So the 2016 golf season is well underway. The chill of the spring is over and the grass has turned from a dull yellow to lush green. The Master, the first major of the year has been played, and won by Englishman, Danny Willett.
There are local courses having their club championships, some of which are open to the public. Brookshire Golf Club is having its annual, “open to all”, tournament and this year’s event will be held on June 18th & 19th and June 25th & 26th. On the first day of the event all the competitors play an 18 hole qualifying round. After the round is complete they have a cookout with drinks on the deck as the scores come in. Based on that round they flight the field. The top 15 scores and the defending champion are in the Championship flight and then they go to 8 person flights after that. On June 19th match play begins.
If you need some lessons before entering, Head down to GolfTec Carmel where Ryan Schrecongost and his team of experienced certified personal coaches can offer you expert golf instruction at their state-of-the-art facility. With full instant video feedback to see where you are going wrong, this is the place begin to finally lower your handicap.
Wood Wind Golf Club, Westfield’s only public golf course, has recently undergone some changes. After a close call with closure, the course and clubhouse have had some extensive upgrades. The course has had some major landscaping, all of its bunkers overhauled and the halfway house has been renovated. The pavilion is a great location for parties, wedding receptions and for all your golf society events. Keltie Domina has introduced a new breakfast and lunch menu in the restaurant. Jake Peacock, the head Pro, along with his assistant, Alex Morrison, will take care of all of your golfing needs including their updated, fully stocked pro shop. The Academy at Wood Wind has been completely remodeled by Tracy School, PGA Director of Instruction. There is also an exciting and competitive PGA Junior League. A great course to test your golfing ability.
So while you are considering your playing ability and thinking about what kind of winners speech you would give after claiming the Brookshire Open title, here is another myth about golf clubs.
The Lower the Loft on Your Driver, the Farther the Ball will Go.
That’s true with some of your fairway woods, hybrids and irons. But even with the swing speed of a top PGA pro, there is a point that the driver loft will be too low even for them to generate their longest driving distance. Sure, for top pro’s that loft number is a single digit; but for the rest of us with our much slower swing speeds, to achieve our maximum possible distance we need a higher loft, one that for many golfers is a number with a “teen” after it. It sounds counter intuitive but I’ll explain it this way. Imagine you have a garden hose turned on full blast and you’re trying to get as much distance as possible out of the water spray. Now, suppose someone turns the water pressure back and you see the loss of distance in the spray. So, what do you automatically do to try to get some of that distance back? You raise the angle of the nozzle. It’s the same thing with the driver. If you’re among the relatively few golfers who have a very high swing speed (i.e., the hose is on full blast), you need a lower loft to get maximum distance. If, like most golfers, you have a slower swing speed (i.e., the water pressure is lower), you need a higher loft to get more distance. What you CAN NOT do is match a low swing speed with a low lofted driver! That’s the equivalent of lowering the water pressure and lowering the nozzle angle, and wondering why the water isn’t going as far. So, how fast can you reasonably expect to swing your driver with control?
Here are some numbers that might give you a sense of where you probably fall.
Average Lady Golfer: 65 mph
Average Male Golfer: 87 mph
Average Lady Tour Player: 95 mph
Average Male Tour Player: 113 mph
Based on a level angle of attack, you will not achieve maximum carry distance with any loft lower than 15 degrees, until your swing speed with control gets at or near 90 mph. When was the last time you walked into a golf retail store and saw a driver with 17 degrees of loft, or 15 degrees? How about a 13-degree? May we then assume that all of you have swing speeds with control of 100+ mph, at speed greater than the average LPGA Tour player and only a bit less than the average PGA Tour pro? Have you ever wondered why you sometimes hit your 3-wood or even your 5-wood as far or even farther than you hit your driver? Now you know why. Think about that the next time you see row after row of 9- and 10 degree drivers on the rack. You think those clubs were designed for YOU? If you have an upward angle of attack, you can use a lower loft; if you swing with a downward angle of attack, you need to use a higher loft. In addition, if your fairways are firm/hard, you want to lower the loft by 1-2 degrees to gain the most roll. So who can tell you what is your best driver loft to achieve your maximum distance? Go visit a trained and experienced golf club repair specialist or club maker.
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