WHY BALL SPEED IS KING FOR DIS­TANCE

Golf World (UK) - - FITTING DATA EXPLAINED -

We look at nine pieces of launch mon­i­tor data in a fit­ting but the three key num­bers to pay at­ten­tion to are ball speed, launch an­gle and spin rate (high­lighted in red op­po­site). In other words, you want to know how fast the ball leaves the face, how high it flies and how much back­spin has been im­parted.

Ide­ally, you want an in­crease in ball speed to im­prove dis­tance, not just a ma­nip­u­la­tion of the spin and launch char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Re­cently, sev­eral man­u­fac­tur­ers have ‘strength­ened’ lofts on irons to the point where the spin rate de­creases while the launch an­gle in­creases. While this can lead to dis­tance gains, you have to be care­ful be­cause the com­bi­na­tion of lower spin and a higher launch with irons can cause dis­tance con­trol is­sues. It might not also suit a player who prefers to see a lower ball flight. Re­mem­ber, you need a cer­tain amount of spin to con­trol and stop the ball on the green.

Ball speed is king. If it in­creases, the ball will go fur­ther. The tell-tale sign is if, say, your cur­rent iron de­liv­ers a ball speed of 150mph and a new iron de­liv­ers the same speed but 10 ex­tra to­tal yards, you’ve sim­ply launched it higher with less spin.

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