January 12

Golf Myths, pt. 1: The Driver

Golf Club Fitting


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Alright, Dear Reader, we’re going to start this article about golf myths with a video.

Don’t worry, it’s a pretty quick one:


Now, for the one-question test:

What Were the Distances for All Three Clubs?


If you said:

Modern Driver: 278 yards

Brassie: 269 yards

Long-Nose: 262 yards

Give yourself a high-five!  We can do a virtual fist-bump if that works.  Sorry, but I don’t have any prizes to give out right now… just stuff to sell.

What else do we see?

Well, there’s a nine-yard distance gap between a club made in the 1920’s and a club made in 2011 (when the video was made; don’t worry… thanks to restrictions that have been in place since 2005, it won’t be too different today).

What might account for this?  Check these two screenshots out, from the TrajectoWare program created by Dave Tutleman:

Trajectoware helping to dispel golf myths part 1

Trajectoware helping to dispel golf myths, p.2

Here we have one golfer with an 85mph swing speed.  S/He has a dynamic loft of 10.5*, with a level angle of attack, using the same ball.  The only variable that’s changed is the clubhead’s COR.  Image One (top) has the USGA-limit of .83, while Image Two has the older “wooden wood” COR of .79.

Something to ponder: is driver backspin something worth worrying about?

What we get is, for what the industry considers an average swing speed, updating your driver from a wooden wood to titanium driver nets you an extra 7 yards.  Not even the difference between a 5 iron to the green and a 6 iron.

So what we’re getting at is the golf myth that impulse-buying some new driver will instantly increase your driving distance.

That’s simply not true- at least, not for most of us.  You can buy that shiny new toy if you want to, but without a proper fitting, it’s a crapshoot.

Best case scenario, you might be about a half a club longer… if you’re one of the remaining persimmon-using holdouts.  If you bought last year’s new and shiny and want to buy this year’s new and shiny, don’t expect too much if you’re just buying it off-the-rack- especially if you stick to the same specs.

There is the likelihood of some people being outliers that do get a big distance increase, but it’s not something we should all hold our breath for.

RELATED: The Hero Driver: Maybe the Easiest to Hit Driver Available!

Sure, the video goes on to suggest the ball is the variable that’s changed the most.  They may be right, but we don’t really have to deal with that anymore.  Maybe you can, if you manage to stumble upon a 1920’s golf ball in good shape on Ebay, but it’s pretty safe to assume that variable’s not going to be messed with.

We didn’t do it in the TrajectoWare program.  Regardless of the intent of the video, it’s still easy to see that another variable, the “springlike effect” of the clubface, is also not as hyped as it’s supposed to be, especially for slower swing speeds.  For the majority of us, it’s just another golf myth that, outside of some “experts” that aren’t trying to keep stockholders happy, don’t address the average golf consumer.

There’s a reason why it’s said “The Fit Is It”.  That really is where it’s at.  You need to get fit, so you can find the specs (loft, length, grip size, total weight, etc.) that meet your specific needs to have a chance of unlocking your full potential.

About the author 

Justin Blair

Justin Blair is the founder of Green Lantern Golf. When he isn't bringing his 10+ years of excellent craftsmanship experience to golf club fitting, building, and repair, he's geeking out about Star Wars (he's watched them all about 8,437 times!) and things like the MCU and LOTR, he's drinking mead and craft brews. If you wanna know more, check out my About Page!

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