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Driver Fitting:
Maximize Total Driving for Lower Scores

For many decades in the past on PGA Tour, the players were measured regularly for both their Driving Distance, and their Driving Accuracy, or how often they were hitting the fairway with their drives. And you could always look up the stats for your favorite player, or find out for the current year: who’s hitting it the longest and who has the highest percentage in the fairway?

And then, many years ago, the PGA Tour came up with an additional, better statistic called Total Driving. Total Driving was simply an index of both driving distance and accuracy, a way to track the players who had the best of both worlds, at least compared to the other players.

What you noticed with the Total Driving stat is that the #1 guy, the best driver of the golf ball, was never the guy who was #1 in Driving Distance. Never.

Now, what does that tell you—for your golf game, that is? In my opinion, it tells you that when you look for that magical new driver, don’t choose the one that only allows you to hit if further when you really nail it. No, choose the driver that will give you your best “Total Driving” stat.

There is no magic in how far you can drive the ball. It’s all science: the driver and you swinging it. The driver’s COR or face spring-effect is limited by USGA specs; you are also limited by the clubhead speed you can generate. So, there is a maximum distance you can drive a golf ball given optimal launch conditions with solid, proper contact with the clubface.

You might lust after a driver that on occasion can produce that one magnificent moonshot. However, a driver that enables this thrill on occasion will almost always not be able to produce accuracy on a consistent basis. The right path is to regularly get close to your max distance number AND tighten your ball dispersion pattern. That is what we call effective Total Driving.

Pursuant to this point, the next time you have a driver fitting or have a strong preference for a certain new driver, the following questions need to be answered:

You will always remember that one great drive in your round of golf, but the other 13 drives and their outcome matter more. I assure you--you will shoot lower scores and maximize your enjoyment of the game if you emphasize Total Driving.

Come see me and get a driver fitting for Total Driving.

-- Wade Heintzelman