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Gear Effect Modifiers that Increase or Decrease the Effect

Where you contact the ball on the clubface influences distance and direction.

An off-center toe or heel hit causes the clubhead to rotate (twist around its center of gravity) and apply spin to the ball in the direction opposite of the clubhead rotation. This is called Gear Effect.

A toe hit causes the clubhead to rotate clockwise causing draw or hook spin (a horizontal gear effect). A heel hit causes the clubhead to rotate counter-clockwise causing fade or slice spin (a horizontal gear effect). An impact point below the sweet spot will cause a lower launch angle with higher spin (a vertical gear effect). An impact point above the sweet spot will cause a higher launch angle with lower spin (a vertical gear effect).

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Modifiers that can Increase or Decrease Gear Effect:


1. The Location of the Center of Gravity (CoG): In the following picture, the CoG is illustrated by a white and black circle.

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The collision of the golf ball near the toe of the clubface will create a torque that causes the clubface to rotate (twist) around the CoG. A toe hit with a driver tends to draw/hook while a toe hit with an iron tends to fade/slice. Moving the CoG closer to the face on a driver will decrease the amount of draw/hook.

2. The Amount of Curvature on the Driver: Driver curvature from heel to toe is call bulge. Driver curvature from the sole to the crown is called roll. On toe shots, the bulge will cause the ball to start more to the right. On heel shots, the bulge will cause the ball to start more to the left.

Roll curvature creates more loft above the center of the drivers clubface and less loft below the center of the drivers clubface. A half-inch in either direction can add or subtract approximately 2 degrees. A golf ball struck above the center line will launch higher and have a lower spin rate and get more distance. A golf ball stuck below the center line will launch lower and have a higher spin rate and have less air time which has an effect on distance. The vertical gear effect influences distance. Other factors that can influence distance are shaft length, shaft weight, shaft flex, and face design (material, thickness). The drivers coefficient of restitution (CoR), the spring like effect the drivers face has when colliding with a golf ball can also effect distance. Drive manufactures use bulge and roll to help negate the horizontal and vertical gear effects.

3. The Drivers Lie Angle:

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A flatter lie angle will help to promote a fade. A more upright lie angle will help to promote a draw. Drive manufactures often produce drivers that allow you to adjust the lie angle.

4. The Drivers Clubhead Weight: The weight of the drivers clubhead can also help to negate gear effect. Driver manufactures often produce drivers that allow you to adjust the weight.

5. The Drivers Preset Face Angle: Driver manufactures often produce drivers that allow you to adjust the face angle. This also can be used to help negate the gear effect.

6. Horizontal and Vertical Orientations During the Impact Interval The impact interval is defined as the interval between when the clubface first contacts the golf ball and when the golf ball leaves the clubface. Maximum compression is when the force between the ball and clubface is at its maximum (near the center of the impact interval). Near maximum compression is where the horizontal and vertical orientations should be measured. The impact interval is approximately 0.0004 of a second (approximately 0.7 inches) in duration. During this interval, orientations can change by several degrees. This is dependent on several other factors such as club head speed and rates of closure. The stability in the golfers release during the impact interval can increase or decrease the amount of draw/hook or fade/slice spin.

Background Information The flight of the golf ball is well documented with the D-Plane model and its associated parameters. The "D-Plane Model is the concept defined by Physicist Dr. Theodore Jorgensen in his book "The Physics of Golf."

The spin axis is the axis around which the golf ball spins. The value is plus or minus relative to the horizon. A positive value means the ball is going right and a negative value means the ball is going left.

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There are two contributions to the tilting of the spin-axis.; The first is the tilting of the Dplane, which happens if the true club path orientation does not equal face angle orientation near maximum compression. The second contribution to the tilting of spinaxis is the result of horizontal gear effect. The horizontal gear effect occurs when the ball is impacted anywhere but the center of gravity of the club head in the heel-toe direction. If the ball is hit towards the toe, the club head will twist clockwise, and the gear effect causes the ball spin-axis to tilt anti clockwise i.e. a draw spin. If the ball is hit towards the heel, well get the opposite effect, or a fade spin-axis tilt.

The spin axis tilt is calculated as 2 times the difference between the true (resultant) club path (CP) orientation at impact (at approximately maximum compression) and the clubface (CF) orientation at impact (at approximately maximum compression). A golf ball will spin sideways 0.7 percent for every one degree of spin axis tilt.

The true (resultant) CP orientation at impact (at approximately maximum compression) is calculated as follows:

True CP = HSP [AA x tan (90 VSP)]

HSP is the Horizontal Swing Plane (or Swing Direction) VSP is the Vertical Swing Plane (or Swing Plane) AA is the Angle of Attack (or Attack Angle)

The distance off target calculation is as follows: (Distance of the shot) x (Percent Sideways Curve)

Every 1 degree of spin axis tilt sends the ball off-line by about 0.7%.

Example:

A shot with a spin axis tilt of 3.6 degrees and a carry of 149.5 yards will be 3.76 yards off line to the right.

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149.5 carry * (3.6 * 0.007) = 3.76 yards.

At impact (at approximately maximum compression) the ball starts approximately 65 to 85% (dependent on the club (the higher number is the driver) in the direction of the CF orientation relative to the true CP orientation and curves away from the true CP orientation.

Stable Release:

During the impact interval, a golfers AA orientation, CF orientation and true CP orientation can be slightly changing and can effect ball flight. A golfer with a more stable release (a non cross-over or flip style release) can minimize these orientation changes during the impact interval.

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