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How far do you really hit that driver?

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Post by navyblueshorts Mon 1 Jun - 15:43

There was some discussion (again) on this sort of topic the other week with Mysti and Mac to the fore. Saw this and thought it might be of interest:

http://www.golfwrx.com/303248/how-far-you-can-actually-hit-your-driver/
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Post by McLaren Mon 1 Jun - 16:57

Thank you for posting that Navy. I would image all most all of us have sub 100mph swings so carrying more than 230 will be very unlikely.

I think I quoted 240 as my carry, which I thought was realistic but it is possible I don't even carry it that far.


Do you know of any data that shows what the swing speeds of club golfers are?
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Post by navyblueshorts Mon 1 Jun - 17:25

No, don't know what the 'average' club golfers driver swing speed would be. Last time I was measured (some while ago to be honest and I'm older now!) it was between 100 and 105mph but I know I don't get near a +5° AoA; 0° to +2°, typically.
On a good day in calm conditions at ~20°C on a flat, dryish fairway, I'll get maybe 270 in total, if I flush one straight. More often than not at the moment, I don't flush one straight!
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Post by navyblueshorts Mon 1 Jun - 17:28

This might help:

http://members.swingmangolf.com/average-golf-swing-speed-chart-2/

Love the Tour player's strike pattern cf. the club 15hcp...
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Post by McLaren Mon 1 Jun - 17:34

reposted image for easy reference for others.

Swing speed/distance chart
Spoiler:
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Post by beninho Mon 1 Jun - 17:38

I have not got a clue how far i hit my driver. I have not got a clue what my swing speed is. I do know that when I do hit my driver it has a very high potential of losing me a golf ball.

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Post by I'm never wrong Mon 1 Jun - 20:51

I can describe the time it takes me to hit a ball thus:
When you hit a driver, the time it takes would equate to you saying "Sev-er-i-an-o Ball-es-ter-os". My equivalent is "TomKite". But it doesn't mean I hit it any further or straighter.

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Post by super_realist Tue 2 Jun - 7:03

There's a few things that look like they haven't been considered on this and which are important for considering carry distance.
Whilst the graph might be a good "rule of thumb" I think we need to look at things like Smash Factor (whether you hit down or up on the ball), Shaft Rating, shaft length and Spin too. Basically the stuff they seek to tweak when fitting you for a driver to optimise distance and accuracy, and in those fittings, they never suggest swinging faster. So there is much more to distance than swing speed.

I've never been a massively long driver, I suspect I carry it about 240-245, given my last measured swing speed of about 106, however, I hit a draw, play on links so it's very common to hit around 280 total, if not further on occasion.

You could also have a very quick, but very snappy mad axeman type swing, so not hit it as far as a slightly slower but wider and smoother arc of a swing.


On the downside harming our figures in the UK, we also play mostly in cold or colder weather than the control conditions, we play at sea level and we play in high humidity.

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Post by navyblueshorts Tue 2 Jun - 9:03

super_realist wrote:There's a few things that look like they haven't been considered on this  and which are important for considering carry distance.
Whilst the graph might be a good "rule of thumb" I think we need to look at things like Smash Factor (whether you hit down or up on the ball), Shaft Rating, shaft length and Spin too. Basically the stuff they seek to tweak when fitting you for a driver to optimise distance and accuracy, and in those fittings, they never suggest swinging faster. So there is much more to distance than swing speed.

I've never been a massively long driver, I suspect I carry it about 240-245, given my last measured swing speed of about 106, however, I hit a draw, play on links so it's very common to hit around 280 total, if not further on occasion.

You could also have a very quick, but very snappy mad axeman type swing, so not hit it as far as a slightly slower but wider and smoother arc of a swing.


