Home Month and Year April 2023 More Distance off the Tee

More Distance off the Tee

Scott Orban

A new golf season always comes with a lot of hoopla about the new technology and the driver that will give you more distance. All you have to do is purchase it!

Top end drivers are expensive – ranging from $500 to $800 – so make sure it improves your distance and direction before you buy. Marketing/technology claims mean nothing if they validated with results when you are swinging the club. Here is a look at how a club fitting works.

Combinations of different driver specs you can try

Top manufacturers offer an incredible fitting service through PGA of Canada golf professionals and/or their sales representatives. Their fitting systems offer different head designs with various lofts, lies, face angles, as well as shafts of different flex, length and kick point. All of these affect the ball flight. A fitter considers all these factors when building a driver for you to try so you can see the results of each variation.


How do you see the results and how does the fitter gain information about each driver you try?

Launch monitors (Flightscope, Trackman, Foresight, etc.) have taken the golf club fitting process to another level by showing the golfer their results of distance and direction for every shot. This can be done indoors or out.

These monitors provide the fitter with data such as swing speed, path, clubface angle and other data to assist them in selecting a driver that will produce better results for you. Invisible information about the ball’s flight that contributes to distance and direction is also provided: ball speed, ball spin, launch angle and smash factor of each individual shot. The fitter interprets this data and utilizes the fitting system to build you the driver that delivers the best results.

Below is some of the data produced by a launch monitor and the PGA Tour averages that the fitter may consider in working toward your best-fit driver.

  • Ball spin rate – 2,686 RPM
  • Launch angle – 10.5 degrees
  • Smash factor (center-ness of the hit) – driver sweet spot = 1.50; PGA Tour average = 1.48
  • Carry distance to fairway: PGA Tour = 275 yards, LPGA Tour = 218 yards
  • Swing speed: PGA Tour = 113 MPH, LPGA Tour = 94 MPH

The best thing about getting a PGA professional to fit your driver is you will be confident in your purchase. Set all the marketing about more distance aside, the only thing that matters is the improvement of your own driving distance.