Drive Golf Performance Blog

Drive Golf Performance Blog

Friday, 25 November 2016

Winter Golf Guide

With the Winter weather on us here in the Northern Hemisphere, here's a guide to help you play better golf in the colder, wetter and windier conditions.

  • Warm Up – warming up before playing has many proven benefits, improved performance, injury prevention etc. and it’s even more important when the body is colder in the winter. A few simple movements like leg swings, arm swings and body rotations will gently warm up the body and prepare it for swinging the club, 8 repetitions with each movement should take only around 2 minutes and can easily be done in the locker room before heading out. Warm up to swing a club don’t swing to warm up.

  •  Layer Up – keep your body warm with layers as opposed to big bulky pieces of clothing, a base layer for warmth and comfort, a mid layer for thermal regulation and an outer layer for protection from wind or rain. If it gets warmer layers can be taken off

  •  Keep your clubs dry – wet club faces cause less friction between ball and club face causing fliers with irons and a dipping flight with woods, it also negates the effect of gear effect with woods meaning mishit shots will go further off line. Keep a spare dry towel in your bag to keep your grips dry too when raining.

  • Swing with ease – extra layers of clothing make rotating and turning your body harder, rather than focusing on a full turn and maximum effort focus on swinging with ease and keeping the proper sequence in your swing 

  • Carry your clubs – some clubs protect their courses with ropes to move traffic away from worn areas, carry your clubs to avoid the detours and give your course some extra rest by not having a heavy caddy car moving through wet areas. You might be wearing all your rain gear too leaving your bag lighter. Also, consider carrying only half a set, less weight and introducing more flair and shot making to your game.

  • Consider foursomes – Foursomes is a great winter game, quick, enjoyable, less walking and less wear on the course, different thought processes required and someone else gets to recover from your bad shots!

  • Hats and mittens – keeping your extremities warm is crucial, hats and mittens are and easy way to do this. Consider hand warmers for your pockets too. Avoid rain gloves as when they get wet your hands get wet too and get colder quicker. 

  • More loft on the driver – with wet fairways the ball will run less so consider adding loft to your adjustable driver to give you more carry and more overall distance, also a three wood can be used off the tee.

  • Use your sand wedge more, less lob wedge – the higher bounce on the sand wedge means the club won’t dig as much in the soft conditions making it more forgiving. A low bounce lob wedge might dig too easily leading to a dreaded duff. The lob wedge would work better in hard compacted wet sand, not bouncing like the sand wedge would
  • Wet rough lies and mud on the ball – consider using more loft from wet tangly lies, the wet rough can grab the club and deloft it leading to smothered shots, using high lofted irons will help avoid this and give much better results. With mud on the ball the shot will curve away from the side where the mud is, just a rule of thumb, prepare for the worst to happen

  • Less break on greens – longer grass and wet greens mean slow greens, play less break then you normally would

  • Low sun and watching the ball – Playing into the low rising and setting sun is more common in winter. To follow your ball, watch the initial flight and rather following the ball into the sun estimate where you think the flight will go and change your gaze to there, helping you find your ball quicker

  •  Ignore par – Imagine playing a 400-yard hole into a 50km/hour breeze(gale!), you’re not reaching this hole in two shots, ignore that it might be a par 4 and adjust your strategy accordingly.   

  • Lower Temperatures mean the ball flies less, factor this into your club selection. A rule of thumb to use, is for every 2 degrees Celsius difference in temperature the ball flies 1 yard less. So the difference between 5 and 25 degrees would be 10 yards less carry. 
  • Should you keep your golf balls warm? When the balls had liquid centres and rubber thread wound around the core, temperatures had an effect on the ball and it was a good idea to keep them warm. However, today's solid centre balls are not effected by temperature and they will not be affected when you leave them in the car on a frosty night.

  • Plan for next season – Maybe next year you want to play your best golf yet, now is the time to put a plan in place to make that happen, figure out how much time you have a week to work on your game, a lot can be accomplished in just 1 or 2 hours a week, contact a golf coach and devise a plan between the two of you to get the most return from your practice time.

  • Work on your fitness – Golf fitness is about how well your body moves, being more mobile, stable, stronger and more powerful will help you play better golf, with the longer darker nights spending 15-30 minutes a day on your body will have great benefits come summer

  • Work on your mental game – golf is a game where the mental side can either diminish or enhance your physical skills. Winter is a great time to read a few books or listen to some podcasts some books to look for are from Bob Rotella, Joseph Parent, Fred Shoemaker, Garret Kramer. Bhrett McCabe does a great podcast. Some other good golf podcasts include 18Strong, Coach Glass Podcast and Golf Weekly from News Talk 

Some links to podcasts:,,,

  • Head to the sun – what’s better then summer golf with the sun on your back? Winter golf with the sun on your back! Spain and Portugal are just a short flight away and for the more adventurous there’s South Africa, Australia and Florida!

Comments are always appreciated. 

