Category Archives: driving distance




By Paul Myers

We all can get nervous on the golf course – it is nothing to be ashamed of. Whether you are playing in a big tournament of just a weekend round with your friends, it is not uncommon to feel some nerves as you try to play your best. In fact, feeling that nervous energy can be addicting, and is one of the things that keeps some golfers coming back time after time. While you may think about nerves coming into play when you face a short putt or delicate chip shot, they can actually affect your full swing just as much. If you are feeling the nerves before a particular tee shot, expect that your driving distance can be negatively affected as a result.

Why Do Nerves Cost You Yards?

There is an important difference between adrenaline and nerves. When your adrenaline is flowing, you can actually increase your swing speed and potentially hit the ball farther. However, nerves can cause you to tighten up, engage opposing muscles, and swing slower as a result. A good, powerful golf swing is one that is relaxed and flowing – and that is the opposite of what you may produce when you are nervous.

It would be bad enough it the nerves only cost you a few yards off the tee, but they will likely cost you accuracy as well. Your technique tends to suffer when you tighten up before hitting a shot, and the results can be ugly. In order to play your best no matter the circumstance, it will help to learn how to manage the nerves effectively.

A Fixable Problem

You don’t have to just accept the fact that you will hit shorter drives when you get nervous. One thing you can do is get your mind off of the round or tournament as a whole, and onto the shot at hand. When you break it down into just a single shot, the task can start to feel much more manageable. Take a look down the fairway and picture a shot that you are confident in hitting landing right in the middle of the short grass. A positive mental image can be a great way to prepare for the shot.

Another way to conquer your nerves is to simply make yourself nervous more often. Enter more tournaments. Play more competitive rounds with your friends. The more you put yourself in the position to feel nervous, the better you will understand how your body responds and what you can do about it. As the experience starts to accumulate, you will feel less nervous because you have ‘been there, done that’. Soon it will become clear that you are capable of hitting good shots even when you are nervous – and that confidence will only lead to more and more good shots.

If you liked the article about nerves and driving distance and you think it would help another golfer, please like it.

 

To learn more about Swing Man Golf products and hit it longer with swing speed training, click here.

And, if you would like to add 30 to 40 yards to your drives over the next 30 days, like thousands of our customers have before you, you might consider our unique Swing Man Golf Swing Speed Training.

Use the tool below to find out a.) how fast your swing speed should be and b.) how fast you COULD swing it soon:

 

HOW FAR SHOULD YOU DRIVE IT? HOW FAR COULD YOU DRIVE IT?

…based on gender, age, handicap and average driving distance? Use this tool to find out:

Male Female



By Paul Myers

There are many considerations to make when you are shopping for the right golf ball for your game. Each golf ball on the market has different strengths and weaknesses, and picking the wrong one can make the game even harder than it is already. If you are able to select the right ball for your swing, and the one that matches with your goals on the course, you will be amazed at what it can do for you.

In this article, we will look at distance golf balls that are intended to give you more yards for your shots. Not all golf balls will fly the same distance on a given swing, so if you want to get the absolute most distance out of your swing, you will want to find the ball that is going to get up in the air and stay there for as long as possible.

What makes distance golf balls?

In general terms, there are two kinds of golf balls – those that are geared for distance, and those that are geared for spin and control. Of course, it isn’t quite that simple, but most golf balls fit into one of those two general categories. So which should you choose?

Consider the following –

  • If you are a good player with a single digit handicap, you might look for a premium spin ball. You likely have enough power already, and could possible benefit most from the control and touch that can be gained through a professional-style golf ball.
  • If you are a beginner, or struggle to break 100 on a regular basis, distance golf balls may be better suited for you to help you get more distance off the tee.

More and more companies are also making golf balls that fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, so you can look for balls that offer a little bit of the distance and control elements for a nice blend. When in doubt, check with a reputable club fitter, or try to purchase just a sleeve of a specific kind of ball so you can try it out on the course before committing to the purchase of a whole dozen. Only after using a ball for a bit will you be able to tell for certain if it is going to be a good fit for your game.

Which brands and models to look for?

