Understanding how to maximize your driver distance
- By Justin Bruton, SwingFix instructor
- Feb 11, 2013 7:00 AM ET
Everyone wants to hit the ball further but most don't understand the science behind distance.
We are extremely fortunate these days to have advancements in technology that allow us to measure and quantify why a ball is hit a certain distance.
If you've never experienced one of these devices, such as a Trackman, then your first homework assignment is to find one and get measured. Check out www.Trackman.dk to find the nearest Trackman in your area.
There are three main parameters that I want you to pay attention to: clubhead speed, ball speed and angle of attack.
The first, clubhead speed, is definitely the most understood. It's simply how fast your club is moving at the time of impact.
Using your body effectively and reducing tension are probably the easiest ways to increase this parameter.
The second, ball speed, relates to how fast the golf ball is leaving the clubface.
Ball speed is dependent on how much clubhead speed you can create and how squarely you hit the ball in the center of the face.
It's insane how much distance you lose by not hitting the center the face. I've seen numerous players reduce swing speed, allowing them to gain control of the clubhead and hit the ball further because they're hitting the center of the face more often.
There are numerous ways of checking where you're impacting the ball on the face. You can use impact tape, a dry erase marker or even Dr. Scholl's foot spray for my players that suffer from athlete’s foot.
The last parameter is called angle of attack. This is the measurement of how much you hit up or down on the golf ball.
When looking for more distance out of your driver, optimizing angle of attack is key.
Just to give you an example, if you have 90 mph clubhead speed, you hit the ball in the center of the face and have an attack angle of minus-5, which means you hit down on the golf ball five degrees, you would hit the ball around 225 yards.
Now, let's say you hit the same shot, but this time you hit up on the ball five degrees, which is an angle of attack of plus-5, you'll hit the ball around 250 yards.
That's 25 more yards with the same clubhead speed! Did I get your attention yet?
Check out the video above and it will help you improve your angle of attack.
SwingFix instructor Justin Bruton trained under both David Leadbetter and Rick Smith and is also a TPI Level 3 certified professional.
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