Hit longer drives by changing your angle of attack!
Technology has helped many golfers hit the ball longer than ever. The golf balls are better, the golf clubs are better, the technology to analyze swings and ball flights are better, golf shafts are better, and we understand bio-mechanics of body movement better than ever. How can all of this help you hit it farther?
First of all, you probably will only be able to add 4 or 5 mph through learning better swing techniques. Many of you will not be able to add any discernable speed. That’s the bad news. The good news is you can still hit the ball farther than you are currently doing. How can you accomplish this? One way is to make sure that your angle of attack is correct for your swing speed.
So, how will this knowledge help you? It will help by learning how to apply the club to the ball to maximize your ball flight. Your desired specifications will be relative to your clubhead speed. Let’s look at Angle of Attack and how it works. The definition used by Trackman is “The up or down movement of club head at the time of maximum compression. Attack angel is measured relative to the horizon”.
This simply means the club head is either moving up, down, or level at the moment of compression. The ideal angle for you is based on the club head speed that you create. For example the average PGA Tour player has an Angle of Attack of -1 degrees. The average LPGA Tour player has and average angle of attack of +3 degrees.
Here are two charts showing the relationship of angle of attack to carry distance. These charts show club head speed ranging from 75mph to 120mph. The main influence of change is the Angle of Attack. The chart shows an example for each speed with -5, 0, and +5. Notice how the ball carries farther with less spin in the +5 category.
So how do you practice in a manner that helps you maximize this information? The main keys are to position your set-up so that your right shoulder is tilted lower than your left (for RH golfers). You want to create speed while keeping our head behind the ball on the downswing. Finally, you want to create an upward pulling force from your left leg and left shoulder. This would lead to impact that looks something like this.
- Left shoulder pulling up and away
- Torso tilted back away from target
- Left leg straightening
Learning to get your Angle of Attack more positive with the driver will help you hit longer, higher drives. It’s always more fun to hit shorter clubs into the greens! Shorter irons equal more pars and birdies.