Optimal Driver Launch Angle Tips

Finding the optimal driver launch angle will help you to boost your power and distance off the tee. Our expert shares some helpful tips...

How to find the optimal driver launch angle with PGA Pro Gareth Lewis, including correct and incorrect technique examples
These expert tips will help you to find the optimal driver launch angle and crush it off the tee...
(Image credit: Tom Miles)

Many of the best golf tips revolve around the common themes of striking the golf ball well, increasing your distance and generating more power - all of which can be achieved with the optimal driver launch angle.

Finding this elusive position can be tricky for amateur golfers, but if you can achieve it you will get the maximum return for the effort you expend in the golf swing. In this video and article, PGA professional Gareth Lewis shares his expert tips on how to optimise your driver launch angle and find those precious extra yards off the tee...

How To Find The Optimal Driver Launch Angle

I am often asked, 'what is the optimal launch angle?', and it's a very important question. Manufacturers and tour technicians around the world give us some indication, stating around 15 degrees of launch with around 2,500-3,000rpm of spin can generate the most efficient launch conditions. 

It does, however, depend on the speed that you are swinging the golf club. If your swing speed is at the lower end of the spectrum, say around 80mph, you will need slightly more loft (17 or 18 degrees) and spin over 3,000rpm. This extra spin is going the keep the ball in the air for longer, which in turn will also increase the carry distance, allowing you to power up your swing without you needing to find any extra speed.

Conversely, if you swing the golf club at 90mph, the launch angle can come down slightly to around 14-16 degrees. The spin rate also decreases, to between 2,500 and 3,000rpm, with that pattern continuing the in correlation with increased swing speed.

A golfer who can swing the club at 100mph or more, brings the launch angle down again, This time to something in the region of 12 to 15 degrees, and with spin of 2,000 to 2,500rpm.

Optimal Driver Launch Angle Tips

We shouldn't assume that it's all about swing speed, though. Angle of attack also plays a key role, as if you are not hitting up on the ball, you will not get the carry distance you are looking for. Putting all the pieces together at the same time can be tricky, but combining these key elements is the best route to more distance off the tee.

An upward launch angle with driver

It's vital to hit the ball on the up if you want to create optimal launch conditions

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

Start by checking your driver address position, including checking your spine angle at setup.

From there, you're ready to load into your trail side in your driver backswing and then rotate your hips for power coming through to impact. Do all that and you'll notice you've been able to shallow out your driver swing, making it far easier to hit the ball with an ascending attack angle.

Using a launch monitor will also allow you to gather accurate data so you can assess your progress, and if you're still struggling, try out some driver drills that are sure to help.

Hit Up, Don't Lean Back

One other thing that is worth adding here is whilst you are looking to hit up on the ball with a driver in hand, you shouldn't be leaning back through impact. Getting your dynamic weight distribution wrong will cause a range of issues - notably poor strikes and a possible slice.

As long as the ball position is forward in your stance, you shouldn't need to alter your weight distribution to find an upward strike. You should feel your weight loading onto your back foot at the top of the backswing and then driving through towards the target through impact. This will deliver the ideal blend of launch and speed. 

Gareth Lewis
PGA Professional

Gareth is a well respected professional with over 20 years experience. Gareth has previously worked at various high profile and world-renowned facilities, the most recent being Royal St.David's Golf Club in Harlech, North Wales, where he held the position of Club Manager and Head Professional.


He has a passion for coaching, custom fitting and retail and also enjoys regularly competing and playing socially. Gareth has had success coaching players of all abilities from a Welsh Professional Champion and Welsh Amateur Internationals to the absolute beginner. Gareth's passion for all sports and enthusiasm to continue learning makes his coaching style very adaptable and relatable, which is why he also has a good track record of coaching elite athletes from other sports. More details can be found at www.lewygolf.co.uk