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Why do the pros hit it so far? Here's my take


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They told me.

One kid was waiting to hit, and knew the two on the tee box. He told me both of them could have carried the brook which is about 320 to hit the far bank and bounce out.

Of course, he may have been just saying so, except he hit a 3W almost to the front edge. Chose not to drive for fear of getting in the brook. He hit about 290.

So they can hit it that far. I am asking how does that relate to 80%. How did the kids know they were swinging 80%. I could try to take a guess at swinging 80%, it would probably be WAY off. Heck, Erik told me to do half swings, guess what they turned out to be, full swings. Just saying when someone says, "Oh I hit that 80%". Unless they actually see numbers, they can't prove it. Did they swing easier, they might have felt it, but the clubhead speed could have been faster. Jack gave a tip were when he wanted to hit it far he would try to swing with no tension and make a smooth backswing. Did it actually happen, I don't know.

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I'm old. Got the grandad-wardrobe. Comfy when golfing. Allows me to turn easily on the muni, at about 195, watching the other 20 + Hcps, hit it past me, all of 20 yards. Then tell me "that one went 29

Here is my expert opinion. They hit it further because they swing faster and make solid contact.

Yes there are golfers who are less skilled that hit the ball a long ways, they have raw speed like you said. It's something they naturally do.  That isn't what you originally posted. This is what

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Originally Posted by Lihu

They told me.

One kid was waiting to hit, and knew the two on the tee box. He told me both of them could have carried the brook which is about 320 to hit the far bank and bounce out.

Of course, he may have been just saying so, except he hit a 3W almost to the front edge. Chose not to drive for fear of getting in the brook. He hit about 290.

So they can hit it that far. I am asking how does that relate to 80%. How did the kids know they were swinging 80%. I could try to take a guess at swinging 80%, it would probably be WAY off. Heck, Erik told me to do half swings, guess what they turned out to be, full swings. Just saying when someone says, "Oh I hit that 80%". Unless they actually see numbers, they can't prove it. Did they swing easier, they might have felt it, but the clubhead speed could have been faster. Jack gave a tip were when he wanted to hit it far he would try to swing with no tension and make a smooth backswing. Did it actually happen, I don't know.

Yes, I agree that he might have said 80% thinking back upon his coaches and mentors, and also that feel is not real. Agreed that there is a non-linear behavior in the distance achieved, swing speed and effort.

I think it's a feel number for you not to exceed so that you feel in control. For instance, my swing speed is about 33% faster if I go all out (measured by my SS radar). Yet, I prefer to swing much slower. I feel like it's 80% effort? Of course, measurements have proven my feeling to be wrong. However, my target is an 80% feeling.

As you get more skilled, does that speed gap decrease and that 80% feeling diminishes to a real figure of something like 5% as you are suggesting?

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If what you're saying is that most guys (if not all) on tour "are capable" of hitting it 300? I would agree with that. Annika could hit it 300 yards, even though she never averaged that when she played. I can hit it that far on occasion when I make great contact and really let loose. But to carry it 300 yards? I wouldn't think there are many people who could do that... Pro or otherwise
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If what you're saying is that most guys (if not all) on tour "are capable" of hitting it 300? I would agree with that. Annika could hit it 300 yards, even though she never averaged that when she played. I can hit it that far on occasion when I make great contact and really let loose.

But to carry it 300 yards? I wouldn't think there are many people who could do that... Pro or otherwise

I'll grant that they could be on a downhill lie at elevation, but: http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.02409.html

If you look at the longest carry category for all the players, most of them have done it, and I still think that they are using "80%" effort and they could hit farther than what is shown. I'll also agree that the extra 20% could really be only 5%.

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So they can hit it that far. I am asking how does that relate to 80%. How did the kids know they were swinging 80%. I could try to take a guess at swinging 80%, it would probably be WAY off. Heck, Erik told me to do half swings, guess what they turned out to be, full swings. Just saying when someone says, "Oh I hit that 80%". Unless they actually see numbers, they can't prove it. Did they swing easier, they might have felt it, but the clubhead speed could have been faster. Jack gave a tip were when he wanted to hit it far he would try to swing with no tension and make a smooth backswing. Did it actually happen, I don't know.


Yeah. From what I see 80% effort as opposed to 100% effort doesn't translate to a 20% increase in club head speed. On the high end of effort there is a point of diminishing returns on club head speed.

