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Ping’s G430 LST produced an impressive carry distance delta on high toe misses.
As much as we’d all like to find a driver that adds an extra 15 to 20 yards, most of us would be better off finding ways to tighten overall dispersion. Imagine having a driver that goes 250 yards, regardless of where you hit it on the face.
Such a club would make it exponentially easier to focus on consistent contact and not have to worry about miss-sapping distance.
Thankfully, equipment manufacturers have been working on bolstering the areas around the geometric center to retain ball speed. With a massive assist from Golf Laboratories’ swing robot, we’re able to dig into the data and find drivers designed for certain misses. In this case, the most common miss location: high toe.
Unlike the low heel (we’ll discuss this mishit location in a future piece), spin tends to drop to suboptimal levels on toe misses, negatively affecting carry distance. As we found out with this year’s crop of drivers, how much distance you’re losing depends on the driver face technology.
For example, the Spinsistency technology found on Ping’s G430 forged face produced some impressive carry distance numbers on high toe misses. Cobra, Srixon and Callaway also boast face technologies that allow for ball speed retention.
How much retention are we talking about on high toe strikes? Let’s go to the numbers.
(How we calculate: Each driver is tested using a 9-point face mapping. We hit 6 balls from each location on the face — high, low and middle quadrants — and then compare the data to the geometric center.)
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Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour.
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