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Testing the Titleist 917 D3 Driver against the 915 D3 Driver

Titleist have just launched their latest driver, the 917. There are two models the D2 and the D3. Like every new driver the claim is that it's better, longer and straighter then the previous one. So, last week, to put these claims to the test we compared a 917D3 against a 915D3


According to Titleist the driver's benefits are;

  • Faster ball speeds - Off-center provide more distance, more often, delivering superior forgiveness.
  • Adjustability - Through industry leading SureFit® CG and SureFit® Hosel provide the best possible fit for every golfer of any skill level.
  • Sound and acoustic - Frequencies have been Tour validated to inspire confidence and enhance feel.
  • Trajectory and shot shape - Customization provide golfers a more consistent and repeatable shot from the tee.


  • SureFit® CG - Allows the CG to be moved from a back, heel position to a forward, toe position through interchangeable weights, optimizing spin and launch conditions for every player.
  • Active Recoil Channel™ 2.0 - Refined thickness through the channel reduces spin and increases speed.
  • Radial Speed Face 2.0 - Enhanced with a thinner perimeter face width to promote a greater off-center ball speed for more overall distance across the face.
  • SureFit® Hosel - 16 independent loft and lie settings, create a more consistent and optimized ball flight through precision fitting.

The Test

We had two players testing. While hitting, both players switched heads from 917 D3 9.5 degrees to 915 D3 9.5 degrees but used the same shaft. Player A used a Project X Handcrafted 6.0 and Player B used an Aldila Rogue Silver 60 S flex. Player A and Player B both used the Titleist Pro V1 golf ball. It was a beautiful day for testing with temperatures around 15 degrees C and little wind.
Both players hit 30 drives, 15 with each head, in the order of 5 with 915, 5 with 917, 5 with 915, 5 with 917, 5 with 915 and 5 with 917. Results were recorded on a Trackman launch monitor.

Initial Observations 


The 917 has a different look to the 915 almost going back to a similar look to the classic 975D driver. Also noticeable is the different sound from the 917 to the 915.




Player A 
Carry (yards)
Dispersion (ft)
Club Speed
Ball Speed
Launch Angle
Height (ft)
Player B
Carry (yards)
Dispersion (ft)
Club Speed
Ball Speed
Launch Angle
Height (ft)



There really isn't a whole lot of difference between the two drivers. Player A got better dispersion with the 915, nearly 9 feet closer to the target and slightly more carry, 1.9 yards. Overall distance was the same. With the 917, there was a hint of more club head speed, 1.2 mph ball speed 0.5 mph and also less spin, 223 rpms less.

For player B, the 915 had a little more carry, 2.7 yards and more overall distance, 2.1 yards, everything else was similar.
What could help player B is changing the Sure Fit CG. The player was striking the ball towards the heel of the club, leading to higher spin and shots to the right, note the dispersion was 52-53 feet from target. Switching the weight more towards the heel and altering the centre of gravity as a result would lead to straighter and longer shots for this player. But as we were doing just a direct comparison of heads and keeping the parameters the same we didn't do this and left it for later testing.




Should you run out and get a new Titleist 917? If you have a 915 and are getting good results and it's optimised for your swing, the answer is no. If you are in the market for a new driver the answer is yes, this is a driver you should look at. 

It performs well, is classical looking and sounds good. The Sure Fit CG is a good addition allowing for more customisation. Potentially giving players longer and straighter drives with an altered centre of gravity.
Ultimately, a player needs to test a driver before heading out to buy. The 917 is no different. Test everything and trust nothing is a good mantra when it comes to golf equipment.

Comments and questions are appreciated.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The Value of New Grips

There's nothing like the feel of a new grip but how much of a difference does a new grip make over an older worn grip?

To test this out we got four clubs, 2 Miura MB001 6 irons and 2 Miura Black 52 degree wedges. One 6 iron with a new grip, one with an old grip and one 52 degree with a new grip and one with an old grip.

The new grips were Golf Pride Tour Velvet and the old grips were Miura cord grips.

The specifications of both 6 irons were Miura MB 001, loft 30 degrees, lie 60 degrees, length 37.5 inches, Dynamic Gold S300 shafts. Both grips were the same size.

The specifications of the 52 degree wedges were Miura Black Wedges, loft 52, lie angles - the new grip was 63 degrees, old grip 62 degrees, length 35.5 inches, Dynamic Gold S300 shaft. Both grips were the same size

15 shots were hit with each of the four clubs and the results were recorded on a Trackman launch monitor. 5 shots with a new grip, then 5 shots with an old grip and repeated until 15 shots were hit with each. The club was switched after 5 shots so as not to get too used to anyone of the grips. Conditions were a nice late Summer's evening with temperatures around 18 degrees Celsius and little or no wind.

Let's have a look of the results.

Carry (Yards)Overall (Yards)Club Head Speed MPHBall Speed MPHSide Distance Feet
New Grip
6 iron
Old Grip
6 iron
New Grip
52 degree
Old Grip 
52 degree


The main difference between the new grips and old grips is the increase in club head speed from old to new. The new grip on the 6 iron leads to a club head speed of 87.6 mph an increase of 1.7 mph over the old grip. The new grip on the 52 leads to a club head speed of 76.2 mph an increase of 2.4 mph over the old grip. 

