OUR JOB IS YOUR GAME
This is one of the most compelling tests of 2022.
Should you grip it and rip it with your driver? What if you could gain up to 34 yards on your drives?
Yes, you read that correctly: You could gain as many as 34 more yards just by swinging faster.
Now, every golfer swings his or her driver differently. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are both phenomenal drivers of the golf ball yet they deliver the club to the ball differently. They do have something in common, though. They swing their drivers with maximum speed.
We’ve all heard the same refrain. “You want a smooth tempo.” “Swing with tempo.” “Swing nice and controlled.” “Don’t swing out of your shoes.”
Well, it’s time to reconsider these old sayings and you are about to find out why.
FOUR KEY TAKEAWAYS
Data is always at the forefront of our testing. For this test, we recruited 15 testers each of whom used his or her current driver.
Testers hit 12 shots in three different scenarios:
- “Fairway-finder” driver swing
- Normal driver swing
- Fast driver swing
1. Swing Faster
If our 66-year-old 14-handicap tester can increase his carry distance by 34 yards by swinging faster, there are distances gains out there for you, too.
Every single one of our testers saw an increase in carry distance. How? Swinging with maximum effort.
In today’s world, data and its analysis reign supreme in golf. The mechanical and technical aspects of golf are promoted as ways to enhance golf swing speed. And, yes, there are avenues to achieve faster swing speeds. You have The Stack System and SuperSpeed Golf for example. Both have a track record of success. Or you can hit the gym, see a TPI Certified Instructor and get your body in gear.
Our take: Simply swing faster with your driver.
2. Speed Benefits
Throughout this lab, the harder our testers swung, the faster their swing speed, resulting in increased distance. This is evident in total yards, club head speed and ball speed off tee shots.
When adding speed, the common thought is that accuracy will diminish. Thus, it is critical to note the accuracy performance for each of the three scenarios.
But here is a refresher as to how we analyze accuracy during a driver test.
According to golf stats expert Lou Stagner, “for amateurs, keeping the ball in play is the top priority. Penalty strokes are scorecard killers.” The purpose of our Accuracy metric is to identify clubs that fly straight, helping you avoid penalty strokes.
Straight Shot Percentage – Long-time MyGolfSpy readers may remember our TruAccuracy metric. Straight Shot Percentage is the evolution of TruAccuracy. This new metric leverages Stagner’s Adjusted Accuracy formula. It’s similar to Fairway Percentage but it doesn’t punish shots for missing the fairway just because they were a few yards longer. A good visual is a shotput grid. The straight-shot target area gets wider as shots travel farther.
Playable Shot Percentage – As the name suggests, the Playable Shot Percentage is a measure of the percentage of shots that will likely be good enough for average golfers. We define that as in or within 10 yards of the edge of a 35-yard-wide fairway.
As you can see with both graphics, the “Fairway Finder Driver Swing” did result in the highest Straight Shot Percentage and Playable Shot Percentage. But you run the risk of being significantly shorter off the tee in the name of accuracy. Pick your poison.
4. Strokes Gained
Generally, Strokes Gained is confusing for most consumers. Having said that, in this lab, it sheds light on the benefits of swinging your driver faster.
In most scenarios, hitting the ball further is going to benefit you, especially when it comes to Strokes Gained. Sure, you may hit more fairways when swinging with control or even with your normal swing. However, the likelihood of you shooting higher scores is definitely in play. Earlier, you saw the “Fast Driver Swing” have a 82-percent Playable Shot Percentage. If you’re hitting it further, have a high Playable Shot Percentage and a better Strokes Gained potential, why wouldn’t you swing with maximum effort?
BOTTOM LINE: SHOULD YOU GRIP IT AND RIP IT?
From our perspective, yes!
There is a lot of evidence (albeit in this small sample size) that it is truly beneficial to swing your driver faster. Sure, there will be cases where there is little gain but that shouldn’t stop you from experimenting yourself. All of our testers saw carry distance gains when swinging faster than their normal swing.
This isn’t to say that dispersion won’t increase. With speed, dispersion increases are most likely, which we witnessed. You can see that in the Playable and Straight Shot Percentages.
However, with Strokes Gained being a compelling and reliable statistic, we can confidently say don’t worry about dispersion.
Give it a go and swing faster with your driver. Or, as the old adage goes, “grip it and rip it.”