The Dynamics of Distance…...Powerful Golf the effortless way By: Ben Witter, PGA Professional Ben’s POWER GOLF Driving Range and Learning Center 1000 East Kercher Ave. Myerstown, PA 17067 (717) 866-9700 www.benspowergolf.com
Understanding the distance variables • Before we can discuss the distance a golf ball will travel, we have to examine the conditions which affect distance. • (Some factors are more significant than others…) • Atmospheric Conditions… air density & humidity • Air temperature and wind conditions • Altitude • Roll… hardness and slope of landing area • Ball Type • Terrain… uphill vs. downhill
A closer look at the numbers... • A golf ball hit at the same trajectory, at the same spin rate, at the same velocity by the same club under different conditions will... • Travel 2% more or less for every 1 mile per hour of wind in either direction. • Travel up to 5% more or less for every 10 feet above or below sea level • Travel up to 3% more or less for every 5% difference in relative humidity above or below 70%. • Travel up to 16% more or less depending upon the slope and type of the landing area. • Travel up to 8% more or less depending on the type of golf ball being used • Travel 1% more or less for every degree in temperature above or below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. • Data collected from the PGA of America Teaching Manual
Putting the “SPIN” on the distance equation • Spin is to a golf ball as aerodynamic shape is to a car • A Porche 911 will cut through the air with more efficiency than a school bus • A golf ball spinning at 2,500 rpm’s will cut through the air with greater efficiency than a golf ball spinning at 5,000 rpm’s. • The more a ball spins, the more “dirty” it is referred to being • How much spin is required to produce the desired shot is dependent on: • Ball speed • Ball type • Loft • Launch Angle • Direction of the wind relative to the direction of the shot • Up hill or downhill landing area • Spin is what holds a golf ball in the air • Too much spin and the ball with rise too quickly and “float” through the air with no drive. • Too little spin and the ball will not carry far enough to maximize distance
So, what does it all mean? • To have an intelligent discussion about distance, we have to first understand how to make the playing field level… that is... understand that a 300 yard drive in Denver Colorado on a sunny & dry 75 degree day, downwind and downhill on a hard fairway is NOT the same as a 300 yard drive in Tampa, Florida on a cool, cloudy day, uphill, into the wind onto a soft fairway. • I’m frequently asked, “How far do you hit a drive?” • My response… “about twice the length of my 8 iron”
How many people can hit a 350 yard drive? • The answer… EVERYONE… that’s right, everyone!!! • We simply need to establish how much wind, how much downhill, and how hard the landing area will need to be in order for your ball to travel 350 yards before coming to a stop.
Now, let’s talk realistically... • There are very, very, few people who can, or ever will be able to hit a 350 yard drive under “neutral conditions”… (sorry) • Everyone, however, has the potential to increase the actual distance they hit the ball by simply understanding and applying a few simple lessons in physics and dynamics. You may not be able to out drive Tiger, but you will definitely surprise your friends the next time you hit the first tee. • What will be most surprising, is how easy you’ll make it look!!
Now that we’ve leveled the playing field... • We can look at the elements of distance that really matter… the elements that the GOLF BALL cares about… • The GOLF BALL is the only judge when it comes to evaluating distance. • It doesn’t care if you’re fat or thin, young or old, male or female, tall or short, or even naughty or nice… • The only things the golf ball cares about are the physical dynamics of distance...
The Physical Dynamics of Distance... • Clubhead Speed • Centerdness of Hit • Angle of Attack / Spin Rate • Launch Angle • Relative Mass
Clubhead Speed... • In simplistic terms… • Clubhead speed is... • How fast the clubhead is moving at the exact moment of impact. • It is determined by several physical swing components that can be trained and maximized by the individual. • Is generally the most influential of the 4 physical components when speaking of total capacity of physical length.
Centerdness of Hit • How close the ball strikes the dynamic center of the clubface at impact. • The moment of inertia exchange between the club and the ball. • How efficient is the exchange depends on how solid the hit. • The more off center the hit, the more inertia is lost to torsional deflection. • The measure of effeciency of Centerdness of hit is expressed by a term known as “SMASH FACTOR” • “SMASH FACTOR” is Ball Speed divided by Clubhead speed. • So, if your clubhead speed is 100 and your ball speed is 150, you are said to have a smash factor of 1.5. • The higher the smash factor, the more efficient the energy transfer between the club and the ball.
Angle of Attack / Spin Rate • The vertical and horizontal axis on which the club is traveling in relation to the target line at impact. • The steeper the angle of attack, the more backspin is produced. • The more backspin, the less efficient the shot. (More spin = DIRTY Aerodynamics)
Launch Angle • Launch Angle is created by: • True loft of the clubhead • Effective loft of the clubhead (determined by the difference between the body’s center and the angle of the shaft at impact) • Optimum Launch Angle is a variable based on: • Swing speed (the higher the swing speed, the lower the optimum launch angle) • Ball speed (the higher the ball speed, the lower • Spin Rate • Launch Angle & Spin rate are what produce the shape of the shot • Optimum shot depends on the correct realtionship between launch angle and backspin.
