HOW INNOVATION IS MAKING ME A BETTER DRIVER
The technology that has helped make the driver more forgiving for average golfers hasn't been the best thing for me. Modern drivers have gotten bigger, and as a result the center of gravity has moved farther away from the face. That helps improve a driver's moment of inertia, or stability, but it has made drivers feel different from my traditional blade irons and produce too much spin.
For players with high swing speeds, too much spin can hurt your distance. Lowering the loft might lower your spin rate, but it brings down your launch angle, too. Fortunately, new technology gave me another option last year—but not with the driver. I switched to Callaway's X Hot 3-wood, and right away I was hitting it nearly as far as my driver. This club revolutionized my driving because it eliminated excessive spin but still gave me high launch. The head is smaller and the center of gravity is closer to the face. Its smaller size also means a lower moment of inertia, so the face is easier for me to square up at impact.
Can you benefit from my 3-wood strategy? For many players a 3-wood could go just as far as a driver. But what's intriguing is how the technology in my 3-wood is making its way to the driver. Just as I'm able to optimize the center of gravity for my swing, you'll be able to find a driver optimized for your swing. That's a big step toward maximizing distance.
—with Mike Stachura