My latest swing trend is Trahan. Like other conventional swings, I tend to hit a very weak fade and push the ball way to the right with the driver. I have similar results with other conventional swings. It seems I slide a bit when I start the down swing with the lower body. I don't have this issue with the irons.
Well of course you might get 10 different replies, and any one might contain the answer that works for you, or not. I have had some experience with push slicing so I'll ramble a bit on the subject. And it will be based on me, not on the world at large.
I would strongly suggest that the main culprit is the face angle at impact. By far. You probably have a respectably good swing plane, combined with a wide open face. And it is left open because of your body outrunning your arms. The open face is a virtual certainty. The cause I gave is likely, if not certain.
There are adjustments to change the timing or face angle, but many are band-aids. For instance a stronger grip is usually a band-aid. There are many things that change the timing of the impact. Ball position. Width of stance: wider means slower body, faster arms, and v.v. Lead foot/knee position, because for many swings at some point they form a wall that affects the timing of the release. eg Turn the lead foot out, it is easier to keep the clubface open longer. Turn it square, clubface squares up sooner. Open or closed stance.
One way or the other it is all about timing, getting the face to square at impact. Either you have to change your setup to change your timing, or you change your swing mechanics, or you make a deliberate compensation in the swing.
As an experiment, I would try thinking more about letting the arms lead the swing. Just to see what happens. It may be as simple as you are trying to kill the driver, and that is making your body overdo its role.
Thanks for the good tips about the driver. From day one, I always had issues hitting the driver. Even when my I would be on track to break the 80 barrier, my driving would prevent me from achieving that goal.
In order to get by, I use Stack and Tilt off the tee. I am about 10% less in distance but I am much more in the fairway. That is about 25-30 yards difference. Either I find how to eek out more distance with Stack and Tilt or I finally learn how to hit the driver the conventional way.
I have an old Youtube drill where someone is explaining the "fly wedge drill" where the trail hand is bent thru impact. The basic theme is that you can have you body turn more towards the target at impact and the club should be square if the trail hand is still bent.
Since my body is racing ahead of the arms/hands, this sounds like this may help. What do you think?
A fade is a result of an open club face. Keeping your trail wrist bent will not cause the clubface to close. Your body rotating more only leaves the club face open at impact to the extent that it causes the center of your swing radius (lead shoulder) to be further forward at impact than your setup is prepared to accomodate.
The fix is to either adjust your setup or rotate the clubface more before impact. The way to do the latter depends on the 'style' of swing you're using.
My thoughts also. Of course the other possibility is an equipment problem which could be anything for too stiff of a shaft to a head design that does not line up correctly for the golfer in question...
Good point. If a person has a fairly on plane swing and a repeatably open face with the driver, there is a lot of opportunity to fix that with equipment.
Anyone with a big slice should definitely be playing a shorter driver. Most of today's drivers are now 46 inches, and that is super long.
Then there is face angle and/or offset to fiddle with. I bet I have drivers in my collection that would straighten JK out considerably with no mechanical changes. A 44" driver with a 2* closed or offset & closed face would help a ton. Maybe. Probably. And I'm not talking about Bob Burns No More Bananas closed. Enough to help but not enough to be glaring.
A good basic closed face driver is an R7 Draw, available at reasonable prices used on the net. I think it is 45". Choke down or have a clubmaker cut an inch off and put enough lead tape on it to get it back to the original swingweight.
My driver is 44" and ~1.5* closed. My fairway woods are similarly closed. I find that this face angle sets up perfectly with the shaft lean and what not of NG/IMA/etc. Sometimes I get balls going left but they are the result of swing flaws. When I play a dead square face angle on a driver or wood, I get fades. And I don't like to try to adjust the setup to suit the club. I want the club to sit naturally at the angle I need. Hence the closed face clubs. I know that guys like Moe and Todd and Scott don't need closed face clubs. More power to them. They work for me and let me feel I'm making the same swing for all clubs.
Hi. I took your advice about using the arms in the swing. That seem to help quite a bit. Actually, I tended to draw the ball a little too much by adding the arms into the swing.
Although I am a little concern about getting my arms more involved, it did solve my push to the right drives. It seems your diagnosis may have been correct. My lower body was outracing my arms. It was only noticeable with the longer club such as the driver.
Fitting for a new driver depends on what swing that I use. I am still experimenting and each swing theory results in a unique ball flight. The one I am working on now is Trahan. I am liking the iron play. The driver, as stated, is giving me fits. I seems to be common with other folks using Trahan's philosophy; I have read many comments about driver difficulty.
Things like this help a golfer to learn cause and effect in their swing. I know I'm still learning them.
I agree that you don't really want the arms to lead the swing. But my guess was that your body was outracing the arms. By actively letting the arms lead, you experienced a different outcome. Probably the lower body was still engaged and moving at a good pace, but no longer out-racing the arms.
You might need to experiment to find the right key that works for both irons and driver. Some people start their downswing (in their mind) with the lead foot. Some with a hip, or a shoulder, arms, or whatever. The mission is to get things sync'd up. The downswing will actually start from the ground up, but many people will feel something else. I feel my arms starting the swing. But my lower body is moving in sync.
Short irons are forgiving of many sins. Longer clubs will make the flaws appear.
"The driver is the hardest club in the bag to hit,
October 9 2009, 2:54 PM
that's why they let you put it on a peg" Harvey Penick
He also says that a person should always "try to hit it as hard as they can". Otherwise, they will always be a short hitter. When I first started golf, this sounded like great advice and that is what I tied to do. But alas...trying to hit it as hard as you can is WAY different from actually hitting it as hard a s you can.
I like Bertholy's advice - "Never strive for one more yard of distance than a smooth centrifugal force swing will produce...never force it, finesse it." Comments about "swinging easy" or "swinging hard" are vague, subjective and nebulous. But if you develop an action that always applies maximum muscle antagonism and opposing forces, you will always be "hitting" as hard as you can.
Do most golfers feel that way? I have always loved to hit the driver and I don't consider it to be the hardest club to hit at all. I mean you have all that room out there... Today's driver heads are so big and the ball is teed up! It really is like cheating.
..trying to hit it as hard as you can is WAY different from actually hitting it as hard a s you can..
This is what gets people 'messed up'. When you do it the right way, actually hitting it as hard as you can it does not feel like hitting it as hard as you can when you have not experienced it the right way. As a result there is a HUGE communications gulf between tour pto quotes and regular guy understanding.
This message has been edited by sagf_moderator on Oct 9, 2009 7:00 PM
of pushes, weak fades, and slices is the right shoulder roll, right arm thrust and right hand release, to paraphrase Bertholy. These flaws are most manifest in the driver because of the heightened hit impulse with this club. Submit a video of your swing and we'll pick up the real reasons quickly.