The following was modified from the web site of the Tom Fielding Golf School in Japan.
There's only one method to get your woods or irons to fly farther. All factors are increased clubhead speed, how solid you hit the ball on the "sweet spot," and the angle at which you launch your shot at impact.
Each golfer would be shocked at how much distance might be gained if they focused on how to hit the ball solidly and in the "sweet spot." Then, to maximize their distance, obtaining the proper launch angle will be the frosting on the cake.
The challenge for the average golfer isn't so much a lack of talent as it is a lack of solid feedback and knowing what to do next.
My favorite order is the sweet spot – launch angle – clubhead speed.
The best way to improve your distance is to start striking the ball in the center of the clubface. If a golfer consistently strikes the ball square in the center, to gain yards they must learn to swing the club faster without sacrificing square impact.
NO. 1 SWEET SPOT
The following information was obtained from the test results. Missing the sweet spot by one-fourth (1/4)" of an inch in any direction diminishes the distance traveled by the ball by 10%. Missing the club's center by a half (1/2) inch at contact reduces the ball's travel distance by 20%. Please see the illustration below for an example. If you do that, you will be able to strike the ball further. These results were discovered in research by Golf Digest for a 100 mph swing...
258 yards on a center hit.
243 yards, 1/2 inch off-center.
237 yards, 3/4 inch off-center.
227 yards one inch off center.
So, with a 100 mph swing speed, contacting a golf ball an inch off the center of the clubface results in a 31-yard loss of distance!
Finding the Sweet Spot/The Critical Moment
Let's say you can carry the ball 175 yards when you hit it 1/2" off center. Now, by simply moving 1/4" closer, the ball will gain ten percent in air yardage or 17.5 yards or a total of 193 yards in the air with the same clubhead speed. The simplest way to find the sweet spot on the driver is to shorten the club. The golf club s that come from the big box stores are simply too long. They are longer than what is used on the PGA tour.
In a chart like the one above if we assume the body rotates at the same rate…(a bad assumption since it will rotate slower as the club gets longer).
Length of Driver
Club Head Speed
Yards after 20% loss from being ½ in off center
So you see if you estimate you hit the center of the clubface only 20% of the time (an estimate made by the majority of my golfers) and I can give you 10% more on center hits for each inch of decreased length and you will lose 10% for each inch of increased length); your average drive is longer for the 44 in driver than the 46 in driver. But more importantly you know that you will have more hits that are more than ½ in off center with the longer drivers.
According to studies, every mile per hour gained in clubhead speed results in the ball traveling 2.3 yards further. An increase of 5 mph will result in an increase of 11+ yards of distance. On the golf course, that's a significant difference. So, if you swing at 90 miles per hour upon impact and then raise it by 10 miles per hour, you've gained around 23 yards!
Imagine hitting the ball more often in the center of the clubface while swinging faster.
That's a terrific combo, and I'll show you two things you can do to help you achieve it the next time you go to the driving range.
The first tip is a basic one that will help you swing quicker.
Turn your driver upside down and swing it as rapidly as you can at the driving range in between shots. Then transfer that "speed" to your next shot and see the difference.
It will require you to swing faster than you are accustomed to, which is good because your mind prefers to keep things consistent.
Now, increasing your swing speed will only help you if you hit the center of the clubface more often.
You'll need some input on where you're hitting your driver to assist you with that.
However, because today's drivers may be so dead when you strike them, it's difficult to tell when you've hit it straight out of the screws. It is, nevertheless, possible if you raise your consciousness.
And to aid you with this, I recommend that you obtain some impact tape and apply it to your driver.
Then, with your increased swing speed, hit your drives. After you've struck each shot, I want you to predict where your ball will go on the clubface.
The funny thing is that awareness can sometimes be therapeutic. By the power of positive thinking, just thinking you're hitting the ball in the middle of the clubface will adjust your swing to hit the ball more in the middle of the clubface.
You wouldn't do anything differently if you didn't know this since you wouldn't realize there was a problem if you didn't know.
But keep this in mind: you should never consider the impact or what you're doing with impact.
Impact isn't a position; it's a process that you go through, and you shouldn't be thinking about it.
Don't try to hit the ball in the center of the clubface while you're aware of your impact ball position. To increase your results, use observation and attentiveness.
So there you have it... Use those two suggestions to help you hit longer drives and have a better time playing golf.
3. LAUNCH ANGLE
The Chart of Launch Angle and Spin Rate
The launch angle and spin rate chart that comes with the Golf Achiever launch monitor is shown below. It's worth noting that when ball speed declines, the optimum launch angle and backspin must both rise.
Swing speed MPH Optimum
Optimum Ball Speed
Optimum Launch angle
110 to 120 mph
165 to 180 mph
11 to 12
100 to 110 mph
150 to 165 mph
12 to 13
90 to 100 mph
135 to 150 mph
13 to 14
85 to 90 mph
127 to 135 mph
14 to 15
80 to 85 mph
120 to 127 mph
14 to 15
75 to 80 mph
112 to 120 mph
14 to 16
But when we use the more modern launch monitors, we get a different result. They usually predict that higher launch angles will provide longer distances.