How many distances can you hit a driver?

By • Category: Home Edition

I had always wondered how sensitive the trackball was in measuring distance relative to the speed of your follow-through on the trackball, so I set up this experiment: I wanted to see how many different distances I could hit a driver without pulling the ball back.  I printed out a grid containing all numbers from 1-400, and then I crossed them off the list as I achieved that distance.  These shots were performed off the tee to a long, flat fairway with the Flares and Hurtles.

I was very impressed with my findings.  I was able to nail every distance from 45 up to 350 yards with no more than 3 yardages missing between any of the distances!  For instance, I hit a shot 344 yards and another 348 yards, but I was not able to hit 345-347 during this test.  There were only a few gaps this large, as I was able to hit most of the distances.

An interesting note is that I needed to thumb some shots to the side towards 1 or 3 to achieve different distances.  Shooting straight forward limits the distances you can achieve.  So, while it’s not practical, you could nail a different distance by rotating right once and thumbing a shot out towards 1.  The type of shot matters too, as I used one-thumb flicks to two-thumb shots to hammers with the palm.

45 yards was the shortest I could get.  I did this with both an angled shot towards 1 or towards 3.  51 yards was the shortest I could get shooting towards 2.

348 was the longest shot I had (again, this was with no pullback).  That was a hammer straight ahead.  I was able to hit 331 yards with the firmest thumb shot I could muster.

I noticed something very interesting when flicking thumb shots out to the side.  You can actually see the ball curve back towards center, as if you were hitting a B1 or B3 shot!  You’ll notice it dive down a bit too, as if you were throwing a slider.  And, because of this, shots to the side with the same speed carry less distance.  Since the ball has a slight curve back towards center, it hasn’t traveled in a perfectly straight line, and thus it has lost distance to a shot straight ahead.

The home edition lets you perform a trackball test in the setup mode, where you can make sure the ball is rolling smoothly in each direction.  You can also observe a number related to the speed of your shot.  For instance, I was able to hit forward with a minimum distance rating of 16 and a maximum distance rating of 136.  The sensors correlate to one of these numbers which helps determine your yardage on the course.

Each person’s touch and feel could potentially achieve different distances, so I believe that although I didn’t hit all the yardages, it should be possible!  When you factor in a pullback, you can certainly achieve any distance below the max with any club given a flat fairway ahead.

is a Golden Tee addict from Chicago, IL, thirsty for tips and tricks!
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One Response »

  1. 45 yards?

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