by: Dan Sueltz
We have all heard the phrase “Tee it High and Let it Fly”. Well that was even more evident this past weekend at the Mile High Shootout Long Drivers professional tour event. These guys have club head speeds over 130 mph so they hit the ball well over 400 yards but the key to maximizing distance is getting the proper launch angle based upon attack angle and loft of the club. Joey Andrews just qualified for the ReMax World LDA event in Mesquite in October. He is playing a 6 degree lofted driver but his angle of attack is POSITIVE 5 to 7 degrees. This gives him a 11 to 13 degree launch angle which is perfect for his ball speed of just over 200 mph. When we do a driver optimization using TrackMan, we look very specifically at launch angle, ball speed and spin rates. In general, lower spin will increase carry distance, especially at higher ball speeds. Spin rate is controlled by several factors but we know from testing that as you go down in loft on a driver, the spin rates go down as well. Our average golfer will have around a 93 mph swing speed, 135 mph ball speed and a launch angle of 13.5 degrees with a 10.5 degree driver. If the launch angle is much higher than that, we take a close look at attack angle and see if we need to reduce loft from 10.5 to say 9 degrees to get better distance. But how do you optimize the potential to have too LOW of lofted club. The answer is to increase your angle of attack with your driver. This means “hitting up on the ball” by doing a couple of things:
1. Set your spine angle with your right shoulder slightly below the left (for right-handed golfers).
2. Move the ball slightly more forward in your stance.
Unfortunately, a lot of golfers that we fit have a NEGATIVE angle of attack with their driver which causes a low ball flight and a ton of spin which robs you of a LOT of distance. The more you can increase your angle of attack, the more distance you can get in both carry and roll. If, on the other hand, you think you are launching the ball too high, and not getting much roll, maybe you need a lower lofted driver and/or a lower launch shaft.
If you have been custom fit by us before, we more than likely have told you about your attack angle with your driver. If you have not been in for a fitting, you should schedule one now to make sure we can help you optimize, accuracy, consistency AND distance!