° r5, or do I need to trade mine in for a driver with more loft AND a low-kicking shaft?

 

Anyone tried the SQ 13° with ProLaunch Blue?

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Slightly OT, but I just picked up an R5 3 wood and I'm not surprised you hit it so well. It's the most generous fairway head I've tried.

 

I think the shaft is a piece of poo, but the ease of hitting it from the bare deck of the driving range bay has me pondering my recent conversion to hybrids.

 

BTW, if you like the R5, they do make 12* versions. I had one for a while but it seemed less accurate than my 10.5 R7, something I blame on the shaft.

 

Since I am nattering, what is your miss with your currnt setup. If it is consistentltly right, or left, then a different head may help, ie closed, offset, open.

 

I'm trying to take the right hand side out of play because of the way I draw my irons, and have been fiddling with varying degrees of closed and offset. I know it isn't cool, but something like the Cobra M Speed makes it impossible to hit right. It's a bit much for me, but these days you can select a head to suit your ball flight, much as Mickleson did at the Masters.

 

Cheers

 

Steve

Mavrik Fuji Pro

G410/Epic Flash/Fli Hi Hybrids/woods
PXG Gen3 irons
Cleveland wedges
Odyssey Rossie OG 

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im a low single digit hadicap and I play a 12degree driver with the new grafalloy prototype shaft stiff flex, my swing is in the 110-115mph range. With prov1x on the vector showed 15 degree launch and 2700rpm, amazing combo if you ask me. The ball never ballong on me since the grafalloy proto shaft has a stiff tip and a mid kick..it give me a nice flat trajectory with a good amount of roll

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Ah, finally someone who has the Bimatrix and has put into practice what Grafalloy say about it, ie use a higher lofted driver and let the shaft lower the launch.

 

One would think with your swing speed and that loft you'd hit the ball sky high, yet those launch numbers seem ideal. Did you try another shaft first?

 

I'm also curious whether, if one accepts that higher loft means more accuracy, lowering the launch via the shaft restores the inaccuracy if you get what I mean.

 

In other words, a 10.5 head with a mid-launch shaft and a 12 head with a low launch shaft: are they one and the same.

 

Cheers

 

Steve

 

P.S.

 

I'm especially curious as I have BiMatrix in hand and a head I've trying out which launches very high with its current shaft, but has a great shot shape.

Mavrik Fuji Pro

G410/Epic Flash/Fli Hi Hybrids/woods
PXG Gen3 irons
Cleveland wedges
Odyssey Rossie OG 

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Slightly OT, but I just picked up an R5 3 wood and I'm not surprised you hit it so well. It's the most generous fairway head I've tried.

 

I think the shaft is a piece of poo, but the ease of hitting it from the bare deck of the driving range bay has me pondering my recent conversion to hybrids.

 

BTW, if you like the R5, they do make 12* versions. I had one for a while but it seemed less accurate than my 10.5 R7, something I blame on the shaft.

 

Since I am nattering, what is your miss with your currnt setup. If it is consistentltly right, or left, then a different head may help, ie closed, offset, open.

 

I'm trying to take the right hand side out of play because of the way I draw my irons, and have been fiddling with varying degrees of closed and offset. I know it isn't cool, but something like the Cobra M Speed makes it impossible to hit right. It's a bit much for me, but these days you can select a head to suit your ball flight, much as Mickleson did at the Masters.

 

Cheers

 

Steve

Glad you like the r5 FW, I seem to be able to do no wrong with mine. It hits the ball on the kind of trajectory that I'm after with my driver and still rolls some after it lands. In fact, it mirrors the ball flight of a regular playing partner of mine who uses a 9° G5/ProLaunch Blue 65, and only leaves me 10-15 yards behind him.

 

You asked about my typical miss, and it is always left. My r5N has a slightly closed face, but it isn't something that dwells on my mind at address: I'm thinking that the MAS shaft may be the culprit there. I'm not sure that I want to swap it out for a 12° r5 either. If anything, I like the shallower face of the Nike SQ (reminds me of my 3-wood) and my intention is to try one of those as soon as I can. The size of the head is not off-putting to me, and it makes the shaft seem shorter too. In fact, when I looked up the SQ 13° on Nike's website I saw that the shaft is actually ½" shorter than the lesser lofted versions - 44½" vs. 45" - so maybe this will help consistency and a more solid strike?

 

One thing I didn't see at NikeGolf.com was any aftermarket shaft options for the SQ - just the stock SQ Diamana. From the other informative posts here, I guess I could always lower the ball flight with a higher kickpoint shaft if the Lucky 13 hits it too high.

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