Q&A with Jaacob Bowden


My swing speed is 110 with ball speed around 180. 305 is a regular drive. I still feel like i have more in me to hit further.  I’m in great shape, and play with guys my size, about 6 feet tall, who are flying me. What is it?

Jaacob’s Answer:

Distance comes down to three things:  sweet spot contact, custom-fit equipment, and swing speed.

If you miss the sweet spot by only an inch, you can lose up to 20 yards or more on your drive.  Make sure that whatever swing method you are using that you are hitting the center of the club head as consistently as you can.

I’ve had two similar looking drivers that differed in loft, length, weight, and shaft flex, and literally hit one 50 yards farther than the other one and just as accurately.  Your friends might be hitting their drives farther because they have drivers that are producing more optimal launch conditions for their particular swing style.  Personally, I’ve found I get the most distance (carry and roll) with a launch angle between 8-15 degrees and a spin rate of 1600-2500 (both depending on my swing speed at the time, the weather and course conditions, etc) .  If you are hitting 7 degrees high you won’t be maximizing your carry.  If you have a spin rate of 4200, you won’t be getting any roll once the ball lands.  Go get yourself checked out on a launch monitor to see where you are…you can find reputable custom club-fitters here. We’ve got some more specific targets for spin and launch available to our members.

Beyond that, if you are making good contact and are optimized on your equipment, the only thing left that I know if to do to hit it farther is to increase your swing speed.  When I started, my max speed (not cruise) on a Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radar was 118 mph and since then I’ve been able to max out at 155 mph.  That’s an unusually high gain, but the point is that you can make pretty quick improvements on what you’ve currently got.

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