Driver Shaft Position at Address | Swing Surgeon - Don Trahan Peak Performance Golf Swing

Driver Shaft Position at Address

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 12:00 -- Don Trahan

I recently received a long letter from Max about swinging a driver. He's been watching videos of DJ swinging the club and he noticed that DJ was swinging deeper than what I teach. DJ has always used the Peak Performance Golf Swing from the time he was little, but it is true that he's struggled the last few years. I believe part of the reason DJ has been having trouble is because he's going past a 3/4 swing now.

I finally sat down with DJ for a long talk about the future of his game and career. DJ is used to being a consistent professional, and his results over the last 9 years as a touring pro certainly back that up. Before that, DJ was the number 1 ranked amateur in the world while leading the Clemson golf team to the national championship.

Because DJ has had so much success already in his career, I know he is capable of winning again. That's why we sat down and discussed how to proceed, in order to get him back to the winner's circle.

Check out today's video as I'll give you the inside scoop on what we discussed and where I think DJ's game is heading. I'll also explain the proper technique for swinging the driver. Ball placement, shaft angle, and setup are just a few of the things that must be correct before you can become a consistent driver of the golf ball.

Keep it vertical!

The Surge

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Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

This was a great reminder from several standpoints. The one that stood out for me that may help others too is the idea that "we don't have to find impact".
Had never heard Surge express it quite that way. It goes along with the idea that we just need to swing to point A to point B. If we know where the top of our swing is (3/4's and vertical) and we know where our finish point should be (in the forward mitt and up the tree, over the shoulder close to the left ear- recoil facing the target) impact will happen naturally. But a thought that popped into my head while watching today's tip was that this can help me not be "ball bound" having a hit response through impact. I have been working on being target oriented and today's video will aid in that regard to not get over focused on the ball and "hitting it" but just back and through. This is sometimes easier said than done and is why our practice swing may be perfect and then our real swing can be chunk or thin. I will be taking that advice next time out. Thanks Surge.
BTW- a note about the driver: Surge and Doc Griffin have continually told us that a smaller headed driver is the way to go. A couple of weeks ago we had the tip about size of driver.
(see it here)

If you read the comments you will see that Gary suggested we could "try one out" by getting a used one. Then you'll see on my post a reference to quality used 355cc drivers available on e bay. Long story short I found a KZG 355cc driver 10.5 degree regular shaft 45 inches and bid on it and sure enough got it for $27.00 plus shipping. Got it two weeks ago and it is in great shape- near new and used it last time out. Great feel and sound, most drives were long and in the fairway. Again ideally and if we have the money to do so it would be best to have Doc Griffin build us one, however, if you can assemble your own clubs (change out shafts and grips, et.) you can do it yourself, at least I do. Otherwise you might get a local fitter make needed changes. Not sure yet but I may just keep the shaft that's on it. It is too long at 45 inches and I play a different grip so will cut one inch off and add a Jumbo Max grip and for under $50.00 bucks have a nearly new 355cc driver. If anyone really wants to test Surges advice on the driver e bay is golden if you are looking for an affordable way to try it out. Just saying....'s picture

Submitted by charles.lerche@... on

What you say is very important for many reasons. An instructor on another site made what seemed to me to be a very good point. If you are focused on hitting the ball, rather than swinging toward your target, you may have a tendency to hit to the right (for a right hander). I have found this to be so, and I certainly see this in my wife's swing as she advances in the game.'s picture

Submitted by charles.lerche@... on

At about the 6:00 mark in this video Don makes what is for me an absolutely crucial point, and I suspect it could be of great help to at least some surgites who are having problems with the swing. When the club is parallel (or in the catcher's mitt, which is probably not quite parallel), the whole left (for a righty) arm is over the toe line...but when you are nearing the top it is only the upper arm. I tried for years to keep more or less the whole arm over the toe line at the top and this doesn't work (believe me). Once I came upon one of the (relatively few) previous references by the Surge to what he states so clearly today, things got a lot better in a hurry.

I've mentioned this before, so I apologize for repeating, but this was just too good an opportunity to pass up :-)'s picture

Submitted by on

Mr. Meade, I knew that was probably you bidding on the KZG driver on ebay. I had read your previous response with the reference to this driver for sale. I bid you up to $27 from $25 and stopped!!!!!!!
If you ever decide to sell it, let me know. I am using my old Titelist 983E right now at the range, which is close to 360cc.
Tom C. from Charlotte

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

That is both funny and cool at the same time!
Honestly, I really posted the deal from e bay to inform the Surge Nation of the opportunity for a steal of a deal. Any one could have out bid me. I was actually going to go as high as $35 though it's worth much more.
The KZG driver was one of the quality drivers that Doc Griffin use to build (now based on the Alpha model I think) so it is a good club for sure. It just feels and sounds good off the
face. I will keep you in mind if I don't keep it. However I am really planning on giving it a real chance to stay in my bag. I may end up putting my favorite shaft in and as I said I will cut one inch off the current shaft and re - grip it first and see. My advice is to keep your eyes open for another one on e bay (and elsewhere). Likely another reasonable deal will surface:)

Dave Everitt's picture

Submitted by Dave Everitt on

I'm not sure that setting up with forward shaft lean with a driver, is good " one size fits all " advice. I can't see how this would help lower swing speed players, like myself, launch the ball correctly, or for that matter, allow enough time to square the club face. I've tried, unsuccessfully, in the past, to set up with the amount of forward shaft lean that Surge recommends with all the clubs. It's probably more of a comfort thing, because I like to sweep the ball and anything more than the shaft lean already built into the club, for a normal address, feels like setting up to hit down on the ball.

Having a very definite point A and B to go to, in the minds eye, does mean that impact will take care of itself. Point B for me is spot on an imaginary wall ( on the same line as the toe line) just past my left ear that I want to slap with a vertical right palm. This is sort of an extension of the " slap drill " that Surge did in today's video and helps me swing up and "through" with the ball just getting in the way.

Kevin McGarrahan's picture

Submitted by Kevin McGarrahan on


For drives, I set up with my feet together and lined up with the the ball. I then flare my left foot 30-40* so the ball is off my left instep (I'm a righty). I then move my right foot to shoulder-width while keeping the shaft of the club lined up with my left arm and hip. This moves the club head to the middle of my stance as with a 7-iron. Keeping everything in that position, I tilt my upper body to the right just enough to bring the club head back behind the ball. This is my trigger to start the swing.

I even start that way for all swings, the only difference being how far I move my left foot to the left: driver flared with no movement; 3-wood foot moved a ball width to the left; each succeeding club another ball width until centered, then remains there.

Dave Everitt's picture

Submitted by Dave Everitt on

Thanks Kevin. I'll give this a try in my practice area tomorrow. It sounds like a good way to achieve the type of ball positioning that Surge advocates. Right now, I tend to set up with the ball more towards the front foot, with every club. I make good contact with the ball but the forward ball position, has got to be costing me distance. It also looks like a consistent way to set the correct spinal tilt with the various clubs.

Dave Everitt's picture

Submitted by Dave Everitt on

Today's Golf Channel Academy with Paul Azinger on putting is well worth checking out. It was a great lesson on how to be aggressive and visual, rather than mechanical when putting.