RoboTest: This is the best spot to miss on the driver face for minimal distance loss

Unless you’re the second coming of Moe Norman, there’s a better-than-good chance you’ll benefit from the forgiveness found in your driver. As we highlighted in a recent ClubTest insights report, it’s possible to find a driver that mitigates your most common miss.

But what happens when you don’t have a common miss? Maybe you spread the love between the heel and toe. If you’re nodding in agreement, our latest RoboTest is most certainly for you.

With the help of Golf Laboratories’ swing robot, we determined the best spot to mishit the ball with minimal distance loss. For golfers in the mid-to-high handicap range, low is the most common impact location. But after taking a look at the data, it might be time for a change.

The methodology for this test was simple: Analyze the swing robot data from all 9 points — heel, toe and center for the upper, middle and lower quadrants — to highlight the quadrant with the smallest carrry distance delta when compared to a center strike.

Clubtest driver heads
5 drivers that can benefit golfers with these common misses | ClubTest 2022
By: Jonathan Wall

Taking a look at all of the 2022 drivers we tested, the best place to miss the ball is the upper third quadrant of the face. It didn’t matter if the ball impacted the high toe, heel or center, the distance dropoff was minimal — to the tune of 1 to 4 yards, on average, for the drivers tested.

Some drivers even saw distance increases on strikes impacting the upper third.

The second best mishit location was three-quarter toe and heel of off the geometric center, which should come as no big surprise. Those locations averaged about 5 yards of distance loss when compared to center.

And what about the lower quadrant? Even though manufacturers have gone to great lengths to help retain ball speed on low misses, it’s still difficult to achieve comparable center strike carry distances. In our testing, the lower quadrant saw a decline of 10 to 15 yards — far and away the worst spot to miss on the face.

If you consistently miss it out of the lower third, consider teeing it up to achieve a higher impact location. The fix might sound too easy, but then again, we’ve been trumpeting the benefits of raising tee height for some time now.

Bottom line, high impact is most definitely the way to go if you want to generate consistent carry distance.

Want to overhaul your bag for 2022? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.


Jonathan Wall Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour.