By Jaacob Bowden

Member Question:

Hi Jaacob,

I am a new member and am just about to begin a custom swing speed training program.  I’m 51 and am just picking up golf again after about 4 years off.  I’ve been playing a couple times a week for a few months and my current NCGA handicap is 16.7.  Consistency and greater distance with my driver would really lower my scores.  I already have some isometric bands and am trying to decide on which swing analyzer to get to monitor progress.  I would like to get one that measures both swing speed and face angle and club path and hopefully club head contact position.  I also have a hitting mat and net in the backyard.  I plan to do the Hank Haney 100 swings a day with probably 50% being with the driver.

I have benchmarked my swing speed.  My average was 97 Mph over 21 shots and my max was 101 Mph.  I have attached the stats for my driver to this e-mail.  If I can get an extra 10 Mph from your program I will be thrilled.

Now to my question.

I am considering a driver upgrade.  I am currently using a Calloway FT-5 driver with 10 degrees loft and a 10-degree draw bias.  It has the stock Fujikura shaft, regular flex.  I seem to hit with a pretty high shot trajectory even though I don’t tee very high, maybe half a ball over my club head.  I used some face tape and found I was hitting off the heel but am getting better at making good contact. 

Anyway, are you able to look at the attached statistics for my driver and maybe recommend one or two drivers I should consider looking at?  Should I switch to a stiff shaft?  What would you recommend for loft angle?  Should I stay with my current driver?

Any suggestions for a driver upgrade are greatly appreciated.

Rich S, 51 years old, 17 handicap

Jaacob’s Answer:

There is a direct correlation between swing speed (and driving distance) and handicap. Adding 10 mph to your game will most definitely help you. Part of the reason Rory McIlroy has won two majors this year is because he was driving it farther and more accurately…

Read the rest of what Jaacob has to say about Your Questions Answered in the October 2014 Monthly Handicap Improver here: