The Longer Driver Shaft Experiment

Fair enough. I love driver off the deck, but I’m not a serial delofter. I have the other problem.

2 Likes

Once my second driver is build (Adams 12 degree is here on Monday, but needs a different shaft) I’m sure I’ll try it off the deck at some point… Back in the non-460cc days, driver off the deck was one of my favorite shots…

2 Likes

Either way, I’m going to have irons into par 5s now so it doesn’t even matterrrrrrrrr :crazy_face: :rofl: :laughing: :rocket:

3 Likes

As far as two drivers in the bag, the thing that puts me off is that I play on courses with long par 5s and need that 3 wood to get it on or close to the green so it would be hard for me to make the jump (albeit I’ve been toying more with hitting the driver off the deck which I used to do a lot in the olden days of persimmon drivers). Also, my 3 wood off the tee doesn’t seem that dis-similar to a second driver for me and is a bit easier to work a fade as opposed to my driver. If anything, I’d like to working on lengthening my shaft of my 3 wood a little but as your article mentioned, just slapping a longer shaft throws off the weighting and feel i have for it.

1 Like

I think that comes down to a personal decision. For me, the 3-wood is easily on the chopping block. I almost never use it. I’d much rather be closer to the hole on par 4s and par 5s where I felt it appropriate to use the longer driver. Now let’s say 3-wood was one of my “weapons” then I might consider splitting the difference with maybe a 45.5 or 46" driver because I feel my impact mechanics are more sound than they used to be.

2 Likes

Loved the article. I’ve been playing with longer than normal clubs for a long long time and have been using a long driver for over 2 years now. My experience is exactly as you describe.

I get the weighting and fitting aspect to your article – 100% that getting fitted is important. That being said, I also feel like the human body is pretty adaptive if you give it time. When the face of my Ping G400 caved in and Ping sent me a replacement G410 driver with a standard shaft length, I literally couldn’t hit the thing the first round until i put a longer shaft back into it. When I experimented going down to a 44" driver last summer, I gave it a could 3 weeks to try to adapt to it before going back.

The next frontier and my current exploration in maximizing hitting the ball farther is adding more weight to my driver head. For every 10g you add to the head of your driver, you get approximately 1mph more ball speed assuming you swing at the same velocity.

Since I have an older backup driver, I originally added 50g of weight to use on the range as an adjunct/alternative to my super speed clubs and found I was hitting it 3-4mph faster than my normal driver. Not being half-assed, I immediately went full-assed and added added another 60g which does in fact feel like a sledgehammer and was way too heavy to retain my CHS. 50g feels heavy but manageable, 110g doesn’t feel like you are even swinging a golf club anymore. I’ve been set back with a groin pull but I want to give it a couple more weeks of range sessions with the 110g club to see if I start adapting to it. I suspect that for me personally, I will end up adding 30-50g to my “real” driver and see how my arccos numbers change both distance and dispersion.

One caveat about adding weight to your driver head is that you have to be careful where you add the weight to keep your club conforming. I add an email thread with a USGA rules official and there is maximum club head weight but if you add that much weight to a club head, you could change the MOI characteristics and there is limit on that. A typical modern driver head is 209g-ish so adding 25-50% more weight is definitely changing the characteristics of the club.

1 Like

Absolutely. Off the tee, I’ve changed my strategy to rarely use a 3 wood anymore. It really comes down to the par-5s and that second shot for me.

1 Like

Okay Bryson. You got this! :smirk:

1 Like

So did you play a driver with a 250g or so head? Sorry if I’m misunderstanding. That’s close to 5 iron head weight. I like a heavy driver and I usually build in the 205 to 210g range depending on length and shaft weight. I’ve actually found a lot of modern heads are no more than 200 since the drivers are getting longer. Some are using counterbalanced shafts and then a 205g head, but I haven’t seen any heavier that are off the rack. One of first fitters I went to years ago wouldn’t build a driver with a head weighing more than 205g as he felt they didn’t work.

1 Like

Yeah, i believe the G400 is in the neighborhood of 206g (https://ping.com/en-us/clubs/drivers/g400). I added 50g of lead tape to it as an experiment and was able to go from around 160mph which is my normal peak speed to 163mph ball speed. I then went a little crazy and added another 60g as a test so it’s clocking in around 320g and the best I could hit was around 154mph ball speed.

2 Likes