Re: choke up on driver?

rob wrote:

my driver is killing me. it constantly slices, so ive been using my 3 wood. 3 wood goes straight, but only like 220, max. someone said try choking up on driver, to make it a shorter shaft like the 3 wood, and you would have better control. before i try this and ruin my swing further, has anyone had success with this idea?

There are several reasons you might be slicing your driver.

1. Your shaft might be too stiff (it unloads too soon, which reduces the effect of the clubhead closing through the hitting zone).

2. It might be too flexible (it stay behind and never has time to unload, so you leave the face open. Usually something you'd see with a person with a quick, powerful swing.)

3. You're lining up wrong with it, with the face open to the line. If you align your hands on the grip, and the grip isn't quite in alignment with the clubhead, you could think you're squaring the clubface to the target line and not.

4. The head itself may give the appearance of being square to the line when it's not; this can happen in a variety of ways. The Bang-o-Matic head has a paint design which encourages closing the face; maybe yours makes it look square when it's really open.

5. Your grip is too large (meaning the rubber grip on the shaft). A too-large in diameter grip can make it harder to release the club through the hitting zone, which results in leaving the face open, and a slice.

6. Your swing is coming over the top, and you're opening the face to avoid pulling the ball.

Ultimately, a slice comes from the clubface being open to the line the clubhead is traveling on, as it strikes the ball.

Will a shorter club help? It might. I've moved away from using 45.5" or 46" drivers, simply because I don't gain enough in distance to make it worth the poorer accuracy.

My driver is 44.75" long, and that's long enough. My 3-wood is 42", my 5-wood is 41".

Just remember one thing about choking down: When you do that, you also change the effective grip size. And that relates to #5 above.

IMO, many--most?--people place too much emphasis on raw distance, and not enough on keeping the ball in the short stuff. A shorter driver will help you do that, and you won't lose as much distance as you think you might. Maybe a few yards, but what happens with a shorter club is that you can hit the sweetspot more often, which can actually result in *longer* average drives with a shorter driver.


Mike Dalecki GCA Accredited Clubmaker
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