Launch Angle Too High with Driver?

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 14:00 -- Don Trahan

Launch angle is very important when it comes to ball flight. Having a driver that will give you the optimum launch angle is just as important. If you don't have the right tool for the job, you're going to make the game a lot more difficult.

Bob Renaut recently submitted a question about launch angle. He says that all his clubs have a high launch angle, particularly his driver. Because of this, he's losing yardage on his shots. I've got a few ideas as to why this is happening.

Surge,

I am having a consistent problem with having very high launch angles on my driver and 3 wood (actually most all clubs. I hit very high shots.) For example, my driver is 8.5 degrees face and I hit 17 to 19 degree launch angles and I am losing 30 - 50 yards on the driver and 20 - 30 on most other clubs. Any ideas on what might be causing consistently high launch angles with the PPGS?

Bob Renaut

Bob is probably coming down a little too steep. If you have sky marks on your driver, that will be your proof. You might be hitting the ball from high to low and the ball is rolling up the face at impact, which means you're putting backspin on the ball. Any kind of wind in your face will only make the backspin more pronounced and cut down on your distance.

Check the impact area on your driver if you can. This will give you instant feedback on where you're making contact with the ball. If the marks are anywhere other than the sweet spot of the club, you're going to have to make an adjustment or get to a certified club fitter to make sure your clubs are built correctly.

Keep it vertical!

The Surge

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Comments

bobrenaut@yahoo.com's picture

Submitted by bobrenaut@yahoo.com on

Surge,

As always you were dead on. I didn't think was hitting with a descending blow, because I wasn't taking divots (or if I did, they were very thin) and I rarely pop the ball up. Looking at the clubs, my impact points were consistently high on the face. I asked my playing partner to watch the swing and he confirmed I was hitting down on the ball.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question.

Bob Renaut

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Interesting that Mr. Renaut has lost yardage. I hit the ball much higher with the PPGS on most full shots and yet they are as far if not farther than before learning this swing. I love a high ball. True the hitting down can sky it short and that's why hitting up keeps the drives with a good piercing flight and trajectory.

BTW, congrats to DJ for two good 69's in a row and a -2 score at the half way point at the St. Judes. T22 and a cut made. Let's hope he plays as well or better over the week end.

http://www.pga.com/news/golf-leaderboard/pga-tour-leaderboard

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Robert,
Out yesterday for a visit to the hallowed turf after nigh two weeks of not even hitting a ball, boohoo ; - ) First tee shot with my 3W and one of the best starts on that hole. Some [not many], so-so shots, with the opposite problem afflicting Mr Renaut,ie, lower shots off the tee particularly. Had the driver out once and it went back in the bag and stayed there~! The so-so shots were attributed IMO by swinging too fast grrrr! As soon as I throttled back a little and the results were far better.
What was on song in spades was the chipping, pitching and putting.
The 'new' chipping technique paid off big time, as did my new putting grip and setup with my hands and arms. The front 'driving range' practice chipping sessions after swing sessions obviously paid off : - ) Several long chips ended up close with others dropping in. The only putt that I thought of as poor, on an across the slope putt ran down after going clost to the hole [above the hole] left about a 10ft uphill putt. The resultant putt went straight into the hole : - ] I had the 'old' PingZero3 out for the first time in months. Guess where it resides now? hahaha! More attention needed on the long clubs, but I will carry on chipping and SWINGING UP~!
Saw DJ make a beaut putt this morning (our time) at the St Jude Classic. Making the cut was first priority. Now he just needs to keep on keeping on. Gooooooooo! DJ
Keep on swinging up in Vegas and improve. DH

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Around 109*F on the golf course yesterday. Played 18 with my Brother Craig and his Son my nephew Kyle at the challenging Palm Valley track. Lots of hills, lakes and deep bunkers. Kyle was one of the top players on his high school team and at 26 just keeps getting better. He really hits the ball well most of the time. Long and strong. Kyle shot a 78. We played from the tips, something I rarely do any more so all holes were longer than usual. My score included too many 'others' and finished with an ugly 47 on the front and a better 42 on the back. Not thrilled with my total score but had two great short shots and two good putts. Chipped in from 20 yards with the pw and holed out from the sand (thanks Kenny Knox) from about 10 yards green side with the 60*. The later was especially cool as Kyle was by the flag which was well above the bunkers bottom and on a slope. Ball came out high with spin and landed 6 feet above hole and after checking up rolled gently down into the hole for a birdie. Made putts of 8 and 12 feet to save bogie and a par.

Seems when I play with Craig and Kyle I hit some of my best shots and many of my worst too!

We laughed and cheered and poked fun at each other as family should on a fun golf outing. Perhaps we were delirious from the early summer heat. Hope for lower scores in the coming days but sometimes golf is just fun. Glad for more precious memories with loved ones. In the end memories are all that remain. Make them good ones:)

Dragonhead's picture

Submitted by Dragonhead on

Robert,
Out yesterday for a visit to the hallowed turf after nigh two weeks of not even hitting a ball, boohoo ; - ) First tee shot with my 3W and one of the best starts on that hole. Some [not many], so-so shots, with the opposite problem afflicting Mr Renaut,ie, lower shots off the tee particularly. Had the driver out once and it went back in the bag and stayed there~! The so-so shots were attributed IMO by swinging too fast grrrr! As soon as I throttled back a little and the results were far better.
What was on song in spades was the chipping, pitching and putting.
The 'new' chipping technique paid off big time, as did my new putting grip and setup with my hands and arms. The front 'driving range' practice chipping sessions after swing sessions obviously paid off : - ) Several long chips ended up close with others dropping in. The only putt that I thought of as poor, on an across the slope putt ran down after going clost to the hole [above the hole] left about a 10ft uphill putt. The resultant putt went straight into the hole : - ] I had the 'old' PingZero3 out for the first time in months. Guess where it resides now? hahaha! More attention needed on the long clubs, but I will carry on chipping and SWINGING UP~!
Saw DJ make a beaut putt this morning (our time) at the St Jude Classic. Making the cut was first priority. Now he just needs to keep on keeping on. Gooooooooo! DJ
Keep on swinging up in Vegas and improve. DH

grizz01@att.net's picture

Submitted by grizz01@att.net on

I have a problem I play good and shoot about 38 or 39 for 9 holes and them I loose my confidence or just seem to get tired and start to miss shots I most of the time hit a draw the start to hit the ball with as cut lose confidence and hit the ball out of bounds right if I aim further left then it hid a double cross and go short and left what van I do to correct this problem I have attended one of your one day schools and played fine for a while but am now back to the same old problems

Russty Kiwi's picture

Submitted by Russty Kiwi on

You could very well be getting tired. More so if you are walking & not in a cart. If you get tired you will lose your focus & not perform well.
I usualiy cut the ball if I stand too close to it. You should not change your setup to compensate for a problem. Use rule # 5. Who cares what went wrong.Do the next one right. Dont try to hit the ball too hard & find a way save energy. You should relax between shots so you can focus when you need to hit the ball. Remember its meant to be fun & dont put to much pressure on yourself to perform. As my old mate would say "never let your expectations exceed your ability.

Steve Smith's picture

Submitted by Steve Smith on

Golf is a weird game. I had a golf cart in my barn that hasn't been used for a few years and I knew the batteries were weak. I took it to the course this morning to see if it would go nine holes on those batteries. I had no real intention of trying to shoot a good score and there was rain coming so I was going to have to really hurry.

On the first hole I made a 3 foot birdie putt. Good start but I didn't think much of it because it's probably the easiest par four on the course. Then on the second hole (a tough par 3) I didn't even put the ball on a tee like I usually do and hit my shot to less than 2 feet. Hmmm...What's going on?

On the third hole I messed up my approach and left myself with a 25 foot putt, which I two putted. I'm thinking that's probably the end of the magic but I birdied the next two holes.

Still nothing too special because the next two holes are a tough par 3 and a tough narrow driving hole with OB on both sides on a par 4. Missed the green on the par 3 but got up and down for par. Then hit a good tee shot on the par 4 but the approach missed long and left in the rough. Chipped out of the rough to less than a foot and tapped it in.

Now I'm thinking I might have a chance for a really good round because the next hole is a par 5 and if I hit a good tee shot it's usually a very easy birdie or sometimes an eagle. I hit a great drive but choked on the second shot with a 3 wood (usually my bread and butter) and hooked it under some Bradford pear trees and had to try to run it out of there on the ground. Couldn't get it on the green and ended up with a par.

Final hole is a par 4 to an island green and it's all about the second shot. I had 113 yards and thought I hit a decent shot but it hit the boards at the edge and went in the water. Had a SW and a putt from the drop area for the only bogie of the nine holes.

Final tally 3 under par.

Yesterday on the same nine holes I had four bogies and only one birdie. Maybe it was a lucky golf cart that I should use more often. Ha ha!