How does adjusting the driver settings affect a ball flight?

Posted by on November 05, 2019  /   Posted in golf tips

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One of the important innovations in golf equipment in recent memory is the adaptability of the driver. Almost every manufacturer now offers drivers & # 39; s (and other clubs) with which you can change the loft or move through the center of gravity with weights.

Like any technology, the medal has two sides. If a golfer buys a customizable driver and changes the settings randomly based on a few prompts, will that help them? Or can it hamper their performance?

In this article I examine a few concepts for adjusting the driver that every golfer should know. I also tested my own driver with the help of my SkyTrak starter monitor to show how much influence all settings have on the ball flight.

Thoughts of an expert

When it comes to the performance of golf clubs, I am lucky to have one of the best club fitters in the industry at my disposal. To understand more about the adaptability of the driver, I spoke with Woody Lashen. He is co-owner of Pete & # 39; s Golf, which has been recognized by Golf Digest as a Top 100 Clubfitter. Almost every OEM asks for the opinion of Woody and his employees about the design of golf clubs because of their experience and expertise.

In general, Woody says that he would like to have more setting options with driver heads. As a club fitter, it gives him more alternatives for tuning equipment for his customers.

He often compares the driver's settings with a medicine prescription from a doctor. In his opinion, it is best to have the right settings (or your medicine) given to you by a professional who understands how they will perform for your golf swing. If you own the & # 39; dosage & # 39; trying to find out, it can cause more problems than benefits.

Woody says it's most important to get the loft on your driver. With modern pilots, golfers can now move the loft several degrees. Raising or lowering the loft can significantly change the distance and accuracy of your discs.

Moving the center of gravity with weights can also affect the shape of your shots. Many & # 39; s drivers now come with blur and draw options. Woody says he's a little more reluctant to play with the weights to move the center of gravity. He would instead choose a driver's head with the correct center of gravity in the beginning. Moving the weights inevitably leads to a sacrifice of performance in his experience.

In general, Woody says that he warns golfers to only play with the institutions. He has seen many players make mistakes. For example, a golfer approached him and thought that he had increased his driver's loft by 2 degrees, but he had actually removed a loft because he did not follow the manufacturer's instructions properly.

Also, most golfers do not have the expertise or test equipment required to find out whether one setting is better than the other for their swing. They usually take a photo in the dark.

His most important advice is to work with a professional who can determine the optimal driver settings for your swing. Once that has been established, playing with loft and moving weights can usually cause more problems than it is worth.

My testing

I know that readers of the site like to see concrete examples of certain concepts. So I recently took my Callaway Epic Flash driver and played around with the settings. My goal was to see how much the changing of the loft and the weight of the club would affect my ball flight.

All tests were performed on my SkyTrak launch monitor, which gives me precise measurements of important ball flight indications. For this test I was mainly concerned with how much loft my distance would change. Looking at the launch angle, spinning speeds and site information gives me a clear picture.

In addition, I wanted to see how moving the weights to fade and drawing settings would change the shape of my shots. Looking at the simulated ball flights and sidespin numbers help answer those questions.

As usual, I try to warn you all that my results are specific to my golf swing. The only way to find the answers for your own golf swing is to perform similar tests.

How much did changing the loft change my ball flight?

If you want to maximize the performance of your driver, especially for distance, loft is crucial. There are so many misconceptions among golfers about how loft actually works in a driver. To begin with, there is no such thing as a standard performance loft. I have tested a number of different drivers and found optimum performance with 12 degrees for one model and as low as 9.5-10 degrees for another. Much of it depends on the center of gravity. To make a long story short, there is no such thing as the right loft for all drivers.

Here my driver is set at 12.5 degrees from loft

Another myth is that less loft increases the distance. For many golfers the opposite is true. Let's look at my test results from my SkyTrak session:

Setting Driver LoftLunch Angle Auto Distance Total Yards

9.5 Degrees10.2231259

10.5 Degrees11.3240270

11.5 Degrees 13.1246275

12.5 Degrees14.5251280

As you can see, a fairly linear progression is taking place. The more loft I add to the driver, the further I can carry the ball. I have noticed that the 12.5 degree setting on my driver works best for me to increase my distance (and control).

The relationship between the driver's loft and the distance varies based on the golfer. For example, I am a player with a very low spin. I need to get the ball up and running quickly (increase launch angle) to get the most distance from my discs. The opposite may, however, be the case for a player who spins the lake with his driver. The increase in launch angle could rob them of distance.

Some of my best rides came with loft at the highest setting (12.5 degrees)

So if you are looking for a new driver or have never really tested your current driver with different loft settings, some simple performance gains may be waiting for you. Having the wrong loft can rob you up to 20 meters!

Fade and Draw settings (moving center of gravity)

Many modern & # 39; s drivers come with settings that allow you to move the center of gravity horizontally. Moving around weights may prefer more of a fade (from left to right) or draw (from right to left) ball flight.

Although I know how much influence loft can have on many tests, this is an area that I have not experimented with much. My instinct is that it can be a slippery slope. A golfer can be tempted to continuously change the weight settings on his driver based on short-term results, something I don't necessarily agree with.

My shot form is very predictable. Because I have such an in-to-out swing pad, it's almost impossible for me to hit anything other than a draw or a straight shot. The only time you ever see a ball from left to right is when I hit it on the heel of the face, which is caused by acceleration. I have investigated acceleration effect more in this article. You should know that for a right-handed player, if you hit the club's heel, it will give a more fading spin, where finding the toe of the club head will make the ball pull more.

I tested my driver with neutral, draw and fade settings. I also made sure that shots that were not hit to the center of the face were eliminated, which could confuse the results. The results surprised me. The primary measurement that I am looking at is sidespin.

My driver is set to a character setting

If the number is negative, this means that the ball bends more from right to left (tie). A positive number indicates a fade and the closer you are to zero, the straighter the ball flight. I usually have trouble with the number being too negative, which means that I am hooked the ball on more wandering swings. I'm usually looking for a slight draw, which would appear as something around -100 to -300 rpm.

Set the driver Side spider


Neutral 341


Interestingly, the blurring setting led me to achieve some blurring. Almost 2/3 of my recordings have been registered with positive side rotation. Most recordings at a speed of around 400 revolutions per minute, but the average was reduced to 96 in total because different fluctuations were still successful.

You can see some of my photos fade (a rare event for me)

As expected, the neutral institution produced results that I am used to seeing on the course, which is a slight draw if I shoot well.

Another surprise was that I hooked the ball more because of the draw setting. It was too much. Some fluctuations recorded more than -1000 rpm sidespin, which is dangerous area.

Based on what I saw, I keep my settings neutral. But without a doubt the weighting changed my ball flight. That may not be the same for you. It depends on your driver and how much the weight can actually be moved.

Closure Thoughts

The adjustability of the driver can be great for golfers. More than ever, we have the opportunity to tune clubs to the fluctuations of a player.

As you saw in my test, playing with the loft or the center of gravity can cause your ball flight to change. If you do not know what you are doing, you may lose distance or accuracy with the wrong settings.

My recommendation would be to listen to the advice of Woody Lashen. If you want the best chance to maximize your investment in a new driver, work with a professional who can help you determine the optimum configuration. For most golfers, changing the settings randomly based on your performance in your final round will usually not lead to better results. Do it right the first time and resist the temptation to keep tinkering.

If you want to see other tests that I have performed, you can read the following articles:

Iron vs. Driver Off the Tee

Driver's dispersion: choosing optimal targets for the T-piece

You do not have as much control over the ball as you think

How does the position of the golf ball influence the ball flight?

How does dirt and water influence spin speed?

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