When it comes to your driver there can be good days and bad days. We can love it and hate it, some days it sets us up for success and other days, well… those are the ‘other days’, that we don’t like to talk about. But the Driver is definitely one of the more “fun” clubs in the bag. We want to hit it longer and straighter. Our dream… pretty much to replicate Rory’s ability to propel it 300+ yards (275+ m.) every time or Russell Henley’s precision by hitting the fairway over 73% of the time.
Like the beginning of every story, you need a good ‘hook’, but in this case, you want a straight and long drive to help kickstart the hole. If you’re going to want to match Rory's distance and Russell's precision, you’ll have to understand your own shortcomings and strengths off the tee.
The pros are constantly tracking their stats and knowing where their game, in different facets, stands against the field with their strokes gained data. Fortunately, everyday golfers can have access to data like the pros with Arccos; allowing you to gauge how your game compares to those with similar, better, or worse handicaps.
Know how you’re driving the ball overall, and break it down by distance, accuracy, and penalties... As our Lead Data Analyst, Lou Stagner heavily advises, “Avoid the penalties!”
A positive number indicated you are gaining an “x” number of strokes compared to your set handicap.
Distance off the Tee
Rory McIlroy is undeniably an anomaly when it comes to driving the ball. Despite his modest stature of 5'9", over 65% of his drives on tour exceed, an astounding, 320 yards (293 m.). He’s a spectacle to watch off the tee. Working to hit it longer can definitely be beneficial. With more than 1 trillion data points collected and over 700 million shots tracked, we found there is a correlation that longer hitters tend to be better golfers. The 2022 U.S. Open champion, Matthew Fitzpatrick attested to the positive impact of boosting his length on overall performance after his win.
Are there variables in which longer hitters tend to be better golfers… of course! We all know the guy, that hits it a mile long, but two fairways over.
Talking about “that guy” … if you happen to be the golfer who sends the ball soaring into adjacent fairways, you probably kill it on the open course layouts. However, tighter courses like Harbour Town might prove to be your kryptonite.
Check to see how accurately you’re driving the ball and if you have a tendency to miss left or right. Perhaps we perceived ourselves as consistently missing to the right, only to discover through meticulous data collection that our actual misses lean towards the left. In such cases, those countless "fix my slice" videos may not have been necessary after all.
Driving By Hole Length
Who doesn’t relish the opportunity to go for it on a drivable, par 4? When you step up to the tee, you are tempted to embrace the “risk it for the biscuit” mentality, swinging with all your might, only to end up where you didn’t want to be.
You can break down your Driver Strokes Gained data even more with the Driving by Hole Length chart in the Arccos app. It’ll show various hole lengths to identify which of your tee shots on an average 18-hole round are gaining or losing your strokes. It might be time to reconsider our approach to those tantalisingly short par 4s.
Driving Hole By Shape
Do you naturally play a cut? Is your miss a duck hook? Although a "banana ball" might not seem ideal on most holes, there are situations where it could work to our advantage. Arccos’ Driving Hole by Shape chart will break down how you are performing on different types of holes. But you still might want to work towards being able to hit that cut or draw on command.
By delving into these five insightful aspects of your driver game, you can gain a deeper understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. Armed with this knowledge, you'll be better equipped to give your game a new advantage this season.