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From the GolfWRX Vault: How far you can actually hit your driver?

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In addition to continuing to look forward to new content that will serve and engage our readership, we also want to showcase standout pieces that remain relevant from years past. In particular, articles with a club building or instruction focus continue to deliver value and convey useful information well after their publish dates.

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We hope that you’ll appreciate and find value in this effort!

Driving distance is, primarily, a function of swing speed and the limitations therein. As much as we would like it to be otherwise, if you swing your driver 100 mph, you’re never going to hit a 300-yard drive unless there’s a wind-tunnel level tailwind and a cement fairway.

Veteran instructor Tom Stickney writes, “When I ask students how far they carry the ball and what their average total distance is, the answer is usually grossly inaccurate and overstated 99 percent of the time. It has taken technology such as Trackman and FlightScope, the most popular Doppler Radar systems, to help people truly understand how far they can hit their drives.”

A taste of the piece…

Unless you swing around 105 mph, it’s unrealistic to think that you can carry the ball 250 yards in the air on a windless day at sea level without special circumstances. It’s these special circumstances that golfers tend to recall and focus on when it pertains to their distance output. While this type of vanity driving distance is great for your ego, it is detrimental to your psyche to expect such unrealistic distances to occur.

If you are truly unhappy with your driving distance output, you can see what’s needed to hit the ball farther. The good news is that most golfers do not maximize the distance they can hit their driver for the current speed because of two reasons:

  • Off-center contact, which decreases ball speed.
  • An angle of attack (usually too much downward, or negative) that creates less-than-ideal launch conditions.

I hate breaking the bad news to my students that they are not driving the ball as far as they think they are, but in golf, knowledge is power. Know what you actually do so you can know what’s possible for your game in the future.

Check out the full article here.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Chris

    Jul 8, 2019 at 8:59 am

    St190/8x: SS104, Ball speed 154, 1.48, Carry 260 tot 284y, 2430spin, AA 6.3, LA 13.7, DL 15.3, Height 102. I am 52yrs IZ 8x @45in 4 FW’s

  2. Dan W

    Jul 8, 2019 at 3:41 am

    I’m a +2 and 44 years old. 2017 epic sub zero 9 deg, project x hzrdus black 75 6.5, 45”” I’m at 117-120 at 176-180 ball speed 14-15 launch at 1800-2100 spin. I get 295-305 carry and around 320 + total distance based on course and weather conditions. The 50+ yard rollout On the chart I’d crazy. What runway is that from?

  3. Johnny Mike

    Jul 7, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    That chart clearly isnt optimized for carry: look at the launch angles. Hitting 5 up and launching 12.5 means 7.5 dynamic loft, which is absurd.

    • Johnny Mike

      Jul 8, 2019 at 9:23 am

      This bizarre “total distance” optimization is, as others have pointed out, clealry for the “fairways” at LAX. No question that legit 250 is a solid carry for an Am, but if you need carry you can present a little more loft and launch higher. My heel cut fairway finder carries 270ish off 108-110ss on Trackman. Launching around 13 or 14. Mind you it takes 112-113, nutted, and 14-15 launch to see 285

  4. JP

    Jul 7, 2019 at 12:48 am

    Doesn’t everybody on wrx hit driver well over 300 yards?!! Who does this author think he is?!? Play to your audience sir!

  5. Deeznuts

    Jul 6, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    50 yards of roll crazy

    • Mike

      Jul 7, 2019 at 9:04 am

      I watch a ton of pro golf. For every tee shot that rolls 50 yards I see another that rolls maybe 10-15. And to reiterate, up here in the NJ area, unless it’s July & the fairways are baked, there’s nowhere near that much roll, esp in Spring/Fall when the fairways are moist.

      Why spoil good analysis w/ that silliness?

      • Jamie

        Jul 8, 2019 at 10:51 am

        Look at the tour stats after a tournament for longest carry and then look at the stats for longest drive…many times the longest carry will not be on the longest drive…that’s a lot of roll out.

  6. Allan Heath

    Jul 6, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    I live in Maryland nobody is get over 50 yard of roll

  7. DeepRed

    Jul 6, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    50/60 yards of roll?
    Not in the mid Atlantic region.

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