Generally, amateur golfers who haven’t been through a custom fitting service use driver shafts which are too stiff and this limits the amount of launch available at impact.
However, if the shaft is too flexible and the kick point of the shaft too low then the ball could balloon upwards robbing the golfer of distance. The ballooning effect is caused by an excess of back spin created at impact, when caused by the shaft, this is a result of an increase of dynamic loft. Throughout the swing, the driver shaft bends and flexes in a number of different ways. Coming through impact, the club head overtakes the shaft and presents the true dynamic loft to the ball. If the club head overtakes the shaft by too much, the dynamic loft increases and causes a huge increase in back spin. This can be caused by a too flexible shaft when compared to swing speed and a too low kick point. A kick point is the section of the shaft that the club head takes over. The lower the kick point, the more dynamic loft will be created. The higher the kick point, the less dynamic loft will be created.
The best way to find the correct shaft flex for your driver is to get custom fitted using a launch monitor and professional advice. Without taking advantage of modern technology and qualified professionals, it will be extremely hard to find the perfect shaft for your game.
Other Causes of a Ballooned Ball Flight
Before running off and swapping shafts, there are a number of other things which could also cause the ball to balloon upwards with too much back spin.
The angle of attack created in the swing should be different than with the irons to minimize the amount of spin being created. With a normal iron swing, the club should bottom out in its arc just after the ball, leading to a downward strike and back spin being created. With a driver, players need to minimize the amount of back spin which means striking the ball on a slightly ascending arc. For this to be possible, the ball position in the driver set up must be technically sound which is just inside the left heel for a right handed golfer to enable to ball to be met on a slightly ascending blow.
Another reason the ball may balloon in flight is if at impact the ball is placed too high upon the tee peg. At address, only half the ball needs to be showing above the driver’s top edge, any more than this and you will run the risk of catching the ball high off the club face, creating a large amount of back spin and the possibility of a dreaded sky mark on the driver.