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Hamilton Golf & Country Club



Golf IQ

Divebombs? Balloons? 2 things to watch for on your driver mis-hits

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Keyur Khamar

Hitting good shots is great, but that's not the name of the game in golf. Not really.

Golf, as the cliche we all know goes, is a game of misses. The better your misses are, the better your scores will be.

The problem is amateur golfers aren't good at thinking about their misses. They're lured into the perfection of their best shots. It's why they tend to underclub themselves and come up short, or aiming at the wrong spots. They're not planning for an average, or below-average shot. They're planning for the great shot that almost never comes. Especially off the tee.

Which is why we decided to have Titleist Performance Institute Fitting Analyst Chris Baingo on our most recent episode of the Golf IQ podcast, which you can subscribe to right here, or listen to below.

Chris helps fit some of the best players on the planet, and when it comes to your driver misses, he's got a couple pieces of advice for you.

1. Divebomb Runners

Every time every golfer hits the ball, it comes off the clubface with backspin. Too much backspin can be bad (we'll get to that), but Baingo says he often sees amateurs with the opposite problem.

"I see many golfers who don't have enough backspin on their drives," he says. "Mid-2000 RPMs spin is often ideal for achieving the right ball flight."

When a slower-swinging golfer hits the ball with less spin than that, the ball will struggle to get up into the air, then dive back to earth quickly. This quick up-down ball flight may be exaggerated by toe misses.

Consider this ball flight a red flag. That goes for around the greens. If you find your chips are landing and rolling forever, you could be a good candidate for a new wedge with a different grind, Baingo says.

2. Balloon balls

About that too-much-backspin problem we mentioned: The warning sign to watch out for here is when the ball sails high into the air then hangs there seemingly forever. It's a common problem if your miss tends towards a slice.

"You want to look for that nice, boring trajectory," Baingo says. "This is true for iron shots too; a good rule of thumb is that the highest point of your ball flight should be similar for all your irons."

Again, you can listen to the full episode right here: