1. Comparison of PGA Tour, Michigan Am, and GAM Sr. Am Driver Data.
|Smash * Launch|
|Ball Speed||Club Speed||Factor||Angle||Spin||Carry Dist.||Total Dist.|
|GAM Super Sr.||91||136||1.49||10.9||2926||203||232|
*Smash Factor is a measure of ball speed relative to club-head speed or how solidly a ball is struck. The maximum ball speed is 1.5 times the club-head speed. i.e. If your club-head speed is 100mph, a perfectly hit shot will have a ball speed of 150mph.
2. Optimum Driver Numbers. For a ball speed of 135-145mph, the optimum launch angle is from 12.5-16 degrees and optimum spin is 2,100-2,600rpm. A player’s swing plus equipment determine an individual’s launch angle and spin, but the average senior launches too low with too much spin to achieve their maximum distance.
There is an interesting example of this with two players in the Senior Amateur. Both players hit drives of 231 yards. One player had a ball speed of 131 mph and the other had a ball speed of 142 mph. Smash factor measures how near the center of the club the ball is struck. The smash factors were 1.46 and 1.47, very close. All things being equal, the faster ball should have gone 22 yards further (2 yds. per 1 mph). Why did they drive it the same distance? The slower ball launched it 14.3 degrees and spun it 2320 rpms. The faster ball launched it 6.9 degrees and spun it 3502 rpms. Inferior launch and spin cost the faster swinger 22 yards.
3. Drivers Used by Contestants. Anecdotally, Brent Norton observed that the drivers used in the Sr. Am. were considerably older than the drivers used in the Michigan Am. Here is a breakdown by brand:
Taylor Made 44 38%
Ping 18 15%
Titleist 15 13%
Tour Edge 4
4. Contestants Fit at Miles of Golf. Miles of Golf fit the driver for 36 of 156 (23%) players in the field. The champion of the Sr. and Super Senior division both were fit at Miles of Golf. The data you see collected in this test is the same data used to fit drivers at Miles of Golf. More information on club fitting at Miles of Golf: http://www.milesofgolf.com/clubfitting.html
5. Contestants Who Work with Kendall Academy Instructors. The Kendall Academy works with 34 (22%) of the field. The champion of the Sr. Am., Bill Zilstra, has worked with Academy instructor, Paul Haase for a number of years. More information on Kendall Academy: http://www.milesofgolf.com/kendall.html
Click to download actual Michigan Senior Amateur Driver results.