Optimizing Driver Ball Flight

Maximum distance off the tee is something that every golfer wants.  Fortunately, it is also something that every golfer can achieve. Getting your maximum distance off of the tee is a matter of speed, centeredness of contact and optimum ball flight. In this post, I am going to discuss with you the most simple and effective methods in optimizing your ball flight.  Let’s begin by understanding what we want our optimum ball flight to look like. Generally, the desired ball flight is one that has a relatively high launch angle with very little spin. The numbers for a player with about an 85 mph swing speed would be between 12-14 degrees for launch angle and 2600 rpm for spin rate. This will produce a ball flight that can carry a significant amount of distance and with less spin, descend at a shallow angle producing a roll out effect when hitting land. This combination allows for the greatest amount of distance covered through air and ground. Achieving this ball flight and gaining an enormous amount of yards off the tee is easier than you may think.  Here are three easy ways to achieve a more efficient ball flight:

Adjusting Loft

Whenever I am club fitting and attention is on trajectory, the first thing I look for is the type of driver they are using and the loft setting. The loft on the clubface has a direct relationship to the launch angle of the ball at impact. Therefore, with all things remaining equal, the easiest way to adjust a ball flight that is either too high or too low, is to change the loft of the club. For example, if the loft on your driver is 9.5* and your launch angle is between 10*-11*; you can simply increase your launch angle by adjusting the original loft setting to 10.5*. Now your launch angle will be in the ideal range being over 12*. However, with an increase in loft, there is an increase in spin rate and vice versa. Which leads me to my next step in achieving your best ball flight.

Playing the Correct Golf Ball

There are many factors that go into making a golf ball. Things such as amount of layers, dimples, dimple size, dimple patterns, cover material, compression all effect ball flight to a certain extent. Brand to brand, for the most part they all carry a golf ball that is comparable to a competitors. It is much more important to look at the design of the golf ball rather than the painted name on the side. Notice, brand name was not mentioned in the list of ball flight influences. If you need to lower your spin rate, it can be done by playing a lower spin golf ball. This would include a ball with a more durable cover such as surlyn, wide and shallow dimples and a higher compression number. The opposite would hold true if you need a higher spinning golf ball. The characteristics of higher spin golf ball would be a urethane cover, deeper dimples with a low compression rating.

Swing Technique

If your ball flight still isn’t where you need it to be after adjusting loft and playing the right golf ball, then the next step would be to evaluate your golf swing with a golf professional. From a swing standpoint, having the proper angle of approach through impact will do wonders for the distance you hit the ball as well as trajectory. Angle of approach is the essentially the amount that you hit either down or up on the shot. The ideal angle of approach for the driver is one in which contact is made with the ball while the club is moving level to the ground or slightly on the upswing. Work on these simple guidelines for angle of approach and you’ll see the results in your ball flight. If you begin to experience higher dispersion in your misses, be sure to meet with a golf professional to help guide you with the proper corrections needed.

These 3 key tips are the easiest and most convenient ways you can help your driver ball flight.  Adjusting the loft will help with a change in trajectory; your golf ball will aid in the proper amount of spin; and your angle of approach will put you in the best position to create a powerful ball flight. With there being so much access to instruction and clubs with adjustability, having the efficiency of a tour pro is now easier than never.


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