I attended a TaylorMade event for their new driver earlier in the week and wanted to share some interesting slides from the presentation. I'm not starting this thread to promote their new clubs but to highlight how launch conditions have changed and how it can benefit your game.
Some of you may be familiar with the term "high launch and low spin", it basically refers to the "key" to hitting your driver further. You get the ball up in the air with a certain amount of spin to maximize carry distance as well as "roll out" distance once the ball lands. Typically, launching it high meant 12-14 degrees and low spin was around 2500rpm. I think there is a huge misconception out there that pros hit the ball low with their drivers, that might have been the case 20-30 years ago but it's a much different story now. Go any professional event and I think you'd be surprised at how high they launch their tee shots.
Interesting look at how launch and spin has changed over the past 23 years. Obviously the ball has played a huge role. Older balata balls spun a lot so you had to launch the ball lower to maximize distance. Then with the introduction of solid core, multi-layered balls, players were able to launch it higher since the ball spun less.
TaylorMade is now talking about the "Holy Grail" of 17 degrees launch at 1700rpm. I think I first heard these numbers about a year ago.
Does this mean you have to go out and buy the latest TaylorMade driver? Not necessarily, they certainly feel that the low and forward CoG helps but basically all drivers are built for "high launch and low spin" playability. Point is don't be afraid to go out and try an 11 or 12 degree driver. JB Holmes was the second player this year to win with a 12 degree driver.
The ability to hit your driver with a positive angle of attack will also reduce spin and launch it higher.
Here's why all this matters. Two players, Justin Rose and Michael Bradley, ball speed is the same yet Rose hits it 27.5 yards further. Why? Because Rose launches it higher with less spin. Taylor vs Watney is eye opening as well, they hit it the same distance but Watney's ball speed is 14 mph faster.
Few graphs on how everyone, 175mph ball speed to 125mph can benefit. If you can hit the ball farther, there is a very, very good chance you'll shoot lower scores.
x-axis is spin, y-axis is launch angle
Little blurry for the next one. From left to right, Club head speed, percentage of golfers, and suggested lofts. The suggestions are bolded but it's tough to see here.
<70 club head speed, recommended loft for a driver is 14 or 16,
70-90 - 12 or 14 degrees
>90 - 10 or 12 degrees
Quick look at the "bag of the future".