Dave Tutelman -- December 27, 2014
This work was instigated by a couple
questions asked by Mike Stachura. He wanted to know how many yards of
driving distance you get for every mile per hour of clubhead speed, and
also how many extra yards of driving distance could a golfer pick up
without increasing clubhead speed.
In early December of 2014, my friend Russ
Ryden put Mike Stachura, technical editor
for Golf Digest, in touch with me. Mike had a couple of questions, and
Russ thought I could help him answer them. The questions both deal with
driving distance and clubhead speed:
This article answers the first question, and most of the second. The
executive summary on this page is a spoiler, for those of you who only
answer. For those who are interested in both the answer and how to get it, move on to the article
- Is there a simple multiplier to relate driving distance to
clubhead speed, something like "distance
= 2.5 * speed"?
- How much driving distance does the average golfer "leave on
the table", assuming his/her clubhead speed is what it is and won't
I'm not going to respond to objections or questions -- nor general
disbelief -- if you only read the executive summary. Your question
might be answered in the article; read it first and then get back to me.
- A simple formula for driving distance
is a good answer to the first of Mike's questions, but:
The formula, fitted to computer-generated data, is
- It is not in the
form he assumed. It does not consist of a single multiplier, but rather
a straight line that does not pass through the origin.
only applies to a restricted case. The restrictions include an optimum
smash factor and a loft-optimized driver, among others.
distance = 3.16*speed
Mike wanted total distance, not just carry distance. Here's a best-fit
distance = 3.16*speed - 50.5
- How much distance does the average golfer leave on the table?
We come up with five ways the average golfer can increase driving
distance without needing to increase clubhead speed. The example we
used is a golfer with an 86mph clubhead speed. We discovered 30 extra yards --
15% of his potential yardage -- to be reclaimed. Here are the things to
do to find those yards:
impact to maximize smash factor
from 1.41 to 1.48
the right loft from typical 10.5º
attack angle from 0º to 2º
CG by 0.1"
impact on the face by 1/2"
This was done for carry distance. Mike wanted total distance, so it
doesn't fully answer his question. I will re-work it once I have tools
that can generate a launch space for total distance.
On to the details, if you're
updated - Jan 15, 2015