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Bonvivant

Driver Loft/Distance Questions

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So at the beginning of the season I bought all new used equipment. I currently am using a 917d2 12 degree that ended up coming with a shaft I didn't expect. It was the right length (1 inch short) but it was in lady flex and extra light weight. I have learned to hit it fairly straight and total distance is usually between 225 and 250, but the ball flight is much higher than others that I play with (although we get the same distance). It seems that I am both launching it higher and with higher spin.

Today I ordered another 917 d2. This time I made sure the shaft was not L flex (went even flow stiff) and a 9.5 degree head. Hopefully between the 2 heads and 2 shafts I can squeeze out more distance, because when I play longer courses I really struggle. My swing speed with driver is probably between 90 and 100 mph but I have never been on a monitor to say for sure. On to the questions.

Once I get the second club in, where should I start? Recommended loft (Ishould be able to cover anything from 8.75 up to 13.5 with heads and adjustment)? Which shaft? I know that they say most players launch it too low, and I know I wasn't doing that with the 12 degree. I do make a conscious effort to have a positive attack angle at impact.

Just hoping for some ideas out of this. I know I should be on a monitor to help with more information for you guys,  but it would be nice to have some general thoughts on where to go from here (except to a monitor)

Edited by Bonvivant

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5 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

So at the beginning of the season I bought all new used equipment. I currently am using a 917d2 12 degree that ended up coming with a shaft I didn't expect. It was the right length (1 inch short) but it was in lady flex and extra light weight. I have learned to hit it fairly straight and total distance is usually between 225 and 250, but the ball flight is much higher than others that I play with (although we get the same distance). It seems that I am both launching it higher and with higher spin.

Today I ordered another 917 d2. This time I made sure the shaft was not L flex (went even flow stiff) and a 9.5 degree head. Hopefully between the 2 heads and 2 shafts I can squeeze out more distance, because when I play longer courses I really struggle. My swing speed with driver is probably between 90 and 100 mph but I have never been on a monitor to say for sure. On to the questions.

Once I get the second club in, where should I start? Recommended loft (Ishould be able to cover anything from 8.75 up to 13.5 with heads and adjustment)? Which shaft? I know that they say most players launch it too low, and I know I wasn't doing that with the 12 degree. I do make a concious effort to have a positive attack angle at impact.

Just hoping for some ideas out of this. I know I should be on a monitor to help with more information for you guys,  but it would be nice to have some general thoughts on where to go from here (except to a monitor)

Start by getting on a launch monitor.  Strike the ball solidly, and look at your ball speed--that will dictate what you need for optimizing your driver numbers.  The proper backspin for you largely depends on how much ball speed you can produce.  You also need to look at your angle of attack; you want to be hitting upwardly and how much will be up to you to decide.

For the best combination of carry and roll for driver, regardless of ball speed or backspin, you want a descent angle of about 40*.  Don't worry about peak height--look at descent angle. 

So in sum, the metrics you need to look at:

1. Ball speed

2. AoA

3. Descent angle

4. Backspin

5. Dynamic loft (generally speaking, unlike with irons, many will likely want to see an increase in loft at impact)

 

See the trackman optimizer for help.  I find that the "Carry" chart and upward angle of attack numbers are very accurate with my GC2.

TrackMan Driver Optimization_2010 (1).pdf

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20 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

See the trackman optimizer for help.  I find that the "Carry" chart and upward angle of attack numbers are very accurate with my GC2.

Based on the carry vs total, it looks like a driver with less loft will increase total distance, assuming AoA is postive. Thats the information I was looking for. Seems as if I can expect 15-20 more yards with the same AoA but less dynamic loft/launch angle. Good info. Hopefully the 2.5 degree switch will do me some good. If the stiff shaft doesn't work I can still throw the L shaft on the 9.5 degree head. 

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59 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

Based on the carry vs total, it looks like a driver with less loft will increase total distance, assuming AoA is postive. Thats the information I was looking for. Seems as if I can expect 15-20 more yards with the same AoA but less dynamic loft/launch angle. Good info. Hopefully the 2.5 degree switch will do me some good. If the stiff shaft doesn't work I can still throw the L shaft on the 9.5 degree head. 