On the downside harming our figures in the UK, we also play mostly in cold or colder weather than the control conditions, we play at sea level and we play in high humidity.
Smash factor, definitely, although it's not simply hitting up/down. They consider all the other points, directly or indirectly.
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Post by MustPuttBetter Tue 2 Jun - 9:59

They are two carries at my place that are 210-215 yards both of which I can manage, with a bit to spare, so I reckon my carry is about 220. My swing speed at last measurement, and I doubt it's changed much is 96 mph. Which basically makes me Mr Average by that graph!
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Post by liverbnz Tue 2 Jun - 10:17

Varies wildly depending on many factors. 280/290 on a very good day with the stars aligned. 230/240 probably more likely. I haven't played a lot since xmas and I've dropped a fair bit of weight so prob lost a wee bit of muscle (what little I had Smile ) as well so I suspect my distance will have come back a bit.

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Post by pedro Tue 2 Jun - 10:38

I think the chart is pretty good. I rarely hit it more than 200 -- mainly because when I hit it hard it never goes straight... Very Happy

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Post by super_realist Tue 2 Jun - 10:42

Good point. I could swing like a mad man and probably get to 120mph, but my chances of making good contact, resulting in a straight drive would be about 1 in 20.

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Post by MustPuttBetter Tue 2 Jun - 10:44

Liverbnz - I know you said on a good day but still, 280/290 carry?? That's outrageous and must be up there /bigger than McIlroy and co clap
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Post by Eyetoldyouso Tue 2 Jun - 11:52

I got fitted for my driver and it is just as s-r has stated. The important bits which improved the distance more than others were the smash factor, launch angle and spin. My swing speed is relatively slow, about 92 mph, but my smash factor is very good, nearly 1.5. This measures how efficient your swing is so that, in my case, the ball is "leaving" at about 135 mph.
The fitting worked on shafts to reduce the spin to about 2500rpm. Amazingly the bog standard off the shelf Ping G20 10.5deg regular shaft fits my swing perfectly.

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Post by McLaren Tue 2 Jun - 12:25

An exercise I have undertaken a few times is to go on google maps and measure the distance from the tee to positions I know my driver carries. Do this and I promise you will need a comforting hug almost immediately.

It is probably why I am very pessimistic/realistic compared to others when it comes to claims of driver length. I cannot tell you how gutting it was to realise that what I thought must be 280 bombs turned out to be 240 (carry) tiddlers. Although it blew out the notion I had that I was quite long off the tee and spurred me on to improve.
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Post by super_realist Tue 2 Jun - 12:35

McLaren wrote:An exercise I have undertaken a few times is to go on google maps and measure the distance from the tee to positions I know my driver carries.  Do this and I promise you will need a comforting hug almost immediately.

It is probably why I am very pessimistic/realistic compared to others when it comes to claims of driver length.  I cannot tell you how gutting it was to realise that what I thought must be 280 bombs turned out to be 240 (carry) tiddlers.  Although it blew out the notion I had that I was quite long off the tee and spurred me on to improve.

Mac, you need to take into account certain things when using Google maps. First of all it uses something called Web Mercator as a Coordinate Reference System, which doesn't represent true distance which is fine at global scales, but distorted at local scales.

However saying that, I'm pretty certain that none of us really hit as far as we think. All we need to do is look at where people miss greens on approach, and most of the time they're short. People have an idea of what they are expected to hit a club (i.e. 150 yards for a 7 iron) and expect themselves to be able to do it. THe only person I've ever seen measuring how far they hit clubs with a laser, was me.

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Post by McLaren Tue 2 Jun - 12:54

Wow, you have clearly been waiting to drop that bit of knowledge into a conversation. But I will bite, please explain in more detail what Web Mercator is and why it is inaccurate over small distances?
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Post by MustPuttBetter Tue 2 Jun - 12:57

What?! A quick measurement on Google maps was how I came up with my 210-215 yard carry figure on the two holes I mentioned earlier.
You mean that might be wrong and I could be hitting 280 yard bombs after all??
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Post by raycastleunited Tue 2 Jun - 13:04

When I last bought a driver - in 2012 - I tested all this stuff out. I think my swing speed was mid to high 90s mph, but carry distance varied from 210 - 250 depending on club and shaft.

