Have you ever wondered why all Drivers are about the same mass? Wouldn't you be able to hit the ball farther if the Driver was more massive? It all stems back to a study performed in the 1960s, the results of which are published in the classic golf science book, "Search for the Perfect Swing" You can get your own copy by clicking HERE.
In the study, the authors found the following about the quest to find the optimum mass Driver which has a standard length of 43 inches. As the mass of the club increases, the golfer is not able to swing the club as fast. The speed of the ball is dependent upon the speed of the club as well as its mass. The coefficient of restitution, e, is a measure of the efficiency of the transfer of energy between the club and the ball. Note that a club mass of 0.21 kg results in the optimum ball speed. Any mass larger than that results in an even lower club speed and a lower ball speed. The physics is well understood.
Club Mass (kg)
Club Speed (mph)
Ball Speed (mph)
Ball/Club Speed Ratio
with different swings
and strengths would
all have a slightly
clubhead mass. For
most, it is around
200 g, thus most
drivers have clubhead
masses that correspond
to find the optimum
mass would not yield
very many extra yards.
And, it's not as
simple as adding
a little lead tape
to the clubhead because
that would also change
the center of mass
of the club and the
of the shaft, both
of distance. If you happen
to be quite strong
and fit, you might
be able to swing
more massive clubheads
with greater energy,
thus resulting in
As well, the characteristics of your swing will also dictate what mass and length optimizes your distance. For instance, the golfer that has an early release for the wrist cock angle (Tom Watson has one) may be able to generate more distance with a slightly heavier club than a golfer with a late release (maintains the wrist cock angle until the last moment, like Tiger Woods).
are serious about
trying to optimize
your distance through
clubhead mass, go
to a facility that
has a club/ball monitor
(one that measures
clubhead speed, ball
spin, etc). You can
experiment with different
clubhead masses and
shafts to find the
one that produces
optimum ball speed,
trajectory and spin
(the effects of which
will be discussed
in a future newsletter).
Or, you can even buy your own launch monitor. In my opinon, the best Launch Monitor out there is Accusport's Vector Pro. Learn more here.
If you'd like a less expensive monitor, try the Swing Speed Radar. It will measure your clubhead speed and your ball speed, but doesn't measure launch angle or spin like the Accusport can.
Distance & Altitude
I've recently completed producing a spreadsheet that computes your golf club ranges at different altitudes and temperatures. You input your range for each club under your normal playing conditions (say 1000 feet and 75 degrees F), and the spreadsheet will calcuate the ranges for each club at any altitude and temperature.
So let's say you're off to play in a different part of the country or world where the altitude and temperature are quite different from your normal course. You'll know how far each club will carry at under those new conditions. No more guessing when you visit a strange course. You'll be able to select your clubs with more confidence. And remember, less doubt gives you a much greater chance of hitting a good shot.
Below is a picture of what the spreadsheet looks like.
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Facts about golf ball flights at higher elevations.
1. Air is less dense at higher elevations.
2. Since air density is less, there is less air drag on a golf ball and less air lift.
3. Flight time for golf balls is less. Golf balls don't fly as high.
4. High lofted clubs (i.e. short irons) will have the greatest difference in range at higher elevations.
5. Tee shots (with a Driver) will fly lower and won't fly signficantly farther, but they will run farther.
6. One might get more distance from a 3-wood at high elevation than a Driver.
Trying to find answers on my website? Here's how.
1. Go to my Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. There's a link to it on my pages from the left hand menu near the top of the page, just below the Search icon. It's called "FAQs." You then click on the graphic icon and you'll be taken to my database page. For your convenience, here it is: FAQ
I've answered hundreds of questions over the past 6 years and have created a fairly large database. You can search it out. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, submit a question and I'll answer it.
2. On all of my web pages, there is a search feature in the top left section, right underneath my LOGO. Just place your search keywords in the search box, select "This Site" below it, and then press "Search." What will come up is a Google search of the pages on my site with relevance. You can also search the entire internet by selecting "Web" instead.
Go to my main page now: Home or just check the top left menu of this page.
3. Also, directly under the Google Search area, you'll find a pop down menu called "Your Topic." Select the topic of interest and press "Go."
I would suggest you bookmark my main page and/or your specific areas of interest so that you can find them easily in the future. On each page at the very top, there is a link you can click on:
"Click here to add this page to your favourites"
Hope you find all you're looking for.
You can learn more from NEW Titleist Pro-V1 by clicking HERE.
Make a Newsletter Suggestion.
A list of resources that have been used to produce
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Hope I provided some useful ways for you to
become better prepared for you best golf season
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