Today I did a test run on the Foresight Sports Simulator with my present driver, the TaylorMade Super Fast 2.0 TP 10.5 loft w/ Aldila RIP Alpha Shaft as well as the new TaylorMade RocketBallz High Launch with the Matrix OZIK XCON 7 shaft. The results might surprise you. My swing speed is just over 102 mph and my launch angle on the TM SF 2.0 was at 11.9 which is on the low side. Carry was 248 yards and with my slight draw final distance was 265-270. I hit a pretty straight ball, but with 10 drives 2 were out of the fairway and in the rough. The RocketBallz HL has a loft of 12.5 which you might think is too high, however that was not the case. Since the shaft has a higher kick point, it actually gave me a better launch angle of 13.8 which made the carry 262 and distance 278-282 yards. Now, 8 yards is not much but here is the kicker– with the increased loft the driver actually flew straighter and every ball was in the fairway.
Most off the shelf drivers are either 9.5 or 10.5 degrees with a fairly soft tip shaft to help get the ball up in the air yet create a boring trajectory. The problem is with the lower degree of loft, carry distance goes down as well as accuracy. For example, you hit a 9 iron straighter than you hit a 5 iron and you hit a 3 wood straighter than you hit a driver.
How do those guys on the tour get so much carry on their driver 300+yards? The reality is they swing fast but not hard. Average tour speed is 115-120 and they hit the ball in the center of the club face all of which equates to more carry and more distance. I spoke with the guys at Aldila & Matrix two top tier shaft manufacturers. I asked the question. “How can I optimize my golf swing with equipment?” Here’s what I have concluded after my discussions with them:
Most amateur players have too stiff of a shaft and too low loft of a driver. I swing at 102 mph, and the 12-degree driver gave me a better result. If you swing at less than 100 mph then a higher lofted driver might be for you. Air has less resistance than ground so if you can get your launch angle to be somewhere between 12-14 and the spin of the golf ball to be somewhere between 2700-2900 rpm then that will provide you with the maximum distance you can achieve with your individual swing.
My next step is to test out different golf balls to see the effect on my swing.