Maybe, but you're making an assumption without all the information--it's not just about AoA.  It depends on your ball speed and backspin as well.  If you don't have enough ball speed for a lower loft head, then you may net a negative result.  A lower lofted head tends to give stronger results but only to the extent to which you can sustain enough ball speed and backspin to keep the ball airborne.  Indeed, a lower lofted head and an upward AoA reduces spin, so you better have enough ball speed.  You don't want to be hitting golf balls that fall out of the air and don't go anywhere.

This is why you need to get on a LM and test.  

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2 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

Maybe, but you're making an assumption without all the information--it's not just about AoA.  It depends on your ball speed and backspin as well.  If you don't have enough ball speed for a lower loft head, then you may net a negative result.  A lower lofted head tends to give stronger results but only to the extent to which you can sustain enough ball speed and backspin to keep the ball airborne.  Indeed, a lower lofted head and an upward AoA reduces spin, so you better have enough ball speed.  You don't want to be hitting golf balls that fall out of the air and don't go anywhere.

This is why you need to get on a LM and test.  

I was looking at the 95 mph bracket. Best total distance being with 5 AoA and 14.4 dynamic loft (which would mean a 9.4 degree driver). I know that this is ideal conditions, but its a good starting point. I don't have easy access to a LM but would like to get on one. Until then, it will just have to be trail and error I suppose

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11 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

the 95 mph bracket. 

This matters less than your ball speed.  I would only look at the ball speed you produce because it depends on your ability to strike the ball properly.

11 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

Best total distance being with 5 AoA and 14.4 dynamic loft (which would mean a 9.4 degree driver).

I don't think your calculation works here.  You don't net dynamic loft and AoA to get to the static loft driver you need.  That's a faulty assumption.  In fact, how do you know that you deliver 14.4 dynamic loft?  "Dynamic loft" is the loft you present at impact--not the static loft, or what is the club has at address.  You change loft dynamically through the swing with the leaning of the shaft, e.g, when you deloft an iron or add loft with a driver.  Unless you have measured your dynamic loft, you cannot say what your dynamic loft is.  

Furthermore, you can deloft a driver and still hit up, so again, your calculation isn't really appropriate here.

I would check out Trackman's numbers and learn about them.  It's really interesting and can be beneficial.  For actual application though, I would test things on a LM.  It's a bit of trial and error, but you'll figure it out.  I own a GC2 so I'm acclimated to the numbers and all that.  FYI, I use a 9* head, delofted down a degree to open the face, and I typically get 155-62 ball speed with driver.  I like to see a launch angle in the low teens and spin around 2500 for me.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Edited by ncates00

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If your expectations on club head speed are accurate, I think your figuring makes sense.  You are in your early 30s, right? That 12 loft club with the extra flexy shaft is not for a young man.  Even if you learn to hit it well, you are artificially limiting your distance.  As an example, my club head speed is like 103 average.  I am using 7.5 loft and my AoA is pretty high.  I'm not sure exactly because I keep changing it, but I get plenty of height out of my drives.  The low lofted club keeps the rpms down too (2100 or so), so the path is not the gentle rise followed by the nose dive. I get lots of roll when I manage the baby draw.  I do struggle to maintain that flight path though.  I gotta post an updated video.

At any rate, I hope you ditch both the head and shaft you have been using.  Good luck!

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12 minutes ago, Cantankerish said:

If your expectations on club head speed are accurate, I think your figuring makes sense.  You are in your early 30s, right? That 12 loft club with the extra flexy shaft is not for a young man.  Even if you learn to hit it well, you are artificially limiting your distance.  As an example, my club head speed is like 103 average.  I am using 7.5 loft and my AoA is pretty high.  I'm not sure exactly because I keep changing it, but I get plenty of height out of my drives.  The low lofted club keeps the rpms down too (2100 or so), so the path is not the gentle rise followed by the nose dive. I get lots of roll when I manage the baby draw.  I do struggle to maintain that flight path though.  I gotta post an updated video.

