Getting More Distance

I have been seeing some advertizing about the shifting of weight around the head and moving the center of gravity closer to the face. The claim is that this is going to give me more distance. I also note that the lofts of drivers are now being offered as high as 16 degrees. I would like your insights please.


If you are one of our Frankly Friends you will have read many times how I have been promoting a shorter driver with more loft for the golfer who is looking for a little more distance and greater accuracy. This concept seems to have taken root with the 14- and 16-degree lofted drivers now being promoted with a 43 + inch shaft length.

At last we are seeing a return to some sense in driver design for the average golfer, and getting away from the snakebite-kit-47-inch drivers. The public will eventually recognize that life is a compromise and we can’t get more distance for free, we have the choice between more consistent drives or longer wild ones. However, I am not convinced that sliding weights around is going to cure your swing flaws.

One of the most successful drivers introduced in the 1990’s was the 270 cc head 44.5-inches long and 10.5 degree 975D, however even this did not have enough loft for the average golfer.

We now see a return to a “miniature” 260cc driver with up to 16- degrees of loft. For your information if you are inclined to throw your driver into a lake and then regret it, a 260-270 cc driver will JUST float, so it may wash up a few days later, once you have calmed down. This is more important for the longer, bigger headed drivers which are thrown more often. These will float higher in the water, and will be more visible for quicker recovery.

Will this miniature driver – almost standard in 1998 — give more distance to the average golfer, than the present driver in his bag?

If his present driver is 46 inches long and has 10-degrees of loft and a 460 cc head, the answer is, probably YES.

The reason for this YES answer, is that the average golfer generates about 85 mph club head speed and needs to launch the ball higher than the touring pro. Because he is hitting the sweet spot more often with a shorter shaft, and with a higher loft he will be getting close to the optimum launch conditions for his head speed of 85 mph and a ball speed of about 120 mph.

Butch, if you are looking for more distance – the war cry of every marketing department in golf equipment industry – then I would suggest that you get a lesson but if you insist on buying another driver, the miniature versions now being introduced – coming back to common sense in driver design — are not a bad choice.

Good luck and let me know how it works out.


4 thoughts on “Getting More Distance

  1. Hi Frank,

    Recently, I purchased a Ping G25 driver (10.5 degrees) with regular flex stock shaft. When I got the timing correct I hit amazingly long drives – sometimes even in the intended direction! Then, I got a stiff flex stock shaft. More consistency and less distance but still random ugly shots. Then, I bought a used Fujikura 757 stiff shaft on eBay. The shaft is heavier than the stock Ping shafts so I cut it down 1″ to attain the desired swing weight. Overall length is 45″. Voila! Good distance and in the middle of the fairway. Then, I put a TaylorMade Fujikura 757 shaft into an old R7 titanium head with 13 degrees of loft. The shaft is 1″ longer than a standard 3 wood making the overall length 43.5″ Like Nat Piper reported earlier – it is great off the tee.

  2. Dear Mr. Thomas & Ms. Melvin,

    Thank-you very much for the continued excellence of these video presentations!

    I completely agree with your most recent post and sadly, succumbed to the marketing of 460cc, 46″ shaft driver 5 years ago. Let me tell you, it was a long 5 years! I just purchased a Ping “Strong 3″ wood, 13 degrees and a 43-1/2” shaft (I’m old enough to remember when we called this a 2 Wood). Absolutely love it! I’m in the fairway far more often and actually longer off the tee than I ever was with my now former driver.

    I have been in the game since 1970 when my parents purchased a MacGregor starter set for me. Since then, I’ve kept many of the clubs put into play over the years. I pulled out my favorite driver of all time, a 1975 Toney Penna, 11 degrees, regular steel shaft and 43-1/2 inches. I used this club all through my junior & high school golf days and will always treasure it. Was amused to see how closely it matched my new Ping purchase, even though the Ping head was still quite a bit larger than my old Toney Penna.

    This just re-enforces all the information provided in Just Hit It and Sticks and Stones, both books I’ve enjoyed cover to cover. As a testament to my stubborness, I still use a 1975 Bulls-Eye…I think it’s time to break down and purchase a Frankly Frog, perhaps a center shaft Signature model. Might be the option as I consider a conversion.

    Sorry for the long post! I look forward to your continued vids and hope to own a Frog in the near future.

    All the best,
    Nat Piper
    Barre, Vermont

  3. I would suggest saving the money for a new, smaller driver and getting the old 460 cut down to 43-44 inches as the 460cc head does offer more forgiveness. That’s providing it’s adjustable to 11 – 12 degrees or more I’ve played with my driver cut down to 44 inches and adjusted to 11 degrees since reading your book and that of Tom Wishon’s “In Search of the Perfect Golf Club.” Both of you are dead on. I’m a bit shorter than the guys I play with but the nickname “Straight Arrow” is worth the loss of a few yards.

  4. Another good, down to earth, common sense response by Frank. Keep ’em coming!?

    Dan L. Happy Frog Owner (4 years now)

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