Was the $500 investment on a new Driver worth it?

Shot Scope user Robert decided enough was enough and that he should invest in a new driver for the golf season. The purpose of this article is not to enhance a specific club or brand but to discuss and show the merits in custom fitting and understanding performance data.

The question posed to Shot Scope: Was the $500 investment worth it?

Firstly, about the driver change. The original driver (Driver_Old) was from a well known brand and purchased new in 2011, it had an extra stiff shaft with 9 degrees loft. The new driver (Driver_New) is actually the newest release from the same brand and has an extra stiff shaft with 10.5 degrees loft.

Table 1 launch monitor data from driver fitting. New driver sees an eight mile per hour improvement on clubhead speed and 26 yard improvement on distance with new driver vs. old.

During the fitting process, multiple drivers and shafts were tested. Driver_New was found to go on average 26 yards further (using a Launch Monitor) than Driver_Old.

Discussing with Robert, he said that he felt he was playing better with the new Driver and had lowered his handicap from 8.8 to 7.2 already this year but attributed that improvement to other areas of his game.

Looking through his Shot Scope performance data:

Table 2 shot scope driver statistics: Table shows that while there may have been a decrease in the longest drive with the old driver, there is more consistency in average distance and performance average distance with the new driver leading to higher usage of the driver.

It is obvious to see that Driver_New is longer than Driver_Old, using Average Distance it is 17 yards longer and if we look at P-Avg (Performance Average) it is only 11 yards longer.

*Shot Scope recommend users refer to their P-Avg Distance (Performance Average) as it removes all outliers good and bad, to give the user a true representation of how far they hit a good shot.

This isn’t the 26 yards we seen from his fitting, but there is a caveat to this performance data. Typically a longest drive occurs on holes that are downwind or with a firm fairway and Robert has confirmed this was the case with his longest drive.

The main takeaway from his distance statistics is the consistency. Driver_Old had a 36 yard difference between average and performance average, whereas Driver_New has reduced that difference to 30 yards. Not only is Driver_New longer, it has better distance consistency as well.

This unsurprisingly has created an increase of confidence with Driver_New, resulting in a higher usage % of 27% compared to Driver_Old’s 22%.

The question is, has this resulted in more fairways being hit, well yes!

Table 3 Shot Scope Driver Accuracy: table concludes there was a 7% increse on fairways hit using the new driver vs the old and a significant improvement on drives missing the fairway to the right.

We can see from Robert’s Shot Scope performance statistics that he has now increased his fairways hit % to 45%, up 7% from Driver_Old. As well as hitting more fairways he has minimized his right miss by 14%, now down to 24% with Driver_New.

Looking into this further we discover that his misses are in fact smaller misses with Driver_New.

Table 4 Shot Scope Distance From Fairway: The average distance from the fairway on misses went from 16.2 with the old driver to 11.7 with the new one.

His average non-fairway hit with Driver_New is only 11.7 yards from the fairway whereas with Driver_Old it was 5 yards more off-line at 16.2 yards.

With the help of understanding performance statistics from Shot Scope we can conclude that Driver_New is longer, more consistent and more accurate off the tee than Driver_Old, but the following question is, did the new driver lower Robert’s scoring?

The next area to look into is his approach shots:

Table 5 Shot Scope Approach Statistics: Greens in regulation improved from 38% playing from the old driver to 60% with the new. A 22% increase.

Robert has increased his Greens in Regulation by a massive 22% in 2021. Not only this, but he is hitting the ball considerably closer to the pin compared with last year – over 20ft closer! There is no doubt that this is due to him hitting more fairways and being more accurate off the tee with Driver_New. Subsequently, leaving himself better approach shot positions, with more approaches from fairways and less from a long way offline.

As Robert mentioned he has lowered his handicap and Shot Scope statistics shows this with his scoring improvements.

Table 6 Shot Scope Scoring Statistics: The average score v par in 2020 went from +11.45 to +7.74 in 2021 with improvements on both par 4 and par 5 scoring

Total round scoring has improved by 3.71 shots, with Par 4 and Par 5 scoring both improving due to his better driving and subsequent approach performance.

A great way to show that the improvement can be attributed to Driver_New is through the fact that Robert’s Par 3 scoring has remained static.

Table 7 Shot Scope Par 3 Scoring: Par 3 scoring remained mostly static with an average of 3.64 in 2020 vs 3.68 in 2021.

It is evident that custom fitting can improve scoring, it should be noted that this case is dramatic as there was a 10-year gap in the technology of the Drivers.

Most importantly Shot Scope user Robert can sleep soundly knowing his $500 investment was worthwhile and he can be even more confident in using his Driver to find more fairways.

Display of the shot scope technology that can be added to your golf club providing data to your watch of mobile app.

Understanding Shot Scope performance statistics can help provide a golfer with better knowledge of where they can improve their game, alongside allowing them to see any changes over the years just as in this example. Knowing how to analyze and understand statistics of this type can be hugely beneficial to your game. For more information on Shot Scope visit shotscope.com.