Some players actually lose club head speed with a very high effort level but most good players have a good golf swing so ingrained that they don't lose anything but don't gain all that much either.

One day on TV Freddy Couples was talking about a drive he was about to hit and he said "Now I'm going to hit this one as hard as I can." His swing looked exactly like all of his other swings but when he hit it he said that was as far as he could hit a golf ball.

Most of our swings start to fall apart when we try to hit it as hard as we can.

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Yes, I agree that he might have said 80% thinking back upon his coaches and mentors, and also that feel is not real. Agreed that there is a non-linear behavior in the distance achieved, swing speed and effort.

I think it's a feel number for you not to exceed so that you feel in control. For instance, my swing speed is about 33% faster if I go all out (measured by my SS radar). Yet, I prefer to swing much slower. I feel like it's 80% effort? Of course, measurements have proven my feeling to be wrong. However, my target is an 80% feeling.

As you get more skilled, does that speed gap decrease and that 80% feeling diminishes to a real figure of something like 5% as you are suggesting?

So what is your normal swing speed MPH and your "all out" MPH?

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Lihu

Yes, I agree that he might have said 80% thinking back upon his coaches and mentors, and also that feel is not real. Agreed that there is a non-linear behavior in the distance achieved, swing speed and effort.

I think it's a feel number for you not to exceed so that you feel in control. For instance, my swing speed is about 33% faster if I go all out (measured by my SS radar). Yet, I prefer to swing much slower. I feel like it's 80% effort? Of course, measurements have proven my feeling to be wrong. However, my target is an 80% feeling.

As you get more skilled, does that speed gap decrease and that 80% feeling diminishes to a real figure of something like 5% as you are suggesting?

So what is your normal swing speed MPH and your "all out" MPH?

No need to shout.

I average about a 230 carry on a normal drive, and I'm pretty sure that I do not carry 306 with my fastest swing. :-$ That would require far better contact than I can get with my normal swing.

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I think it's a feel number for you not to exceed so that you feel in control. For instance, my swing speed is about 33% faster if I go all out (measured by my SS radar). Yet, I prefer to swing much slower. I feel like it's 80% effort?

I suppose somebody could play with a club head speed 33% slower than their "all out" speed but I've never seen anything like that from anybody I ever played with.

Usually a few mph is the difference between all out and normal.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Lihu

I think it's a feel number for you not to exceed so that you feel in control. For instance, my swing speed is about 33% faster if I go all out (measured by my SS radar). Yet, I prefer to swing much slower. I feel like it's 80% effort?

I suppose somebody could play with a club head speed 33% slower than their "all out" speed but I've never seen anything like that from anybody I ever played with.

Hmmm. Apparently, I didn't think too clearly before posting this. . . :doh: We should define what we mean by "all out".

"All out" means that you swing as fast as possible without injuring yourself. Someone else might define that as as fast as you can control the club face. I meant the former to get the 33% faster figure, which is probably meaningless.

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Hmmm. Apparently, I didn't think too clearly before posting this. . . We should define what we mean by "all out".

"All out" means that you swing as fast as possible without injuring yourself. Someone else might define that as as fast as you can control the club face. I meant the former to get the 33% faster figure, which is probably meaningless.

I still can't fathom how you're gaining 33% more swing speed.

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Sooooo... If your "regular" swing is 100mph, then with another 33% you could hit 133mph? It still doesn't add up.


Yeah, I shouldn't have posted that until I verified the accuracy of the radar units and/or the conditions of the tests.

I was measuring my speeds at 90mph with my so called "normal" swing into a net, then went all out and hit 119mph with some bad readings in the 130 range (confident that they were mis-reads).

On the course I hit about 240 to 260 (carry and roll) with the occasional long drive, there are features on the courses I play to be at some distance like 240 yards. I also know when I get over these features or not. This is how I know my "carry".

I also hit a little hill on the driving range that is exactly 250 yards away (per google earth). I usually hit the front edge of the hill sometimes the back, and sometimes right on it this is how I get the 230 carry figure.

So, I might be assuming I am swinging 90mph, while I am actually swinging 105? Who knows.

Please don't ask me to take the radars out to the range and course, they are in pieces because I am developing a new swing speed and ball speed monitor (Poor man's trackman with smash factor).

Just take this post as a recall to the other posts. I really have no idea how my 80% effort translates to reality, but that was my real point in bringing this up in the first place.

