Carl Pettersson goes light, long and loftedApril, 2012
Unlike many fellow pros, Carl Pettersson is using a driver you'd expect to see in the hands of a beginner…
Look in the bag of an average tour professional and chances are you’ll find drivers that are incredibly heavy, stiff, low-lofted and hard to hit.
Many also resort to shorter shafts to improve accuracy and consistency.
Take Tiger Woods for example. In his prime, the World No 1 used a 43.5″ shaft that weighed 84 grammes. That’s two inches shorter than standard and at least 20 grammes heavier.
Carl Pettersson has a very different approach.
The Swede, who won the RBC Heritage at the weekend, uses a driver that is longer, lighter and with more loft than the average amateur – never mind a professional.
If you struggle to keep the ball in the air off the tee – regardless of age or handicap – think about using a driver with more loft. He is using a Nike VR Pro STR8-FIT that is 46.5 inches long, has 11.5˚ of loft and has a shaft weighing just 50 grammes.
He told Golfweek the method behind the madness.
“It enables me to get more spin and carry the ball farther in the air,” said the 34-year-old.
According to the PGA Tour official statistics, Pettersson needs it – even with the extra loft and length he averages 2,400rpm of backspin, which is low – around 100rpm below what is recognised as the optimum amount.
There is a lesson to be learned here: if you struggle to keep the ball in the air off the tee – regardless of age or handicap – think about using a driver with more loft.
If a five-time PGA Tour winner with a 115mph swing that generates, on average, 296 yards of distance, isn’t afraid to try it, you shouldn’t be either.