This just makes sense, right? The farther you hit your driver, the shorter the club you will be using for your approach shots. And, the shorter the club you use for your approach shot, the more accurate you are, right? Well, Trackman has thousands of shots in their Combine testing that prove this out. Bogey golfers only hit 21% of greens in regulation from 160 yards but hit 42% from 140 yards! And the proximity to hole increases by 50% as well! Mark Broadie, author of Every Stroke Counts, shows that a bogey golfer will gain 1.6 strokes if he/she hits it twenty yards farther. So how can YOU get that extra 20 yards (without Teeing it Forward)? I will be blogging here over the next few weeks on the seven keys to improving your driving distance. Ultimately it comes down to hitting the highest loft, lowest spin shots that allow you maximum carry and roll. The keys to YOUR success will be: Finding the Sweet Spot on the Driver Face Optimizing YOUR Loft Improving Attack Angle and Why it Works Getting the Right Shaft for Distance AND Accuracy Swing techniques Strength, Stability and Conditioning Mastering your Driver Swing... Read More
What's New: Fitting Tips
One of the most frustrating things I encounter during a fitting is a golfer that hits their driver low with a lot of spin. These two factors are notorious distance killers. When I look at the face impact of the golf ball, the golfer is typically hitting below the center of the club (see the little white dot in the picture) and towards the heel. Hitting the ball a half inch below the center can turn a 10.5 degree driver into an 8 degree driver – a distance killer on uphill or wet fairways. Hitting a half inch towards the heel can add as much as 500 rpm spin, another distance killer. During a fitting, we look at a number of things that could be causing heel shots. Is the shaft weight correct for the persons tempo? If the golfer’s tempo is fast, a heavier shaft or heavier weighted head will help reduce the amount of extension away from the body during the swing which causes a heel shot. The club may be too long as well. Most stock drivers for amateurs are 45.5″ to 46″ in length because the manufacturer’s do not want you to lose distance. We always... Read More
In our last blog on this topic we discussed the impact of the golf shaft on accuracy. Another one of the major premises of our shaft test using Trackman and the GEARS Golf motion sensing system was that the proper shaft can also improve distance. Or, conversely, the wrong shaft can negatively affect distance. Four shafts varying in weight from 53 to 68 grams and from senior to X-stiff flex were used in the test. This part of the test yielded some very interesting results. For some of our testers, the distance differences between shafts were almost negligible, i.e. 3 yards at 260 yard total distance. For others, the distance gains (or losses) we pretty huge. One tester lost 26 yards with a shaft that was very heavy and stiff (from 200 yards to 175 yards), which was a loss of 12.5%. From a TrackMan fitting perspective, the biggest factors affecting distance were smash factor (face impact location), launch angle, spin and for certain golfers, club speed. For the stronger players, there was very little variance in club speed between the different shaft weights and flexes. But the slower club speed golfers (75 to 90) saw drops of as much... Read More
One of the major premises of our shaft test using Trackman and the GEARS Golf motion sensing system was that the proper shaft can improve accuracy. Or, conversely, the wrong shaft can negatively affect accuracy. In TrackMan’s research, 75-80% of your accuracy can be explained by the face angle of the club at impact and only 20-25% by the club path, or swing direction. This was definitely borne out in our testing. With four different test shafts, swing direction or club path variances were insignificant from shaft to shaft. But, face angle varied as much as 4 degrees which could mean the difference of up to 30 yards on a driver shot of 200 yards. In fact, the biggest variance we saw with a shaft that was literally 3 flexes too soft was 30 yards EACH DIRECTION, or 60 yards! Now, not everyone is going to be playing shafts that are way too soft/stiff or heavy/light, but certainly every golfer can gain more accuracy with properly fitted clubs. In fact, when we measured the drivers we had fit our testers for, they were the most accurate! Of course, they had better be or we would not have done our job!
This driver is all about creating speed which will result in more distance! The aerodynamic design of this head along with its lighter weight design will help you create more clubhead speed. In some tests, this driver created up to 2 mph more clubhead speed which is 5-7 more yards distance. Doesn’t seem like much but that could get you a half club closer to the green! Of course, our job is to help you select the proper shaft weight, flex and tip profile to maximize your performance.