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Naw, what we want you to do, Lihu, is radar your 80% putter swing. Then go all out. Don't hurt yourself now...


Lol.  Putting has so far been the only thing injury free for me, except when I putted for a 20 foot par off of my playing partners ball and did a back-flip. :-$

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Then open your eyes.*

* I mean that as nicely as possible. Seriously, there are HUGE differences. And Jack regularly drove the ball 260+. Don't believe everything you read. Especially if they tell you modern PGA Tour pros carry the ball 230. :P


Really I'm getting the idea that the pros carry the ball 230 is based on Jack's book Golf My Way, which described that most pros (back then) carried about 230 and when they hit 300 yard drives it rolled about 70 yards. I guess they hit it longer now than they did then but still I think they're longest drives, even if they do carry 270, are because of the factors above. If you want a 350 yard drive, it will need roll, downhill, and tailwind. I'm a short hitter, and no matter how hard I swing, I can't get it past 250 without tearing something, so I really rely on wind and roll for my distance. Maybe I don't have enough distance to compete on the tour, But I certainly have enough to shoot par in about a year if I keep playing automatically.

By the way, jack said that there was a hole on a course that he couldn't carry a creek 230 out unless he hit his absolutely best shot. He said this indicates the truth about professional golf distance perfectly. Though pros are longer now with carry, they can't hit 350 without roll, elevation, downhill, and tailwind (maybe not all at once). So when you're upset because you're ball isn't going long enough, think about those factors.

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Really I'm getting the idea that the pros carry the ball 230 is based on Jack's book Golf My Way, which described that most pros (back then) carried about 230 and when they hit 300 yard drives it rolled about 70 yards. I guess they hit it longer now than they did then but still I think they're longest drives, even if they do carry 270, are because of the factors above. If you want a 350 yard drive, it will need roll, downhill, and tailwind. I'm a short hitter, and no matter how hard I swing, I can't get it past 250 without tearing something, so I really rely on wind and roll for my distance. Maybe I don't have enough distance to compete on the tour, But I certainly have enough to shoot par in about a year if I keep playing automatically.

By the way, jack said that there was a hole on a course that he couldn't carry a creek 230 out unless he hit his absolutely best shot. He said this indicates the truth about professional golf distance perfectly. Though pros are longer now with carry, they can't hit 350 without roll, elevation, downhill, and tailwind (maybe not all at once). So when you're upset because you're ball isn't going long enough, think about those factors.


Do you ever play with any good players? Pretty sure you will be shocked when you start playing with some people that can really hit the ball (and I'm not even talking about pros).

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One thing I'll certainly agree with OP on is that fairways on tour courses are cut like greens on many course.  Firestone South Course has the really tightly cut, dry fairways that can produce a lot of roll IF you hit the right spot in the fairway.

Agree with others that today's tour pros hit it a LOT farther than Jack did in his heyday with equipment available to him.  Heck, even the 19-year-old LPGA tour pro from FL has a 272 yard driving average!  And that's more than 230 carry, I'd guess.


I just researched pros carry distances and it's about 260. Jack carried about the same. So I don't see a difference really, besides the fact that fairways and greens are much faster than they were back in the 70's.

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Really I'm getting the idea that the pros carry the ball 230 is based on Jack's book Golf My Way, which described that most pros (back then) carried about 230 and when they hit 300 yard drives it rolled about 70 yards. I guess they hit it longer now than they did then but still I think they're longest drives, even if they do carry 270, are because of the factors above. If you want a 350 yard drive, it will need roll, downhill, and tailwind. I'm a short hitter, and no matter how hard I swing, I can't get it past 250 without tearing something, so I really rely on wind and roll for my distance. Maybe I don't have enough distance to compete on the tour, But I certainly have enough to shoot par in about a year if I keep playing automatically. By the way, jack said that there was a hole on a course that he couldn't carry a creek 230 out unless he hit his absolutely best shot. He said this indicates the truth about professional golf distance perfectly. Though pros are longer now with carry, they can't hit 350 without roll, elevation, downhill, and tailwind (maybe not all at once). So when you're upset because you're ball isn't going long enough, think about those factors.

I dunno, I just watched Rory hit some bombs today that certainly had some roll but not 70 yards of roll, looked more like 15-20 yards of roll but I ain't no expert.

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