Jaacob Bowden is a Professional Golfer who has hit an venue record 421-yard drive to win a Qualifier for the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championships. He has helped thousands of every day golfers hit their drives farther and shoot lower scores through his Swing Man Golf Online Training Community website. To find out more about how he can help you with your distance, visit Swing Man Golf today.
It Is Actually Pretty Easy
I assume the answer is yes, but how would you like 30 yards RIGHT NOW? Although this may seem impossible, it is actually quite feasible. The answer is found in the equipment you are playing. You see, using both a ball and a driver that fit your particular swing and swing style is like being fit for a pair of shoes. Of course you could complete a race in any old shoe of almost any size, but I bet you would be even faster if you were wearing a size that fits you, a type of shoe that is made for racing, and even a certain brand or model of shoe that suits your particular needs.
As an example, one time I was testing two similar looking drivers out on the course that differed in length, loft, and weight. Since the course was not crowded, I could hit two balls on each hole...or one with each driver. Over the course of the round, I found that even though they looked and felt pretty similar, I was literally hitting one driver 50 yards farther on average than the other. Instead of coming in to some greens with a 5-iron after my tee shot with the first driver, I was coming in to the same greens with a pitching wedge by using the other driver. You can imagine how much easier the round was with the second driver. Not only was I hitting it longer, but I was actually hitting it equally as accurate too because it was more optimized for my particular swing when it came to things like swing speed, launch angle, and spin rate.
"I am still a little in shock at the quick results but here goes, (These speeds are average speed that I made solid contact, not top speed)
Monday the 16th, 98-100 MPH, 5 days later, Friday the 20th. 110-112 MPH.
Not only that, but Jaacob, when I let go of the tension, the ball flight was dead straight. I am hitting the ball to areas of the range I never even new were there. This after just one week!"
- Stephen P, Senior Golfer, single-digit handicap
Wrong Loft MAJOR Factor
Although there are a multitude of factors to analyze, one of the big things you can look at to make sure your driver is optimized for you is your driver's loft. You see, the loft plays a big factor in how high the shot goes and how much back spin it has on it. To get the most amount of total distance (carry distance plus roll), you need to be using a loft that helps produce both a certain launch angle and certain back spin rate. A shot hit too high stays in the air a long time, but doesn't roll when it lands. A shot hit too low rolls a long way, but is not in the air very long. You also need some back spin to help a ball stay airborne, but too much spin causes a lot of friction in the air and slows it down...plus extra spin also limits the amount of roll that the ball would get once it hits the ground.
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Launch Monitor Optimal Launch Angles
To determine if you are hitting in an optimal range, go to a store like Golfsmith, a custom club building shop, etc and make a few swings on what is called a launch monitor. Basically it's just a machine that can look at your swing and determine a whole bunch of objective information about what is happening during your drives, and usually the people that have one will let you make some swings for free. Make a few swings to get some general data for yourself. Pay attention to your average swing speed, average launch angle, and average spin rate. Based on this data, you'll know whether or not you might be better off with a higher or lower lofted driver. Remember that the higher the loft of your driver, the higher the launch angle and spin rate will be - and the lower the driver loft, the lower the launch angle and spin rate. Here are some rough numbers I go by when picking out the loft:
- If swing speed is between 70-90 mph, try a loft that will get you an 16-18 degree launch angle and 3000-3800 rpm spin rate.
- If swing speed is between 90-110 mph, try a loft that will get you an 13-16 degree launch angle and 2300-3000 rpm spin rate.
- If swing speed is between 110-130 mph, try a loft that will get you an 10-13 degree launch angle and 1900-2300 rpm spin rate.
Note that the lower your swing speed, the higher you need to hit the ball and more spin is necessary. This is why some people hit their 3-woods farther than their drivers. A person swinging 80 mph simply doesn't have the speed to hit the ball high enough with a 9-10 degree driver, for example. Their driver distance would possibly be better served by hitting something like a 15-16 degree driver (and yes, they exist - Tom Wishon's 730CL is a good one).
A Golf Ball Alone...Gave Me 30 More Yards!
Also, you may not realize the importance of it, but picking out the right ball for your swing can make a huge difference on accuracy and distance as well. For my particular swing, the Titleist ProV1x is the most accurate ball of the top 52 brands or so. However, if I was interested in pure distance, the Top Flite D2 goes 30 yards farther for me. This also further explains why you should always use the same brand of ball during a round of golf. Even a 10-yard distance difference between balls can mean the difference between being in the bunker and on the green.
"I have been at it for a little over 3 weeks and have seen at least a 10-20 yd improvement with most of drives!"
- Anthony K
"I have only one word : GREAT!"
- Phillippe B
"...your program is working for me, I'm way more consistent, longer, and confident thanks again."
- Edgardo E
Golf Ball Fitting Software
When you are visiting your local club fitter, ask if he/she has GolfWorks Ball Fitting software. If not, don't worry, you can buy a home version of the software for about $10 from AdvanceGolfSolutions (Call To Order 1-330-815-2501) . AdvanceGolfSolutions created a program that compares the leading brands of balls on the market. Based on the information that you input, you can chose a ball for yourself based on the best combination of accuracy and distance for you.
You can also try our GolfBallSelector.com. They are getting some major press right now in many of the popular golf magazines. The fitting is $19.95 but is all interactive and can be completed right on the web.
Try both of these things out. You may already be using a good driver loft and golf ball for your swing, however, as you can see there is a major potential for costing yourself a lot of distance off the tee by using equipment that does not fit your game - distance that you could have in your bag right now.
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