At any rate, I hope you ditch both the head and shaft you have been using.  Good luck!

I bought the 12 degree after hearing that a good launch angle should be, but before knowing as much as I do about AoA. The shaft was just a mistake/miss ship so I will be glad to have something stiffer. I will definitely update on how it goes when it comes in and as weather allows. The only thing about the new one is that it is standard length which may be a tad long as I stand about 5 foot 7 inch but I don't think it will be too much of an issue. 

Maybe I will get married one day, and I can give my wife a matching driver lol. 

15 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

This matters less than your ball speed.  I would only look at the ball speed you produce because it depends on your ability to strike the ball properly.

I don't think your calculation works here.  You don't net dynamic loft and AoA to get to the static loft driver you need.  That's a faulty assumption.  In fact, how do you know that you deliver 14.4 dynamic loft?  "Dynamic loft" is the loft you present at impact--not the static loft, or what is the club has at address.  You change loft dynamically through the swing with the leaning of the shaft, e.g, when you deloft an iron or add loft with a driver.  Unless you have measured your dynamic loft, you cannot say what your dynamic loft is.  

Furthermore, you can deloft a driver and still hit up, so again, your calculation isn't really appropriate here.

I would check out Trackman's numbers and learn about them.  It's really interesting and can be beneficial.  For actual application though, I would test things on a LM.  It's a bit of trial and error, but you'll figure it out.  I own a GC2 so I'm acclimated to the numbers and all that.  FYI, I use a 9* head, delofted down a degree to open the face, and I typically get 155-62 ball speed with driver.  I like to see a launch angle in the low teens and spin around 2500 for me.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Understood. Thanks for the info and I will update if I can get on one and share the differences between the 2 917s. 

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Went to GG today just to check swing speed. My normal swing was between 93 and 98 mph with driver (not mine). When I swung hard it was 105. Need to focus on getting controllable club head speed this winter 

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25 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

Went to GG today just to check swing speed. My normal swing was between 93 and 98 mph with driver (not mine). When I swung hard it was 105. Need to focus on getting controllable club head speed this winter 

What did you use to measure the speed, a LM?  If so which one?  GC2 guesses at clubhead speed if not paired with HMT.  Quad also guess unless the club is dotted.  

Just look at ballspeed.  It is directly measured by all good LMs.  The higher you can get your ball speed, the better.  Just don't pull the ball to "fake it."

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1 hour ago, ncates00 said:

What did you use to measure the speed, a LM?  If so which one?  GC2 guesses at clubhead speed if not paired with HMT.  Quad also guess unless the club is dotted.  

Just look at ballspeed.  It is directly measured by all good LMs.  The higher you can get your ball speed, the better.  Just don't pull the ball to "fake it."

It was at golf galaxy and I think it was a gc2. I did not hook up the hmt. I'm assuming it was the thing that was wired to a club under the grip and the computer. Ball speed with a TA 19 degree hybrid was around 130 I think. 

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Man, if I were going to take a winter to do what you are doing with the equipment you are using, I would spend my time experimenting with strokes that increase the speed of the club head.  Youtube, mirror practice, then take it to the place. If it is swing you can maintain, work on muscle memory to make THAT your swing.

If you then want to take it another step, get the core strength and tendon-stretching exercises going.  But I bet it would be well worth your time to focus on the mechanics of the best swing your body can do from the start, rather than just an interest in what ball speed you are hitting now.

 

Keep us posted

Edited by Cantankerish

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21 minutes ago, Cantankerish said:

Man, if I were going to take a winter to do what you are doing with the equipment you are using, I would spend my time experimenting with strokes that increase the speed of the club head.  Youtube, mirror practice, then take it to the place. If it is swing you can maintain, work on muscle memory to make THAT your swing.

If you then want to take it another step, get the core strength and tendon-stretching exercises going.  But I bet it would be well worth your time to focus on the mechanics of the best swing your body can do from the start, rather than just an interest in what ball speed you are hitting now.

