ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- In their never ending quest for more distance off the tee, most professional golfers try to reduce the spin imparted to the ball by the driver. Backspin does help get the ball airborne, but too much spin makes drives balloon, decreasing yards. The trick is to find the combination of loft, shaft and ball that creates the ideal spin rate and launch angle.
For Paul Casey, that meant a Nike Victory Red Tour driver with 9.5° of loft, an 83 gram Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board shaft and a Nike One Tour golf ball. With that combination he has averaged 290 yards off the tee in PGA Tour events this season and 298 yards per drive on the European Tour.
But this week Casey decided to increase the loft of his driver. Here's his rationale for the move:
I went up about three quarters of a degree. The reason being the squalls we were getting coming through this week, the rainstorms. My spin rate is pretty low, I'm low 2,000s RPM off the driver which is great when it's nice and hot and sunny, and tricky when water gets between the ball and the clubface. So I had a couple of drives slip off the driver face and not go in the desired direction in practice. So I changed that, got through it on Thursday, played pretty good, but went into the van and [Nike Tour rep] Pete Powell in the truck went from a 9.5° to a 10.5°, same head, VR Tour, same shaft, same everything. I said I just want more spin. He said that the easiest way of doing it is more loft.
I haven't had a problem keeping it down if I want to keep it down. We're just getting our numbers, but if it just gives another 100 or 200 rpm, that's the difference between middle one that slides off the face, and one that goes down the middle of the fairway. That's given me the confidence this week.
The adjustment certainly seemed to pay off, because through the first three rounds he hit 81 percent of fairways and averaged 314 yards per drive.