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Foley says hit down on driver


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A couple things:

The holy grail for distance moves a bit generally speaking to hit the longest drives you need 16-17 launch angle with 1600 spin or so (higher speed need less spin and less launch help lower speed needs more launch and spin). This for me with a driver speed around PGA tour average gave me the longest drives.

If you assume someone hits the center of the face perfectly every time they will get more distance from hitting up at it vs. hitting down at it unless you can concoct a driver that manages to launch that high and spin that low while hitting down on it which is very tough.

In order of importance:

1: Hit the sweet spot with good club face control

2: Try to learn to swing up at it see if you can while maintaining #1

3: If you can't after real effort then do it your current way

 

Either way, every professional long drive competitor in the world swings up at it there is a reason for that. It gives you more distance.

 

Ask me tomorrow. 

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Let's say I want 14 launch and 2500 spin for optimal distance and playability. What would it matter if I hit down or up a little if a fitter could get me those numbers?   Vanilla impact conditions an

Some people just like to argue, its a pretty easy subject. ?‍♂️ Positive angle of attack gives you an opportunity to maximize distance in two ways: reducing spin loft and higher launch and height. Mos

All things being equal max distance should come down to a simple equation with parameters including ball speed spin rate etc. I don’t think AoA is one of the variables. Launch angle will be. So how

Some people just like to argue, its a pretty easy subject. ?‍♂️

Positive angle of attack gives you an opportunity to maximize distance in two ways: reducing spin loft and higher launch and height. Most ams are just going to add dynamic loft when they hit up on the ball, so a slower swing can benefit from the added launch and peak height. The reduced spin loft effect is more for the pros and elite players, and even for them its a relatively difficult thing to accomplish. Reducing spin loft reduces spin, and that can result in lost accuracy.

so bottom line: find that sweet spot of distance and control, which for most people it happens to be relatively tame, like between +2 and -2.

There is no right or wrong. Each player is unique.

 

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17/1700 isn't a playable combo for 99.5% of golfers (there is a reason TM doesnt market it anymore) and long driver's are trying to hit a 60yard wide target with 8 trys...and in some cases they can't. But yes, center contact is key, any trying to hit way up on it makes that more difficult to do. Even more so when people want to hit up on it but still hit a draw.

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My numbers that I have saved in my computer don't show the AoA for those particular shots but I am 5 up with driver off a 4 inch tee at 118 mph. These are my numbers with a 5 degree long drive Cally XR 16. in the 5 degree setting:

RF4CSAV71V7U.jpg

And here are my 3 wood off the deck numbers for cross reference (Cally XR 16 pro 14*):

TIANZR5CJB67.jpg

 

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It is fact and there is no way around it that at the same swing speed hitting down 1 or 2 with driver as a opposed to 3 or 4 up is a big time loss of yardage. There is no scenario where hitting down on driver is longer than hitting up on it no matter where you strike it on the face. Hold a water hose level to the ground and while the water is coming out of it at a constant " ball speed" and note the distance it impacts the ground, then point it at a downward angle from level to the ground and note that it will not impact the ground as far away. Then when you go above level to the ground the water will go further until the point of diminishing returns. Any point not that is not at the optimal angle for that particular " ball speed" will require more ball speed to achieve the optimal angle's distance. I just finished taking physics but you got me about to pull it back out and do some optimal trajectory problems again!!

 

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I don't get the arguing. Seems obvious that hitting up on it can optimize distance but it comes at the cost of accuracy.

It also seems obvious that slower swing speeds benefit more from hitting up on the ball (extra distance and slower speed misses don't go far offline) while faster players benefit from level AoA (Plenty of distance anyway and trying to avoid the high speed misses that go off the planet).

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He would carry it farther which may or may not make a difference depending on conditions. I agree with you in principle and am working hard on leveling out my swing but hitting up on a driver will give more distance otherwise long drive guys wouldn't do it. Shoot, from a physics perspective we could actually maximize distance with 45 degree launch and zero spin.

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Nice! Some questions come to mind if you don't mind?

Is that for a center face hit or maybe high on the face?

