Optimal Strike Point for Longer Drives

Rice2Golfer’s Guide Instruction by Andrew Rice

We've all heard the saying “high launch and low spin.”  With the help of TrackMan, I have been able to learn which part of the clubface to strike the ball with in order the get the ball to launch higher, spin less and ultimately travel further.

Here are the important factors that make a slightly high and toe sided hit with the driver so good:

Launch Angle
•    Due to the roll/curvature of the face there is more loft above the center line than below.  The static loft of the club is measured in the center of the face, so if a club has 9.5 degrees of loft that is only in the one central location.  Half an inch above the center line the loft increases by around 2 degrees and vice versa for below the center line.
•    A strike above the center line will always lead to a higher launch angle and can often be achieved quite easily by teeing the ball higher.
Spin Rate
•    Due to vertical gear effect a strike that occurs below the center line will have a substantially higher spin rate than one higher on the face.
•    I have seen increases of almost 1400 rpm with low strike points - in addition to distance sapping lower launch angles.

Gear Effect
•    Most of the golfers that I teach need to hit draws.  Due to gear effect golf ball that is struck on the toe side of the clubface will tend to have a greater inclination to draw than one struck towards the heel of the club.
Clubhead Speed
•    If a shot is hit out of the center of the face with a swing speed of 100mph a spot on the face 3/4" out side of that will be travelling at almost 103mph and a spot the same distance inside that will only be travelling at 97mph.
•    The ball will travel faster and most often further with higher club speed.

If you'd like to get a feel for where you are striking the ball on the face try dry erase marker or spray foot powder - they both work like a charm and give instant feedback. I actually helped an accomplished European Tour player with this exact point the other day and he gained 16 yards just by striking the ball on the best part of the face.
Now get out there and get to work!

Andrew Rice is the director of instruction at Berkeley Hall in Bluffton. He is one of only 11 TrackMan Masters in the world. He can be contacted at Andrew@andrewricegolf.com. For more from Andrew, visit his website at www.andrewricegolf.com.


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