In the month of December 2014 Rickie Fowler posted these photos to Instagram:

rickie-fowler-launch-angle

 

Just the other day I was talking to one of the assistant golf professionals at my home course. He explained that Titleist is trying to make a driver or club that will allow 17 degrees of launch with the ball spinning at 1700 RPMs. The 17/17 shot would optimize distance and spin. When looking at Rickie Fowler’s launch stats and spin rate from above it is quite obvious that no amateur golfer will be able to get 17 degrees of loft at 1700 RPMs. This would basically be a knuckle ball that is crushed.

With the driver, Rickie Fowler’s stats are as follow:

Driver

  • Carry – 295.8 Yards
  • Total Distance – 320.9 Yards
  • Spin Rate – 2315
  • Launch Angle – 10.4 degrees
  • Ball Speed – 178.4 mph

3 Wood

  • Carry – 256.9 Yards
  • Total Distance – 271.4 Yards
  • Spin Rate – 3298
  • Launch Angle – 9.9 degrees
  • Ball Speed – 161.1 mph

It is interesting that Rickie Fowler’s launch angle is actually lower for a 3 wood. This reminds me of Tiger hitting a stinger that would go forever. Height and spinning the ball is usually not a concern for professionals hitting a 3 wood; they are simply looking for distance and control. I have not done the research but I would like to know if most PGA Tour pros hit a 3 wood off the deck with a lower launch angle.

Personally, I have never hooked myself up to one of these systems as the numbers would just get in my head. I hit a 11.5 degree driver because the higher the loft the less slice spin I get on the ball. I would like to hit a 11.5 or 12 degree driver as this allows me total control coming out of the tee box. You will never confuse me for someone that drives the ball 300 yards but I can promise you that I will hit about 75% of fairways and I will lose one ball every three or four rounds.