The Problem With Traditional Drivers
Why Haven't the Well-Known Brand Names Introduced High-Loft technology Before?
By Steve Divnick
Most amateur golfers hit the ball too low off the tee. Trajectory is flat and the ball often gets mired in tall grass before reaching the fairway. Sometimes the ball doesn't even reach the fairway.
This is embarrassing and frustrating.
As a result, most golfers to try to "lift" the ball off the tee, which causes many other problems. We end up topping the ball, cutting across the ball, or hitting it thin or fat. This leads to hooks, slices, shanks, and worm-burners. We don't even give ourselves a chance at hitting the green on our next shot.
It is very difficult to relax and swing smoothly when you don't have confidence.
That's why many of us use our 3-wood with greater success. In fact, if most amateurs used just their 3-wood, their total driving distance would be greater AND more shots would land in the fairway or short rough. And most importantly, their scores would be lower.
But let's be honest. It is embarrassing to use a 3-wood off the tee. It's like admitting that we are wimps. We like our macho cannons! There's nothing like hitting the sweet spot with a long and high rainbow drive down the middle. So we willingly surrender better overall results for those rare smashes when all the planets align and we hit it sweet with our driver. Oh how we love it when our friends say, "Ooooooooooo," and "Aaaaaaaahhhhh," and "Wooooowwww!"
Unfortunately, those rare drives are completely outnumbered by the errant shots that multiply strokes like an out-of-control calculator! Remember this rule:
Hitting it longer MIGHT result in a saved stroke, but hitting an errant shot ALWAYS results in a lost stroke. Those are not good odds.
And for many of us, even the rare good shots are not much longer than most of our 3-wood drives.
Why Do We Hit A 3-Wood So Well?
The 3-wood has more loft. This is the primary reason we hit the 3-wood so well. It is easier to get the ball up, and the higher loft reduces side spin, so we have more control. We relax. Our tempo is better. We don't try to lift the ball off the tee. As a result, our swing is smoother.
But there are four drawbacks when we drive with a 3-wood.
- The shaft is not as long as a driver, so it doesn't generate as much club-head speed.
- It does not have as large a head so it is not as forgiving.
- It does not have as much Coefficient of Restitution (C.O.R.), more commonly known as "spring effect". This is a huge advantage of today's Titanium drivers, and it is too great a benefit to give up by using a 3-wood.
- Higher loft creates more backspin. That's good for every club in the bag EXCEPT the driver.
But even with those disadvantages, the benefits of the higher lofted 3-wood still produce more consistent drives, and often longer distance than a driver. That's great news because the BIG STIK™ has overcome those four disadvantages.
With the BIG STIK™, you will get the distance of a driver with the consistency and confidence of a 3-wood.
A high loft-low spin driver is simple logic. Why, after all these years and all the millions of dollars spent on research, haven't the major equipment makers been able to develop this combination?
There are three reasons:
- As in all industries, tradition rules the marketplace until someone comes along and challenges the norm.
- Golf equipment makers design clubs for pros.
- Conflicting laws of physics.
Let's look at each of these more closely.
Tradition is a wonderful thing if you are referring to family reunions and celebrating holidays together. But it is one of the most difficult roadblocks to overcome in the business world.
Have you ever wondered why the tire track width on all automobiles is about the same? It's because the automobile evolved from the stagecoach which inherited its width from oxcarts. Oxcart paths existed before stagecoaches, so it was logical for the latter to be the same width as the former. When automobiles were invented, they traveled the same roads.
Even if there was a more efficient width available, changing it now would be too costly. We would have to change the size of roads, parking lots, garages, manufacturing facilities, and a host of engineering standards.
Therefore, the very definition of "logic" is significantly impacted by the tradition in which it is being considered.
Tradition usually limits new ideas.
Thankfully, not always.
Golf clubs have always been designed for pros
Golf equipment makers have always designed clubs that are meant for the swings and skill levels of pros, and not those of amateurs. The rest of us have inherited those tools. Manufacturers continue to tell us, "The best players in the world use our driver, you should too." That's just crazy!
I can't argue with the marketing strategy as it has clearly resulted in generating huge profits for the equipment manufacturers. But now millions of average golfers swing those low-loft drivers and struggle to get the ball in the air. It's time for amateurs to rise up and have a "Boston Tea Party" and toss those low-lofters into the bay!
Pros have perfect swings, perfect tempos, and significantly greater club-head speed than the rest of us. It just doesn't make sense for an average golfer to use equipment designed for pro swings.
That said, even the top players in the world are adding loft to their drivers. And they are gaining distance in the process based on studies widely reported in various articles.
The Laws of Physics
The holy grail of driving is a combination of three critical elements of physics:
- Optimum Trajectory
- Low Back Spin Rate
- High Ball Speed
Unfortunately, these three components fight each other. The so-called "Laws of Physics" tell us that if you hit the ball high with a lot of back spin, it will climb like an inverted banana, then drop and stop. That's bad.
A ball with back spin not only climbs, the spin acts like a parachute when it lands. Forget about getting additional distance from forward roll.
High ball speed actually accelerates the spin and climb rates. That's why some people with super fast swings don't necessarily hit the ball farther. They crush the ball off the tee, but spin the dickens out of it.
So traditional club makers make drivers with as low a loft as possible so it does not impart back spin. They leave it up to us to do our best to get the ball into the air. This is a challenge, especially since there isn't much loft on a club and it accentuates side spin. That's when we can hope for a parallel fairway and no white OB stakes.
Adding loft, such as with a 3-wood, makes it much easier to get the ball in the air, but the loft cuts under the ball and increases back spin even more. And to compound the problem further, a 3-wood is designed with a much lower center of gravity (CG) so that it can pick the ball off the fairway and create intentional back spin on purpose so the ball will stop when it hits. In fact, a low center of gravity is great for every club in the bag EXCEPT the driver.
However, since brand-name manufacturers build drivers with such low loft, they have had to design them with a low CG so average golfers can get the ball into the air. Some even brag about having the lowest CG in their advertising. This may be tradition, but it's not helpful on a driver.
Thankfully, we can put the ball up in the air on a tee for drives. In fact, the tee is a great illustration about how NEW traditions are started.
Can you imagine the reaction when the first person poked a little piece of wood in the ground and placed his ball on it. His friends cried foul, but he persissted that it would make it easier to hit the ball if it was up in the air a little. He impressed them with his long drives, so they tried it. They liked it and all agreed they could only use it on the first stroke of every hole.
Now, we all poke a little piece of wood in the ground to hold the ball when we tee off. It's rather silly when you think about it, but it is tradition now, and covered in the Rules of Golf.
It's time for another innovation.
It's time to shake things up.
It's time to redesign the physics of a driver head.
BIG STIK™ has a HIGH loft and a HIGH center of gravity. Because of the creative of the person who invented the tee, we can now place the ball high enough to contact it with the UPPER portion of the driver face where the NEW OPTIMUM center of gravity is located and the spring effect is the greatest.
- The high loft makes it easy to get the ball in the air.
- The high CG reduces the spin.
- The huge face maximizes the spring effect and produces sensational ball speed.
- When it lands, the ball isn't restricted with a back-spin parachute.
- The higher loft reduces side spin so more of your shots land in the fairway.
Now THAT'S what I call a great tradition.
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