Increase Distance by Changing Your Angle of Attack

Wed Oct 2, 2013 by Dave Phillips

Every week on the PGA Tour, players use technology to monitor their performance and maximize their distance.  One of the best and most telling pieces of technology at their disposal is a device called Trackman. Trackman uses doplar radar to actually track the movement of the golf club as well as the golf ball itself with incredible accuracy.  The data clearly shows that if a player wants to maximize their distance with the driver, they need to have an ascending angle of attack as the club-head strikes the golf ball. 

Interestingly, players on the PGA Tour, on average, hit their driver with a descending angle of attack of around -1.5 degrees.  However, the LPGA Tour average shows an ascending angle of attack of +3 degree. So what gives? It's a pretty simple answer actually. PGA Tour players have the ability to create very high club head speed, allowing them to trade some distance for accuracy.  By hitting down on the ball, they can flight the golf ball with more control - a much needed skill due to the difficult courses they play.

What we we've recorded over eight years of study at TPI is that most amateurs hit down on the ball with their driver without the offsetting PGA Tour club-head speed. The amateur is hitting the ball higher on the face with more spin, dramatically reducing ball speed and carry distance - a performance robbing combination. 

So next time you head to the course, try these little setup changes and learn to hit the ball with an ascending angle and less spin to increase your distance.

  1. Tee the ball up a little higher.
  2. Try positioning the ball in line with your lead armpit.
  3. Bump your hips a little more toward the target and feel as if your lead hip is higher than your trail hip.
  4. Open your clubface a little at address. All things being equal, the clubface will be pointing slightly left at impact and this will correct for that.

Remember, this distance tip is only for the driver.  A descending blow is required with your irons for a solid strike.  It's amazing how much more distance can be gained by just a matter of degrees!


  • Anonymous User

    Need to widen the stance slightly wider than the shoulders and start the club a few inches behind the ball, about 4 to 5 inches. Try using a tee of 4 inches.

  • Anonymous User

    The trick for fairway woods and rescues is that you have to take the club back extra slowly and hit it just for contact. Do not hit hard. Focus on making just solid contact and the ball will take off at the right trajectory and loft of the club.

  • Steve Harrow

    everyone has different way to shallow attack angle..... mine is to play the ball a little more forward and start my driver 3-4 inches behind the ball... it sets the bottom of my arc and allows the club head to have the closing motion through impact without feeling like your forcing it.

  • jin long tian


  • Anonymous User

    Good question about fairway woods

  • Anonymous User

    Thx Very useful information. I will use your tips when i am on the driving range Pierre

  • Anonymous User

    Althogh hitting higher on the face should reduce spin as per VGE

  • David Leet

    True, but there is more loft higer on the face due to vertical roll

  • Anonymous User

    Nice article. However, I am always unsure about fairway woods. Any thoughts?

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