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What is an “offset” hosel driver? Should you use one? Like so much when it comes to golf equipment, it depends. If you’re a slicer, keep reading- this is for you.
So, what does an offset hosel driver look like? Well, it looks like this:
Why are drivers made with offset hosels? Well, the original thought was that placing the face just a little bit back of the hosel would allow the golfer a split-second more time. That extra nanosecond would give the golfer the chance to close the face through impact, helping to mitigate a slice.
Well… that’s not completely true. According to the book Total Clubfitting in the 21st Century, the offset hosel does help with the slice, but it will definitely allow you to hit the ball higher (p. 82). So that’s where that’s at; if you tend to hit the ball low, but aren’t keen on (or just can find a) 15+ degree model, why not give an offset hosel driver a chance?
If you struggle with a low shot, an offset hosel driver will help with that.
So, if you really need help with a slice, what are you supposed to do? Give up? Hell no.
Sure, getting fitted for length will help give you more control of the club face. That’s not a theory, or a myth. It’s truth. However, some people have something in them that will still make them leave the clubface open at impact. It sucks, but it’s true.
The trick is to get a driver with a “hook” face angle. By “hook” I mean “closed”. As in, when you set it down on the ground the face naturally points to the left (or right, for lefties).
Let’s face it: when you slice, you’re leaving the face open. If you pull-slice, you’re cutting across the ball; the initial ball flight, dictated by the swing path, is to the right (the pull). Leaving the face open, creating “slice spin”, is what makes it curve back to the left.
By having a face angle that’s closed, your risk of leaving the face open is mitigated. It isn’t a magic cure-all, which is why I tend to list it near the bottom after things like length and loft. But it does help.
Also note that it takes a fairly significant amount of face closure to create a real change. Tom Wishon, in his Common Sense Clubfitting
bible manual, if a golfer switches from a driver that has a 0º face angle (square) to a closed-face model, it’d have to be a change of “2-3 degrees closed” (p. 104). To quote:
Most golfers who slice the ball enough to verbalize a desire for accuracy improvement generate more than 20 yards of slicing curvature. As a result, a change of 2-3 degrees in the face angle of the woods can be expected to reduce the slice to a strong fade.
It isn’t much different with adjustable hosel drivers that allow you to change the face angles.
If you struggle with a slice, the thing you have to ask yourself is: can you live with the look of either a closed face angle or maybe an offset hosel driver model?
If you can, hopefully you’ll be able to reap the benefits. If you can’t…