There are a wide-range of distance golf balls on the market today for your consideration. The good news is that distance golf balls generally are less-expensive than tour-style spin balls, so you can save some money and get the ball that is right for your game at the same time. The list below is certainly not all of the golf balls available, but it provides a place from which to start your search –

  • NIKE Crush Extreme
  • Titleist DT Solo
  • Callaway HEX Warbird
  • Wilson Staff Duo
  • Pinnacle Gold
  • TaylorMade Noodle Long

Titleist owns the greatest market share for balls, but these days just about any major manufacturer will have quality ball products. Have a look on the boxes of your favorite ball manufacturer for guidance on selecting a ball model or check out the manufacturer’s website. Sometimes they have ball-selecting tools available for you.

If you still aren’t sure which golf ball is going to be a good choice for you, stop by a local golf shop and ask the pro for some advice. After telling them just a little bit about your game, they will likely be able to steer you in the right direction. Once you have the right distance ball in your bag, you might be surprised at how quickly you can see the ball start to sail a little further down the fairway.

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By Paul Myers

Being that golf is not as physically demanding as many other sports, you might be tempted to think that you will be immune to the forces of aging when it comes to your golf game. While it is true that you can play golf much later into life than some other sports, you will still start to feel the effects of all of the years adding up just like you will with any other activity. However, it is possible to play really good at a high golf age by understanding your limitations and taking advantage of your experiences.

Before we talk about how you can play good golf, and still hit some long drives, as you age, let’s first look at some factors that cause you to lose a little bit of swing speed as the years go by.

  • Loss of flexibility and rotation. Most people become less-flexible as they age, and have a hard time rotating back during the swing as well as they once did. If you aren’t able to get your shoulders and torso rotated as far behind the ball as you once could, the result could certainly be a loss of speed at the bottom of the swing.
  • Loss of muscle mass. Just like with flexibility, most people lose muscle mass as they age. With less muscle to use, you will simply have a hard time swinging the club as fast as you used to.

Before you go thinking it is all doom and gloom regarding your golf game, there is no reason that you can’t play as good or better than you ever have – even if you’ve lost a few ticks off of the swing speed with your driver. The important thing in golf is to take advantage of your strengths, and minimize your weaknesses. If hitting long drives is no longer possible for you, then move on to playing a more strategic and controlled golf game that keeps the ball in the short grass and hits as many greens as possible. Most players learn this only at a high golf age, when they have played many years.

While working on other elements of your game like balance and tempo to make sure you are as accurate as possible, there are still things you can do to maximize distance. You don’t have to give up on long drives altogether just because they aren’t quite going as far as they used to. By making a couple quick adjustments, you might be able to rediscover a few yards and at least get the ball out there near where you used to hit it.

  • Get re-fit for your driver (or fit if you’ve never been fit). If your swing speed has gone down a few MPH’s as you’ve aged, get a driver that fits your new swing at a high golf age. You might not be able to properly flex the shaft that is in your current club if you have had it for a long time, so go to a club fitter and make sure you’ve got a driver that matches your current swing and strength. Driver shaft are lighter these days and can be swung faster. Various balls are designed to help maximize distance at a variety of club head speeds. You may be surprised how many yards you can get back just by selecting the right driver head, shaft, and ball combination.
  • Open your right foot and let your rear leg straighten in the back swing. If you are a right handed golfer, try opening up your right foot slightly at address. This will make it a little easier to make your turn in the backswing, and might help you lengthen your swing if it has gotten shorter. You don’t want to go too far with this tip or you might start to struggle with your balance – but a little opening of the foot can make a big difference. Similarly, letting that rear leg straighten a bit can help you lengthen your back swing as well.

Aside from a couple quick swing adjustments like these, take on a good swing speed training program like what we have at Swing Man Golf. Even if you’ve lost some distance in recent years, that doesn’t mean you can’t slow down the process and/or reverse the trend. Over 2/3 of our golfers are over 45 and over 1/3 are over 60. Typically they pick up 12-16 mph of swing speed in as little as 30 days. With a bit of work, that could be you too.

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By Paul Myers

If you are a golfer, you have probably heard about club head speed before, but maybe didn’t know exactly what it meant. Is it important? Do you need to know yours? There are a number of questions that can come up when you hear a new term on the course, and other golfers aren’t always patient enough to stand around and explain it to you. This article will take a quick look at what club head speed means in golf terms, and why it is important for your game.

