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ZANDER1994

Switch Into a Higher Lofted Driver, or Hit Up More?

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Last year I cracked the head on my old faithful R1. I took myself down to the second hand club shop and after a couple swings I picked out a 9.5 degree Calloway X Hot driver for under $80. It felt light and easy to swing, but a degree lower in loft that what I was used to.

 

After playing with it this past season, I’ve concluded my ball flight is way too low with my driver. Top Tracer is giving me a flat carry of 265 yds average with 118mph swing speed but my apex is barely 70ft. My angle of attack is 3.8 degrees down.

 

After reading about this online, a lot of advice I see seems to say I should fix my swing, not my equipment (i.e. learn to hit up more) as to not continue developing a bad habit. But others argue fitting the equipment to the swing has it’s merits, noting DJ even uses an 11 degree driver from time to time. 

Where do you guys fall on this argument? Should I allow myself to change into a higher lofted driver, or continue to work on my knuckle ball and potentially change my swing? I’m a 17 handicap and I read higher handicaps benefit from more loft, but I’m not sure if that is moreso due to low handicaps generally having lower swing speeds. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ZANDER1994

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You don't say what your spin rate is, generally a downward AOA results in more spin, which causes the ball to balloon some. Higher handicappers benefit from higher lofts generally because of slower swing speeds. It has been reported that some PGA player's have a negative AOA; but I believe theirs is more in the 1 to 2 degree down - which is supposedly gives them better directional control.

Per "old reviews" on the internet this driver has the opti-fit hosel so you should be able to adjust loft higher. 

It might also be good to have a local clubmaker measure the loft; it has been reported in past years that manufacturers put a 'vanity' loft marking on drivers.

Note: the following tour averages (not sure which year this was).

IMHO work on getting your AOA closer to neutral or even positive.

kuchar-847-streeterlecka.jpg

The attack angle, a measurement of how steep  or shallow the clubhead is moving relative to the ground through impact, plays a vital role in how much distance you’re able to generate off the tee. Most amateurs fall somewhere...

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3 hours ago, ZANDER1994 said:

Where do you guys fall on this argument?

Set the club to "Open" for starters.

Also try teeing the ball forward, at mid foot or toe and tee height higher.

Check stance alignment, maybe set up slightly open, flare left foot out a tad.

Add lead tape on the back center of the club, since it has no weight designed in the club possibly could raise launch angle.

Last resort, try a different shaft.

If you fiddle with changing the swing path, be prepared to be patient.

Changes take a long time and constant work.

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4 hours ago, ZANDER1994 said:

Last year I cracked the head on my old faithful R1. I took myself down to the second hand club shop and after a couple swings I picked out a 9.5 degree Calloway X Hot driver for under $80. It felt light and easy to swing, but a degree lower in loft that what I was used to.

 

After playing with it this past season, I’ve concluded my ball flight is way too low with my driver. Top Tracer is giving me a flat carry of 265 yds average with 118mph swing speed but my apex is barely 70ft. My angle of attack is 3.8 degrees down.

 

The 9.5* X Hot driver can be changed and lofted up to play at 11*.

So what are you trying to accomplish with more trajectory?

You're an unicorn...I've played golf for many years and have yet to meet a 17 cap that can generate a 110 mph driver SS without swinging out of control...never mind 118.

I'd say you need to change your swing if you want to hit the ball higher with consistency.

Sometimes one has to resign that they are a low ball hitter.....it's not bad being a low ball driver if you're driving the ball well.

I don't hit my driver overly high....but I've come to live with it because driving is one of my strengths...there are other parts of my game I need to improve to lower my scores.

1 hour ago, Club Rat said:

1) Set the club to "Open" for starters.

2) If you fiddle with changing the swing path, be prepared to be patient......changes take a long time and constant work.

1) I'm not as familiar with the Cally Opti fit adapter....but if you open a face...it typically delofts a club....I'd say loft up 1.5* with a 'closed' face to assist with more trajectory.

