What causes you to lose distance off the tee?

As we found out a few weeks ago, temperature change has a small effect but not enough to notice really. The biggest issue now is that you have just lost almost all of your roll on your drives, therefore meaning the distance the ball carries is about as far as the ball travels in total.

For shorter hitters and lower ball flight players, you’ll see huge differences as in the summer your drive with 60 yards of roll now has 10 yards of roll. You’ve just lost 50 yards. The knock on of this of course is that the rest of the shots to the green will do the same and it can become a bit of a slog!

Also, the colder conditions mean that you’ll be wearing more clothes and body will be colder so getting up to temperature takes a bit longer. Make sure you have a warm up beforehand.

The second perspective is a technical one. A lot of people don’t strike their driver in the correct place on the club face to produce launch and maintain ball speed …Fact!

Here’s a really good image I have found to show the impact of an off centre hit with a driver….

Some important points from this are:

– If you strike the ball low on the face you will lose more distance. Not only that, but you’ll also launch the ball lower and it will have more backspin. That equals low carry and in wet conditions no roll. 
– A strike off the heel is generally a bit worse that a toe strike. This is because it produces more backspin and slice.
– The sweet spot isn’t perfectly in the middle on modern drivers. Due to the new weighting systems and centre of gravity positions on driver heads the sweet spot is actually marginally off the toe and slightly higher than the middle (red dot)

My tips if you struggle with launch:

1- Tee the ball a little higher. If this doesn’t work then you may have an attack angle issue (see next week’s Monday Club)

2- Buy some white athlete’s foot spray. Spray the face when you’re next on the range and see where you are hitting it. Then refer the strike pattern to the above image!

3- Make sure you have enough loft on your driver face. Adjustable drivers only marginally change the loft (not as much as it states generally) so it could be that your 9 degree trusty driver now no longer produces the carry you need.

Lee Wilson; October 2020