If you would ask a common golfer, “what’s the difference in apex height between driver and pitching wedge” I bet they do not realize how close these two shots are in height.
Based on our PGA tour averages, you can see the difference in apex height between Driver and Pitch Wedge is only 3 yds. How is that possible?
Spin and ball speed plays a big role in what a ball does when it gets to its apex. For example, a driver reaches its apex but still has enough speed to continue that path penetrating through the apex (see diagram below). It’s a gradual climb to reach its apex.
You can see it takes a longer time to get to its apex but doesn’t fall once it does. With the driver, you also want to maximize bounce/roll once the ball does hit the ground. Too steep in height will cause very limited bounce or roll. Too low of height will cause you to sacrifice carry for roll. Landing angle plays a role in how to maximize roll with the driver.
Now you can see a very similar apex height with pitching wedge but very different shots. Higher launch and higher spin lead the ball to reach its apex then slowly decline compared to the driver’s apex.
It is important to note the difference in launch angle, ball speed, and spin rates compared to clubs. Conversations with players they are amazed how close apex height is with all clubs. This helps with the player’s eye trying to find that window to play from if they know how each club will react. Knowing this information will also help when playing in wind and how your shot can be affected by the wind.