Video Lesson: Understanding Smash Factor

By Nick Anson
August 21, 2015


Smash Factor Shows Importance of Accuracy vs. Speed

Getting a better understanding of our games can always help us save strokes on the course, and in this segment of Teaching with Technology, Todd Kolb is back to show how his Flightscope X2 Elite is keeping his academy on the leading edge of golf information, helping us understand the term Smash Factor.

PGA Professional Todd Kolb with another segment of Teaching with Technology; and today we’re going to talk about one of the important things when it comes to maximizing distance off the tee, and a phrase we call Smash Factor.  Now some of you might have heard of that phrase before—it’s been around for a few years now—and basically, what does Smash Factor mean?

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For the average golfer, smash factor can be used to help understand accuracy

Well, there’s an entire calculation that kind of deals with club head speed and ball speed and things like that, that really, for the average golfer, are not really that important.  What is important, though, is to understand that Smash Factor basically tells you how the quality of the shot—did you basically hit the ball in the center of the club face.  So as an example, 1.5—1.5 Smash Factor is kind of an industry standard—that would tell us that we have maximized our distance.  We’ve hit the ball in the center of the club face, in the perfect spot to maximize our distance.

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Technology like the Flightscope X2 Elite can help determine Smash Factor


So how does that really play into understanding how far we hit the golf ball?  Well, in technology, I’ve got a Flightscope; I use that and it tells me exactly what the smash factor is of the student.  So I’ve got two examples:  the first example here, I’ve got a club head speed of just over 102 miles an hour, but the smash factor was 1.49; almost perfect.  I hit that golf ball almost in the exact sweet spot to maximize my distance.  That ball carried over 265 yards in the air.  The second one actually had a higher swing speed, just over 103 miles an hour; so almost a mile and a half per hour faster.  But the smash factor was only 1.45, okay?  That ball carried only about 224 yards.  So even though the second swing had more club head speed, the ball did not carry as far.

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Swing with Better Smash Factor, lower swing speed: 265 yards of carry.  Swing with Higher Swing Speed, lower smash factor: 224 yards of carry

So what does that mean for you, the average golfer?  What that means is this:  it’s something all golf instructors say.  If you want to maximize distance, you’ve got to hit the golf ball in the center of the club face first, worry about speed second.  Smash factor allows us to do that; technology like Flightscope gives us the resources to tell us exactly what our smash factor is.

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