As super says it's really a combination of factors which gives you the optimum distance. In my case I found I could get an extra couple of mph out of the Cobra drivers but the excess spin killed distance even with a heavy stiff shaft. TM rocketballz had the most carry, but it was the Titleist which had the tightest dispersion and that's what is in my bag today.

Control conditions are very rare in the UK, there's always a breeze, always an incline, it's very difficult to say "I hit driver x yards". Last night I almost drove our 9th, it's 317 yards from the yellows and I was about 10 yards short. Obviously it was massively down wind (but fairways are fairly soft at the moment). As this is the only recent empirical evidence I have of my driving, can I say this is how far I hit driver (let's ignore the fact that 2 holes later I drilled one into the wind and it barely went 200 yards?

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Post by super_realist Tue 2 Jun - 13:16

Exactly Ray, you could rig up an action man doll to swing a miniature club at 105 MPH, but they aren't going to drive 250 yards.
Swing speed, is perhaps the main limiter so to speak, but it's the other little tweaks that optimise the distance for that swing speed


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Post by McLaren Tue 2 Jun - 13:18

Super

I was being serious about learning more about Web Mercator, as I use google to measure distances on courses all the time.
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Post by raycastleunited Tue 2 Jun - 13:24

mac, why don't you just go to a golf shop with a fitting area and ask to try out some drivers? You will get all the stats you need without having to guess distances on google maps.

quick tip: if you want them to take you seriously best not wear the hemp trousers, tie-dyed top and lentil knitted hat.

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Post by super_realist Tue 2 Jun - 13:29

Mac, in the UK, you'd need to get something like British National Grid as the Coordinate Reference System for that, perhaps Ordnance Survey maps on a 1:5000 scale might provide a more accurate scale.

Imagine trying to wrap up a football with a rectangular piece of wrapping paper. The only bit in true contact will be the equator. The rest doesn't want to fit. That's what Web Mercator is basically.

Web Mercator is designed to show the entire earth at one time, and maintain the actual appearance of a country, basically, you are trying to stick images onto an oblate spheroid and expecting no creases, so distances aren't a big problem on that sort of scale but get worse the further you get away from the equator, as you are looking at such a large scale, who cares about 50 yards, however take that same CRS to 300 Yard level and you need something more precise, and possibly a projected CRS or Transverse Mercator if you are simply talking about the distance between A and B.  
Geodesy is pretty complicated, and whilst something like Google Earth or Maps might provide a general idea, it isn't something truly accurate.

I'm sure an MSc educated fellow like yourself can understand that?

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Post by McLaren Tue 2 Jun - 13:39

I thought with geodesics if you measured further distances in the wrong plane the issue got worse, but with short yo were ok. Eg on a flat map it looks like a plane should fly well south of icelnad, greenland across the middle of the atlantic to get from the UK to New York. But the actual (and shortest route on the surface of a globe) is up over iceland, greenland and then down to new york.

So the geodesic for curved space over 100m and the distance on flat map are about the same. You seem to be saying the opposite.
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Post by pedro Tue 2 Jun - 13:45

The Earths curvature over a 2-300 yard distance shouldn't ruin mac's driving stats.

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Post by super_realist Tue 2 Jun - 13:49

Mac, It depends what you are starting from, is it a projected coordinate system? Is it a geographic coordinate system. One is designed for a globe, one for 2D Flat maps.

Think of it this way, if you wrap the football around the hemisphere from E-W (or W-E) it's only accurate around that point.
Do it over the poles  (N-S)(Transverse Mercator) with split zones every degree, and you have contact all over that point.

Google Earth doesn't do "flat". It's a map superimposed on a globe, and wrapped around the equator, So the further away you get from the equator, the less precise your measurement is. Bit like using nautical miles, on land

There are hundreds of projections and Coordinate reference systems, using a global one to measure on a local scale is never going to be accurate. It's one of the things newspapers and news programmes ALWAYS get wrong when showing maps.

FYI, A plane flying over the atlantic IS flying in a straight line, it's simply the shape of the earth that makes it look curved.

