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Answer What Does Smash Factor Mean

Since the advent of accurate launch monitor systems, smash factor has become a major talking point in club houses across the world.

Smash factor is used during club fitting sessions or lessons with technically advanced teaching professionals to gauge how the ball is compressed at impact. Launch monitor systems measure ball speed and then divide by club head speed. Your smash factor is the difference after this division has taken place and the higher the number, the more power is being transferred onto the golf ball.

Statistics taken a few years ago calculated Tiger Woods as having a smash factor of 1.48 compared to Bubba Watson who had 1.52. Compare this to an average amateur who has a smash factor of about 1.20.

On driver shots, golfers are ideally looking to achieve something around the 1.50 mark. This would mean the ball speed reaches a maximum of 150 mph after being hit with a swing of 100mph. Club fitting experts and launch monitor manufacturers TrackMan say as a clubs loft becomes higher, the smash factor is reduced. When compared to a driver, a pitching wedge will have a smash factor nearer the 1.25 mark.

Smash factor can be used to calculate the loss/gain of distance. This driver example is set by TrackMan.

Golfer A has a club speed of 100 mph and a smash factor of 1.40. Golfer As ball speed is 140 mph.
Golfer B has a club speed of 100 mph and a smash factor of 1.50. Golfer Bs ball speed is 150 mph.

The 10 mph difference in ball speed between Golfer A and Golfer B equates to approximately 20 yards in distance between the two golfers even though they have the same club speed.

This is why smash factor is important and why it should be increased. This loss in distance with the same club head speed could be caused by using the wrong equipment.

Smash factor is a relatively new arrival to the golfing dictionary but is a great way of assessing impact factors and equipment suitability.

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Not quite. Swinging faster will increase club head speed but could have no impact on smash factor unless the equipment used is correct. Going for all out swing speed could also decrease the quality of strike leading to off center hits and lower ball speeds.

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Use a shaft which is appropriate to your swing speed. Remember high ball speeds can be produced by solid strikes. Lighter shafts will however allow an increase in club head speed.

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To get an accurate reading will take some effort and access to a professional who invests in the latest technology. But knowing your smash factor and trying to increase it will have a positive impact on your game.