For us club builders, the addition of a lighter weight C-Taper shaft in parallel tip is awesome news. Building with parallel tip shafts gives us more flexibility in controlling flex and launch versus using taper shafts and either hard or soft stepping. The problem really comes when building wedges with taper shafts as KBS makes only one shaft, a 9/PW for all clubs from 9i, PW, GW, SW, and LW. Because the SW and LW in most clubs is significantly heavier than the PW and GW, controlling flex and swingweight is an issue with discrete length taper tip shafts. That problem, for the most part, goes away with these new parallel tip shafts. We like the C-Taper Lite for a player that needs a lighter weight shaft (roughly 10 gr. lighter) or the player that needs extra length but wants to keep the total club weight down. Next step is to test them against their taper-tip brothers to see how they stack up in terms of launch and spin. See the technical specs here…
Depending upon whom you believe, you should replace your wedges after 25 or 50 rounds since the grooves will wear out much faster on wedges than your other irons. Also, there are a lot of new wedge designs with different grinds, sole designs and bounces that could make a big difference in your game. For example, Mizuno uses different groove designs depending upon the loft of the wedge to optimize performance. SCOR has a unique V sole that allows you to alter the bounce dynamically. Titleist is offering up to 6 different grinds on their SM5 wedges, depending upon the loft and bounce. Some companies like Miura and Epon have fewer grind options but offer superior forgings from Japanese steel for improved feel. Probably the most important aspect of picking your wedges is getting the proper distance gaps. You should have no more than 5 degrees difference in lofts from your PW to your LW, unless you are a finesse player that likes to open or close the wedge face to control spin and distance. The type of courses you play and sand in your bunkers will also have a lot to do with which bounce and sole design works best... Read More
Angle of attack and where you impact the ball on the face of your driver can have a dramatic affect on distance. Why? The lower your angle of attack, the lower your ball flight and the greater the amount of spin you put on the ball. More spin implies more drag and less distance. The picture at the right is a positive angle of attack of 5 degrees which is what most of the LDA (Long Drivers of America) will strive for in order to reduce spin and get the most distance. Most amateurs we test have a neutral to negative attack angle. Even so, we can help improve distance with the right club loft and shaft profile. Where you impact the ball on the face of the club will also affect distance. Nothing good happens (spin or loft) when you hit the ball on the heel or low on the face. Everything good happens (lower spin, higher loft) when you hit the ball center-up and center-toe on the face. This is due to the bulge and roll of the club face actually reducing spin and creating a slight draw bias. Sometimes this can be fixed simply by ball position... Read More
If your junior is really progessing rapidly in terms of a good golf swing and he or she wants to play competitivley, we suggest getting custom fit equipment as early as 10 years old. We still need to consider the overall weight of the clubs and fit to lengths and shaft flexes that will allow the junior to grow into the clubs without being too long or too stiff. Again, even with custom fit equipment, the junior will probably grow out of the clubs in a couple of years. The good thing about custom fitting a junior into men’s or ladies clubs is that they can be re-shafted or extended as the junior grows. Junior golfers are actually the most fun to fit. Most junior golfers have unbelievable rhythm and timing. The challenge is getting the proper equipment in their hands so that they can continue to improve their golf game as they grow and mature. We have custom built clubs for juniors as young as 4 years old. For beginner juniors the most important fitting issues are length and weight of the clubs. Juniors can progress in their ability and stature very rapidly so it is important to... Read More
Worked with a 70 year young gentleman over the weekend on finding him more distance with his driver. On the surface, his current driver, Nike Sumo with VS Proto 65 shaft gave him some pretty good Trackman numbers. Smash factor was 1.48 and spin was around 3000 rpm. By switching out the driver head to an Adams XTD 10.5 set to 12 degrees, and a Fujikura Motore Speeder VC5.1 shaft (lighter shaft) we were able to pick up on average 17 yards! That means hitting a shorter club into the greens, which is always good! To validate the results, he took the driver out on the course and played 9 holes…actual improvement varied from +15-40 yards. One happy camper, I mean golfer!!