It's not that the curved and flat distances aren't the same, it's the inaccuracy of the tool at that scale which is the issue, i.e using Web Mercator when you need something different for the latitude you are measuring

Anyway, we're boring people. All I'm saying is take map based aerial photography distances with a pinch of salt.

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Post by super_realist Tue 2 Jun - 14:00

pedro wrote:The Earths curvature over a 2-300 yard distance shouldn't ruin mac's driving stats.

It's not the curvature, it's the CRS.

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Post by Eyetoldyouso Tue 2 Jun - 14:01

Mac
"Eg on a flat map it looks like a plane should fly well south of icelnad, greenland across the middle of the atlantic to get from the UK to New York."

That's only because the map you are so used to looking at is severely distorted.

"But the actual (and shortest route on the surface of a globe) is up over iceland, greenland and then down to new york."

This is utter rubbish. Ask BA or any other airline what their flight path is? I'm pretty certain that in order to conserve (sic) fuel they go the long way.

London - Montreal might just touch the southernmost tip of Greenland. They only overfly Iceland & Greenland if flying to the West Coast.

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Post by Roller_Coaster Tue 2 Jun - 14:06

I will (and I admit not enough to get a real set of figures) hit ball, get to where it ended up and use my laser rangefinder doofer to look back to the tee blocks and see how far it went (GPS and a simple sum will also achieve this). That does only give you what you did rather than what you will do, but over time you can get a feel for where you get to in certain conditions (more handy on your home/regular course where I tend to be in similar places off each tee).

Obviously wind and slope will affect distance so some judgement (and so the element of course management) comes into it but, generally, if there is a 230 carry on the flat with no wind (and no other score wrecking problems) and I'm hitting it OK on that day I'd probably be comfortable with it more of the time than I'd choose to lay up.

Unfortunately, direction of drive often hampers this approach with me as I carve one into one set of sh*t or ratter one into the other. Often one followed by the other if I think a provisional is needed!

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Post by McLaren Tue 2 Jun - 14:08

Eyetoldyouso

As I said above "the shortest route on the surface of a globe".

As for the actual route iceland and greenland were only to illustrate the point. But sadly I don't know the names of all the bits of open water you actually fly over. Talk about pedantic.


Super

I have no idea what you are talking about.



Also it is not a straight line as you put it, its a geodesic. Which is the shortest line between two points. Ok, I know. Pedantic.
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Post by super_realist Tue 2 Jun - 14:29

Mac in admission that he doesn't know everything shocker Shocked

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Post by raycastleunited Tue 2 Jun - 14:31

I get the whole thing about the curature of the earth and wrapping a map around a globe.

But, if you try and measure the carry over a fairway bunker from the tee, aren't you looking at an aerial photo which is a rectangle anyway?

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Post by super_realist Tue 2 Jun - 14:34

Ray, it's not the measurement as such, it's the coordinate system upon which the measurement tool is based that is the problem. If it's a georeferenced aerial photograph, that's different from Google Earth.


Google's offical stance says, "makes no claims as to the accuracy of the coordinates in Google Earth. These are provided for entertainment only and should not be used for any navigational or other purpose requiring any accuracy whatsoever"

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Post by incontinentia Tue 2 Jun - 14:41

I have decent distance with my driver but am quite short with the irons. In addressing this I have identified a number of components that influence one's power with any club: (assume variables such as weather, altitude etc remain constant)
- strength (namely core strength)
- flexibility/mobility
- technique
- equipment

Where would you put these factors in a hierarchy of importance?

I am slightly confused as someone can be very flexible and physically weak, and bomb the ball a mile. Someone can also be physically strong and take a half a backswing bomb it too. I'd guess technique is the most import (effortless power), followed by equipment, then flexibility, then strength.

What do you think?
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Post by navyblueshorts Tue 2 Jun - 14:54

incontinentia wrote:I have decent distance with my driver but am quite short with the irons. In addressing this I have identified a number of components that influence one's power with any club: (assume variables such as weather, altitude etc remain constant)
- strength (namely core strength)
- flexibility/mobility
- technique
- equipment

Where would you put these factors in a hierarchy of importance?

