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If you talk to most golfers about slicing the golf ball or hooking the golf ball, most would refer to the fact that they get more bad shots with their driver than they do out of any other clubs. In fact a lot of golfers I’ve talked to about improving when we’re having lessons, they generally sit down that very first session with myself and tell me that they hit the irons really fine and straight and they slice the driver. And the reality is when we actually look at their game they probably slice every club in the bag but actually similar faults and similar swing characteristics. But the fact that your driver extenuates those faults more means that you start to focus on the fact that you’re slicing your driver. You think your irons are going straight, when you really look closely at your irons, your irons are probably still fading five to ten yards left to right but it’s a manageable amount.

When you take the driver, it becomes unmanageable and therefore you flag this one up as having a problem with it. Naturally the problem with the driver is due to two issues, it’s due to the length of the golf club and due to the loft or more importantly the lack of loft on the club face. The length of the club at 43, 44, 45 inches in length means that when you take it to the top and bring it down, it has an awful lot of lag, the fact that the club is a long way back behind the hand and it has a lot of lagging to do to catch up, ready for impact. And if you haven’t released the golf club down to the right position at impact and the face is open as we see here, that’s going to increase the amount the ball will curve in the air.

So firs thing to consider is the length of a swing, the length of the shaft, sorry. The second thing is the loft on the club face; most drivers have between nine and 12 degrees of loft. That doesn’t create a massive amount of back spin, meaning that the curvature of the golf ball effectively what with classes, what we talk about is side spin. It’s not actually side spin, the ball doesn’t rotate side wards, what it does is it has a tilted back spin access, so the ball will always have back spin but it will tilt slightly on its axis. Imagine the earth tilting on its axis. As the golf ball tilts on its axis and back spins, it spins in a curved flight. So we call it side spin, it’s not actually side spin; it’s a tilted back spin plane.

But if I have less back spin on the ball, the amount it curves in the air is going to increase quite a lot. Plus the fact that it’s actually in the air for longer as well. If the ball is in the air and carrying for three or four seconds, travelling over 250 yards, clearly that will curve more in the air than if I was only hitting a 50 or 60 yard wedge shot that has loads and loads of back spin. So your driver will always increase the amount of curvature you see. Now for some people that’s a good thing, if you once try and draw or fade the ball around corners, the drivers quite a nice club to use. We’re certainly using a long iron if you’re in the trees and you want to try and shake the ball to get around the corner, use something that doesn’t create a massive amount of loft and back spin.

But if you want accuracy of the tee, maybe consider going down to a three or five with hybrid club. Because that will increase back spin, fly the ball a bit higher and also fly the ball a bit shorter. That’s going to increase the opportunity to hit fairways, effectively using a short and a lofted club makes the fairway wider, that means you can get away with a few more mistakes. So just be careful when you take the driver out in the back, understand the length and the lack of loft in the club face mean you’ll always see more curve with your drive than any of the club, particularly if you’ve got a faulty in your swing, this will always highlight that fault and maximize it.