Weight: 218 lb
Head – Krank F6 4.0*
Shaft – Fujikura Flywire XX/XXX, XPHLEXXX BUSA Liquid 2 Prototype X/XX
Grip –Golf Pride Tour Velvet
Krank Golf, TPI, Foot-Joy, Sligo Golf, Golf Pride
- 6-time World Long Drive Champion – Open Division 1996,1997,1998,1999,2006; Senior Division 2015
- 2015 World Powergolf Matchplay Champion – Senior Division
- 2015 World Powergolf Matchplay 2nd – Open Division
- 2001 International Long Drive Champion
- 1998 LDA Tour Champion
- World Long Drive Championship (Open Division Only):
- 19 Top 25 Finishes
- 14 Top 12 Finishes
- 12 Top 10 Finishes
- 10 Final 8 Appearances
- 7 Top 10 Finishes in a row
- 3 Straight title defenses (next closest – 1 title defense)
- First competitor at World Long Drive Championship to win under straight shootout and head to head match play formats
- First and only competitor at World Long Drive Championship to win both the Open and the Senior Championships in first appearances in respective divisions.
- 1472 days without a loss in LDA sanctioned Long Drive competition.
- All-time leading money winner in Long Drive history
- Recognized Guinness World Record for the fastest ball in all of sports in 2007-2013. Included in the 2013 Guinness Book of World Records Hard Copy.
What is your longest drive in competition?
- Longest in a conventional long drive competition – 463.0 yards
- Longest drive on the fly (in competition-certified) – 430 yards 10 51/64 inches
- Longest drive runway (in competition-certified) – 714.1 yards
- Longest in competition (Pinnacle Distance Challenge – 1 of 10 head to head matches for $10,000/match – Denver, Colorado) – 501 yards
What were the conditions of the drive?
- Approximately 3000 feet above sea level, warm conditions, wind helping L to R 15mph, firm fairway.
- 1608 feet above sea level, warm conditions, wind light helping, plugged.
- Sea level, warm, no wind, hard surface (runway).
- Approximately 5000 feet above sea level, warm conditions, wind helping 10-15mph, firm fairway.
What are the fastest swing speeds you’ve recorded on a Swing Speed Radar and/or Trackman?
163 mph on BEL Swingmate swing speed radar (myself and a few of the other elite long drivers at the time had a system to minimize the potential for a misread on any particular device with respect to club head speed or golf ball velocity in that, a particular number had to be backed up on two (2) successive swings within 2 mph).
Club head speed is difficult to ascertain as compared to ball speed. The gold standard today to capture club head speed would be an extremely high speed camera such as the Phantom line. Club head speed with some of common devices on the market may vary greatly and be affected by: club head geometry/shape, color, club path and a variety of other factors. I use club head speed generated by my evaluation equipment only as a general guide and rely more so on golf ball speed as a more important velocity factor during evaluation.
- First to surpass 200 mph golf ball velocity (208.0 mph) – Titleist Launch Monitor – January 1997 – Del Mar, CA, USA
- First to surpass 210 mph golf ball velocity (211.1 mph) – Titleist Launch Monitor – March 1998 – Oceanside, CA, USA.
- First to surpass 220 mph golf ball velocity (100m/s – 223.7 mph) – Bridgestone Launch Monitor – May 11, 2002 – Japan
What led you to choose your particular equipment specifications?
It is purely performance based. I generally like to test everything (that is feasible) out there with respect to shaft, club head and grip and choose the club (head, shaft and grip) that produces the longest and straightest shot pattern and gives me the ability to modify the flight as needed.
I had an endorsement deal with Titleist for many years, then Cobra, and I was bound to hit the products they had offered. Over the last few years I have had the ability to test most of the long drive heads on the market and have had great results with the Krank Golf brand.
Do you favor a particular shot shape to hit it long?
I like to hit it straight or with a little fade. I have won most of my titles with a fade, that’s my go-to shot. I have always been able to impart low (optimal) backspin on the ball. I’ve worked very hard on my swing and club delivery to be able to control the back and sidespin of the golf ball coming off the driver. People will say, “Doesn’t the fade hurt you”? but in reality I’m so low spin with the fade that it’s like a slight draw for a left handed golfer.
Do you use any training aids to work on your speed and power?
I’m always working on body alignment – the Golfer’s Toolbox is great for that.
A buddy of mine Tom Celone developed a great air resistance training device called the Powerchute. It has two great training benefits: it provides load via air resistance and also helps with efficient body sequencing in the swing.
Do you do any other types of training to drive it further?
I have spent 27 years weight training. I have devoted the entirety of my long drive career (20 years) researching the most beneficial things that I could do to improve my speed with respect to the golf swing. Simply, to maximize distance there has to be a balance of flexibility/mobility, strength and speed. Everyone is different so evaluation is critical.
In the early days my training was biased substantially toward absolute strength, which gave me a good strength base, but as time went on I placed a greater emphasis on speed, velocity, flexibility and mobility.
Is there any particular bit of advice you would give the regular amateur for him or her to hit the ball longer?
On the physical side – get evaluated by a TPI certified professional to see if the body is performing to its best ability.
On the swing side – center face contact is key, along with delivering the driver in a square ascending fashion. That will give the best chance at creating the maximum ball velocity and good…
Read the rest of what Jason has to say about the Long Drive in the February 2016 Monthly Handicap Improver here: