Busting Myths: Hitting Down
January 9, 2020
So one thing I want to occasionally do is bust a few myths (or really swing thoughts). We here them all the time; keep your head down, tee it lower when you’re into the wind. These sometimes just don’t make sense when you really look at the swing or think about the concepts. Today’s myth I am going to bust is that the more you hit down on the ball, the higher it’s going to get.
Who has heard that thought before? In order to hit the ball higher, you have to hit more down on the ball. I hear it all the time on the range or in the shop. They want to hit down on the ball so they can compress the ball more. They also they that they have to take a massive divot in order to get the ball more up in the air. You get where I am going with this, so let’s dive in and talk about a few concepts.
Dynamic Loft + Angle of Attack= Spin Loft
Are we really in math class right now? We are! But before we dive into the numbers, I am going to give you a few definitions. Static Loft is the stated loft on a golf club (ex. average 5 iron loft is 28 degrees). Dynamic Loft is the amount of loft on the club at impact. Angle of Attack is the up and down movement of the club at impact. You will typically see a positive (or upward) Angle of Attack when hitting a driver and a negative (or downward) AoA when hitting an iron off the ground. Finally, Spin Loft is the angle created between Dynamic Loft and Angle of Attack. This is what golfers will refer to as “compression”.
So what does all of this mean? Well, our goal is to have less spin loft in order to have a better flight. A higher spin loft will lower the Smash Factor and increase the spin rate. You can see in the picture below, if Dynamic Loft stays consistent, a steeper angle of attack will create a higher Spin Loft. We won’t dive into path or face angle, but those would also play a factor in Spin Loft.
Too high of a spin rate and you will lose distance. So, what happens if you decrease the Dynamic Loft to compensate? Well, then we will hit it lower. The only way to efficiently hit the ball higher is to increase swing speed and improve on strike.
I will continue to dive further into this subject and more, but for now I wanted to briefly explain this concept. Hopefully, this helped open your eyes and understand that it is not necessary to try and hit way down on it in order to increase trajectory. Let me know what you think!