How Fast You Swing the Club

As the name indicates, club head speed simply refers to how fast the club head is moving when you hit your shot. The speed is measured at impact with the ball, and it is almost always measured with the driver. While you can measure club head speed with other clubs, when you hear golfers comparing their swing speeds, they are almost certainly referring to measurements taken while swinging a driver.

There are a great number of elements that come together to create the swing speed that you are capable of.  Technique helps. Many amateur golfers could achieve higher club head speed measurements if only they could learn to sequence their swing better. Instead of having the fastest point of the swing be the moment when the club hits the ball, they can make the mistake of releasing the club early and actually swing faster before impact than once they reach it.

Releasing the Club Head

Flexibility can also make a difference…and strength is an important aspect of it as well.

Does club head speed matter?

Yes – it certainly does. It is not the only element of your swing that you should be concerned about, but it is important enough to pay attention to. Assuming two shots that both are hit with the center of the club face on the same driver, the one with the faster swing speed is going to be expected to fly farther down the fairway. There is a generally direct correlation between swing speed and distance, so if you want to hit longer drives, the first step is improving how fast the club head is moving at impact.

There are also other reasons for which it is good to have plenty of swing speed at your disposal on the course. Consider the following –

  • Getting through thick rough. Good swing speed translates to your iron shots as well, and being able to swing the club fast means you will have an easier time carving through the rough to get your ball up and out of the long grass. You certainly don’t want to have to use this ability too often, but it is a great weapon to have at your disposal.
  • Controlling your trajectory. If you have a low swing speed to begin with, you probably won’t have the high shot in your arsenal. However, when you have more speed, you’ll be able to hit those sky high shots when needed to clear trees or trouble…or make the ball land on the green and stop. It’s much easier for a high-ball hitter with good club head speed to hit a low shot than a low-ball hitter with a slow swing speed to hit a high shot.
  • Reaching par fives in two. It is a big advantage to be able to reach par five greens in two shots, and a high club head speed will make that task much easier. Not only can you cover more distance with a fast swing speed, but you are also more likely to hit the ball higher in the air – key for holding the ball on a green from a long distance away.

Golf club head speed is just one statistic that can be measured in your game, but it is an important one. If you are able to improve your club head speed over time, there is a good chance that your scores will improve right along with it. In fact, statistics show there’s a direct correlation between club head speed and scores.

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By Jaacob Bowden

Every now and then I’ll have someone tell me that they are driving a certain distance and they don’t think it’s as far as they should be hitting…and I also get people who talk about how far they can hit it, but in person they don’t hit near as far as they claim. If you run in to something like this, it’s useful to remember the great degree to which distances can vary from course to course – even ones that are very close in geographic proximity.

To illustrate this let’s look at the Average PGA Driving Distance. I’ve taken a sampling of the driving distance average for all players from various tournaments that took place within a several month period. Please,

Mercedes-Benz Championship 252 (228 m)
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am 268 (243 m)
PODS Championship 271 (246 m)
Verizon Heritage 276 (250 m)
Buick Invitational 277 (251 m)
Zurich Classic of New Orleans 279 (253 m)
Honda Classic 281 (255 m)
Arnold Palmer Invitational 282 (256 m)
AT&T Classic 283 (257 m)
The Players Championship 285 (258 m)
EDS Byron Nelson 286 (259 m)
Shell Houston Open 290 (263 m)
Northern Trust Open 291 (264 m)
Bob Hope Chrysler Classic 292 (265 m)
FBR Open 293 (266 m)
Sony Open 295 (267 m)
Mayakoba Golf Classic 297 (269 m)
Wachovia Championship 297 (269 m)

TOUR SAMPLE AVERAGE – 283.0 yards

Notice that depending on which course the players were playing, there was as much as a 45 yard difference in driving distance average! That’s quite a difference! It also helps explain where some of those big distances come from that you hear the Tour players hitting (they were at a course that was conducive for long drives).

This also is a good thing to help ease the blow on your ego if, for example, you are on vacation with some buddies playing a sea-level course where there is very little roll (like Pebble Beach) and your drives are going some 20 yards shorter than they normally do at your home course.

Furthermore, I can personally testify this is the case with long drive too. I’ve seen a guy absolutely kill a ball just over 300 yards… and the same drive in a different place with a tail wind, at a higher elevation, and with hard ground goes 426 yards.

Distance really should be taken with a grain of salt!

