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Distance = Club Head Speed + Square Impact + Launch Angle
September 15, 2021 at 4:00 AM

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.


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

Increased Yards


Yards after 20% loss from being ½ in off center

Average drive.






























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.


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

Optimum Spin


120> mph

180> mph


2250-2500 RPM

110 to 120 mph

165 to 180 mph

11 to 12

2250-2500 RPM

100 to 110 mph

150 to 165 mph

12 to 13

2500-2750 RPM

90 to 100 mph

135 to 150 mph

13 to 14

2500-2750 RPM

85 to 90 mph

127 to 135 mph

14 to 15

2500-2750 RPM

80 to 85 mph

120 to 127 mph

14 to 15

2750-3000 RPM

75 to 80 mph

112 to 120 mph

14 to 16

2750-3000 RPM

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.