Improve your golf drives

Improve Your Drives Rolll

Golf pro Scott Sackett explains how to greatly impact your total distance and spin by changing your contact point.

Launch angle, total distance, spin, and contact point: What do these four elements have in common? Well, three are a result of the other. In this case, contact point heavily influences launch angle, spin, and total distance with a driver. Why is that?

The driver is a curved face. As you can see in the image, a driver face is curved from top to bottom. When it comes to getting more out of your driver, a lot can be gained by shifting the contact point from the center to approximately 1 inch above center. This is because there is more loft 1 inch above center and also 1 inch above center is higher from the center of gravity.

Most players can benefit by generating a higher launch with their driver. I say this because most players I see are hitting down on the golf ball. When you hit down on the golf ball, it brings the launch angle and total height of the shot down. Not ideal for long carry with low spin.

If you contact the ball just 1 inch above center on a 10-degree driver (assuming the attack angle is zero,) that shifts the loft of the driver at the contact point from 10 to 15.2 degrees. In launch terms, that shifts the launch angle from 8.5 degrees with contact directly in the center of the face to 12.92 degrees with that same driver and a contact point 1 inch above center. This will tremendously impact both total distance and spin.

Speaking of spin, take a look at the image here. More specifically, look how the spin rate can drastically change as the contact moves throughout the clubface.

The higher the contact point on the face, the lower the ball will spin, which means the ball will roll less when it hits the ground, resulting in more distance.

Some of you might not know where the ball is contacted on the face with each shot. That’s OK. Go to a store and pick up Doctor Scholl’s foot spray and spray it onto your driver face prior to each shot (Warning: do not use it on irons or you will start getting flyers like crazy that knuckle in the air). When the shot is struck, you can check the face and the moisture left on the face will have been disturbed by where the ball struck the face, thus leaving a mark. This gives you a perfect indication of contact point. Track your habits, improvements, and progress with it.


Upcoming notable golf events for the PGA of America and major tours


Oct. 15-18

PGA of America: 27th Senior PGA Professional National Championship

Presented by Mercedes-Benz USA

Bayonet/Black Horse courses

Monterey, California


Oct. 16-18 

Champions Tour: San Antonio Championship

TPC San Antonio, AT&T Canyons Course

San Antonio, Texas


Oct. 30-Nov. 1 

Champions Tour: Toshiba Classic

Newport Beach Country Club

Newport Beach, California


Nov. 3-4

PGA of America: PGA Jones Cup

PGA Golf Club, Wanamaker Course

Port St. Lucie, Florida


Nov. 5-8 

Champions Tour: Charles Schwab Cup Championship

Desert Mountain Club, Cochise Course

Scottsdale, Arizona


Dec. 2-6

Champions Tour: National Qualifying Tournament Finals

TPC Scottsdale, Champions Course

Scottsdale, Arizona



If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron.”––Lee Trevino


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