HOW jason Day can hit it so long off the tee.

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DON
HOW jason Day can hit it so long off the tee.

Launching the ball efficiently, as we’ve heard time and again, is about hitting the ball high with relatively little spin. Launching it high means better carry, less spin means the ball’s energy is directed more forward than up. In addition, shots launched with less spin land hotter and roll farther. According to PGA Tour statistics based on Trackman launch monitor measurements, Day’s spin rate is the fourth lowest on tour this year (2,126 rpm), almost 16 percent below the tour average. Meanwhile, his launch angle of 12.38 ranks 20th, 18 percent above the tour average.

The key to Day’s distance is when you combine those two launch parameters. The ratio between launch angle and spin, or spin per degree of launch angle, determines just how efficient your launch conditions are. Generally speaking, at tour speeds, the lower that ratio, the better. Day’s ratio is 171.7. Only Darren Stiles and Ernie Els are better. (Note: There is a point of diminishing returns, especially if you don’t generate high swing speeds, but for average golfers if you can get that ratio between 200-225, you’re in good shape to maximize distance.)

Day’s swing speed makes that spin-launch ratio extra special. At nearly 118 miles per hour, Day is much faster than either of those players, eight miles an hour better than Els and 18 miles per hour better than Stiles. In fact, of the top 20 players in spin per degree of launch, Day is one of only three players with a swing speed over 115 miles per hour. (The others are J.B. Holmes and Justin Thomas.)

In fact, since 2007 (when the statistics were first kept), Day is the only player with spin-launch ratio that low and a swing speed that high. There hasn’t been a player in the last 10 seasons with a swing speed over 115 miles per hour and a spin-launch ratio better than Day’s.

By the numbers, Day is exceptional off the tee. But, of course, with Day, who’s won seven times in his last 17 starts, there may be only one number that matters: 1.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
Nice post Don.  Yeah, Day is

Nice post Don.  Yeah, Day is unique in his abiltiy there.  Wonder how Dustin Johnson ranks in those categories.  He hits the driver crazy far to but clearly can't read putts as well as Day and others can...

Day hits the M1 from Taylormade, right?  I think I remember hearing him say in an interview that he'd picked up yardage since switching too it.

The new Callaway BB Alpha I'm trying with the ProForce shaft, I think it's a lower spin head too.  I want to get on a launch monitor sometime and look at my numbers, I am pretty sure it's reducing my spin over the Cobra.  Distances are about the same if not longer with the Callaway, even with a shorter shaft. 

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DON
I think Day is playing the M1

I think Day is playing the M1 but he amy have gone to the newer M2 recently. The only real difference is that the M2 has fewer adjustments than the M1 dies.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

Scott Rushing
Scott Rushing's picture
And from what I read, the M2

And from what I read, the M2 is the more forgiving version as well, as a buddy of mine did their fitting and that's the set they pushed him too...

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DON
I have NOT done a driver test

I have NOT done a driver test on a launch monitor in awhile, but the last time I did my numbers were pretty good for launch angle and spin rate. My spin us unually between 2800 and 3000 RPM and my launch angle is between 14 and 15 degrees. That comes out of being well inside the 200-225 range they state as being good. One thing I learned a long time ago is that when playing at high altitude, like I do here in Colorado, is that you need more back spin and a higher launch angle due to the thinner air. Spin does NOT produce as much LIFE in the thin air, so you need more spin to get the lift needed to keep the ball in the air a bit longer for more carry. A higher launch angle is needed for the same reason. less lift means you need to hit it higher to keep the ball in the air longer due to less lift. This is why I went to a higher loft driver years ago. 11.5* to 12.0* is about ideal for my swing here in the Denver area.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.

DON
Scott;  I believe the M2

Scott;  I believe the M2 comes in both a 430 CC and a 460 CC head. I would think the 460 CC head M2 would surelyb be the more forgiving model.

Don

Putting is easy if you have the Right Putter.