By Paul Myers
So you want to hit it further off the tee and with your irons? You aren’t alone. Many golfers want to squeeze more distance out of their swing, but doing so can be easier said than done. In order to get the best possible distance from your swing, it’s important to make sure that each element is optimized. While that can include your swing mechanics and training your body, it can also mean your equipment. When you are able to fine tune your equipment so that it is working seamlessly with your swing to launch the ball into the air, you may be able to find some additional yards that have been hiding within your swing all along.
There are a number of factors that go into maximizing your distance through your equipment, and you would be wise to get a custom golf club from a professional to fine tune each of those elements. A reputable professional fitter will not only have most if not all the necessary equipment to take all of the relevant measurements, but they will also have the knowledge and experience needed to interpret that data and tell you what kind of equipment changes you could benefit from.
While it can take time to learn how all of the variables interact with each other to create maximum distance, the following pieces all play a role in the overall puzzle.
The overall weight of the shaft will have some say in how fast you are able to swing the club, and as a result, how far the ball will fly through the air. As a general rule, you will be able to swing a lighter club shaft faster than a heavier one. With that said, you might think you should just reach for the lightest shaft you can find and swing away. Not so fast. The lighter the shaft gets, the harder it can become to ‘feel’ the club head (especially when you are nervous). This feel is often referred to as swing weight, and it is important as well. A low swing weight club might be hard to use in terms of making good contact with the ball – negating any swing speed gains you had achieved with the lighter shaft.
A well-fit custom golf club will balance a shaft that is light enough for you to swing fast, but heavy enough to feel during the swing. That sweet spot is different for everyone, which is why a club fitting is so important.
Club Head Loft
Launch angle has a lot to do with maximizing your distance, and the loft of your club plays a big role in what angle the ball will launch at…as well as the spin rate. A launch angle that is too high with too much spin will float up into the air and not live up to its distance potential. On the other hand, a launch angle that is too low won’t have a chance to hang up long enough to carry as far as it could have with a better launch. Similarly, too much or too little spin isn’t good either for optimal distance.
Club Shaft Flex
This is the one element that most golfers think about first, although it isn’t actually as important as some of the other elements for a custom golf club. It still does play a role, however, and swinging the right flex shaft can help to optimize distance. Some golfers tend to play a shaft that is too stiff for their swing. When in doubt, swinging a club that is a little softer flex may help you squeeze out a few more yards. But again, going in for a professional fitting will give you the best chance to get accurate information and maximize the distance you get from your swing.
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