Which produces more distance: a lighter club swung at a fast speed, or a heavier club swung at a slow speed? 

Robert Pringle, NSW

It’s pretty much a stalemate. Robot testing has shown that though a lighter club can be swung faster – a key ingredient in distance – a heavier club produces more collision energy, and that also makes the ball go far. (We should disclose that Bernhard Langer was not the robot used in testing.) So what does this mean for you? Just like Ritchie handing out roses on “The Bachelor,” picking a driver has to come from the heart. Tom Olsavsky, one of those R&D guys at Cobra Puma Golf, says if you tend to swing out of your shoes, go heavy. But if you can’t do five push-ups, go light. We’re paraphrasing. His answer was far more intelligent.

Why does a draw go farther than a fade?

Ken Carter, QLD

We asked the same thing! Especially since the fade had a very sheltered upbringing, and we’re pretty sure the draw is the most masculine shot shape a golfer can hit. But it turns out, it was just a rumour. Draws don’t go any farther than fades. The reason you might have thought that is because of the way a shot that curves to the right (for right-handed players) is typically produced. And by produced, we mean skanked. The fade is mostly hit with a glancing blow, creating too much height and backspin for the shot to go anywhere. A draw is typically hit with less loft and better clubface contact. The ball lands on a flatter angle and runs like a rules official from Dustin Johnson. In the future, try not to sell the fade so short. D.J. averaged nearly 300 metres off the tee at the US Open and says he almost always plays a fade now. Terrifying!

Why do I hit my irons great off range mats and terribly when I get on the course?

Jay Wang, VIC

What do you call a guy with no arms or legs? Forget that. The reason you’re struggling on the course is simple: You forgot to take the mat with you. And that’s no joke. Krista Dunton, director of instruction at Berkeley Hall in South Carolina, says that even if you hit behind the ball on a range mat, its texture allows the club to slide along the surface and still catch the ball somewhat cleanly. Real turf isn’t as user-friendly.

I can’t imagine anybody wanting to impart spin on the ball when putting, so why do putters usually have a roughened [milled] face?

Michael Anderson, NSW

[Cue soft piano music.] Imagine all the putters. It’s easy if you try … Surface roughness is designed to make the ball roll sooner, thus improving distance control.

One theory is that it helps putts launch with less spin (yes, putts get airborne).

Less spin means a ball won’t skid as much once it lands. If you’re in the market for a good putter, don’t worry about the face so much.

You want a putter with a nice personality that can cook.

And remember to get one with loft and lie angles that match your setup and stroke.

Quick Hits

Best driver setting?
Boot of the car.

Number of wedges?
Two is our limit. Footlong meatball.

Three-piece balls?
We kinda like ours intact.

Is this a thing?

Why do some people wear golf shoes to watch a golf tournament?

You could argue it’s for the traction on slippery grass as they follow their favourite pros. You could argue it’s for the weather-protective features found in modern golf shoes. And you could argue it’s for the comfort. Our take? It’s the same reason Joe Blow wears his Buddy Franklin guernsey to a Swans’ game. Even if they have beer bellies and arthritic knees, there’s something about wearing what the pros wear that makes them feel, for a few seconds, that they’re part of the action.

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