Drive For Show

How should a Driver be looked at for different abilities of golfer?

Brand wise I’ve always found the following to be generally about right and use this to add weight to any decisions you make. The likes of Ping, Cobra and more recently PXG have been consistent and repeatable which I value highly when planning my way around a golf course. Taylormade and Callaway have been longer on their longest shots but a bit more sporadic with carry and direction. So it depends what you are looking for and the types of course you play. Every brand has a head and shaft combination that will work, new or old.

Or you could always tell me the problem in flight with what you have and I can advise how to best improve it, simples. (biased comment)

Beginner

Loft is your friend in general, look for something 10.5° or 12° to start with and don’t spend too much in my opinion as you will develop your game and potentially be looking to change as you get a feel for the ball going somewhere consistently and learning what differences there are to nurse it to a better place. 10.5 Regular won’t hurt any beginners on an eBay budget I don’t think. This is where your 2010+ Ping and Cobra come in strong <£100.

If you struggle with the driver, you are not alone. Try a 5 wood or any other woods you get on well with in the bag for the really early days on courses and keep testing the water now and then with the big stick until you build confidence.

Club Golfer

The loft will be a big factor in the initial launch of the ball. Too high or too low and it wont get the best of the flight. 90% of the time I’m adjusting people’s driver heads to higher lofts to get the ball launching as high as possible with the changeable necks.

High launch and low spin is the aim for efficiency and a leaf taken from the long drive style golf tournaments you may or may not have heard of. The feeling of hitting UP on the ball is a good one.

Lighter shafts tend to have more torque or twist but are lighter and can be swung faster 40g-55g, this also relates to higher spin rates which can also be changed with the type of head or model depending on brand. Whereas heavier shafts tend to have lower torque from more fibres and more material to get the weight 60-75g and often relate to lower spin rates.

Personally I give more value to the weight than the flex but tests will come soon on the YouTube channel with data to prove or disprove. Most of the time you’ll see some numbering on a shaft like version 5 or model 6, tends to be 50g and 60g respectively.

Everyone is different and has different values, here’s an older blog post that may be of interest regarding how different golfers may approach technique and clubs. https://holesalegolf.co.uk/2021/01/23/the-artist-and-the-scientist/

Elite Golfer

The elite golfer has played with lighter or heavier shafts and knows what has worked or not worked in the past. Might stick to the same lofts based on previous successes but tests and practices a lot to get “dialled in”.

Everyone is certainly different here, some elite golfers have not paid attention to the specs on their clubs, someone who is an artist (from the link above) may adjust their technique over time to get the ball to fly how they like to see it and naturally be able to technically adjust their swing to that without even thinking about doing so. See the flight and hit the shot. The scientists may need more technical work on the clubs loft and shaft and weight and grip and all the minor details along with launch monitor data to get comfy with a club before gaming it.

Tour Professional

Not much for me to say here but this has inspired some services available from my workshop… watch this:

2 thoughts on “Drive For Show

  1. As a club golfer, hitting up on the ball with a driver is my aim, but I consider myself a good medium to short iron player where I crush the back of the ball in a steeper plane. It takes a moment to change a swing thought with the driver. It’s worth mentioning that Seve never knocked his tee out with a driver, clearly “picking” the ball off the tee by hitting it on the up.

    1. Hitting up on the ball is such a good move!

      I used to practice with an empty water bottle placed 2ft (after the teed up ball and on its side) that the driver has to rise over the top. Gradually nudging it closer to the ball

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