How to Reduce Driver Launch Angle

by Jim Thomas

    The launch angle of your shot is measured by the initial elevation angle of the ball immediately after impact with the club head. If you launch shots high into the air, you have a high launch angle. There are a number of ways to reduce your launch angle. Some are simple, such as teeing the ball lower or reducing the loft of your driver. Some require a change in your swing that might decrease your distance and/or accuracy.

    Items you will need

    • Golf clubs
    • Tees

    Step 1

    Use a less lofted driver. As PGA teaching professional Josh Zander explains, this is the quickest and easiest way to reduce your launch angle.

    Step 2

    Tee the ball back farther in your stance. This will enable you to contact the ball on more of a downswing, which reduces your launch angle.

    Step 3

    Tee the ball lower.

    Step 4

    Set up with your right shoulder higher -- if you play right-handed -- and your weight a bit more on your left side. This is another way to help you hit the ball on more of a downswing.

    Step 5

    Use a more rigid shaft with a higher kick point. A less flexible shaft with a kick point closer to your grip will reduce your launch angle.

    Step 6

    Use a driver with a shallow face. It will have a lower center of gravity, which will propel the ball off the club face at a lower launch angle.

    Step 7

    Adopt a downward angle of attack. Club expert Tom Wishon says the key to increasing your launch angle is a swing with an upward angle of attack. Your driver should contact the ball on the upswing in order to launch it high into the air. Conversely, a downward angle of attack, which results in striking the ball on your downswing, will decrease the launch angle substantially.

    Tips

    • Whether you hit the ball on the upswing or downswing with a driver is a natural result of your particular swing, says Wishon. Golfers "simply develop different Angles of Attack into the ball as a result of various individual swing habits and characteristics."
    • In addition to launch angle, the speed the ball comes off the driver at impact and the amount of backspin affect how far you hit the ball. If you seek more distance off the tee, a launch monitor can measure all three components of your swing to determine the best launch angle for optimizing your driver distance.

    Warnings

    • Lowering the launch angle by changing your swing should not be undertaken lightly. Altering your swing mechanics might decrease your ability to hit the ball squarely on the club face, which can cost you distance and play havoc with your accuracy.

    About the Author

    Jim Thomas has been a freelance writer since 1978. He wrote a book about professional golfers and has written magazine articles about sports, politics, legal issues, travel and business for national and Northwest publications. He received a Juris Doctor from Duke Law School and a Bachelor of Science in political science from Whitman College.

    Photo Credits

    • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images