Smash Factor Calculator – Ball Speed / Swing Speed

Who doesn’t like to smash their golf ball, especially with the driver?

Well, Smash Factor measures just how efficient your strike is. To determine your smash factor, divide your ball speed by your clubhead speed. I’ve provided a handy smash factor calculator below so you can work out your number for every shot you hit.

Key Takeaway: Smash Factor Calculator

You shouldn’t worry too much about your smash factor. Worry about these things:

  • where you strike the ball on the face
  • spin rate
  • launch angle
  • angle of attack
  • peak height

Optimizing these parameters will produce better outcomes and should lower your scores which is what we are all after, right?

Bryson DeChambeau launching some drives!

Smash Factor Definition

Smash factor is just the ratio of ball speed to clubhead speed. It is used by many people as a measure of how well the ball has been struck.

Smash Factor Calculator Tool

Clubhead Speed

Ball Speed

Smash Factor

Based on the clubhead speed and ball speed the smash factor is: 1.25

How Does Smash Factor Affect Ball Speed

Here’s a handy ball speed calculator to show how smash factor and clubhead speed affect your speed.

Clubhead Speed

Smash Factor

Ball Speed

Based on the clubhead speed and smash factor the ball speed is: 156.3 mph

Smash Factor Calculator Tool

Clubhead Speed

Ball Speed

Smash Factor

Based on the clubhead speed and ball speed the smash factor is: 1.25

How Does Smash Factor Affect Ball Speed

Here’s a handy ball speed calculator to show how smash factor and clubhead speed affect your speed.

Clubhead Speed

Smash Factor

Ball Speed

Based on the clubhead speed and smash factor the ball speed is: 156.3 mph
Smash Factor Calculator

Is Smash Factor Important?

In terms of improving your scores, the smash factor is not really important. While it does give some indication of how well you are hitting the ball it’s not helping you hit more fairways and greens or hole more putts.

What Is The Maximum Smash Factor?

To all intents and purposes, the maximum smash factor you will see with a legal driver and ball is 1.5. Now you may come across the odd reading above 1.5 but this could be down to a number of factors.

Firstly the equipment doing the measuring could be slightly off. It wouldn’t take too much of an error either with the ball speed or clubhead speed to give a reading above 1.5. It could also be that the launch monitor is measuring the “wrong” part of the clubhead. When you swing your driver the toe could be travelling as much as 10 mph faster than the heel. So if the equipment is measuring more towards the heel of the club then you would get a lower clubhead speed and therefore a higher smash factor. This is one of the reasons why Ping doesn’t look at the smash factor when doing a club fitting.

In fact on the TrackMan blog it would appear a staffer explains why you could get a reading over 1.5:

Smash Factor is a very sensitive measure.
Club speed has a tolerance of +-1.5 mph for TM3e and +-1.0 for TM4. For a club speed of 100 mph with a ball speed of 150 mph, this will give a variation of the smash factor from 1.478-1.523 (TM3e) respectively 1.485—1.515 (TM4).

Note that the uncertainty of the clubspeed measurement is really an uncertainty on where on the club head the measurement is referenced to. There are significant differences between heel and toe speed (in average +-6-7%, meaning if center is 100 mph far heel is 93 mph and far toe is 107 mph), so this combined with uncertainty on where the radar reflection origins from on the club head gives this added club speed tolerence.

Christian Hahn – Trackman

Given the modern limitations on clubs such as the COR of 0.83 and also the allowable ball speeds you will struggle to achieve a smash factor of 1.5 if the measurements of the ball and club are 100% accurate.

What Should My Smash Factor Be?

The table below lists the typical smash factors for different levels of golfer. As you can see even a bogey golfer is getting a figure pretty close to a scratch player and even tour players.

So assuming a bogey golfer had 100 mph club head speed and a scratch player had 100 mph swing speed there would only be 6 mph difference in their ball speed on average with a driver.

So why does the scratch player shoot 18-20 shots better than the bogey player?

The smash factor tells you nothing about direction or trajectory so a bogey golfer might have plenty of ball speed but they might be hitting it into the woods or water! The smash factor doesn’t help you stop the ball on the green that is based on landing angle and spin. Your smash factor doesn’t help with course management, club selection, confidence and experience that all go into making a scratch golfer play a shot per hole better most of the time.