 

Keep us posted

Will do. Thanks for the tips. I posted swing videos some time ago in the swings section. I never updated because I ended up playing more golf than I expected so didn't hit the range as much. Big takeaways from the original videos was that I sway instead of turn, and my head was moving lots. Been swinging a club since I was 3 so it's kind of already formed but definitely could use some major tweaking

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It isn't all about one loft fits all. There's conditions too. If the course is soggy, you may actually want more loft for higher flight and more carry distance to sacrifice roll out because that ball isn't going to roll much anyway. If the course conditions are dry and firm, you probably want a lower launch, less spin and more roll out.

Another suggestion. For indoor at home work. Get one of those short little kids clubs for about $25 (most people have 8' ceilings). Practice the golf swing with it in super slow motion in front of a mirror. Make sure you hit every position perfectly. You can check the position of the club head to see if it is too open or too closed. Work on this for about 5 - 10 minutes a day. In super slow motion, this is a workout. 

If you have access to an indoor range for the winter, you probably have access to lessons. 

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@ncates00

Thanks for the Trackman chart. I got an early-summer tune-up on my existing driver, and the pro emphasized launch angle and spin rate.For some reason, I was coming almost flat -1* to +1*, and was losing distance over last year. And, not much rollout which was unusual for me.

He had me move the loft up from stock 10.5* to 12.5* (max), and brought my hand position back about two inches to my belt buckle at setup. Also, he had me focus on extending up through ball. This increased my launch from about 11* to 16*, trimmed off some spin. I began getting carry out about 210 again with decent rollout, and my consistent draw returned.

For general planning, there's a dynamic relationship among clubhead loft, clubhead speed and launch angle.

So sometimes it's not just clubhead loft and shaft. Setup flaws and arrested release can also cause problems. The last two tend to show up as inconsistent ball flight patterns.

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The day has arrived. Going to test out my new purchase on its own today. Going to keep it at 9.5 and hit a small bucket (25-30 balls). Will update again with results and update the signature with the combo I end up going with. For those that are curious the new shaft is an project x even flow blue 6.0s 65g.

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On 11/22/2019 at 3:40 PM, DrvFrShow said:

It isn't all about one loft fits all. There's conditions too. If the course is soggy, you may actually want more loft for higher flight and more carry distance to sacrifice roll out because that ball isn't going to roll much anyway. If the course conditions are dry and firm, you probably want a lower launch, less spin and more roll out.

While I understand your premise here, I disagree.  I think a person should stick with one loft for their driver and play it, i.e., the one that gets them to 40* descent angle (max carry & roll).  The reason being that, unless you have a couple of different heads, adjusting the head changes more than just the loft of the club.  For instance, I have my Rogue 9* set 1* lower, really just to open the face slightly.  Therefore, I don't think it's a good idea to monkey around with the driver head--get your driver set optimally for you and play it.  Otherwise, you run the risk of making swing changes (and you don't even realize it) when you react to the ball flight changing from your normal window.  

Besides, the 40* window is for both carry and roll; the dry conditions and wind motif are drastically over played.  I will concede the point about soggy conditions; but, I think you need to have 2 heads you can change out and not just one, for the reasons I've already stated above.

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All good stuff. So I went to the range, got a small bucket, but there happened to be an extra 10 or so balls down on the range that someone had left so I probably got 35-40 swings in with the new driver in stock position. Unfortunately they had the tees way far up, to the point where it was hard to tell my distance for sure. The markers stop at 200 yards and I was probably only 25 yards away from the 50 yard marker, so every ball I hit went passed the last marker. Definitely a completely different feel and result. Didn't hit as straight as I normally do, which I am attributing to the stiff shaft. Almost all misses were right as expected going from L to S flex. I probably hit 10 that were really good by my standard, and just guessing I would think that they went longer than my other driver. It was also pretty soggy and shaggy at the range so it was even harder to tell distance. Going to try to get another range session in sometime this week any bring both drivers.

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