The Effect of Driver Mass and Shaft Length on Initial Golf Ball Launch Conditions: A Designed Experimental Study Conference Paper uri icon


  • The influence of golf driver mass and shaft length on initial golf ball launch conditions was investigated. A series of carefully selected player tests were used to isolate the coupled influence of club mass and shaft length on initial ball velocity, spin rates, launch angle, and dispersion of impacts across the clubface. The ranges of selected club masses and shaft lengths were typical of those found in currently available drivers. While longer, lighter clubs generally led to higher ball speeds for most test golfers, those combinations of club mass and club length that minimized spin rates resulted in the greatest estimated total shot distance. Not surprisingly, use of longer drivers led to a slightly larger dispersion of impacts over the clubface. Interestingly, individual golfers tended to miss in the same region of the clubface irrespective of the club length, i.e., they compensated for changes in club mass and length when swinging. Employing the methodology outlined here, it may be possible to tailor golf club designs in order to obtain enhanced golf ball launch characteristics for a range of golfers. Such efforts may facilitate golf club design by establishing relationships between mass and configuration parameters that lead to improved driver performance. © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

author list (cited authors)

  • Lacy, T. E., Yu, J., Axe, J., & Luczak, T.

citation count

  • 4

publication date

  • January 2012