I am slightly confused as someone can be very flexible and physically weak, and bomb the ball a mile. Someone can also be physically strong and take a half a backswing bomb it too. I'd guess technique is the most import (effortless power), followed by equipment, then flexibility, then strength.

What do you think?
Technique.
Flexibility/mobility.
Strength.
Equipment.
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Post by Roller_Coaster Tue 2 Jun - 14:56

Good one Inco.

Assuming the highest level of independence of each other (although they aren't in reality and the right blend of all 4 is the best) and that longest distance is the aim, I'd personally have

technique (good technique will get the best out of whatever you use and put the ball in the right direction)
equipment (good stuff makes the ball "go" better than bad stuff - although I am thinking more "woods" here)
strength (on the premise that power is nothing without control <other car adverts are available>)
flexibility (if you have the other 3 the length of swing relative to the maximum should (I personally think) only tweak performance)

If you are very good then I could see equipment drop down to the end and maybe flex/strength change over too.

Hmm - maybe I just don't know...

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Post by Davie Tue 2 Jun - 15:21

What sort of margin of error are you suggesting for the Google distance measuring tool super?

I've just measured the par3s at my place on Google Maps and they come out pretty much spot on with what the scorecard says. Also a couple of holes where I could identify where the 150yd markers would be - and they come out pretty accurate too

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Post by super_realist Tue 2 Jun - 15:27

I'm not sure of the error, depends where you are. Some things will be ok, once you get into areas with more inclination where a poor digital elevation model is used it could be much more.

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Post by McLaren Tue 2 Jun - 15:56

Super

Are you just talking out your arse here? Is there really any reason to believe google maps won't provide you with decent golf yardages?
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Post by super_realist Tue 2 Jun - 15:58

Yes Mac, there is. Do you think they'd give a caveat excusing themselves of accuracy responsibility if they were confident of their accuracy?

In most cases it is probably sufficient to determine how far you are hitting it, but one question I'd have is how most people identify the point at which their ball contacts the ground in the first place from a driver.
You've basically not got much better than a worms eye view.

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Post by McLaren Tue 2 Jun - 16:01

You were talking out your arse.
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Post by super_realist Tue 2 Jun - 16:03

WikiMac, part of my job is spatial accuracy of well locations. Do you realise the implications of an innapropriate CRS or Datum?

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Post by MustPuttBetter Tue 2 Jun - 16:09

Not that I don't believe what Super is saying but re the caveat, most firms will put something like that on anything upon which they think people might rely to mitigate the chances of them being sued.
Even I put a similar sort of caveat when providing info to other accountancy firms and I'm pretty certain what I'm saying to them is accurate!
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Post by super_realist Tue 2 Jun - 16:13

Bottom line is this. Google Earth is a mosaic of aerial images draped and stretched onto a fairly coarse resolution digital terrain model.
It's probably sufficient for golf, especially ones which are very flat, but in regards to holes which have steep climbs or steep declines on them, i'd be wary about using them as an accurate measurement as they won't show on terrain models at that scale.

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Post by McLaren Tue 2 Jun - 16:14

Exactly Mustputt.


Super

If you really understood the problem you mentioned you would be able to describe it to laymans like the rest of us on here. All you have provided are muddled posts with no clarity.
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Post by super_realist Tue 2 Jun - 16:18

It's too complicated for your laymans brain to understand WikiMac.

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Post by MustPuttBetter Tue 2 Jun - 16:21

Super, did you expect this level of scrutiny when you were throwing out the advice that google isn't 100% accurate?? Shocked
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Post by super_realist Tue 2 Jun - 16:22

Of course, WikiMac is a relentless pedant, he'd argue black was white (if it didn't mean he'd get accused of being racist)

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Post by Davie Tue 2 Jun - 16:32

So super is saying he has no evidence to his claim that the measuring tool is going to be inaccurate

OK I'm sure it's not accurate to perhaps a foot - but as I stated, I measured par3s that I knew the scorecards yards for - and it is quite easy on the maps to work out where the white stones are and the centre of the green.

Spoiler:

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