Today’s Thought

Drivers – Should They Be Banned to Preserve the Golfer’s Mental Health?

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It’s a typical Sunday morning and I’m walking to the first tee. Coffee in hand, muscles tight, expectations high, ability low and well aware that what ever happens on this first shot sets the tone for the rest of the game. I haven’t swung a club in at least a week.

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Decisions. Decisions. Which club to hit? If I hit my 3 wood or an iron there’s a good chance that I’ll actually find the ball afterward.

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Probably take some serious flack from my playing buddies though. What the heck do they know? I should play it safe.Couldn’t possibly hit another drive like that time back in 1984 when I hit my driver off this same tee. Or could I?

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The rest of the story is pretty predictable. I select the longest club in my bag that had the flattest face. All the ingredients for a recipe of failure. Why do we insist on playing a driver with a long shaft and very little loft. We know darn well that the odds of the ball being anywhere near the fairway when it comes to rest is next to zero.

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I’ll tell you why. Because we would all give our first born for an extra 10 yards and if we hit the driver perfect, it just might happen. Ahhh that drive of 1984. I hit it right on the proverbial sweet spot, it soared through the air as if gravity had taken a vacation, landed and rolled to a yardage that even I had not proclaimed as being my personal best.

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My mind tends to block out the fact that there was a 40 mph tail wind, the ball landed on a paved cart path not only once but twice and the second bounce some how redirected the ball from out of bounds back onto the fairway. The 45 degree down slope in the terrain heading toward the green didn’t hurt. Did I mention there had been no rain for about 2 months and the fairway was the consistency of the Island Highway? Divine intervention or a great shot? Probably neither.

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Life and lots of lost golf balls has a way of making a person reevaluate their driver. I’ve since switched to a length that best suits me, not the manufacturer. Selected a loft that maximizes my abilities, not Tiger Woods. Got the right shaft with the correct flex for distance and accuracy. All the accuracy of a 3 wood and all the distance of a driver. I’m amazed how much extra distance you get when the ball lands and rolls in the right direction!

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No more soul searching on the first tee. Just grab the big stick and flail away. Maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. This is a sure way to lower your score and make golf more fun. Does your driver have the right length, loft, shaft and grip to maximize your ability? Come see me, we’ll find out.

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Next issue is Irons – Are They Getting Longer or Am I Shrinking?
Terry Stav is a member of the Professional Clubmakers’ Society with Professional “Class A” Clubmaker certification. He loves to talk about game improvement clubs and can be reached at:

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Golf West in Nanaimo.
4059 Norwell Drive 758-1919
email: golfwestbc@shaw.ca

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