Driver..Hit up or down?

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There has been a lot of heated debate on whether the ball should be hit up or down with the driver.Perhaps it's neither.

Now I'm no scientist and I don't know my physics that well but for maximum efficiency,shouldn't the clubhead be travelling level with the clubshaft vertical ie.not leaning backwards or forward?

Any time the ball is hit upwards or downwards,it stands to reason you are hitting the ball with a glancing blow.

I have a swing sequence of Tiger doing just that.Clubshaft level through impact(ball has left the clubface perhaps 2 inches)

He described his swing as being almost perfect that day.

The debate may be a result of trying to oversimplify the answer.

Applying my limited knowledge, for any given ball, maximum distance would be a result of an optimal combination of launch angle, velocity and spin rate. To achieve those optimal conditions would require the correct combination of club and swing. Club variables would include clubhead loft, center of gravity, coefficient of restitution, shaft flex, etc. Aspects of the swing would include angle of attack and clubhead speed. (I'm sure I've overlooked some items, and you could further complicate it by trying to factor in roll distance after the ball lands.) Obviously, there are a limitless number of possible combinations. Is there one "ideal"? Maybe. But I don't know that either an upward or downward (or level) angle of attack, on its own, is the universal answer for all situations.
I think it needs to be hit down. Good player have their hands ahead of the ball at impact. Also, impact and seperation are different. At impact the club has to be traveling downward to stay with the geometry of the plane. DOWN and out.
IF your hands are ahead of the ball at impact. You have HIT DOWN on the ball. There is no other physical alternative.

Specifically what happens between impact and seperation? I don't know. But at that point what difference does it make? You cannot do a blessed thing about it.
Depends on swing and ball position. Assuming the ball position is off left instep, the driver club head will move through the bottom of the arc before hitting the ball which means it is either level with or hitting up on the ball.
Hitting down only puts underspin on the ball which impedes its distance.
taustin and mgjordan is correct.. and its fact, not open to discussion. You need to hit slightly down on the driver.
Driver should have about a 5 degree forward lean at impact.If the head was ahead of hands at imnpact it would be decelerating.
Got the next frame Eminem?

His hands are still ahead there and almost level with the ball which suggests a slight</u> downwards movement
bts: Just because they tee the balls up high doesn't mean the still don't catch while the clubhead is moving on the down. If I remember the Zuback swing sequence I saw, his hands where still leading the club at impact, which would suggest a slight downward blow


In any case,a shallow angle of attack is more important.

A shallow angle of attack means that the clubhead is travelling more level through impact.You will not put too much backspin on the ball even if you do "hit down on it".Too much backspin kills distance with the driver.
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