Hope that gives you some good perspective on the distance variance.

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By Jaacob Bowden

I know a lot of people and golf announcers talk about how far the Tour players can hit the golf ball, but while they certainly do hit the ball far… it may not be as far as you would lead to be believed. After all, it can be hard to tell from watching TV or reading about an event on a website if a player’s shot was at high altitude, was with a tailwind, was downhill, etc.

As you know, with the advent of things like Shotlink and other statistical tracking tools, more and more data is now available about every possible thing you could want to know about your favorite Tour players. To check out the PGA Tour driving distances:

Driver 269 yards / 246 meters (Total Driving Distance – about 291.0 yards)
3-Wood 243 yards / 222 meters
5-Wood 230 yards / 210 meters
Hybrid 225 yards / 206 meters
3-Iron 212 yards / 194 meters
4-Iron 203 yards / 186 meters
5-Iron 194 yards / 177 meters
6-Iron 183 yards / 167 meters
7-Iron 172 yards / 157 meters
8-Iron 160 yards / 146 meters
9-Iron 148 yards / 135 meters
PW 136 yards / 124 meters

Interesting, eh?

Also, keep in mind the various lofts that exist for different manufacturer’s clubs. One company’s 9-iron is another company’s pitching wedge. Not to mention, many players adjust the loft angles to meet their own liking.

I hope this article gives you a more clear idea of the actual distances that Tour players hit under normal conditions.

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By Paul Myers

Golf tees? On the surface, it would seem that there isn’t anything to think about when it comes to your golf tees of choice. Just pick one out of your bag – or off the ground – place the ball on top, and off you go. Pretty simple, right? Not so fast. Technology has even reached the world of golf tees, where some companies are developing products intended to add distance to your drives simply by placing the ball on top of their tee.

For most of the companies making golf tees, the idea comes down to friction. By removing some of the material from the portion of the tee where the club will be contacting it, they hope to help you maintain a little more speed through the hitting area and add a few yards to the drive. Whether or not it works is up for you to decide, but you can browse the market to find more than a few options.

Pros and Cons of Specialty Tees

If you are considering using a custom golf tee to try and add a few yards to your drive, you should think for a minute about the pros and cons of doing so. While this isn’t going to be the biggest decision you make in your golfing life, every little detail counts when it comes to a game like golf. If there is an edge to be had, you would be wise to grab hold of it.

  • Pro – Possibility of gaining a few yards in distance over traditional tees
  • Con – Cost is more than a plain wood tee
  • Pro – Durability can be much better with some models, allowing you to use just one tee for an entire round or longer
  • Con – More to keep track of. You won’t care if you lose a regular wood tee, but you will be careful to track down your specialty tee after each shot
  • Pro – Tee height. Many of the specialty tee models come with some kind of markings on them so you can more-easily tee the ball up at the same height on each swing
  • Con – Some of these specialty tees are known to make markings on the face of your club more than would occur with a regular wood tee

As you can see, there are some good arguments on both sides of this issue. In reality, there is no right or wrong answer as to whether or not you should use one of these tees. It is up to your own personal choice and preference, and you can always purchase a couple to try out before deciding if you want to these golf tees or not.

What tees to look for?

Just as with all other golf equipment, there is not a shortage of options when it comes to tees designed to give you a little more distance. The list below has a few of the more-popular options on the market today –

  • Zero Friction ZFVictory Golf Tees
  • 4 Yards More Golf Tees
  • Brush T Flexible Golf Tees
  • Evolve Golf Epoch S3 Performance Golf Tees
  • Champ Zarma Fly Golf Tees

Those five are just some of the many options you can find either online or in your local golf shop. Since picking out one or two of these tees will only cost you a few bucks, it might be worth your time to try them out and see what you think. Anything that could offer you a few more yards down the fairway is something that is worth giving a try.

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By Paul Myers

Golfers tend to believe a lot of different things about their equipment – some of them true, some not so much. One of the things that some golfers believe is that in order to hit long drives, you need to have almost no golf club shaft flex in your driver. Most of the players on the professional tours use x-flex shafts, so one might think that you have to have one in your club to hit long drives, right?

Well, yes and no. But you shouldn’t get an extra-stiff flex just so you can try to hit it further. You should get the golf club shaft flex that is best suited to your swing.