The increase in club head speed causes an increase in ball speed and as a result further carry and further over all distance. The new grip leads to 4.1 yards more carry and 3.8 yards more overall distance with the 6 iron. The new grip leads to 2.4 yards more carry and 3.3 yards more overall distance with the 52.

The new grip on the 6 iron is more accurate about 2 feet on average closer to the target line. However the new grip on the 52 is less accurate then the old grip, 12.625 feet from the target line compared to 4.98 feet with the old grip. However this can be traced to the difference in lie angle between the two. The new grip 52 is 63 degrees lie angle and one degree more upright then the old grip 52. This causes a more right to left ball flight and nearly 8 feet less accuracy. This shows the importance of the correct lie angle for accuracy and a great subject for another blog post!


New grips lead to longer shots! If your grips are shiny change them. You'll hit the ball further. Golf Pride, Lamkin, Winn and others have a great selection of grips. Drop by to your local PGA Club Professional or here to Drive Golf Performance and your grips can be changed while you wait leading to longer and straighter shots the next time you play!

Comments and questions are always welcome.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Comparing the Ping G against the Ping G30

The Ping G30 is a great driver, long and forgiving. Ping generally don't launch a new driver unless it's better then their old one. The launch of the new G driver sparked some curiosity to see how it would improve upon the G30.

We got 4 players to test the two drivers. Each hit 12 drives with both clubs and we used Trackman to record the results. Each player used used a shaft suitable to them and used the same shaft in the G and the G30, this way we could measure how much difference there was between the heads only. With one player we had a different model G to G30 as he wanted to see speed differences only with the other three players the same model G and G30 was used to make a direct comparison between the two heads. Titleist Pro V1 balls were used in the testing.

The tests were done over a couple of days with a slight breeze against and temperatures were down around 7-8 degrees Celsius on all the days, leading to shorter distances then expected given club head/ball speed

The results we wanted to compare were Club Head Speed, Ball Speed, Carry Distance, Overall Distance, Lateral Distance from Target, Launch Angle and Spin Rate.


Carry (Yards)
Overall (Yards)
Club Head Speed/MPH
Ball Speed MPH
Side Distance Feet
Launch Angle
Spin Rate RPM
Player-A G
Player B G
Player C G

Player A used a 10.5 degree G and G30 with a Diamana S+ Blue 62 S Shaft.
Player B used a 9 Degree G LS Tec and G30 LS Tec with a Diamana 'Ahina 70 X Shaft.

Player C used a G LS Tec and G30 LS Tec set to 9.6 degrees with a Diamana Kai'li 70 S Shaft

Carry (Yards)
Overall (Yards)
Club Head Speed/MPH
Ball Speed MPH
Side Distance Feet
Launch Angle
Spin Rate RPM
Player-D G

Player D used a 9 Degree G LS Tec and a 9 Degree G30 set to 9.6 with a Diamana Kai'li 70 X shaft



Club head speed was higher in the G then the G30 for all players between 0.5 and 3 mph faster. Ball speed was faster for 3 out of 4 players, higher ball speed combined with optimal launch conditions is what leads to longer distance. Carry distances were longer for 3 out of 4 with gains of 3 to 6 yards with player B's carries almost identical. Overall distance was longer for 2 out of 4 players too with gains of 6-10 yards with the G30 being longer for player B by 2.5 and Player A's being identical.

Accuracy was down in the G over the G30. The G30 was 15-20% more accurate then the G. Spin rates were similar for players A and B, with player C's spin rates lower in the G. Player D had two slightly different heads meaning the spins can't be compared directly. 

Interestingly player A's spin rates were an average of 3000 rpm in both drivers, an unusual sight seeing such a round number.

The other interesting result was player B's ball speeds being higher with the G30 over the G despite having a lower swing speed with the G30. I'm not too sure why that was, taking 12 shots with each normally gives a much clearer picture then if just 2 or 3 shots were taken and maybe player B was just finding the centre of the club head more with the G30



It would seem that Ping have delivered a better driver in the G then the G30, the 'Vortec' technology in the head has delivered more club head speed. More club head speed should lead to more ball speed and more distance as a result.

Other tests have shown that the G seems to spin more then the G30, this wasn't apparent in this test, however the G delivered more height for all players. If you're going from the G30 to the G it would be best to alter the specifications of the G. Spending some time on a launch monitor such as Trackman fine tuning the flight would be well worth doing.

E.G. Player A lowered the loft on his G after the test to bring down the flight and gain a little more run.

Should you jump from the G30 to the G? 

The answer is maybe, more speed but perhaps a trade off in accuracy, your best bet is to test both.

If you're in the market for a new driver should you look at the G?

Definitely, Ping are a great club maker and rarely make a bad one, the G is one of their best.

Comments and questions are always welcome.