Golf Tips Newsletter
Issue 753 - Wednesday March 1, 2023
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USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
WGTF "Top 100" Teacher
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach


Master The Motion Before You Master The Shot.
"15 Minutes of Body Action Drills Are More
Important Than Hitting 200 Balls"

Tom's Featured Tip: Three More Key Factors That Contribute To Optimal Driver Carry Distance

Lesson Comments: What Students Have To Say
Sponsors & Affiliates:
Batavia Country Club
The Divot Board
The Impact Snap
The Rypstick
Club Champion

Buying a sponsored product through any of my affiliate links helps support this free newsletter, and I only affiliate with excellent products that I use myself.  Thanks, Tom

Buy Gift Certificates for Lessons   Sample Gift Certificate

Outdoor Golf lessons are available at The Batavia Country Club. Please call me (Tom Tucker) at 716 474 3005, email me at, or visit my website at   for details.

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For photos and stories from the 2021 Junior Golf Camp at BCC, click here:
2021 BCC Junior Golf Camp

For details on the 2022 Junior Golf Camp at BCC, click here:
2022 BCC Junior Golf Camp The Junior Golf Camp sold out quickly in 2021, so get your junior golfer registered soon. Call BCC at (585) 343-7600

Three More Key Factors That Contribute To Optimal Driver Carry Distance

For simplicity, all advice on actual swings or drills is provided from a right handed perspective.

Two Great Training Aids For Indoor or Outdoor Practice

The Divot Board

This is the most useful ball striking development training aid that I own.
Don't have one yet? What's holding you back?
Click here to buy your Divot Board for outstanding Ball-Striking practice.

Click here to buy now. Start using the ImpactSnap training aid indoors or outdoors to make you instantly aware of proper hand and wrist action, which is second only to low point awareness for great ball striking.

Three More Key Factors That Contribute To Optimal Driver Carry Distance

We have discussed swing speed in previous articles and how it relates to driver carry distance.

Here's a cool chart from Adam Young Golf on swing speed and carry distance:

Your maximum carry distance in golf is limited by your swing speed. If you swing 100mph (flat range, sea level, 72 degrees temp) you're going to top out at 260 carry.

Having said that, perhaps you are unable to put in the physical work to build more swing speed.

The good news is that there are a few other power aspects of your swing that you can work on to get the most out of what you've got.

Three More Key Factors That Contribute To Optimal Driver Carry Distance
  1. The Problem: LOW LAUNCH ANGLE

    Most amateurs don't launch the ball high enough.

    The Cure

    Optimal launch for most players is between 16 to 20 degrees. Most manufactured driver lofts range between 8* and 12*, so how do you obtain those extra degrees of launch angle?

    You get the higher launch angle by striking the ball on the ascending portion of your swing circle arc.

    The Ball Is Not At The Bottom Of Your Swing.

    For irons, you should strike the ball on the descending portion of your swing arc. That produces a strike that contacts the ball first, then the ground.

    The driver is the only club that we need to hit on the ascending portion of your swing circle arc. That produces a strike where the clubhead passes the low point of the swing arc and contacts the ball while the clubhead is naturally ascending, lifting the ball off the tee.

    Those strike points are accomplished by correct ball position, correct weight dispersion at impact, and a consistent swing circle arc and depth.

  2. The Problem: TOO MUCH SPIN

    Spinning the ball too much is also a common distance killer.

    Optimal Driver Spin Rates
    • For swing speeds slightly above 105 mph, a spin rate range of 1,750-2,300 RPMs (revolutioms per minute) would be appropriate.
    • For swing speeds from 97-104 mph, a spin rate range of 2,000-2,500 RPMs would be better.
    • For swing speeds from 84-96 mph, a spin rate range of 2,400-2,700 RPMs is best.

    The Cure

    Too much spin is often caused by a strike on the downward portion of the swing circle arc, that imparts spin. Hitting more up on the ball allows us to obtain a proper launch angle without adding too much spin.

    The ball you use also affects spin properties. I switched to a Titleist AVX ball because the ProV1 was giving me too much spin off my driver and costing me carry distance.

    Shaft flex - too much flex contributes to more spin.

    Shaft kickpoint also affects spin. Everyrthing else being equal, a high kickpoint produces the lowest spin, a low kickpoint produces the highest spin.

