Are You Optimizing Your Drives?

I started to write this article about hitting straight drives with your driver. In my research I learned about the bulge and roll across the face of every driver that creates a “gear effect” which causes your ball to curve back to the center line of your swing direction. Then my research stumbled on the way to gain 20 to 50 yards with every drive. The pros do this, so why don’t you?

As an over 70 year old golfer, I can hit my drives 220+ yards but I wanted to know how to turn that into 250 to 270 yards. I have limited strength and a limited swing speed. I just wanted to find that magic formula to gain at least 30 yards on 75% of my drives. I found it with a higher launch angle.

I’m not going into all of the theory of the science behind distance but I do want you to know that topspin and too much underspin both reduce the distance that your ball travels. So we need to eliminate topspin and minimize underspin. Gear effect (caused by hitting off center) will draw or fade the ball back into our target swing path so that should not be a major factor unless you are killing your shot by impacting near the hosel or the toe of your club.

Swing speed is another important way to gain distance. Unfortunately if you have a swing speed which is crossing the face of the ball, you can either add a duck hook or a violent slice on your ball. So power and swing speed really have limitations for all recreational golfer.

The Magic Distance Solution [“Strike Plan” by Adam Young]
It’s a combination of swinging to launch a ball at a higher angle about 4 degrees up (plus the angle of your club face) without adding underspin to the ball. You can minimize the spin by impacting exactly on the perpendicular face of your driver launch angle.

Modern golf is played with a higher tee (setup with 1/2 of your ball above your driver club head when it’s at rest on the ground).

Most of the longest drivers on tour hit up on the ball. Rory McIlroy hits 3 degrees up on the ball with a club face angle of 9 degrees for his total launch angle is 12 degrees. (his club path is close to 0 and his face path is 1.5 degrees closed – creating a draw). Justin Thomas (the most efficient driver on tour) hits 6 degrees up on the ball. Long drive champions, like Joe Miller, can hit as much as 12 degrees up on the ball (but he needs a lot of swing speed to take advantage his launch angle).

As a recreational golfer, your power is limited, so a launch angle over 12 degrees will not help your ball travel an extra 100 yards. Just tee your ball up higher and impact just outside & above the center-point of the your club face. Setup to impact AFTER your swing bottoms out and starts to rise. You still have to minimize the spin of your ball by swinging to impact your ball perpendicular to the face of your club.

Spraying foot powder on the face of my club to see what impact location is giving you longer drives. I love it when I add on 30 yards to my drives and you should too. Practice with your GOLFSTR+ to launch your drives on a higher trajectory with less top or under spin. Buy one today at

Golf Truism #23: It’s surprisingly easy to hole a 50-foot putt when you lie 10.


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