I knew I’d figured out my problem correctly when I set up today and smacked the first drive down the stripe – so the setup issue is solved, and I got down to working on the actual swing.
Having more or less the proper back pivot working about halfway through the session, I was getting the idea of the proper down swing by the time I was out of time (I was so enthused, I would have stayed but the next hour was already booked).
I will say this – I have never swung in this manner before while actually hitting balls (only with the swing aid, and things always change once you have a club in hand and a ball on the tee), but it was absolutely effortless.
The manner – right arm dominant, letting the “Leaning A” setup do all the work via leveraging with the weight transfer so the sensation is of not even using the arms in the swing.
In fact, I hit my longest drives with the best numbers near the end of the session, where any other time, I would have been running out of steam by then. Today however, I could really have just kept ripping, so little effort was I expending when things began to drop into place.
Because I was working on the actual technique and not speed, the numbers were a little lower than my top speed marks from earlier, but I was still hanging around 120 mph club head & high 170s mph in ball speed:
My SMASH Factor on the above drives is around 1.48 – 1.49, and that is a great thing to see when working on swing changes, because even while changing and adapting to the new feel, I was getting solid contact.
The Launch Angle hovered around 11-12 degrees with a few higher and lower, and get this – I actually got the monitor to register a 7.7 degree launch angle with a slower swing speed!
Remember that I am doing my research using a 6 degree lofted driver at present, so it was still a positive Attack Angle, but barely. Nice little power fade there.
So, this is more what I expect to see with the spin numbers on a decent drive: mid-to-low 2000s and close to 15 yards of run, so that if you’re swinging at 115-117 mph or so, you can still drive the ball 300 yards with proper spin and launch angle.
Still, this monitor must be set to “fairway hasn’t been mowed in a month” to have that little run on basically a line-drive type of ball flight.
Unfortunately, the other issue arose that always does – the higher my club and ball speed, the less I trust the launch monitor’s spin numbers (and thusly also the carry-run) because I should not be able to generate over 3000 rpm of back spin with a 6 degree lofted driver and a positive Attack Angle.
When you are negative, the club face creates excessive back spin (which is why irons and wedges produce so much spin aside from the lofts), but with positive AA, you should get decreasing back spin numbers (all else remaining equal), the higher the Attack Angle.
I mean, that’s why long drivers use those ridiculously long tees – the higher they can launch the ball with very little spin, the longer carry and run.
On this monitor, the higher my Attack Angle, the more back spin, and that just doesn’t compute:
It doesn’t bother me personally, because I know how much carry and run I get on my drives in real time on the course and range, but it would be nice to be able to demonstrate that on a launch monitor.
Aside from the spin and carry/run numbers though, I’m where I want to be with these types of numbers.
- Launch Angle looks great (when accounting for the 6 degrees of club head loft),
- My estimated Attack Angle of around +5 to +6 degrees is fabulous for ball flight,
- Club Head and Ball Speed pretty good (for a just-about 53 year old who still doesn’t work out and has gained a little extra tonnage this winter) and
- The SMASH Factor is close to optimal.
And I’m still not there yet.
Now that I know what the feel is for this particular swing model, I expect things to come together fairly quickly, because I’ll be back at it hopefully once more this week, time permitting – and I’ve already got enough proof for myself on the optimal nature of this swing.
I’ve never produced club and ball speeds like this with so little feeling of effort. It’s a pivot to the top, a weight transfer and the ball is gone without any feel of actually beginning a down swing.
I could get used to this!
More to come.