Welcome to another edition of the Fully Equipped Mailbag, sponsored by Cleveland/Srixon Golf, an interactive GOLF.com series in which we field your hard-hitting gear questions.
What are some of the quickest ways to dial up my distance off the tee? – Caleb C., Georgia
If there’s one thing we love, it’s definitely the ability to hit the ball as far as humanly possible. Not only is more distance what every player wants, it’s also incredibly advantageous. The longer you can hit your tee shots, the easier your approaches, and subsequently, the shorter your putts.
Everyone wants to hit it further, but not everyone knows the right way to find those few extra yards. Luckily for you, we have a few answers to help you get started. Let’s go:
Get a new driver
Obviously, we know. But we’re not recommending you run out and buy a new one for the sake of newness; rather, consider a new driver that’s custom-fit to your exact swing needs. Even if your previous gamer was custom-fit for you, it’s possible you could benefit from some of the hot, new advances in clubhead and shaft technology that we’ve seen in just the past couple of years. Or, maybe your swing has changed a bit. It doesn’t hurt to demo some new ones and see if something else could work better for you.
Improve your launch conditions
Since you’re looking for a new driver anyway, be sure to find one that delivers the most optimal launch conditions for your clubhead speed and attack angle. There are plenty of scales and charts available online to help you determine the best launch angle for you, and if you have an average swingspeed between 84-96 mph, then you’d want a ball launch around 13°-16° upwards at impact with a spin rate somewhere in the range of 2400-2700 rpms. Give or take…
According to True Spec Golf‘s huge pile of driver data, here’s more to chew on:
“Very Fast” swing speed (more than 105 mph with the driver)
- Launch: 10-16 degrees
- Spin: 1750-2300 rpm
- Peak height: 100-120 feet
- Angle of descent: 34-38 degrees
“Fast” swing speed (97-104 mph)
- Launch: 12-16 degrees
- Spin: 2000-2500 rpm
- Peak height: 87-100 feet
- Angle of descent: 33-37 degrees
“Average” swing speed (84-96 mph)
- Launch: 13-16 degrees
- Spin: 2400-2700 rpm
- Peak height: 70-86 feet
- Angle of descent: 32-36 degrees
“Slow” swing speed (72-83 mph)
- Launch: 14-19 degrees
- Spin: 2600-2900 rpm
- Peak height: 58-70 feet
- Angle of descent: 31-35 degrees
“Ladies” (less than 72 mph)
- Launch: 14-19 degrees
- Spin: 2600-2900 rpm
- Peak height: 45-58 feet
- Angle of descent: 27-31 degrees
All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy a linked product, GOLF.COM may earn a fee. Pricing may vary.
Srixon ZX5 MKII Driver
Add an extra inch
Adding length to your driver shaft is a quick hack to increase clubhead speed. On average, every extra inch means an additional 2-3 mph increase in clubhead speed, which can result in a difference of up to 10+ yards in total distance. Granted, playing with a longer shaft might mean sacrificing some control and weight is a factor, but you’ll never know unless you give it a try.
Play a low-spin/high-launch ball
If you’re not getting enough height off the tee or if you’re hitting it too high, you could be limiting yourself with the driver. Ideally, you want to play a ball that spins just enough to lift into the air and then comes down from the sky on a flat trajectory (see recommended decent angles in the list above). Here’s the catch: if you have an average swing speed, most distance balls will likely help you add more yardage. However, if you have a faster swing speed, a multi-layer ball with a soft outer cover and firm midlayer will likely help you hit the ball further than you would with a hard-shelled distance ball. For example, Srixon’s 3-piece, multilayer Z-STAR line offers three balls that produce at least a mid-height launch (Mid for the Z-STAR and Mid-High for the Z-STAR XV and Z-STAR Diamond) with a high launch off the tee. All three will benefit a faster swinger becuase they’ll be able to take advantage of both the midlayer and core, knocking down spin rates for a flatter trajectory. And if you’re somewhere in the middle and not wanting to pay for a premium ball just yet, a ball like Srixon’s Q-STAR may be just the ticket.
Srixon Q-Star Tour
Tee it a little higher
This is probably the quickest of all our fixes for you and definitely the easiest. Teeing the ball a little higher will help you hit up on the ball more, reducing spin and, as you guessed it, hitting the ball higher and further in the air. For some, adding height with the tee can also make it easier to hit a draw (which usually, but not always, fly further).
Try some new grips
It’s not that new grips will necessarily help you hit the ball further, but having fresh grips (and let’s include a fresh glove in the discussion, too) will relax the hands and help them release faster through impact with the ball. The goal is simple: you want all the traction you can get without increasing tension in the fingers.
Practice with training aids
Lastly, and certainly not least, to really hit it further, you need to work on the engine that drives the clubhead in the first place: yourself. Some of our favorite new training aids for added speed include the One, which uses auditory and resistance band training to develop more powerful fast twitch muscles. Other great options include the very popular GolfForever training aid and online curriculum with dozens of programs, lessons and methods of increasing speed and for helping you become a healthier player.
Want to overhaul your bag for 2023? Find a fitting location near you at True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below!