These statistics show that Scotty Scheffler is probably one of the least efficient drivers in golf (we’ll get to that later).

May 12, 2024

Scheffler averages his 300 yards off the tee, but ranks 176th (out of 186 players) on tour for the year in stroke rate (a metric derived from the ratio of ball speed to clubhead speed).

In layman’s terms, swing factor is one measure of how efficiently a player swings a club, or how efficiently the club itself operates. Any professional or amateur with access to a launch monitor should pay close attention to swing factor. Swing factor, when combined with actual ball speed, launch angle, and spin rate, helps golfers determine which club they hit best with.

This means that given launch conditions, a driver with a higher strike factor may be slightly more effective for that player, at least in terms of distance. A smash factor of 1.50 is considered very effective, and 109 players on tour this year achieved that average, led by Camilo Villegas with a score of 1.517. Scheffler, by comparison, is at 1.479. However, the number of pros has climbed considerably over the past decade.

Ten years ago, Robert Allenby led the tour in Smash Factor at 1.485 and the bottom was Charlie Beljan with a daily number of 1.449. The reason for this increase is very easy to explain. Players will continue to use launch monitors for better optimization. “Hitting efficiency and pitching efficiency in the impact zone are two things that Tour pros are very good at,” says the owner of The Tour Van, Golf Digest’s 100 Best Club Fitting Outfit and LIV’s Essential Equipment Van. One Ben Giunta says: “If you hit the ball in the middle and the face is square to the trajectory, the impact factor will be greater.”

Improvements in equipment have also had an impact. Manufacturers have been successful in reducing ball speed loss, especially on driver misfires, which helps improve impact factor performance.
However, Giunta believes that success factors are less important for professionals.

They’re all close to 1.5 or already have it, so there’s nothing to chase (e.g. Scheffler might gain 1-2 yards if he’s 1.5). Additionally, many of the players below 1.5 are sluggers, including Scheffler, Sam Barnes, Keith Mitchell, Jake Knapp, Xander Schauffele, Gary Woodland, and Tony Finau. Maximizing smash factor is difficult. Conversely, most of the top of the smash notation coefficient is one of the PEA tours. I will take Vilgas as a work. He ranks 177th in yards, averaging just 282 yards per pop.

And that’s something we everyday players need to remember. You don’t have to swing fast to be effective. “Smash factor is an underrated and underutilized statistic for casual gamers,” he says Giunta.

“A normal player tends to just look at distance, maybe start it up and rotate it. But smash factor can help you get a better fit. Which head and shaft is best for a particular player and their typical swing? For example, if a player’s check involves a high kick, some drivers will handle that kick better than others. This may also lead to recommending balloons. A high strike rate cannot be achieved with a low class ball.

Considering that many average golfers have odds of around 1.45 for him, there’s room for significant improvement (in fact, a Golf Digest survey a few years ago found that average golfers’ odds of 40% of his odds were around 1.45 for him). (found to be less than 1.40). If you produce a ball speed of 145 with a swing speed of 100 miles per hour, you can achieve a ball speed of 150 and increase your swing factor by 5 points. Is it easy? no. However, it does have the advantage of allowing players to move an additional 10 yards or more from the tee if possible.