Tour Edge Exotics 10.5 stiff and mid flex (used Alpha primarily when I competed)
Callaway staff member (no sponsors – I would be a bad investment)
Two-time American Long Drivers Association super senior national champion and five-time RE/MAX world long drive finalist
What is your longest drive in competition?
348. That’s Jaacob’s 5-iron.
What were the conditions of the drive?
Off a cliff. Actually a flat grid and a little soft. Very warm day and the ball carried at least 340. Have no idea where that came from. A gift from the heavens, I assume.
What are the fastest swing speeds you’ve recorded on a Swing Speed Radar and/or Trackman?
Fastest number I ever saw was with Jaacob at John Wells Driving Range quite a few years ago and it was 128. Perhaps it accidentally measured my ball speed. 🙂 When I was actively competing I was probably 115-120 pretty consistently and could fly it 310-315 without straining in my mid to late 50s.
What lead you to choose your particular equipment specifications? Trial and error.
When I won my first ALDA title Pat Dempsey loaned me a driver 10 minutes before my first round. You just have to finds something that works for you and not copy someone else’s stuff.
Do you favor a particular shot shape to hit it long?
Mid to high draw. I tried (and still try) to keep my spin rate under 2500 RPMs.
Do you use any training aids to work on your speed and power?
Swing fan. Also try to do things to strengthen my forearms and my glutes.
Do you do any other types of training to drive it further?
When I was competing I worked especially hard on flexibility, which was somewhat easy for me as I had been a yoga practitioner for decades. Also worked on core strength. I used mid to light resistance and tried to move explosively during the reps.
Is there any particular bit of advice you would give the regular amateur for him or her to hit the ball longer?
Do Jaacob’s speed training program. Because I don’t compete any more, I have gotten into lulls lately where every portion of my swing is too slow. When I just think speeding up…
Read the rest of what John has to say about the Long Drive in the July 2014 Monthly Handicap Improver here: