Iron vs. Driver Swing

Just how different should your iron swing be vs. your driver swing? The answer will surprise you!

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Venkatesh
Been a devoted student of Rotary Swing for the last 3-4 months and absolutely loving it. I can hit my long and short irons really well - flush and consistently. However my driver has absolutely gone to lunch. I cannot drive the ball at all - mostly heavy slices, and absolutely makes it very tough to play. Just shot a round of 83 without a consistent driver and can dream of the possibilities. Please help! Any specific videos if suggestions would be great. Thanks!
June 14, 2021
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Venkatesh. Thanks for the compliments. Take a look at Proper Tee Height to make sure you are setup correctly. Also, sounds like too much it from the top. Take a look at Keep Your Rear Shoulder Back to see if shoulder spinning is the cause.
June 15, 2021
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Ramey
Ramey I have been on the rotary swing program for over 2 months now and have started to go back to the range. I hit all my irons 15 yards further and no longer slice my long clubs, however.....now my only miss with 3w and driver is a pull. When I realize my grip is getting weaker, i adjust it and the flight straightens out, but I cant stop hitting pulls with my driver now. Im very glad the slice is gone and I know im very close to breaking through with this club.....any drills or thoughts to get me over the hump?
June 18, 2020
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Mikko-Pekka
Hello Ramey. Have you checked Driver Setup - video? If the ball is up in your stance then you need to close your stance slightly to straigthen that shot.
June 18, 2020
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Ramey
Indeed the ball is up in my stance, I will check this now, thanks!
June 18, 2020
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Mikko-Pekka
Here it is: https://rotaryswing.com/golf-instruction-videos/full-swing-advanced/setup/driver-setup-adjustments
June 18, 2020
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Nolan
I think I remember hearing Chuck say somewhere that the release point of a driver is the same as an iron (ie just front of center from our stance). Am I remembering correctly?
May 19, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nolan. Ball placement only different. Swing the same. Releasing at the same time just catching the ball later.
May 19, 2020
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Matthew
Hi Craig, so far, all the work we have been doing is having a great improvement on my game. From short game to irons, things are going very well. However, my driver/longer clubs off the tee is absolutely killing me. I’m playing at a mid 80’s to low 80’s level with everything else, but shooting 95 because I’m hitting 4-6 balls OB every round. As far as working on hitting driver, does this just come down to me continuing to work the dead drill for full swing, or is there something additional I should be doing with my driver to improve? Driving has always been my weakest point of my game. Hit it a long way but not idea where it’s going.
February 17, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Matthew. After making setup adjustments you need to make the same swing. Most players try to change their swing because it is a wood versus catching at a later time. Make sure you allow yourself to swing through normal like an iron and catch when the club is on the upswing.
February 17, 2020
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Matthew
So your saying do everything the same but catch the ball further up. Different setup and swing same way if I was hitting a 7 iron.
February 17, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Matthew. Yes. The slightly wider stance, added tilt, and further forward ball position allow for this without changing the swing.
February 17, 2020
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Matthew
Hi Craig, Trying to find a good place for this question. My club fitter took my strong lofted irons ( today’s standard irons, 43 degree PW )and told me that the strong lofts were contributing to me pulling/hooking the ball. Problem is I was hitting a 5 iron 190 or so, now I’m down to 175 with the weaker standard lofts ( 46 degree PW ) but now with a huge gap in yardage between 175 ( 5 iron ) and 200 ( 4 hybrid ). Is there anything wrong with having the stronger lofts and does this contribute to left shots?
February 10, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Matthew. Lots of players have strong lofted irons. You shouldn't see that contributing to hitting massive hooks. However, with proper impact lean and release. You should be able to get some more juice out of the current (standard) loft.
February 10, 2020
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David
Chuck refers to the bomb the driver series of videos which I cannot find on the website David
September 11, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Go to video menu --> bonus series --> bomb your driver.
September 11, 2019
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Michael
What is the best drill(s) to work on thin, weak iron shots with no compression?
June 6, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. Taking a Divot Video and Day 1: Impact in the 9 Days to Amazing Ball Striking Section. Also, 5 Minutes to the Perfect Release.
June 6, 2019
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robert
now where do I go?
April 30, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. It depends. Where are you in your rebuild?
April 30, 2019
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robert
I do not know what the rebuild refers to I finished viewing the Deeper Learning videos in RST Is there somewhere a guid that tells new viewers where to begin and where to go next. I get lost everytime I click on Rotary Swing
April 30, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. If you are new to the site and looking to rebuild/retool your golf swing. Here are my 2 suggestions. 1. RotarySwing University. If you go to the video menu and click RSU that will guide you from beginning to end with checkpoints along the way. 2. Swing Review. Upload your swing to one of our instructors and have them point out your flaws and the specific videos you need to improve your game.
April 30, 2019
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Nolan
What's an ideal driver launch angle if the goal is distance and not worrying about cutting into wind?
January 8, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nolan. Depends on a few factors. Do you know your swing speed?
January 8, 2019
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Nolan
Driver swing speed is 105-110 mph
January 8, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Nolan. That's a little bit of a variance. But, depending on your AOA 10.5-14.
January 8, 2019
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Robert
I am making good strides with leading with left side on the downswing. I've been doing a lot of the drills for getting in the impact position. The irons are coming along well, but still struggle with the hybrid and driver. Any setup tweaks or drills to try?
August 9, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. Make sure you are setup properly first. Proper Tee Height Video. Let's start there.
August 10, 2018
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Robert
Despite same setup, tee height and swing tempo, the ball will hook, high slice, straight, etc. No consistent flight despite what feels like same "approach". Doing same things, I'm getting a consistent iron flight: baby draw
August 10, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. Sounds like a shoulder issue and release issue. Make sure the shoulders don't spin in transition. Keep the Rear Shoulder Back Video. Also, the release staying gradual. Flip vs Release.
August 10, 2018
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Robert
Tee height is right
August 10, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. That video will also discuss stance width and axis tilt. What is the common error with your driver?
August 10, 2018
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Robert
It's varied. No consistent missed
August 10, 2018
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Slightly
Chuck If the driver is 12 inches longer than the iron, then there are indeed 24 half inches' difference in length; since each half-an-inch represents an extra two miles per of club head speed simply from the increased radius of the swing arc, the increased club head speed is 48 miles per hour...or am I mistaken? kindest Anup
July 29, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anup. Technically, yes that would be correct. This is why some players can have low 80's (mph) with their wedges and low 120's with their driver not adding much more effort.
July 29, 2018
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Pete
Should I choose the 40" or the 48"? Thx
June 12, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Pete. Are you referring to the SKLZ Trainer or the Orange Whip?
June 12, 2018
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Pete
I'm referring to the SKLZ Trainer; thx.
June 12, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Pete. I prefer the 40" because of the versatility.
June 12, 2018
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Pete
Thanks a lot. Pete
June 12, 2018
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timothy
Another great video. My swing seems to be progressing nicely and I'm at a stage where I feel i can work on my left wrist in the downswing. Does this change at all with the driver? I thought the square the clubface early move for irons was to promote shaft lean. Do you still do this for your driver? Any video which could detail the left wrist for both iron and driver would be great. Also the FO swing view of chuck would be most welcomed. Thanks.
June 4, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Timothy. The driver and iron swing will be the same. However, with the driver you are catching it at a different point so you shouldn't have a big shaft lean and downward AOA. You still need to be squaring the face with the driver. Take a look at the Driver Launch Angle Video and Driver Setup Adjustments Video. You will see a good FO of what the wrists should be doing in to impact.
June 4, 2018
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Marcel
Dear Chuck, you have the best swing I ever saw. Can you please make a video with your driver front view. I'm very happy for the last weeks that you make more videos with the driver. Thanks a lot in advance, Marcel
June 4, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marcel. I've seen better . I will make sure Chuck sees your note.
June 4, 2018
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Caleb
While the swing should be the same as an iron, it will feel different because the ball position is forward making the contact point later making the feel more of a sweep, then a down with the irons? At least that's what i feel?
June 3, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Caleb. Feel is a little subjective. However, common feel for the difference is more of a sweep.
June 4, 2018
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Hank
How does that work for Dechambeau who has specialty irons made the same length? Why would he chose that?
June 3, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Hank. Bryson changes aspects with counter balancing, different weight/mass adjustments, shafts, etc. to make up for the lack of change in width. He believes having a one length club set allows him to have a better feel for repeatability and comfort of the swing.
June 3, 2018
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Marcel
Hi Chuck, great you make new videos for the driver. I struggle with my driver so this helps me hopefully. I also saw on Youtube more new driver videos from you. Are they also coming on the side. Do you have also a front view driver swing from you. Thanks in advance, Marcel
May 30, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marcel. We don't have a front on view in the self analysis with Chuck and driver yet. Some of the YouTube Video content will appear on the site. Glad you are enjoying the new videos.
May 30, 2018
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Mark
No doubt the ongoing battle with the driver is all in my head. I've been working on shallowing out the driver from the top, dropping my hands down, which I don't even think about doing with irons; should I stop shallowing? Also, with the driver, I put the the ball a bit forward and close the stance a little; should my shoulders line up with my feet or towards the target? My friend reckons my shoulders are open at setup.
May 30, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. You still want to have a proper plane coming down. Allow for the weight shift, passive arms/upper half and secondary tilt to shallow your plane like you irons. Take a look at Driver Setup Adjustments and Proper Tee Height Video. You will adjust the whole setup slightly closed with the club at the target.
May 30, 2018
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Drew
If club head speed increases 2 MPH every half inch, then an extra 12 inches will actually yield an extra 48 MPH!
May 25, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Drew. Technically yes. All things considered everything thing else is correct.
May 25, 2018

