Ball Apex

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Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Ball Apex

When I went last year to the fitter in Raleigh, one of the things he pointed out about my ball lfight was that my ball lfight typoically had an apex of about 60 ft.  Pro's he said were about 90ft.   So we went with the heads from Mizuno that will increase launch angle.  And I put a different shaft in the driver to help as well.

Well today, I caught the finals of the golf tournament and on the last hole, they showed the ball tracker for each guy's driver swing.  It was Patrick Redd, Charlie Hoffman and Billy Horschel.   That was interesting to watch and see the differences.   Reed was about 104 ft (carry of 296 yards), Hofman was a little lower at 93 (carry 288 yards), and I think but Horschel was at like 125 ft (carry 304 yards).  This was with their drivers.   So it was interesting that the the smallest guy in the group had the highest and longest swing.   

Below is some trackman numbers I found on the web from a few years ago....PGA and LPGA. 

image: 
DON
Those are some interesting

Those are some interesting numbers Scott. I'm NOT surprised that your apex with the driver was lower than what the tour pros are getting. Ive been saying for years that most all amatuers hit the ball TOO LOW with the driver. When I went to a tour event I was surprised by how HIGH those pros where hitting the ball with the driver. One of the things I always notice when I play golf is how LOW most of the guys I see at the course are hitting the ball off the tee. and how MOST of them THINK their ball flight is too HIGH with the driver. Truth is that it's hard to hit the ball too high with the driver. Simple math says that the Higher you launch the ball the Farther it will carry, assuming the same ball speed and spin rates.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
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Yeah, I went from setting my

Yeah, I went from setting my driver on 9degree to like 11 degree (I need to check...) and then also added a shaft that had a higher launch trajectory.  Even when I shortened the shaft a couple inches, I didn't lose any distance.  So I pay a lot more attention now to the trajectory of the ball after I hit it...

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scomac
scomac's picture
You have to keep in mind that

You have to keep in mind that ball apex height is directly related to ball speed.  If you are a typical amateur golfer with a 90 mph swing speed with the driver there is no way you are going to hit the ball nearly as high as a tour pro due to the lack of ball speed.  Your spin numbers might be similar, but due to the lack of speed it is impossible for the ball to climb to the same height.  Drag takes over as it overcomes momentum and the ball peaks sooner -- Physics 101.  That said, Don is right; higher ballflight equals greater carry and most amateurs don't use enough loft in their drivers.

DON
Attack Angle Numbers

look at the Attack Angle numbers for the LPGA compared to the PGA. The ladies do NOT hit down of the ball nearly as much as the men do. With the Driver the ladies hit UP on the ball while the men swing DOWN at the ball. big difference. And with the shorter irons there's also a few degrees of difference from the men to the ladies. I have NO idea where they got those numbers from, nor how accurate they are, but I think most golfers could learn something from the Ladies on tour. Fact is most amatuer golfer do NOT have the swing speed numbers that the men on Tour have, and most would be hard pressed to match the numbers the Ladies put up. So they might want to look at how the ladies swing and see if they might gain something by doing it like the ladies do it.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
True on all points.   Can't

True on all points.   Can't get away from simple physics. If goflers had more access to their swing info, it would help them make better choices.  But most don't do any serious club fitting before buying. 

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DON
Sales people don't help either

Salesmen in most golf shops don't help much either from what I've seen for years. I saw a guy hitting a driver with way LOW ball flight launch angle and way HIGH spin rates and the salesman was telling him he should buy that driver because the numbers were just about perfect. Launch angle was around 9 degress and he was saying it was perfect. Total nonsense. I see this all the time at both Golfsmith and Golf Galaxy, where all the want to do is get the golfer to BUY a new club, no matter if it works for him or her or not. OEM reps are not much better for the most part. I've listened in on convessions between a company rep and a golfer and the rep was giving the golfer FALSE information about launch angles and spin rates. To be fair, I've hit more than a few drivers at a DEMO day and had the rep tell me NOT to buy a new driver as I was hitting MY driver better than the new ones I was testing out. For the record, I ALWAYS take my driver with me to any DEKO day so I can compare the new toys to my clubs. It's the ONLY good way to demo new clubs, side by side at the range or on a good launch monitor.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

scomac
scomac's picture
For the record, I ALWAYS take

For the record, I ALWAYS take my driver with me to any DEKO day so I can compare the new toys to my clubs. It's the ONLY good way to demo new clubs, side by side at the range or on a good launch monitor.

 I did that a couple of years ago.  I took my driver to compare to all the top clubs at the time.  The sales rep said that he wasn't doing a very good job selling me a new club because I hit mine better than all but one of the ones I demoed.  In fact, the one that was better wasn't enough better to justify the $400 price tag!  I took my club home and I haven't looked at another driver since!  The real scary part about this tale is that the best drive I hit last year was with a driver that was over 20 years old!

DON
I'm not at all surprised that

I'm not at all surprised that you had the same experience as I have. What's interesting about my driver is that it has a shaft that weights 78 grams, and all the new drivers have shafts that weigh more like 50 grams, something that all the OEM's claim will allow me to swing fast and get more distance. So much for that little lie.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
I  think that's the right

I  think that's the right move, always compare your club to the ones at demo day.   I did that at Golf Galaxy when I bought the Cobra.  Were nice gains for me with the new club over my old one. 

I think I've come to realize I like the lighter shafts.  The hybrid I bought last year which mever felt good wa a 72 g shaft.  My hybrids are all in the 60s weigth wize.  The Callaway driver has a 70s weight shaft whereas my current is in the 60s.  Could also be torque too but I think I can tell a differece in the feel for that weight.    Now I've hit some nice long drives with the higher weight shaft but haven't gotten to where I "like" the feel of it.  We'll see..

 

 

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