To maximize the carry distance and total distance your golf ball travels you need to launch it up in the air. Years ago it was thought that a boring (lower) ball flight was best, but that was when golf balls tended to spin excessively and club faces imparted a lot of spin on the ball. Bringing the ball flight down minimized the negative effect of friction with the air due to excessive spin and subsequent loss of distance.
With improvements in technology, including golf ball, clubhead design, and updated materials that are now used in balls and clubs, excessive spin is not the problem it used to be. Launch monitor data and the applied science behind it confirms that in order to maximize distance you must launch the ball high with a moderate amount of spin. Clubhead speed and swing dynamics determine the correct spin for each player. The shape of an upside-down parabola is the best arc, or ball flight, to achieve the goal of maximum distance.
The high launch, moderate spin flight applies to all clubs in the bag and is one of the reasons many players should be using a 4 wood or 5 wood rather than a 3 wood. The hardest club in the bag to launch is a low lofted fairway wood. You do not get the advantage of a tee or a lot of loft in a 3 wood. Consider lofting up to a 4 wood or 5 wood because even that small addition of 1.5° to 3° can make a big difference. Due to the lower loft of a 3 wood it might roll out a long distance but likely won’t carry as far in the air. This becomes a big problem on wet fairways and raised greens.
Adding loft launches the ball higher and typically results in more carry distance and often finishes rolling out to the same total distance or exceeding it. Also, when hitting into a green with a fairway wood the higher launch angle helps the ball to stop more quickly on the green. If the ball is coming in low it likely will roll to or off of the back of the green. To give yourself the best scoring opportunities the ball should land at a steeper angle (come in from a higher flight) so it will stop more quickly on the green.
At Cool Clubs, we can help you figure out the best way to increase the height of your ball flight in a club fitting session. By using technology and visualization software, our expert fitters will help “lift” your game to new heights.
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