One of the questions that we get asked all the time is what's the difference? What do I need to do differently with my driver versus my irons? And I'm glad you asked because it's super common and the reality is

Nothing. You don't do anything different whatsoever.

Now, of course, with the driver, I've talked about in the bomb, your driver series,

That it is a specialty club because of the way the

Head's designed, you do need to hit the ball higher on the face, which of course requires a T. We can't do that with an irony, hit an iron high on the face, not going to go anywhere. There's no

Mass back here, high on the face. So obviously that's an obvious difference, but it doesn't change the way you swing the club. It changes the way you set up to the ball, which of course involves a T. Now, the other thing that you'll only other change that you'll ever make with a driver swing is moving the ball up in your stance. And as I've talked about in the bomb, your driver series slightly inside the target line and changing your alignment slightly. I've talked about that in this video. So if you'd take a look at those, you'll understand exactly what I'm talking about there,

But outside of that, what do you need to do different? Nothing. The whole key of learning, how to swing this club and this club is learning how to swing them

At what feels like to you, the exact same speed. One of the things that people don't realize

Is the advantage

That just having a longer shaft provides for you, how much it's about two miles, an hour of club head speed that you're going to pick up for every half inch of shuffling. That's why all of your clubs typically are a half inch longer than the other one. And that's why using a single length irons, which I've experimented a lot with is very difficult to make work correctly. Because as you get into the longer clubs, you start losing so much club head speed that you can't make up for it by increasing the loft or decreasing the loft as it were. So, because of that, it's very hard to get your 3, 4, 5 irons up in the air, high enough to get any proper trajectory, proper spin, et cetera. So that's why I've settled in on just standard half inch separations. It's been like this for forever. And the, the reason for it is because you pick up so much speed by just increasing the shuffling.

So from an eight iron that I have here to a driver, you can see there's a huge difference of almost a foot in my shaft link between the two clubs. Let's just say for argument's sake, it is a foot difference. Well, that means that this club, without me doing anything different just by increasing the radius of the swing arc, how far the club head is away from me, the rotating center, this thing's going to move 24 miles an hour faster than this. Now, for many of you, you're listening to that and say, well, listen, I swing my eight iron at 85 miles an hour. My driver at 90 miles an hour. What's the disconnect. Great question. Cause that's what really matters because the math and science of this is a hundred percent legit. Doesn't make you defeat the logic there, but for so many golfers in real-world practice and application, it doesn't work out like that.

Their driver swings almost just as the same speed as their irons. Why is that? It's because you're trying to swing this too hard from the top of your swing. If you go to the top and you're all loaded up and you fire this because you know, you need to swing it faster in your head, but the reality is I want you to try and swing it like that. Try to swing it like your lob wedge. I bet you don't ever blast your lob wedge off the planet because obviously the loft issue and the shuffling helps. But at the same point, it's because you're making a smoother swing. A lot of times you find that you sh you just try to hit one nice and smooth and easy. You end up hitting it too far. We've all done that a million times with irons and drivers.

The key is that you learn to sequence the swing correctly. You let the swing unwind and unfold without you trying to force it from the top. So the reality is iron swing driver swing. I want you to try and feel the exact same body speed. That doesn't mean with the driver. You, when everything's clicking, you can't ramp it up and make it pick up another 5, 6, 7 miles an hour by swinging harder. Of course you can, but everything needs to be jamming. Everything needs to be synced up really well, but when you're just playing a normal round of golf, and maybe everything's not clicking exactly the way that you want swing your eight iron, like your do your driver, swing your driver, like you do your eight iron and all of a sudden you'll be shocked. The club's going to go the same speed. You're going to have more lag. You're going to have less tension. You're going to hit it more consistently because you're not out of control. And that's the whole trick between understanding the driver and the iron.

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