The Truth About Golf Club Shaft Flex

The whole point behind the golf club shaft flex is finding a club that is going to flex just the right amount so you can unload it into the ball at the bottom of your swing. A shaft that is too soft of a flex for your swing can bend too much and not recover by the time you reach impact. It is possible to hit the ball quite far this way, but you might have a hard time gaining control over the flight.

If you are looking for more consistent distance gaping between your irons,
try Sterling Irons same length irons: Custom fit to you individually by one of the top club fitters in the world.

On the other hand, a shaft flex that is too stiff may not bend enough and could rob you of power. You may be able to work it out to hit pretty straight drives, buy you may never be satisfied with the distance you are getting. When you hit the perfect balance between the two, you end up with shots that maximize your distance while still remaining under control (hopefully).

So, if you just decide to copy the pros and buy a driver with an extra-stiff shaft, you aren’t necessarily going to get the same performance from that shaft that they do. Unless you are able to swing the club in a similar fashion to your favorite players on TV, you are better off picking a shaft that is suited to your swing.

Club Fitting is the Best Option

In order to find out what golf club shaft flex you should be using, a fitting session with a professional club fitter (like those that are AGCP certified) is a great idea. The fitter will have all of the necessary equipment and technology to measure your swing and produce some shaft options for you to consider. While swing speed is important to determining the flex that you should use, it is actually not the only element. Your swing technique, and your personal tempo, can also play a role in the fitting. A good fitter will be able to analyze all of these inputs and help guide you to a shaft that provides the ball flight you desire.

A common problem is a golfer who wants to play an x-stiff shaft, because they think they need to for more distance, starts swinging too hard and loses their swing along the way. If you try to force your way into a stiffer shaft, you are likely to end up losing track of your fundamentals and may harm your game in the process. In fact, if you are in between two shaft flexes and not sure which one to go with, it is often better to pick the softer of the two.

It is true that most of the best players in the world use an x-flex shaft in their clubs, but that is because they have the power and speed to use them properly. Don’t get caught up copying them – head to a local club fitter and find out exactly what golf club shaft flex is the right fit for you.

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If you would like to add 30 to 40 yards to your drives without changing shafts, and for the cost of less than 12,5% of a new driver, use this tool below to find out how much distance you could get from our unique Swing Man Golf Swing Speed Training:

 

HOW FAR SHOULD YOU DRIVE IT? HOW FAR COULD YOU DRIVE IT?

…based on gender, age, handicap and average driving distance? How far are other golfers just like you, that are already our customers, driving it, without worrying about shaft flex? Use this tool to find out:

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By Paul Myers

As you probably already know, simply buying the same driver that is used by your favorite pro golfer will not help you hit it as far as they do. The longest golf drivers use some of the best equipment around, and you can probably benefit from following their lead when it comes to clubs, but your technique and ability are going to have more to say about your score than the names on the clubs in your bag.

Still, it is always fun to know which drivers the long hitters are putting in their bags and to check them out for yourself to see if you could benefit from the longest golf drivers. While copying the driver head of your favorite pro might work out, you should stop short of using the same shaft that they employ. Instead, go to a club fitter and have them analyze your swing to find a shaft that will optimize your potential off the tee.

Let’s take a look at which drivers the long hitters on the PGA Tour are putting into their bags. The following players are currently ranked in the top ten for longest golf driver for the 2014 season. Each and every one of these guys can bomb it off the tee, and here are the clubs they are doing it with.

#1 – Bubba Watson – 315.4 Yards

Bubba is well-known for his long drives, as well as his bright pink driver. That custom-painted driver is actually a Ping G25.

#2 – Dustin Johnson – 309.1 Yards

One of the best young players on tour, Dustin Johnson can absolutely bomb it off the tee. His driver of choice is the TaylorMade SLDR, with 10.5 degrees of loft.

#3 – Scott Piercy – 307.0 Yards

Piercy might not be a household name, but he is an excellent player, and long driver. He uses a Titleist 913 D2 to reach third on the PGA Tour driving distance statistics.

#4 – Nicolas Colsaerts – 306.9 Yards

The first Callaway club on the list of the top ten, Colsaerts uses a Callaway RAZR Hawk Tour driver that is reported to have 8.5* of loft.

