What is Smash Factor?

Ball Explosion

Smash Factor is a measure of how efficiently you transform clubhead speed into ball speed.

The higher your smash factor, the better the ratio of energy transferred onto the golf ball from the clubhead. Your Smash Factor is calculated by dividing your clubhead speed by your ball speed.

The magic number golfers should be looking to hit with their driver is 1.50. Amongst the best players in the world, the average is 1.49, so don’t expect to be consistently around the 1.50 mark unless you are a serious ball striker.

As you go into higher lofted clubs, your Smash Factor will naturally decrease. With your pitching wedge a good number to have is around 1.25.

Hitting the golf ball further and swinging faster is something that most, if not all of us are constantly looking to do. Increasing your Smash Factor, however, is often more important when trying to gain distance, rather than increasing your clubhead speed.

This is because a more centred contact is more likely to impart more energy onto the ball, therefore increasing your ball speed and overall distance.

That being said, Smash Factor is not simply a representation of how well the ball has been struck out of the centre of the clubface, as it is possible to attain high Smash Factor figures on mishits.

Read more - What is a Stimpmeter and how do you use it?

Let’s look at some examples of what a change in Smash Factor can do to your distances.

Whilst using a driver - assuming a clubhead speed of 100mph, consistent spin rate and launch angle - a Smash Factor of 1.40 would see youattain a ball speed of 140mph, carry of 227 yards and 249 yards in total. 

With your Smash Factor now at the magic 1.50 mark, your ball speed jumps to 150mph, with carry going up 22 yards to 249 and your total now at 271 yards.

Read more - What is bounce on a golf club?

What this shows is that, by swinging at the same speed, but with a higher Smash Factor, you are able to gain some serious distance.

Boosting your Smash Factor can best be achieved through consistently finding the centre of the clubface, improved delivery of the clubhead to the ball and, perhaps most importantly, using equipment that is fitted to your game, enabling it to perform at its best.

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