What’s In A Driver?

Info for your next driver purchase
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If you’re in the market for a new “big dog”, the best thing you can do is research before you buy.

The biggest threat to you and your wallet is the marketing departments of the “big boy” companies. Seriously, they spend millions of dollars each year to try to convince you that their driver is the latest and greatest.

If that’s true, why aren’t we hitting 400+ drives right down the middle of the fairway?

It’s the biggest keyword in golf marketing: distance. Remember that old baseball commercial: “Chicks dig the long ball”? Well, turns out that guys do, too… especially when we’re talking golf.

Fact is, it sells. On a personal note, I’m not much better. Calling me a “club ho” wouldn’t be inaccurate. Take a look at this:

I’ve been around the block a time or two, and I can tell you that when I was driving it my absolute best, it wasn’t because I was gaming the latest and greatest.

⦁ My fitness level was at its highest since college,
⦁ My swing was really grooved,
⦁ My driver was fitted to my swing and body type.

Anything made within the last 5-6 years has more than enough technology, and It’s all been capped by the USGA and R&A for longer than that. To get more distance, you’d be best served to work on the things I listed above: fitness, lessons, and getting your clubs fitted.

Where Does Distance Come From?

The 300 yard drive is golf’s equivalent to finding a unicorn. Some can do it, no doubt, but they are a different breed of golfers. It’s not as common as you’d think it is.

Distance comes from you. Your swing speed, angle of attack, efficiency of impact (“smash factor”), they all work together to create the most distance you can muster.

But if you really want to know how to get to 300 yards, here’s one way to do it:

What do you see? This golfer has a level angle of attack (the 0 in the “angle of attack” section). His driver is 9.5 degrees, so when he hits the ball he’s presenting the club face to it with what’s stated on the sole: 9.5 degrees.

To get 300 yards of carry distance with this particular swing, he’s gotta hit the ball with 123.5 mph of swing speed.

If the best you can muster is 90 mph, I’m sorry but no matter how much you spent on your driver, 300 yards is out of the question.

Spend Your Money How You Want, But Spend Wisely

Look, I’m the last guy that’ll tell you not to spend your money on golf clubs, because that’s what I do with GLG. You can spend it on whatever you want. But let me ask you this: do you consider your driver an investment?

Even if you buy it used off Ebay, it’s still a big purchase. To get the most out of it, make sure it meets three criteria:

⦁ Do you like it? If you don’t at least feel neutral about it, you won’t swing it with confidence. Some make a big deal about sound, and buying online doesn’t help… but it can be altered.
⦁ Can you afford it? There’s no point pining over something you can’t have. Make the most of what you do have. If you want it that bad, save up for it.
⦁ Will it be fitted to you? Lessons aside, a properly fit club will help you hit longer, straighter shots. If you buy used, set some money aside to have the specs altered to what will work for you.

That’s really it. If you want someone to help guide you to a purchase, go for it. If you want to make up your own mind, go for it. But if you follow these three criteria, it doesn’t have to end up being a hard decision.

Have any of you been to a fitting? How’d it go? What did you like, or didn’t like?

Justin Blair

Golf club fitter and builder with over a decade of experience who founded his own business, Green Lantern Golf, in 2014.Loves Star Wars, mead, the Cleveland Browns, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, obscure pop culture references and bad puns.

Justin Blair

Golf club fitter and builder with over a decade of experience who founded his own business, Green Lantern Golf, in 2014. Loves Star Wars, mead, the Cleveland Browns, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, obscure pop culture references and bad puns.

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