I am struggling to understand some of the physics behind driver angle-of-attack issues.
I read LSW and thought it was fantastic. I have been working ever since reading it on achieving a positive AoA with the driver. I picked two "points" for each green at my local and depending on the flag hit to one or the other (no more pin positions). Overall, the book has been very positive for me. My scores arn't lower yet, but I feel more confident on the course with a plan.
My driver AoA has typically been anywhere from -6 degrees to -3 degrees with the driver, as measured right after reading the book. I have a low, line drive cut with the driver and I hit it fairly consistently. However, I see a small divergence between my iron distances and my driver distances, and I really want to work on getting a better AoA with the driver as I think it will help me add yards off the tee. I especially want more carry for a few specific holes at my local, where I have to hit lower than driver b/c I can't clear certain obstacles (I can roll it into the bunkers with a ton of pace on #5, for example, but I can't carry them - this leaves me with a hybrid into the green instead of a PW because the bunkers bisecting the fairway are in the middle of my typical 20-30 yard roll out. Same on #13 - Bunkers bisect the fairway, so I have to hit lower, and have a long shot into the green).
I hit my 8 iron around 155-160ish, and I carry my driver about 235-240 with a whole lot of roll. I'm thinking I should be carrying the driver farther. Is there anything you can extrapolate from my iron carry? My swing speed is actually kindof all over the place with the driver when I got on a machine, ranging from 91 on the low end to 105 on the high end. Is this type of range typical? Most of the swings were in the low 100s, but there were some significant outliers.
Increasing my driver carry would give me a ton more course-planning options as outlined in LSW (another hole #6, has big trees to the left if I could carry it 250 (instead of 230+20 roll) I could have a wedge in instead of the usual 8 iron.)
Some things I don't understand:
1. Why can't you fix AoA by adding more loft to the driver? I carry a high-lofted, shorter driver I use like a SLDR-Mini type club. If I hit down a few degrees with a lofted driver why is it different than hitting up a few degrees with a lower-lofted driver? In other words, why can't you "improve" AoA by simply adding driver loft?
(Note: I understand that it is wrong to say that you can increase AoA with driver loft, I don't understand why).
2. I've read in a bunch of places that you should try to "stay back" when you hit the driver, and doing so can help you with a positive AoA. However, when I try to "stay back" with my body, my clubhead speed drops dramatically and I find it hard to carry it more than 210 or so. When I drive my hips hard, I can swing much, much harder. What exactly is meant by "stay back" with the driver? Is there a good drill/key to understanding how to have a positive AoA while still firing the hips forward?
3. I usually played my driver tee'd low about off my left heel. After reading LSW, I moved it forward and moved my back foot slightly inside as suggested. When I do that (tee up slightly higher, forward ball position, back foot pulled back from the target line) I started hitting hard line drive hooks (instead of my usual hard line drive fades). I suspect its because I pulled my foot back to far from the target line, but putting the ball forward hasn't helped me hit it higher it just turned the cut to a hook. Not sure why?
4. Is there a good way to measure AoA when i don't have access to a monitor? (which is about once every two months).
5. How does shaft play into ball flight? My shaft is a "low launch" shaft. What does that mean? How does that interact with my launch conditions / AoA?
Thanks in advance for any knowledge. This forum has been a huge help to me in getting better, especially in terms of understanding the theory behind the way certain things happen. I think adding more carry to my driver is the best way for me to get better right now, at least at my local. It would change the way I could play the course.