My first experience with a big headed driver

I was at Titleist in 2000 getting fitted for a new driver at their testing facility. I picked out the one I wanted, they fit me for a shaft and then brought out the new large sized 975J for me to try out for fun.

As you know, that driver is not nearly as big as what we have have available now, but compared to what I had played for 15 years, it was huge.

I didn’t know what to make of it. After hitting about 20 of them, I tried to hit a 3 wood and topped 4 in a row. I then shanked a wedge.

What the heck happened? Well, this enormous head visually made me want to hit way up on it. This made my shoulder turn too vertical and completely threw my swing off.

Why is this important? When you combine 3 things, golfers out there in the thousands and even 10’s of thousands have the following issue.

1. People have an innate desire to help the ball in the air.

2. The big headed drivers visually make you want to help it up in the air.

3. People are told that Trackman says the ideal angle of attack for maximum distance is to hit up on it slightly. As in most things in golf, you don’t aspire to individual split second “correct positions,” you make a well synced golf swing and those positions happen. Forcing them to happen in this case, extenuates #1 and #2.

People end up with a massively vertical shoulder turn and are dead. Add to that having not enough tilt at address and you make this issue even worse. Additionally everyone is so deathly afraid of coming over the top, they rotate their shoulders even more vertically.

Do you see where I am going with this?

Guess why so many people can’t hit their drivers?

guess why with all of this technology in equipment and video, that people aren’t getting better and quitting the game?




  1. woody

    Great work!

    Maybe it’s just me…but I am still using a driver that was featured on TV ads (Golfsmith later had a sale, and I could get a complete set of woods, and extras with different lofts for $20 apiece. Yup, Trinity Stiletto II.

    I see big-headed drivers, and I don’t know what to make of them. They don’t fit my eye.

    As far as “vertical shoulder turn,” I guess you mean chopping.

    However, there’s some good physiological reasons for having shoulders appear vertical through impact. I could show you screen-captures of Sadlowski (super long) and Moe Norman (straight and respectably long).

    Here’s how Moe described his “feel,” to a fan after a clinic: (0:54) Moe

    As for Jamie, check it out: (0:19) Sadlowski

    There’s vertical…and then, there’s vertical. All vertical is not the same.

  2. Calvin

    Oddly, I have zero interest in equipment technology or vertical shoulder turns.

    • Monte Scheinblum

      Oddly, today’s post is about neither of those things specifically.

      • cdnmike

        Oddly, I believe, odds are, that you will find this post very odd.

  3. Jason

    I belive in making the same swing no matter what club I have. Ball position and club length determine whether I’m hitting down, in the middle or on the upswing. My driver is a 2006 Callaway FT-3 65 NVS Shaft. 11 loft. Monte, what do you think of people that don’t have enough loft and play way too stiff drivers? I think those people usually are the slow golfgers with scratch finishes.

  4. Doug Benner

    This year I have returned to the game after a 10-year hiatus due to back problems which were fixed surgically 18 months ago. I bought a new set of clubs – with a big-headed driver, of course. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with that damn club all season. I think it is a mental thing. I either hit it great or hit a big push-fade into the adjacent fairway (or worse). I hit the 3-wood much more consistently off the tee, and should probably be using that club more anyway, since my home course is just a 6100 yard muni, but I’d really like to get better with this watermelon-on-a-stick driver.

  5. Jason

    Hey Doug, welcome back to the game. A few things, you may be forcing somethig with the swing, knowing you have this big club. Also the 3 wood has more loft and a shorter shaft = more control. Most people do not have enough loft with thier drivers, simple as that. Acer has a driver called the Thriver. It’s a cross betwen a 3 wood and Driver, strong 3 wood loft at 14, 3 wood head weight and shaft length.


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