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postmanclark

Fairway Run

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So I was playing at a different course on Friday, and the fairways are a bit firmer than those at my current home course.  I play in the UK and the weather has just started to be good.

Anyway, I was playing with a couple of hackers and on one hole I hit a pretty good drive - I have a high ball flight (now) and I carry 250 yards, if I don't hit a bad one; my pitch mark was close to my ball, so I know there was no roll out.  On this hole,one of the guys hit a ball and it was a fairly low cut, and I noticed that it almost got up to my ball on the fairway.

The question is, in these conditions do you think there is any logic - between lowering my ball flight and getting less carry; in the hope of achieving more roll out and getting more distance.

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Generally speaking you want to optimize your flight for carry distance. If you have enough speed, this can sometimes be accomplished by lowering your launch and spin if the ball is losing distance from excess backspin. Generally technique is the biggest hurdle, equipment can help but it's not going to give you 30 yards of extra roll without costing carry. Rarely is it beneficial to choose dirt and grass over air in terms of the resistance the ball encounters. The other guy got lucky because a sucky low cut rolled out a bunch. If you had thinned the shot or something the roll would help you, but properly struck ones go up in the air.

I went to an 8.5 degree driver because I can carry it farther than say a 10.5 degree, but most players will find the opposite to be true. I hit up on my driver and try to hit it high on the face to get height, and it doesn't depend on ground conditions to get distance. If you're carrying around 250 yards you're probably doing it right.

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Generally speaking you want to optimize your flight for carry distance. If you have enough speed, this can sometimes be accomplished by lowering your launch and spin if the ball is losing distance from excess backspin. Generally technique is the biggest hurdle, equipment can help but it's not going to give you 30 yards of extra roll without costing carry. Rarely is it beneficial to choose dirt and grass over air in terms of the resistance the ball encounters. The other guy got lucky because a sucky low cut rolled out a bunch. If you had thinned the shot or something the roll would help you, but properly struck ones go up in the air.

I went to an 8.5 degree driver because I can carry it farther than say a 10.5 degree, but most players will find the opposite to be true. I hit up on my driver and try to hit it high on the face to get height, and it doesn't depend on ground conditions to get distance. If you're carrying around 250 yards you're probably doing it right.


^^^I agree.

Optimum height for carry distance is much more valuable and versatile on the course than the occasional benefit of "rollout" with a low ball flight.

There are certain holes at certain times that I intentionally flight the ball lower but I certainly wouldn't change my stock ball flight to a lower flight.

The benefits of carrying doglegs with tall trees, having less risk of running through fairways in firm conditions, and holding landing spots (including drivable greens) outweigh the benefit of distance gained from rollout on certain holes at certain times.

Maybe if I played in the desert somewhere :tumble: I might change my mind, but I doubt it.

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Thanks for the input guys. If I'm not getting much roll - out when the summer is truly here; I'll get on a launch monitor just to double check my current set - up.
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