Do I need a driver? The pain of a long hitting high handicapper

I started this year without a driver and was happy with my 3W distance when I hit it well, 240-250. After comments from friends I decided to buy a driver, used SLDR from the Silk Road. Well it has been a rocky summer for me and the driver. I have absolutely crushed some drives, verging on 300, but also lost so many balls with high “fades” and duck hooks that I don’t hit it unless both sides of the hole are playable, ie parkland courses.

My go to is my 4h and 3W which both can find the fairway 50% of the time, per Grint.

So, to the more educated here is it worth putting in the effort to get the extra 40 yards with a Driver or spend that time working on other parts of my game?

I am a 19 and struggle with iron control and I think that just hitting the 3W from now on and concentrating on 150 yard shots would be a bigger benefit to my game.

Why not only hit your driver 20 yds further than your 3 wood?

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I don’t know how to do that. I am a swing hard kind of guy.

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Yea, not many 19’s have mastered the 270 yd straight driver. You may try the teeing it slightly lower bunt fade. Tough to do.

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You might want to try another driver, the SLDR is one of the least forgiving drivers put out in the last 10 years.

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Generally the data guys say until about handicap 15, learning to hit driver is low hanging fruit.

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I used to be in the exact same boat. My rule was only hit driver if it would save me a stroke. As in be able to reach a par 5 in two or need it to have 160 or less into a par 4. Sometimes I would just lay back anyway if there was a hazard in my usual driver miss area. Although this laying up strategy is definitely not the TC way.

If you can reach the 150 stake on certain holes with a 5 iron why hit driver?

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Sldr is one of those weird experiments where some love it but most do better with traditional tech. I would say find a ping g400 or 410 with. They should be relatively affordable and offer max forgiveness.
If you can cut your penalty shots even by 1/2 you are already at 15. Sldr requires different launch and spin numbers for optimization and you want club to fit your swing not change swing to fit club.
Jmo.

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Find someone you don’t like and sell the SLDR to him, then use the proceeds to buy something from the Ping G family.

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First of all I didn’t know the SLDR was a notoriously difficult club to hit. Thanks for then insight.

Are Ping drivers the easiest to hit? I will try and find on on eBay and see if it improves my game.

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Mostly because the math says more distance is always better.

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Why wouldn’t a 19 want to change his swing?

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Man, I feel this topic.

I probably hit a driver 20 times last year in 65 rounds. Just an absolute lack of confidence. My duck hooks were HARD hooks. I mean like 90 yards, then torpedoed into the ground, roll out to 160 unless they went OB.

So I put mine away for the year. Caught a lot of guff, but I can hit my 4 iron about 250ish off the tee, so I got away with it.

This year, I bought a driver off the Silk Road and committed to it. To solve my snapper, I adapted to the weakest grip you’ve ever seen in your life. It works, but brings a SUPER high slice into the picture. For the first part of the year, I played a fade / slice and I was in heaven.

But then I started to noticed I couldn’t stop it from going right. So now I’m back on my bullshit. I borrowed a 2 hybrid from a friend that I can reliably hit about 280 off a tee. (ROLL OUT, shout out @nandersen).

The quest for the fairway continues though. I’ve started push slicing that fucker, too.

Essentially, what I am trying to say, is fuck golf. It’s too hard. But we’re in this together, my friend.

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What in the absolute hell is a fairway?

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Worried about driver, but gaming an SLDR…

Sincerely, team Ping G410+ (properly fitted).

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Our stories are two sides of the same coin, maybe we should stop being cheap bastards and get fitted for a driver.

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Yeah, pretty much. My swing is just so shit that I need to figure that out first. But definitely need to go through the process. I did do a shaft fitting and that helped a bit, but someday I gotta bite the bullet and get the whole bag going.

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I’m in the same boat, so I set myself some rules.

I only hit my driver on 400+ holes, or if it is “reachable” and not a ton of danger on the sides.
3W (MiniDriver) 350-400
3 Hybrid up to 350 (except for the driveable holes mentioned above).

Since I play the whites, I don’t hit the driver too many times per round.

I’m usually an “archer not the arrow” guy but would agree with a few others in this thread that an SLDR is not setting you up for success, wildly notorious for forgiveness. Weight is set up way forward

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I am a fan of getting a lesson before a new driver. $50-$80 for a lesson vs $250 for a used driver that may still not fit you.

Best of luck.

P.S. - I believe ultra-forgiving clubs are a crutch that keep you from learning precise contact. Fight me.

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