Blog, Lewis Clarke

Maximising your Driver Distance


“Am I optimising my driver distance?”

Read on to find some examples of how you can get the very most out of your driver…

How do the guys and girls on tour hit it so far?

First things first, to hit the ball far you have to have a high CLUB HEAD SPEED. Makes sense right? – if I swing it faster, the ball should go further.


Only if you are also getting BALL SPEED…

If you are swinging it 120mph, but only getting 150mph of ball speed = not efficient (1.25 smash factor)

If you are swinging it 110mph and getting 165mph of ball speed = more efficient! (1.50 smash factor)

(If you would like to know more about smash factor, check out Jasmines video!)


Some tour pros have a serious amount of club head and ball speed, but they also do a great job of OPTIMISING their distance.

How have they optimised distance over the past 10 years?

Courtesy of Lou Stagner… check him out on twitter @LouStagner


As you can see from the graph above (top left), average ball speed has not increased over the past 10 years…

BUT if you look at the top right graph, the trend of carry distance over this same time period has increased!






Well lets take a peek at the other three graphs…

Average Height and Launch Angle have both increased, whilst average Spin Rate has reduced.


These three factors have a MASSIVE implication on how your ball flies through the air and the distance it will go.

In the perfect world, we are looking for a high launch and a low spin rate.

This will create a higher ball flight, but one in which the ball will cut through the air and keep travelling forwards.

This can be acheived with a higher/positive ATTACK ANGLE. This is the angle the club comes into the ball, in relation to the ground.

In the pictures below, the blue arrow is Angle of Attack.

Positive attack angle

Negative attack angle


Here is an example of two drives, both with the same club head speed, but with two different attack angles…


In this image, look how a negative attack angle is causing a lower launch and flight, with an increase in spin = short distance.



In this image, look how a positive attack angle has increased launch and height, whilst decreasing spin = FURTHER carry.


How does this apply to me?

Well ask yourself the original question I posed at the start,,,

“Am I maximising distance my driver distance?”

If you are unsure (or definitely sure you aren’t!), consider booking a session on technology with myself or one of our amazing team. We will talk you through how to influence Attack Angle, whilst giving you launch monitor feedback on each shot.

Trackman and GCQuad both offer these parameters, one of which is always used in our technology sessions. To find out more or book, click here. click here. 

Lewis Clarke
Performance Coach