Published on 14/05/2010
Club Equipment Education
Further to my earlier blogs which have mentioned the importance of Professionally Fitted equipment for all golfers, this month I thought I'd enlighten all of you of the 3 MOST IMPOTRANT things to hit longer and straighter drives:-
The Three MUSTS to Hit Your Driver Farther
What golfer isn’t impressed by the distance most tour players can hit the ball? But what about us mere mortals with our 50 to 90-something mph (80-145 kph) swing speeds? The number one thing that keeps all of us from hitting the ball farther is the physics of impact, otherwise translated to mean “if you don’t have the swing speed, you can’t hit the ball to the end of the practice range.” But there are three things in a driver which, if matched and fit exactly to your swing, can bring about a good bit more distance.
Driver Distance Critical Point #1 is the LENGTH of your driver. If you buy into the premise that the longer the driver, the longer the shot, you have just bought into a load of malarkey. There is one and only one exception to this rule – if you have a swing tempo that is as smooth as silk and if you have a late release, you can get a few more yards with a longer driver length. Unfortunately, for most golfers those swing traits are rare.
The longer the length of the driver, the harder it is to consistently hit the ball on-centre and solid. If you miss the “sweet spot” on the face of your driver by only a half-inch, you just gave away some 5% of your potential distance. Miss it by a full inch and you lose 10% of your potential distance.
All standard length men’s drivers today are between 45.5 and 46.5 inches in length. Women’s drivers are but 1 inch shorter. Now think about this - the average driver length on the PGA Tour since 2004 has remained steady at 44.5”. If the pros could hit a 45.5”- 46.5” driver consistently solid and accurate, they would be using that length because those who hit it far do have an advantage in the game. So tip number one for more distance is unless you are smooth as silk with a late release and athletically gifted, be custom fit for the driver length that best matches your swing tempo, release and athletic ability.
Driver Distance Critical Point #2 is the LOFT angle on the face of your driver. If your swing speed is 90-100mph and your driver loft angle is lower than 11 degrees, 90% of you are losing distance by playing the wrong loft. If your swing speed is 80-85 mph, the average driver swing speed of a male golfer today, you’re giving up real distance increases of at least 10 yards or more if you are not using a driver with a loft angle of at least 12-13 degrees. And if you have a swing speed under 80mph and you’re not using a driver with at least 14-15 degrees of loft, you too have more distance waiting to be unleashed.
Driver Distance Critical Point #3 is the Total Weight and Swingweight of your driver. In other words, we’re talking about how much your driver weighs (total weight), and of that weight, how much of it is in the head (swingweight). The total weight and the headweight of your driver have to be matched to your physical strength, your swing tempo and your golfing athletic ability. Play with too light of a total weight or swingweight for your strength, tempo and ability and your percentage of off-center hits increases.
Addressing these three points for YOUR swing through proper custom fitting is all that stands between your current tee shot game and 10 or more yards off the tee.
Mind Factor Workshop
Those who wanted to improve their golf and lower their scores by 5 strokes without changing their swing this season were treated to a workshop by Dr Karl Morris which delevered everything that I had promised, and more!
We had not only Fairwood Park members in attendance, but also keen golfers from 5 other local Clubs, whose numbers boosted the turnout to over 3 figures! When you consider the average turnout for Mind Factor workshops is around 60, Fairwood Park again came out trumps!
The feel factor on the night was amazing, but I knew only too well this was just the start. The proof of the pudding is always in the eating!
To date I have been delighted to listen to literally dozens of stories from our members whose golf and enjoyment of the game has been positively improved since that memorable evening.
Below are testimonials from 3 very satisfied customers:-
Just thought you might like some feedback after the Mind Factor evening with Karl Morris. I have to confess to being a bit doubtful about the event but having attended it I am now a believer! My handicap (rising fast) is 13 and my scores for the 3 competitions before the Mind Factor Workshop were Nett 82, 31 pts and Nett 85! The 3 competitions after the event are 37 pts, Nett 73 and 38 pts, and I left at least 3 shots out there on each of the last 3 rounds. Listening to Karl has made me more aware of the pressure I was putting on myself, and his idea of separating a thinking zone and a playing zone has definately had the biggest influence on my golf. My mind is not so cluttered when I am standing over the ball, and consequently I find I am hitting much better shots, and I am beginning to have the belief that I will hit a good shot, so my confidence is growing as well. I still hit bad shots but now I feel that my good shots outnumber the bad. I am very glad that I was persuaded to listen to Karl, so thanks Gary!
