Golf tip of the week

For more yards, find a golf driver that’s the right fit

epa03817124 Hunter Mahan of the US slams his driver to the ground after hitting his tee shot on the ninth hole during the first round of the 95th PGA Championship golf tournament at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York, USA, 08 August 2013. EPA/TANNEN MAURY
Hunter Mahan slammed his driver to the ground after this shot.

Looking for more distance with the driver? Aren’t we all?

Teeing it high and letting it fly is one of golf’s great joys, but if you’re not maximizing the distance your drives should be traveling, there’s hope. Paul Rudeen, the director of instruction at Ocean Edge Resort, is coming to the rescue.

Rudeen writes:


“You need some more pop in the bat. Your buddies are blowing it by you and you really need to pick up some extra mileage. You go to the gym and stay in pretty good shape, but your driver distance is just not there. What’s going on?

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“You need to find a driver that is right for you. Get something with extra loft, maybe 12 to 15 degrees. You might think that’s too much, but remember, a high launch angle and low spin rate off the clubface are important keys to more distance. It takes a tremendous amount of speed to achieve the proper lift to propel the ball forward, so go high loft. Lee Westwood plays an 11 degree driver, and he mauls it.

“The driver faces today are made with such thin material that you get an extra pop from the spring or trampoline effect on contact, so make sure you get something of high quality. Get a name brand; don’t settle for something out of a barrel. You wouldn’t tell the orthodontist to just slap any old braces on your kid’s crooked teeth without fitting them properly, would you? Don’t do it with your golf equipment.

“Quality and fit make all the difference. Get a shaft that is flexible enough to allow the clubhead to work properly with the right amount of lag. If your clubhead speed is 80 miles per hour, you would most likely benefit from an A-Flex with a low kick point. The kick point is the part of the shaft that bends the most. The lower the kick, the higher the launch. Make sure the shaft is light enough to gather enough speed. Don’t go higher than 75 grams. Something between 50 and 65 should be good.

“Looks are also important. The club has to look good to you. Don’t buy into the old ‘I’ll learn to love it’ mind-set. And last but not least: Hit it. You have to try it out on an outdoor range so you can see the flight. Hitting into a simulator is OK, but only as a last resort; nothing is better than the real deal. When it comes time to make a decision, go off by yourself and try several drivers side by side and pick the one that is best for you.”

Michael Whitmer can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.