Personally, I wouldn’t put too much store in a high smash factor. Look at where you strike the ball on the face, and what your launch angles and spin rates are. With your driver look at having a positive angle of attack. All these will do more for you than worrying about your smash factor.

Golfer TypeAverage smash factor
PGA Tour driver1.49
Amateur scratch1.49
Amateur (5 handicap)1.45
Amateur (10 handicap)1.45
Average golfer (14.5 handicap)1.44
Bogey golfer1.43
Smash factors for different types of golfers – TrackMan

How Does The Club Affect Smash Factor?

The loft of the club will affect the smash factor you can achieve. As the loft is increased the smash factor will decrease. So a driver has a much higher smash factor than a pitching wedge.

The mass of the clubhead also affects the smash factor. The greater the mass the higher the smash factor.

However, the increasing mass of the head as you go through the set doesn’t make up for the increasing loft so a pitching wedge has a lot lower smash factor than a driver.

Here are the Trackman averages for PGA Tour player’s smash factors for different clubs:

Hybrid (15°-18°)1.46
3 iron1.45
4 iron1.43
5 iron1.41
6 iron1.38
7 iron1.33
8 iron1.32
9 iron1.28
PGA smash factors

Here are the Trackman averages for LPGA Tour player’s smash factors for different clubs:

7 wood1.45
4 iron1.45
5 iron1.42
6 iron1.39
7 iron1.37
8 iron1.35
9 iron1.28
LPGA smash factors

Looking at the current season (2022-23) there appear to be lots of players with smash factors above 1.5! Many seem to have achieved a high for the season of 1.539.

Rory McIlroy is averaging 1.504 with a season-best of 1.537. I think this is more likely to be due to measurement discrepancies than the pro’s ability to eke out extra ball speed.

Interestingly the ladies appear to strike the ball better than the men with some of their clubs!

How Can I Improve My Smash Factor?

Improving your smash factor should come from improving your ball striking and optimizing your launch conditions.

Since it is just ball speed divided by club speed you need to work on things that will maximize your ball speed.

With a driver that means achieving a center strike with an upward attack angle. This article on hitting the ball further covers the sort of things you need to work on.

What Is A Good Smash Factor?

Since smash factor is just measuring the ratio of ball speed to club speed it is really telling you the amount of energy you are transferring to the ball. The main reason why pros have such high smash factors is that the hit the sweet spot of the club time and time again with equipment best suited to their game.

As you can see in the earlier table even a bogey golfer can achieve a smash of 1.43 with a driver which in reality is pretty close to a professional at 1.49. In order to get closer to that sort of smash factor value you will have to work on improving your consistency of strike.

Focusing on a high smash factor may not be the best way to lower scores. Work on striking the ball from the center of the club face more often and that will increase ball speed and therefore smash factor as a consequence.

What Is A Low Smash Factor?

If you regularly use a golf simulator or golf launch monitor then you may start to worry if your smash factor is on the low side – below 1.4 with your driver for example or if you aren’t hitting the ball as far as you think you should for your swing speed.

Smash factor in golf is merely telling you how much energy you are transferring from the club to the ball. Certainly, if your driver smash factor is really low then you might need to work on your golf swing to improve your impact conditions. The best way to increase it is to hit the center of the club more consistently. Don’t focus too much on the number – work on improving your strike, launch and spin numbers and you will see more ball speed and therefore a higher smash.

How Can I Hit The Ball Further?

The only way to hit the ball further without improving your launch conditions and strike pattern is to increase your clubhead speed. Even if your ball striking isn’t the best you could see distance gains by increasing your swing speed.

This is exactly what Bryson Dechambeau did. His smash factor was already as good as he could reasonably expect but he saw massive gains in driving distance by increasing his clubhead speed by working out and optimizing his launch conditions.

You can work out how far each club goes using my free golf club distance calculator.

Read Next:

Straightening out your slice will help you gain distance. Need help working out your handicap? This handy free handicap calculator should do the trick.

Similar Posts