Launch Angle Looking Good (Approx. 13 Deg.)

launch angle 13 degThere’s a Mike Tyson quote that I love, regarding plans of action: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

Golfers who struggle with their swing on the 1st tee or under a pressure situation will know that familiar feeling, re-phrased: “Everyone has a swing until the pressure is on.”

For that reason, you want a mechanically-correct swing action that has the fewest possible moving parts, thus the fewer things that can go wrong under pressure.

This is why I was able to go back to the range on Tuesday after 9.5 months off & perhaps swing even better after the layoff than I was back in September.

It’s the same reason that, when you have a proper swing model from which to work, you’ll find that 1st Tee a lot less intimidating, not to mention the long Par 3 over water.

Today, I’ll show what was going on with my Launch Angle, which appears to be (without a launch monitor to give precise measurements) approximately 13 degrees.

launch angle 13 deg


There is a big advantage to having an Attack Angle of 4-5 degrees (my driver loft is set at 8.5), and that is reducing backspin plus providing a trajectory that has the ball landing on a flatter or shallower angle, thus enabling run out on the fairway.

launch angle 13


You’ll notice as well that to get this type of Launch Angle, you do not need to jump into the air or do anything else of the type you see on TV or read online about creating “vertical lift.”

That’s nonsense – the only thing that will create a positive Launch Angle is the Attack Angle, which you then combine with the club loft to get an approximate Launch Angle.

Of course, if you’re impacting the ball with the club artificially lofted or de-lofted, this will increase or decrease the actual Launch Angle – example, I impact the ball with the hands leading the club shaft, I’m de-lofting the driver and that will subtract from the AA + Loft equation. 

Or, if you impact the ball a good ways from the swing bottom – the club head is now rising even more, adding loft, which will then increase the LA from the AA + Loft equation.

I’ve also got a prediction based on what I’ve been studying about Tuesday’s swings – I likely (even at 51) have not achieved my highest club & ball speeds or longest drive distances.

If that’s not true, it would only be due to the fact that I’m 12 years older than when I was able to drive the ball 350-375 yards on the golf course & I should at least be able to match those highest numbers from the past.

In fact, I’m sure of this because 12 years ago, I was getting those drives with a 2004 model KZG PFT 300 driver with a regular flex shaft & 9 degrees loft, and a Pro-V ball.

Just with the technology advancements alone, combine those with my improved technique and I’m confident I’ll exceed those numbers if not just match or approach them.

That’s how important technique is.

I’ll make the necessary adjustments & am looking forward to seeing the numbers later on when I have a chance to calibrate them.

More to come.

3 thoughts on “Launch Angle Looking Good (Approx. 13 Deg.)

  1. Mark Cartner

    Very cool. Little question and maybe you’ve addressed this before and I missed it. How high do you tee your ball with a driver and do you religiously maintain that height or do you just sorta eyeball it as you peg it and assume you’re close enough to optimal?

    1. D Watts Post author

      Mark, I tee it up pretty much the same height. Standard tee, pushed in just enough to stay, ball around the top of the driver face.

      Longer tee, I push it down because I tend to just miss brushing the turf with my driver head coming through.

      1. Mark Cartner

        10-4 I grew up using an old persimmon wood driver and I certainly wouldn’t go back, but sometimes I still can’t make myself tee it up high enough with these 460cc drivers–even after all these years.

        Trying to get out and start practicing a little after being sick on the couch for a year. Stiff. Balance sucks. Weak as a wet noodle. All I tried to do the other day was concentrate on my feet and feeling where the weight needed to be and when. Gotta do a deep dive refresher on your videos. Still, it was encouraging to carry most in the 290 range. Boy does equipment make a difference. In my teenage fitness prime I couldn’t hit those old persimmons (and wound balls) 290 if my life depended on it.

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