Posts Tagged ‘trajectory’

How to Control Distance and Trajectory of Your Iron Shots!

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

This one is pretty simple but learning how to control distance of your iron shots is one of the most effective ways to control your distance and also trajectory.

For example, you have 150 yards to the pin from the fairway.  If you hit your 7-iron 150 yards with a full swing, that’d be good to use on a sunny day with absolutely no wind.

On the other hand, let’s say there’s a heavy 20MPH wind going against you on the 150 yard shot.  You could possibly hit another club and hit your 6-iron with a full shot or hit the 6 or 5-iron with a half swing, which will result in lower trajectory  and your shot won’t be affected by the wind.

Most of the time, I choose to go with the latter, choosing a much lower-numbered club and hit it with either 3/4 or 1/2 swing.  This is usually called a “knock-down” shot and it’s imperative that you learn how to do this if you want too be a good all-around player.

For example, if you play in super-windy areas like Texas, you don’t have a choice but to deal with 30+MPH winds on a daily basis.  You need to hit the ball lower but hitting a full shot won’t help you do that.

Although you could put the ball back in your stance and make a full swing at it, because you are still swinging “full”, the amount of backspin put on the ball will be too much and affected too much by the wind.

So, you need to learn to control the distance and trajectory of your iron shots.

How to do this?

Very simple actually, just take a shorter backswing.  But you will need to practice often on the range in order to “control” precisely.

Next time you go out on the range, don’t simply bang full-swings, see if you can hit the same target with different clubs, with different length of backswings.

If you have not tried doing this before, I assure you, you will won’t be too accurate, so practice makes perfect.

For example, when I go to the range, I will hit to a 150 yard target with my 8-iron. (with a full swing)  Then, I will take a 7-iron and also hit it 150 yards but with shorter backswing, which results in lower trajectory.  I will also take a 6-iron and take even short backswing.  Usually, I go about up to 3 clubs down before I move on to my next target.

This is not only great practice for your overall “feel” for distance and trajectory, now you potentially made new arsenal of shots in your golf bag.  Instead of just having 1 full shot from each club, you potentially now have multiple uses with each club.

Having more weapons in your golf bag means more ways you can attack the pin on the golf course.   Also, let’s say you have an approach shot with a tree hanging over about 30 yards out, perhaps this isn’t even a challenge to you because you have a shot in your bag with the right distance and trajectory to hit it under the tree and still get to the green.

Another great use for length of your backswing is as a swing thought.  Instead of filling your mind with too many things, simply think of the “length” of you backswing when hitting a golf ball on the course.  This will allow you to really be able to focus on one thing, that of controlling your distance.

The rest of the swing should be pretty easy and automatic if you have been practicing your fundamentals and needless to say, the less you think about your golf swing on the course, the better you play.

Well, keep practicing different lengths and trajectories by simply limiting how far you swing back.

Happy golfin!

Nike SQ DYMO STR8-FIT Driver VS. TaylorMade R9 Review!

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

*NOTE – This post shall be submitted for eligibility in a Nike Golf promotion contest.

Dan from RocketXL has tipped me on the latest contest where you can win a trip to Fort Worth, Texas to get professional, custom-fitted with brand new Nike clubs. (worth $2000) Needless to say, I had to take advantage of this offer as getting your golf clubs fitted professionally determines a big portion of how well you will play on the course.

I won’t go into the specs of each driver as I don’t feel that’s more important than actual results from the field.

So without delay, let me go into how my test between the Nike SQ DYMO STR8-FIT driver versus the TaylorMade R9 went after hitting about 100 balls with each:

Nike SQ DYMO STR8-FIT Driver w/ 9.5 degrees and Stiff Shaft

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Points

  • It’s very easy to hit the sweetspot, the DYMO STR8-FIT driver has been designed so it’s really hard to miss the sweetspot.
  • Nike DYMO STR8-FIT is great since you can change your trajectory easily with the built-in wrench. Whether you are slicing or hooking certain days, it’s easy to adjust your driver to fit your swing, not the other way around.

Overall, I experienced consistent results with my trajectory yielding between a straight shot and a 30 yard fade on the factory neutral setting. One of the keys to success in tournament golf or weekend skin’s game is the ability to block out one side of the course.

As for me, I tend to hook my driver wildly under pressure, this DYMO STR8-FIT driver definitely helped me block out my weak side, the bad “hook”. On the plus side, I felt the DYMO driver had really good “high” trajectory mixed with overspin or no spin for longer rolls once the ball hits the ground. This is great stuff when playing in windy conditions as your drives won’t be as affected by the wind due to the “low spin”.

Another cool feature I experienced was that even when I try to hit a duck-hook, my drives would go super-straight with the DYMO STR8-FIT on neutral setting. That is a quite a bit of insurance against holes where there’s O.B. left. I have to emphasize that the clubhead did this, not my swing so I am figuring that the weight-balance on the Nike has been designed for minimal closing of the clubhead, meaning you will get more or less “square” at impact.

TaylorMade R9 Driver w/ 9.5 degrees and Stiff Shaft

Points

  • It’s hard to hit the sweetspot. This could be a more versatile for the more advanced players who want to work the ball both left and right but seems not a great fit for the average player.
  • Too many ways to adjust the R9 driver is it’s downfall.

Overall, TaylorMade R9 caused a lot of random, big wild hooks, although the ball probably went as far as the Nike DYMO driver. Even with distance, the TaylorMade R9 gave a slightly “lower” trajectory without the extra overspin “feel” that the Nike DYMO STR8-FIT provided. TaylorMade R9 is still a great driver for advanced players who need to work the ball a little bit more. I simply felt that I actually wanted to do less with my driver, hit it straight. (Even Ben Hogan used oversized grips on his driver and woods in order to keep it simpler.)

Conclusion

If you are looking for distance and consistency, I would definitely have to go with Nike DYMO driver. Honestly, I am impressed with what kind of drivers Nike is able to come up with for the average golfer while I still do think TaylorMade R9 is better suited for scratch/pro golfers who like to tinker.

As for distance, I have to say the Nike outperformed the TaylorMade as even my mishits with the Nike have gone 290 yards while the TaylorMade mishits were more in the range of 270 yards with wild hooks here and there.

One of things I want to actually emphasize here is not the club’s ability to adjust to different lies and trajectories but the clubhead itself is solid. Having a solid clubhead allows you to hit the ball straighter and with more “overspin”, allowing your ball to roll further and better control under windy conditions.

Overall, I will have to stick with the Nike DYMO driver now. My next change will include a shaft change from the factory UST PRO Stiff to a UST PRO2 Extra Stiff, this should garner me additional 20 yards.

For those of you who want to try out these drivers, head over to the Nike website to find the nearest DEMO location and you can also enter to win a free professional club-fitting trip to Forth Worth, Texas with your airplane expenses paid.

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(Nike DYMO STR8-FIT lie & trajectory changer)

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(Nike DYMO STR8-FIT wrench for changing your lie, very easy to use, took about 30 seconds to change.)

Here’s a short video I took while testing the two drivers. (Please don’t mind swing mechanics here, I haven’t hit too many balls lately…)

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode