When I did our blog post earlier in 2015 on getting more distance with your driver, one of the key factors was getting the proper attack angle. A positive attack angle means you are swinging up on the ball at impact. Put another way, the bottom of your swing arc will be an inch or two before you hit the ball.
I worked with a lady golfer this morning who was concerned that she was not maximizing her distance off the tee. She felt she did not get a high enough ball flight and maybe we needed to get her into a higher lofted driver. I had fit her into a R15 12 degree driver last spring which we set to 13.5 degrees. At the time of her fitting, she had some shoulder and neck issues that were restricting her turn so we optimized launch conditions as best we could. Fast forward to this fall and those physical issues have been fixed but she is still not getting the ball in the air properly. The first place I look is attack angle, and sure enough, her attack angle over five shots was a negative 3.2 degrees. This was not only causing low ball flight but higher spin, both of which were robbing her of distance. In addition, she was hitting the ball more towards the bottom of the face which also decreased loft and added spin. We worked on a couple of swing changes (more spine tilt, and a feeling of swinging “UP” on the ball) and changed to a longer tee. The results are listed below:
Again, this had nothing to do with changing heads or shafts. This was purely to show how you can take properly fit equipment and get the most out of it by optimizing all factors that affect distance, especially attack angle.