#5 – Brooks Koepka – 305.5 Yards

Like Piercy, Koepka uses the Titleist 913 D2 to bomb his drives. Not well known in the U.S. just yet, this young player could have a bright future.

#6 – Jason Kokrak – 305.5 Yards

Using a driver from a lesser-known brand, Srixon, Kokrak averages more than 305 yards per drive. His club of choice is the Srixon Z525 with 9.5* of loft.

#7 – J.B Holmes – 305.2 Yards

While specific information regarding the driver that J.B. is swinging was not available, he has signed a new deal with Cleveland/Srixon golf to play their equipment.

#8 – Rory McIlroy – 304.9 Yards

One of the best players in the world, Rory can be seen swinging a Nike Covert Tour 2.0 with 8.5* of loft.

#9 – Robert Garrigus – 304.0 Yards

The second player with a TaylorMade driver in the bag on this list, Garrigus opts for the TaylorMade JetSpeed with 10.5* of loft.

#10 – Louis Oosthuizen – 303.8 Yards

Another representative for Ping, Louis swings the Ping i25 driver, with a measured actual loft of 10.1*

As you have probably noticed from this list, there are a number of different club manufacturers and models represented. This diversity proves that no matter what kind of club is being swung, it takes great technique and power to be able to hit it long down the fairway. Did your club make this list? Are you considering switching to one of the drivers used by these players?

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By Paul Myers

In general, the distance that you are going to be able to get out of your tee shots is up to you. You are the one swinging the club, and you are the one giving the power to the shot. If you are able to unload with a fast golf swing speed and make good contact with the ball, you should be able to get a nice, long drive as a result. If you don’t have much golf swing speed, or you make poor contact, you can expect less than stellar results.

However, there is a little bit more to it than that. In order to maximize the return you get from your golf swing speed, you need to have the right golf club shaft length in your driver. Think about it like the engine of a car. If you had a beautiful new sports car ready for a spin around the race track, but swapped out the engine for one from a little economy hatchback, you won’t go very fast at all around the track. Even though you are driving a sports car, all of the power has been stripped away.

The Heart of Your Driver

In much the same way, the golf club shaft in your driver could be considered the engine that drives you down the fairway. You might have a great club head that is used by some of the best golfers in the world, but if you don’t have the right golf club shaft length, it will all be wasted and your drives will fall short of their potential.

It is important to understand that the ‘right golf club shaft length’ doesn’t have to be expensive, or even customized at all. It could be the stock shaft that come with the club right off the rack. The important thing is that it works for your game, and for your swing. One shaft might be perfectly suited to hit long drives for another golfer, but could perform poorly with your swing. Only when the right combination of swing and golf club shaft is found can maximum distance be achieved.

It’s All about Flex

One difference from one golf shaft to another is the flex of the steel or graphite itself. Sure, there are other factors like weight, kick point, and more, but flex is one that has a big impact on the results of the shot. When you have the right flex in the shaft in your driver for your specific swing, impressive results quickly become possible.

With the wrong flex in your club, all sorts of bad results can creep into play. Consider the two possible problems below –

  • Shaft too stiff. If you are swinging a club that is too stiff for you to bend as you come down into the ball, you are likely to lose distance. In order to maximize distance, the shaft needs to ‘load’ and ‘unload’ into the ball. When the shaft is too stiff for you to really load it up on the downswing, there won’t be much energy stored up to release, and your shots will fly shorter than they should. Also, you might find that you push the ball frequently as well, since the club isn’t releasing aggressively through the ball.
  • Shaft too soft. Conversely, a shaft that is too soft may be difficult for you to control, and could lead to shots that fly all over the course. Additionally, swings made with a shaft that is too weak for your swing will frequently fly very high – higher than you want from a driver. What you are left with are drives that are hard to control and don’t go very far – not a good combination.

Getting it Just Right

To make sure you are swinging the right shaft for your personal swing and ability level, work with a professional club fitter who can analyze your swing and make recommendations as to which shafts would be right for you. While you will likely have to pay for a session with a club fitter, many will reimburse the fee if you wind up purchasing a new club from their shop. A club fitting may only take around an hour to complete, but can lead to some of the best drives of your life.

 

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HOW FAR SHOULD YOU DRIVE IT?

How far should you be driving it, based on gender, age, handicap and average driving distance? Use this tool to find out:

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