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Thanks for supporting Probable Golf Instruction. Spring has sprung for most of us. This past weekend marked the spring equinox for the Earth where we notice the greatest change in the length of the day. The days will continue to get longer (in the northern hemisphere) until June 21, our longest day. This all means warmer golf weather and more time to golf.

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Want more great golf tips? Please come to PGI Golf Tips to see the details. You can download them immediately. As we anxiously await the Masters, prepare for your own game by getting a season's supply of tees. Golf tees do make a difference in how far you hit the ball. Order your Stinger Tees here for only about 5 cents each.

You owe it to your game to make the best of your abilities; become " Master of Your Own Game". Stand out and improve, without hitting any balls!!

Here's to a long lasting life of great golf!

My latest study is finished. See some of the details of the reports HERE.

A Brief Message        Mar 24/04

  • Ken here from Probable Golf Instruction. In my last newsletter, I explained how driver shaft mass affects distance. Review the newsletter here.
  • In this issue, I'll explain how the size of the club face affects the distance a golf ball travels on mishits. How often do you hit your drives from the center of the clubface? How much distance do you lose on off center hits?
  • As I've mentioned in earlier emails, I've teamed up with an excellent teaching pro that has produced an excellent instructional CD called "Hit Down Dammit!". It compliments the math/science focus of my site with great instruction on how to physically swing the golf club. As a subscriber to this newsletter, you can download a sample. Input your info below an you'll automatically receive a download link.
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  • If you haven't done so already, try out my free, new Driver Distance Calculator. You can input different quantities such as clubhead speed, mass, air temperature, etc., to see how the distance changes.
Distance & Technology Part 4: Driver Clubface Area

Read Part 1 of this series here.
Read Part 2 of this series here.
Read Part 3 of this series here.

If there is any topic you would like explained and presented in my upcoming newsletters, just email me. I'll attempt to cover your topic in a future newsletter.

If you'd like one on one explanations about the topic, sign up for the PGI Member Select Club and I'll answer all your questions. Now on to this week's topic.

IV. Clubhead Face Area

     How often do you hit the ball from the center of the clubface of your driver? You know you've gotten all of the ball; you've smoked it. Next time you play, keep track. If you're a high handicapper, you probably don't make solid contact all that often. In fact, it has been well documented from tests that the higher the handicap of the golfer, the greater the pecentage of mishits and the greater the degree of error of the mishits.

     One of the great advances in clubhead technology has been the larger clubface. Often, the clubs are advertised by their volume. It is the area of the clubface which is the most important factor. Larger clubfaces mean larger sweetspots which means the loss of distance on mishits is less.

     It's much like to switch from small to large tennis rackets back in the 80s. The tennis ball is easier to hit with a larger racket. Likewise, the golf ball is easier to hit with a large face driver. One might think that the increased head size would increase air resistance and thus decrease clubhead speed significantly. Tests have shown, however, that the drop in speed is not significant, only resulting in the loss of less than one yard.

     The speed of the ball depends on the clubhead speed and where the point of contact is on the clubface. The farther from the center of the clubface, the less the ball speed. For each 1 centimetre (about 1/2 inch) the point of contact is from the center of the face, there is about a 1 m/s loss in ball speed. In addition, the ball's backspin is different as well as it gaining sidespin. The net effect is a significant loss in distance, as you are well aware.

     The old style drivers used to be much worse. Hit a drive off the toe or heel of the club and one would lose 10 - 30 yards of distance. The new large face drivers, the degree of loss is much less 5 - 15 yards. Since most golfers mishit their shots most of the time, a large face driver is essential.

     The larger face and clubhead also means the clubhead doesn't twist as much on off center hits, meaning that there is less sidespin imparted to the ball so that it doesn't curve offline as much. The new, large clubheads have larger moments of inertia. The mass of the club is distributed over a larger area making the sweet spot larger.

     In summary, this series of newsletters have introduced and discussed reasons why new driver technology has increased distance. The right clubhead weight, loft, center of gravity and shaft for the individual golfer can optimize distance. Having a large area face driver will reduce loss of distance on mishits. Bigger is better!

Play with my Driver Distance Calculator. You can input such variables as loft and clubhead speed to determine the optimum loft.

     If you are serious about trying to optimize your distance through clubhead loft, go to a facility that has a club/ball monitor (one that measures clubhead speed, ball speed, trajectory, spin, etc). You can experiment with different clubhead lofts to find the one that produces optimum ball speed, trajectory and spin.

A list of resources that have been used to produce this newsletter can be found on my website here.

The next newsletter's topic will how to optimize distance off the tee under different weather conditions (cold, hot, windy, etc). As well, I'll provide an itemized checklist for buying a new driver suited to your game.

The focus of my site is to utilize science and math to lower your score. New technology is one way to achieve this, but to be honest, the technology is one small piece of the puzzle.

To actually improve significantly, we all need to:

1. Improve our swings. Hit Down Dammit!

2. Improve our physical fitness and strength.
The Golf Trainer Power Performance Programô

3. Improve our mental games. Golf Mind Software

4. Improve our Probable Golf games. Learn how to make better choices on the course through knowing how shot patterns and reading the elements and course better.

Click on the links above to take a look at ways that I personally use myself and recommend you try as well.

Get ready for this season's matches and club events. Find out what handicap mix in a foursome produces the lowest scores. How can one play a fair birdie game amongst different handicap groups?

There are 3 reports:

Report #1: Team Events

Report #2: Match Play & Stroke Allocation

Report #3: Birdie Ratios & Other Scores

Each report can be downloaded immediately for $7.99 or all three can be purchased for $19.99.

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Hope I provided some useful ways for to become better prepared for you best golf season ever.

Ken Tannar


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