Tee it High & Let It Fly


My pro tells me that to get maximum distance I should launch the ball higher and contact the ball higher on the face of my driver. True?

M.S., Kansas

Yes, but bear with me. The most efficient ball/face contact point is the sweet spot, which is usually very close to the center of the face. However, to get maximum distance with a 90 to 95 miles-per-hour clubhead speed, you need to launch the ball at about 13 to 14 degrees with a spin rate of about 2,500 revolutions per minute.

To get this launch angle you need more loft, but there’s a problem: More loft produces more spin, which reduces distance. So to launch it properly, you need a driver with a loft of about 10 or 11 degrees.

If you hit the ball a little less than half an inch above the center of the face, the clubhead rotates around its center of gravity, producing what’s called vertical gear effect, which reduces the backspin on the ball, so the ball launches with less spin and at a higher angle, which will be closer to its optimum launch conditions for that clubhead speed, resulting in longer drives.

Hope this helps,