  3. The Problem: LOW BALL SPEED

    Low ball speed is not the same as low clubhead speed, but low clubhad speed is a contributor.

    When you divide your ball speed by your clubhead speed, you get your Smash Factor. You need a launch monitor or simulator to get these numbers.

    Smash Factor relates to the amount of energy transferred from the club head to the golf ball. The higher the smash factor the better the energy transfer.

    Generally, 1.5 is an ideal smash factor, but the average golfer's smash factor is only about 1.42, TrackMan says. If an average golfer could achieve a smash factor of 1.5 (by solid, center hits), that would increase ball speed by 8 miles per hour and reduce spin by about 30 percent. A double benefit!

    Here's some dramatic proof of the effectiveness of a good smash factor.

    During a lesson yesterday, my middle aged male student produced a 93.4 mph swing speed with his driver, but only had a 1.25 smash factor - that ball carried 185 yards.

    On his very next swing we concentrated on better center face contact and although he only had 90.1 mph swing speed, he had a 1.45 smash factor - that ball carried 231 yards!

    I'm sure that processing my verbal instruction slowed his swing down, and we will continue to work on picking up his swing speed with good face contact in future lessons.

    The Cure

    Monitor your center face contact with some Dr Scholl's (or other brand) foot powder spray on the face of your driver.
  1. Hit up on the ball
  2. Use the right equipment for your swing
  3. Produce a center face strike
Do these three things and you'll be doing all you can do to maximize what you've got for driver distance.

Try it you'll really like it.

Email Comments: to

"Clear Intentions Simplify Execution"
Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer, The Stack and Tilt Swing

Love your practice, own your swing, own your health,


Golf Lessons

I am now conducting lessons at The Batavia Country Club

Lessons are available for all ages and skill levels, please contact
me - Tom Tucker - at (716) 474 3005 or email me at
for more information.

Outdoor Lessons Details and Rates:
Outdoor Lessons Details and Rates

Indoor Lessons Details and Rates:
Indoor Lessons Details and Rates


Sponsors and Affiliates

Buying a sponsored product through any of my affiliate links helps support this free newsletter, and I only affiliate with excellent products that I use myself.  Thanks, Tom

Batavia Country Club   (585) 343-7600
Great rates, the best greens in WNY.
Golf Digest Four Star rating for public courses to play in New York State.
Tee times online or by phone in season.
FISH FRYS AT BCC and other delicious dinner specials with soup and salad bar - Fridays, 4pm - 9pm

Train with a Rypstick to improve your swing speed and gain more distance off the tee. If the versatility of three different swing weights in one club appeals to you, this is your swing speed training aid of choice.

Click here to buy now, and make sure that you enter TOMTUCKERGOLF (case sensitive) in the Discount code box when you check out to receive a 5% discount.

Click here to buy your
Divot Board to drastically improve your ball-striking. Combine your Divot Board practice and putting practice with the included putting lesson drills, and watch your scoring improve1.

Use your club or hand to re-set the board after your strike
Click here to buy now for outstanding Ball-Striking practice feedback

BONUS: when you buy through the newsletter link above, you'll also receive free access to my Putting Lesson Videos ($50 value) which cover: The Elevated Aimline Drill, The Squareness Awareness Drill, The Aimline Accuracy Drill, The Stock Putting Stroke Drill, The Barrier Drill, The Short Putt Channel Drill, and more.

Train with the Impact Snap training aid to improve your hand and wrist coordination for a powerful strike. A Golf Digest 2021 Editors Choice Training Aid

Click here to buy now and start using a great training aid that can be used indoors or outdoors.

Click here to buy this swing speed training aid and increase your distance off the tee. Buy now and get to work on increasing your swing speed now.

Club Champion Don't waste another dollar on clubs until you've gone through a fitting at Club Champion, 1669 Pittsford Victor Rd., Suite 400, Victor NY 14564. Call Master Fitter & Builder Jeff St. John. PGA work: (585) 978-8513, cell: (585) 831-2292 to schedule your fitting today1 Mention my name and you'll get special attention.

All the best,

Tom Tucker
Teaching Professional, Batavia Country Club
WGTF ' "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
IGPA Certified Golf Psychology Coach
Cell: (716) 474-3005

"There are no substitutes in the quest for perfection1"
~ Ben Hogan