Glenda Thomas (handicap 13)
Firstly, an extremely interesting evening with Dr. Karl Morris - he is someone who is not unknown to me - I have the book he wrote with Darren Clarke "Golf- The Mind Factor" which I had found useful. The meeting with Dr.Morris brought these ideas together.
The first game after the Mind Factor workshop was your very own Club Pro's Day!
I tried to implement a few things I'd learnt on the night,as there were too many things to take on board at one time. I did try to work on the 'in between time' and the 'thinking zone' and 'playing zone' and this seemed to keep me from mulling over previous shots and planning too far ahead of the next. It was not a perfect round - I had two 'no returns' on holes where I had extra shots ( failed to get out of a greenside bunker) and I missed a putt within 6 inches but I did not let the odd slip distract me from getting the maximum I could from each hole- always playing in the present.
Only after we completed the cards did I think about the round. I had 38 points, highest score this year and 8pts for the two nominated holes( giving me a total of 45 points). I have started recording in my little black book, the best three shots of each round and I think this will pay dividends over time. The main plus is that I have enjoyed the Golf more by not making it so intense and being less self critical.
Peter Williams (handicap 25)
Mark Hinder here,
Just a few words to say how much I enjoyed the Mind Factor evening with Karl Morris. I was surprised to find out how much, or in fact how little, goes on between the ears actually plays a part in the golf game of the worlds top players ( i.e. just do it!) This has really got me thinking how it could possibly improve everybody’s game. I hope to certainly improve my thought process and maybe my handicap using some of the methods explained. Thanks Gary for an enlightening evening.
Mark Hinder (Fairwood Park Club Champion)
P.S. I’m already half way through one of the books Karl recommended and have just had my handicap reduced to 4 for the first time I rejoined the club almost 10 years ago!
For those of you who missed the Mind Factor Workshop evening and are interested in improving their golf and their enjoyment of the game, as a certified Main Factor coach, I'm confident I can coach even the oldest of dogs some new tricks they never realised they could do.
If it’s a one to one coaching session or even a more informal group session, let me know, and you're on your way to doing just what Glenda,Peter and Mark have described!
Club Pro's Day 2010
For those of you who have got to know me over the last 13 years or so, I think you'll agree I am nothing if not different!
So with this year’s Pro's Day in mind, I asked myself how I could beat last year’s prize, which was to send 4 lucky winners off to France to compete in the Annual Brittanny Ferries Golf Challenge. Difficult!
However, I decided to go with a more personal touch this time around, and promised the top 10 players a Day Out with me at Cradoc Golf Club, all expenses paid!
The response I got from this new idea was overwhelmingly positive, and I'm sure the winners will enjoy the occasion when we get around to organising a date!
(That is when I get a consensus of when everyone can go)!
Sincere thanks to everyone who supported the event again this year, and just for the record, 101 competitors took part- BRILLIANT!
The format of the event was Individual Stableford, with a twist! Namely, each competitor had to nominate prior to starting the round 2 holes( 1 on each 9) where their Stableford scores on those holes counted DOUBLE! It was certainly fun listening to all of your tales as to how this added pressure to do well at a certain point in the round affected you all !
I do not want to bang the drum TOO much as to how the Mind Factor evening held 5 days earlier positively affected the winning golfers, but the names on the bus to Cradoc are overwhelmingly those of members who attended that evening!!!!!
James Sander, 6 handicap, shot level par, 42 stableford points, and a massive 50 points with his 'DOUBLE UP' holes!
Andy Sheppard, 20 handicap, actually beat James in a normal format on a back 9 count back, but was one point shy of James' total.
Mark Hinder, 5 handicap at the time, shot 38 points doubled up to 45 points, and so did Peter Williams and Neil Elsdon.
Other members to make it on the trip were Ruth Cottey, Sue Prosser, Sonia Brand, Mike Hixon and Paul Wilkie.
That's all folks, till next time remember the old adage (which I have altered slightly)!!!!
''Golfers who know, take advice from THEIR Pro!”