The May 9, 2011 issue of GolfWorld included an article about Total Distance Efficiency for achieving your best drives off the tee. To maximize distance you need to get the best match of driver, golf ball and launch conditions so that your drives produce high launch with low ball spin. The only way to determine your Total Distance Efficiency is by working with a launch monitor. The ability to see launch, spin and distance with different combinations of driver head, loft and shaft gets you the right equipment for your swing.
Tour players such as Luke Donald, Tiger Woods and Graeme McDowell are inefficient off the tee because of high spin rates. Spin off the tee makes it hard to control ball flight and low launch reduces distance. However, the trade-off might be better performance around the greens where ball spin is can be controlled.
You need to find the right balance for your entire game, not just off the tee. But if you don’t think your driver is getting you the yards you expected (or what your golf buddies are getting) it may be time to look at your distance efficiency. Driving ten more yards may be easier than you think.