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Golf Question: How Do The Pros Drive The Ball So Far?Professional golfers can drive the ball some obscene distances which most can only dream of producing. The professionals are not some kind of super humans with special powers, so how do they drive the ball such a long distance? Lets take a look at the science behind these long drives.

To maximize distance, the golf ball needs to be propelled at an optimum ball speed, launch angle and spin rate. These factors can be optimized by working on club speed and angle of attack. Generally speaking, to also maximize ball speed, a centred strike is needed.

Professionals are always fine tuning and testing their equipment on radar tracking devices to make sure their equipment is finely tuned to their game and they are maximizing their distance potential.

The optimal launch angle and spin rate are optimized to the players angle of attack and ball speed. There is a maximum distance the ball can be propelled from certain angles of attack and ball speeds.

Changes to technique can also result in longer drives. A more upward angle of attack rather than a downward blow will have more potential to propel the ball greater distances.

For example: Optimum for attack angle

105mph Club Speed

Attack Angle Ball speed (mph) Loft Angle (degrees) Spin Rate Carry (yards)
-5 Down 153 8 3060 243
0 Level 155 10.7 2520 259
+5 Up 156 13.8 2070 274

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Teeing the ball low and producing a downward hit will most likely lead to the shortest drives. To hit the ball the furthest, a high launch, low spin and more upward hit on the ball are essential, which all the professionals on tour who hit the ball the furthest do.

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Most professionals position the ball forward in their stance to encourage a level to upward hit. Playing the ball back in your stance will most likely have the opposite effect on trying to hit the ball far. A descending blow will produce a low launching, high spinning drive, detrimental to distance.

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The equipment used by the professionals is very similar if not the same as what is available to the public. The professionals equipment is finely tuned from head design, loft, shaft, etc to suit their game to help produce efficient, long drives.