Drive it Further - Get max distance from your Driver.
Hitting a driver can be likened to watering the flowers with a garden hose. To reach the flowers at the very back you have to get the trajectory just right. Too low and the water doesn’t reach; too high and it won’t reach either.
Somewhere in between is the point where the water carries the farthest for that particular water pressure. Your swing speed is the water pressure and in this issue I will explain how you can increase the distance you hit the golf ball with your driver, without swinging it faster.
There are four basic components that determine how far a golf ball will fly: clubhead speed at impact, launch angle, backspin and centredness of strike. We are not going to change the clubhead speed and, of course, we all know the ball will go further if it comes off the centre of the clubface.
To get the most from our new 460cc Titanium drivers we must INCREASE the launch angle AND at the same time REDUCE the backspin. We do this by simply hitting the ball on the UPSWING. (see the image above for tee height).
With the irons we should be hitting the ball then the ground (see last month’s “Strike it Better” article). With fairway woods we should collect the ball at the bottom of the swing arc. With the driver we want to be hitting the ball AFTER the bottom of the arc when the clubhead is on the rise. The club itself is designed for this.
A typical tour player will have a clubhead speed of between 110 and 120mph (177 to 193kph) with a driver, and hit it from the centre most of the time. The ideal launch angle is around 12° and the backspin around 2000rpm. The tour drivers have 8° or 9° of loft on the face to allow them to be hit on the up and produce the required 12° launch angle. It is the upward blow that reduces the backspin.
Note the tee still in place AFTER impact.
- Put the ball more forward in your stance and tee it higher.
- Practice until you can hit it up but leave the tee peg in the ground.
- If you get under the ball and “sky it” the solution is NOT lowering the tee. Lowering the tee leads to steeper downswings, which increase backspin.
- You CANNOT hit UP from a low tee and find the middle of the clubface.