2) agree

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Are you hitting it low on the face? It's weird to be hitting it that much down and not have it balloon more than 70 feet...

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Really need to know spin rates. I am like the OP. Swing speeds easy upper 120's. However I had to go way down in loft (5*) to get a flight that worked for me with reasonable spin rates. My ball flight even with a 5 degree driver is super high but flattens out. Before with my Titleist 8.5 head set to 7.75 it would balloon like crazy and drop straight down with tons of spin. Definitely worth getting back on the monitor to see what spin rates are.

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In your case, there is no way for you to hit "up more". I would say that if you want to improve your flight that you should work on hitting down less, though. 😏

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Need to change AoA.  Could be simple adjustment of where ball is in your stance or it may involve a slight adjustment.  After that it's going to be a combo of driver loft, shaft flex and weight.

30 minutes ago, Casualgolfer said:

Really need to know spin rates. I am like the OP. Swing speeds easy upper 120's. However I had to go way down in loft (5*) to get a flight that worked for me with reasonable spin rates. My ball flight even with a 5 degree driver is super high but flattens out. Before with my Titleist 8.5 head set to 7.75 it would balloon like crazy and drop straight down with tons of spin. Definitely worth getting back on the monitor to see what spin rates are.

Curious how heavy of a shaft you play?  My buddy who averages 126mph plays with a 85g shaft and a 9* driver.  Too light of a shaft can definitely cause ball flight problems. 

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I can only conclude my swing is highly inconsistent these days.

No matter what loft I use, I seem to hit the ball the same distance with the same trajectory. I don't know why. I see more differences with various shaft stiffness than anything, but not loft.

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19 hours ago, ZANDER1994 said:

Where do you guys fall on this argument? Should I allow myself to change into a higher lofted driver, or continue to work on my knuckle ball and potentially change my swing? I’m a 17 handicap and I read higher handicaps benefit from more loft, but I’m not sure if that is moreso due to low handicaps generally having lower swing speeds. 

Unless money is an issue, I would recommend changing driver.  It is easier to get a club fit for your swing than it is to change your swing.  Please remember that the amount of time you need to get a new swing perfected is long indeed.  Even the best pro's struggle for a while when they change their swing, and very few amateurs have the time, patience or talent to change their swing.  That being said, do consider changing your swing if your current one is very bad.

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4 hours ago, phillyk said:

Need to change AoA.  Could be simple adjustment of where ball is in your stance or it may involve a slight adjustment.  After that it's going to be a combo of driver loft, shaft flex and weight.

Curious how heavy of a shaft you play?  My buddy who averages 126mph plays with a 85g shaft and a 9* driver.  Too light of a shaft can definitely cause ball flight problems. 

I was fit for a diamana 85g x stiff shaft that was tipped but it isn't enough. My current driver that I play is a 3x fujikura flywire. I have 3 other drivers as well though that I built. One has a house of forged 2x platinum shaft, another has an xphlexxx busa 2x shaft, and the other has a aldila 2x shaft that is tipped. Had to change all my iron shafts to project x 7.0's too. 

Edited by Casualgolfer

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5 hours ago, Casualgolfer said:

I was fit for a diamana 85g x stiff shaft that was tipped but it isn't enough. My current driver that I play is a 3x fujikura flywire. I have 3 other drivers as well though that I built. One has a house of forged 2x platinum shaft, another has an xphlexxx busa 2x shaft, and the other has a aldila 2x shaft that is tipped. Had to change all my iron shafts to project x 7.0's too. 

Do you hit down a lot or have inconsistent/poor striking?  Fast tour players and some fast guys that I know don't have to go these kinds of extremes with shaft/loft/etc. combos to control spin.  I know some guys who get to your speed and don't have game less than 8 or 9* loft and a pretty standard x-stiff shaft.  Then again, these guys are good college players and hit up with driver.  I know speed adds some spin, but good striking and delivery conditions takes care of most of that.  Really, the stuff you're talking about is LD equipment and fine-tuning, but hey, if it works for you, and it sounds like it does, go with it.

