Your new drivers have a larger Sweet Spot
Actually, there are some drivers which really do have a larger “sweet spot,” but only if you are prepared to re-define that term as a face that doesn’t lose as much of its ability to flex inward built into a clubhead that won’t twist as much when your swing causes you to hit the ball a little off-center.
The problem is, there is no such thing in the golf industry as a “sweet spot-o-meter.” There is no gauge that you can use to determine which clubs do or do not possess what they claim. Currently, the only “measurement devices” that are used to inform you of a club’s “sweet spotted-ness” exist in the ads that attracted your attention in the first place!
The “sweet spot” is a term that’s commonly found in those golf club ads; but it’s misused by almost everyone. Technically the sweet spot is a point inside the head called the Center of Gravity that’s about the size of the sharp end of a pin. It can’t get “larger” and it can’t get “smaller.” It just… is.
IF you have a club that has the right loft for your swing type and swing speed, IF it strikes the ball square, IF it hits the exact center of the golf ball directly in line or slightly above this tiny sweet spot and IF the face is well designed—then the ball will fly the greatest possible distance for your particular swing. Any deviation toward the heel or toe from this perfect contact and the head will start to twist, not only imparting a curving flight to the ball, but causing a loss of distance. The farther your point of contact is from this tiny sweet spot, the more distance and accuracy you lose. To be more specific, depending how well the designer manipulated the face thickness over its entire area, you will lose at best about 3-4 yards flight distance and at worst, as much as 10 yards, for each half-inch you miss the center of the face.
When club companies talk about an “increased sweet spot,” what they’re really saying is one of two things. First, they’ve done things in the clubhead’s design to increase the moment of inertia (MOI) of the clubhead. In other words, they put weight on the sides and/or in the back of the head to make it twist a little less (with the accent on little) when you miss the sweet spot. The second possibility involves what I’ve been talking about, the design of the face itself.
You probably know that a driver face flexes inward when you hit the ball. The more you can flex the face, the higher your ball speed will be when it comes off the face. By making the outer edges of the face a little thinner than the center, it’s possible to make the face flex a little more when you hit the ball off center so you won’t lose as much distance. Typically, this takes the form of a face that is a little thicker in the center, but then thinner in the areas all around, something called a “variable thickness face.” Something, by the way, that was invented by one of the golf companies you probably haven’t heard of, not by one of the large companies you have.
However, let’s subject all this to a reality check.
Since the driver with the larger sweet spot they sold you probably has a longer length than most of the pros use on the PGA Tour, and since the longer the length the more you hit the ball off center; why not simply go get fitted for a driver with its length matched to your swing so you don’t have to worry as much about sweet spots and twisting—large, small or in-between?
And while you’re at it, why not really do your game a favor and have the driver fitted for the proper loft, face angle, shaft, weight, and grip size at the same time? Then you’ll really discover what the words “game improvement design” mean.