Over the last few years, the benefit of club fitting has a made a tremendous impact on the game of golf. The only category of golfers who have not made massive improvements in their game due this fitting is the hordes of golfers who have yet pay the minimal fee (often free) to get it done.
At Age Defying Golf, we focus on improving the quality and enjoyment of golf for golfers over 50 years old. As such, I am writing this blog about the best golfer drivers for this age group.
Choosing the best drivers for golfers over 50 has little to do with the brand of golf club and more too do with the shaft and club head settings. Here are the dimensions that you need to know:
1) Club head speed: how fast you swing the driver ON AVERAGE.
2) Ball speed: how fast the ball is moving after contact
3) Smash factor: is a multiple that combines club head speed and ball speed. In simple terms, it measures how good you hit the ball on average.
4) Launch angle: is angle from the ground that your ball is traveling on.
5) Whether you fade/slice or draw/hook the ball.
Before I give you a brief summary of what generally works best for seniors, you should know that any general advice I can give pales in comparison to the results you will get by getting fitted by a professional.
Ok, with that said, the main issue that we are dealing with is how to pick the driver that will give you the best distance and performance. If you are over 50 years old your swing speed is probably slowing down due to increased weakness and loss of flexibility. An average golfer fitting this category may have had a swing speed of 105mph in their early forties decreased to 85 mph at the age of 60. This would result in a 270 yard drive paring down to a 215 yard drive leaving you 55 yards further from the hole for a very difficult approach shot. Visit here for our recommendations for drivers for golfers over 50
So the question is: how can we use the current state of technology to improve your driving distance with an 85mph swing? Here are the elements:
I) Shaft flex: Using a more flexible shaft flex will increase your swing speed without having to swing the club faster AND can help improve the squareness of the club face at impact. Here is a general rule-of-thumb chart:
***Some men(you big studs out there!) may have difficulty stepping down to a “regular” or “senior” flex shaft. Which adds to the already present issue of “macho” men overswinging. You can continue to beat yourself up, or you can choose to lighten up and have more fun….error on the side of a more flexible shaft!
Once you have chosen the correct shaft you need to choose the correct:
I) Degree of Loft. When determining the degree of loft you are trying to figure out which loft gives you the longest ball flight. If you choose too little or too much loft you will lose distance. If you are trying to figure this out without being professionally fitted, you are guessing. A professional will measure your launch angle and compare to your ball speed to determine your best fit. And believe me, from experience, it will make a HUGE difference.
II) Smash factor: Smash factor is a multiple derived from your swing speed when compared to your ball speed. If you hit the sweet spot consistently, your smash factor will be excellent. If you do not hit the sweet spot consistently, then you need to find a driver that is more forgiving and maintains your ball speed on off center hits. Again, the professional fitter is your best resource.
III)The final component to find the best driver for your game is your ball flight. Simply, do you slice or fade the ball. It has long been known that a ‘draw’ ball flight will net you the most distance. Most new drivers have settings to help you get the best ball flight and the best distance. Your fitting professional will watch you hit a bunch of balls with a bunch of different driver settings to determine the best adjustment to help you hit the best ball flight for maximum difference.
Click here to see our recommendations of the best golf drivers for over 50″s folk
In summary, being correctly fitted for a driver is significantly more important than the brand of driver or how much the driver costs. And fitting is very cheap, usually around $50. In addition, club manufactures regularly provide free fittings and golf courses everywhere so call your local club to find out when a fitting day will occur at their golf course. You will be glad you did.
D. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist
Age Defying Golf