On 1/18/2020 at 4:49 PM, ZANDER1994 said:

My angle of attack is 3.8 degrees down.

This is your problem.  Shoot for 1* down at the most, at your speed.  Preferably on the up though.  Good speed for any one, let alone a 17 capper.

12 minutes ago, arturo28mx said:

A softer shaft will give you a higher ball flight and more backspin

This is not what the OP needs at all.  What you have suggested is what a slower swing speed person would need to maximize their carry.

Edited by ncates00

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On 1/19/2020 at 9:01 PM, ncates00 said:

Do you hit down a lot or have inconsistent/poor striking?  Fast tour players and some fast guys that I know don't have to go these kinds of extremes with shaft/loft/etc. combos to control spin.  I know some guys who get to your speed and don't have game less than 8 or 9* loft and a pretty standard x-stiff shaft.  Then again, these guys are good college players and hit up with driver.  I know speed adds some spin, but good striking and delivery conditions takes care of most of that.  Really, the stuff you're talking about is LD equipment and fine-tuning, but hey, if it works for you, and it sounds like it does, go with it.

This is your problem.  Shoot for 1* down at the most, at your speed.  Preferably on the up though.  Good speed for any one, let alone a 17 capper.

This is not what the OP needs at all.  What you have suggested is what a slower swing speed person would need to maximize their carry.

At times yes my striking can be inconsistent but I just don't play enough. I believe alot of it is angle of attack which I try to work on. Last time I was on a monitor I was averaging about 128 mph club speed but my spin rates were mid to upper 2,000's in rpm. I can literally watch the difference in flight when I get the revs down. I can still hit it super high but the trajectory is very flat if that makes sense. A great indicator for my swing is when I start getting roll out on a normal playing surface. I used to hit long drives that would pitch backwards about 3-4 feet. The low lofted driver is admittedly a band aid but it was the cheapest option I had (and quickest). No joking aside many of my drives going from my Titleist to my 5 degree increased distance 40 yards or more...

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2 hours ago, Casualgolfer said:

128 mph club speed

Very impressive, I know you're proud of your club head speed but unless that turns into consistent ball speed and dispersion it really doesn't matter.  Going straight to the low loft/LD equipment might make some sense, but in the long run, you're better off working on your swing.  Assuming your speed claims as true, you have plenty of speed to give if push came to shove in order to gain more control of your swing.  Obviously, no one wants to give up any speed, but if you truly did average that speed, you will always have that high gear when you want it.  I know some successful college golfers and the last thing they talk about is speed (even though they have it); all they care about are trophies.

Having a lot of horsepower is a great thing, but it matters very little if you burn off the tires and can't make it to the finish line.  I say this not to imply that you aren't a good golfer--again, I don't know you.  However, given your very high clubhead speed and inability to hit "normal" drivers and have quality striking, I'd say you have a lot of room for improvement in the swing department--but don't we ALL haha.  Best of luck.

On 1/19/2020 at 11:58 AM, pganapathy said:

Unless money is an issue, I would recommend changing driver.  It is easier to get a club fit for your swing than it is to change your swing.  Please remember that the amount of time you need to get a new swing perfected is long indeed.  Even the best pro's struggle for a while when they change their swing, and very few amateurs have the time, patience or talent to change their swing.  That being said, do consider changing your swing if your current one is very bad.

Maybe, but the guy is a 17 capper with great clubhead speed.  He obviously has potential.  I would get serious about the swing and forget about the driver change for now.  

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4 hours ago, cooke119 said:

If I was driving 265 yards average I wouldn't change anything, screw ball flight, LOL.

I assume your swing speed isn’t pushing 120 mph, though. OP isn’t getting the most out of his speed. It’s like someone with 95 mph clubhead speed only carrying the ball 180 yards.

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3 hours ago, Casualgolfer said:

I was averaging about 128 mph club speed but my spin rates were mid to upper 2,000's in rpm.

128 is super fast..so what's your cap?

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