Relative Mass • Relative mass of the club is what transfers motion energy (inertia) to the golf ball at impact. • The connection between your body and club is what determines the amount of relative mass the clubhead will have at impact. • Your Grip is the only link between your body and club.
So what does it all mean?? • In theory, a 95 pound woman can easily outdrive a 250 pound man if her physical dynamics are in better coordination than the man’s. • Anyone can increase their distance by applying better physics in the golf swing. • By increasing the dynamic efficiency, a player will not only hit the ball longer distances, but also play the game with far less physical effort than someone who does not understand and apply this same dynamic efficiency.
Relative Importance of Physical Factors* While is is very difficult to assign a proportionate value to seemingly equal factors, certain factors play a more significant role.
But… you said they were equal factors. • In a scientific world, where all the physical variables could be held constant, each factor would, in fact play an exact % or role in the total distance equation. • In a human world, however, where the physical variables are not equal, there is a curve to each component’s relative importance. • It is relatively easy to make specific influences on one of the physical factors in an individual, but extremely difficult to have one factor not significantly effect the others in the process.
So, now what?? • Now that our physics lesson is over, let’s take a look at YOUR golf swing and see if we can’t give you the tools to crank out 20 more yards. • This is where the rubber meets the road and we share the secrets to Powerful Golf the effortless way.
Before we tell the secret... • Let’s first look at your golf swing • Each person’s golf swing is made up of 4 distinctly identifiable parts that are absolutes… that is… every golfer makes each one of the 4 parts at some point and in some manner every time they make an effort to hit a golf ball. The fact that Tiger Woods performs them better than James Woods is only a matter of semantics. • So, obviously, everyone does each of the 4 with a wide range of proficiency levels and a cookie cutter mentality does not need to, nor cannot apply. • What we do need to apply are techniques that will allow each person to maximize his or her personal and unique ability in each of the 4 areas and blend them together in a sequential motion to maximize the dynamic efficiency that we discussed earlier.
Body Turn • Objectives: • To maximize the rotation of the upper body against the brace of the lower body. • To allow the body to fully rotate on the back swing and through swing around a stable and balanced swing center. • To allow the motion to occur naturally and rhythmically from front to back. • Exercises & Drills: • Criss Cross Arm & Club Drill • Hand Slap Drill • Shoulder Stretch • Lateral Motion Stretch
Wrist Hinge • Objectives • To create and maintain as tight an angle as possible between the left arm and shaft on the back swing and start of the down swing. • To create the hinging motion naturally and effortlessly through the entire back swing motion forming a “seamless” transition from take away to top of backswing. • To strengthen the muscles in the hands, wrists, and forearms allowing this motion to occur with little effort, but much strength. • To establish a grip position that allows for the most freedom and least tension through the entire swing. • Exercises & Drills: • Outstretched arm pronation, supination, flexion, extension, and rotation drill. • Palm Press for flexibility • Behind the back “clank” drill (pole drill) • Split grip turning drill
Weight Transfer • Objectives • To create a dynamic and sequential transfer of weight from address to backswing and from backswing to followthrough. • To allow the rotational motion of the golf swing to generate “centrifugal torque” on both the backswing and followthrough making weight transfer a consequence rather than an action. • To coordinate the motion from neutral to right and right to left in a balanced, coordinated sequence of events that appears to be seamless. • Exercises & Drills: • Hand Slap Drill with eyes closed • Step & swing drill • Volleyball & grapefruit drill
Release • Objectives • To establish a “mirror image” hinge between the right arm and shaft on the followthrough that was present between the left arm and shaft on the backswing. • To allow the clubhead to accelerate through the impact area delivering the maximum amount of speed at the precise moment of the downward apex, or impact position. • To allow the clubface to rotate from open to square to closed where the clubface is square to both the swingpath and target line at the moment of impact. • Exercises & Drills: • Toe of club into wall drill • Right hand “swoosh” drill • Over the head clank drill (pole drill)
Dynamic Balance • Objectives: • To create an overall swing motion that is seamless in feel and appearance • To create the maximum amount of rhythm and motion with the least amount of effort and distortion of balance. • Exercises & Drills: • Post impact to takeaway drill • Full Finish to takeaway drill • Full Finish to Full Finish Drill • Slow motion drill
Sequential Timing • Objectives: • To establish a swing motion where there is a “coordinated lag” between body parts and club head both on back swing, downswing, and follow-through. • To be able to feel the “lag” and “snap” that is created by proper sequential timing in the swing. • Exercises & Drills: • Step & Swing Drill • Upside down swoosh drill • Whippy Club drill
The Moment of Truth... • Most of you are experiencing one of two feelings… • Excitement • Confusion
Where to go from here?? • I hope you leave here with an excitement to find out how good your golf game can become. • I will be offering a wide range of instructional programs covering this and other exciting subjects.
Instructional ProgramsTaking your game “full circle” • Please take along an information packet with a description of some of the instructional programs we’ll be offering at Ben’s POWER GOLF Learning Center. • Be sure to sign up on our email list to receive your free weekly golf tips newsletter.
Thank You • I hope you enjoyed my presentation and I want to personally wish you the best with all your golf in the coming year and hope to see you out driving your golfing buddies this spring. • Ben Witter, PGA Professional