What was the ball speed, smash factor?

What is the loft on the driver that delivers these numbers?

Is this a COG biased forward towards the face driver?

Is that typical or an outlier? Are these numbers fairly repeatable? I am assuming that Dan is a pretty good player?

At the end of the day I do believe that it is easier to hit level or slightly down on the ball for most folks and doing so is most likely going to produce the best results hence Foley's advice that started this discussion. I think that he is right especially considering the average somewhat serious golfer who shoots around what 95? Telling that guy to swing up on it is not such a good idea.

 

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How would he carry it further? At 21* launch angle and 1300rpms of spin it carries less than 7 yards further And goes about 5 yards longer.

 

Theres a reason long drive guys do it, and it has to do with playing a 48” shaft. Longer shafts increase spin and launch significantly because of how they deflect which they have to counter with extremely low lofted heads and extreme attack angles. They often still launch it lower and spin it more than the above example. He’s more maxed out and efficient than they are for his speed and doing so without hitting up on it.

 

I’m not saying hitting up on it is bad, if you do it naturally. I’m saying consciously trying to rather just fixing swing faults is most often gonna make it fly shorter and more crooked. And the point is you don’t HAVE to hit up on it with modern equipment to maximize launch conditions.

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Those numbers are all day consistent. As are the other examples I’ve posted and I could post a LOT more. Smash was 1.49-1.5 on every shot that session. I believe the above player is using a 9.5 Ping G410 with a shaft that fits his swing He’s a top 500 Am in the world.

 

Again if anything modern clubs don’t spin enough with modern balls. Getting spin rates down to reasonable numbers isn’t tough these days if a fitter knows what he’s doing. Lots of pros are playing 11-13* drivers just to get enough spin to not knuckle. Was on course with one today who was playing a 12.5 and hit knuckle balls that fell out of the sky on at least 5 tee shots in 18 holes and his ballspeed is 175+. He’s top 125 in OWGR and has contended in majors. You might have had to hit up on it to get good numbers 10 years ago but it’s simply not true anymore.

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How was that guy hitting knuckle balls with 12.5 and that kind of speed?!! Can you name any top players who use a driver over 11 degrees? I believe you I'm just wondering who actually does.

 

Long drive competitors hit up on the ball so they can use less loft which translates to more speed in addition to all of the reasons you mentioned.

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No it’s because the length of shaft, which is why they need the lower loft. The added speed comes from increased shaft length. Their playing drivers have significantly more loft and don’t spin more than their LD drivers when they have shorter shafts

 

I purposely didn’t name the player. Dustin regularly plays an 11 degree driver. Tiger’s played 11.5* drivers, stamped 8.5. What’s stamped/painted on the head isn’t always what actual loft is. Rahm iirc is 11+

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That's really eye opening about those guys playing lofts that are way higher than whats on the head. Thanks for the great info as always!

Curious about what you said early in this thread about swing your swing and optimize your equipment to match the swing. What are your thoughts on purposely working to level out your AoA by experimenting with higher lofted drivers?

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Man, sometimes ignorance truly is bliss!

Having never been on a good launch monitor, I have no idea how I swing it. Just do like Dan says and try to make the best swing I can. I guess it’s possible, maybe even likely, I might be leaving some yards on the table. But for an old, once a week player, that’s probably ok.

Enjoyed reading this though. Informative.


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The center line wasn't marked and I wasn't having an accuracy contest as that is meant for on course testing. I am also a lefty and the SIM was setup for a righty. Whatever I was aimed at all of the shots were going to the same area....in other words they were accurate. 297 carry is just about max carry for a 118 swing speed by the way. Any other questions?

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Good for them...I am a high speed and high ball hitter and launch a 10.5 degree driver at 21 degrees so I fit the driver to suit my needs and not what everyone else thinks I need.

I'm not saying you can't play good golf by hitting down on your driver... I'm saying that it isn't the most efficient way and that is fact. If you are cool with that...great...if not fix it. I want to maximize every aspect of my game.

Bottom line get out there and play the game how you want to play it and enjoy it.

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