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3 Tips For More Speed!

Klar, Parat, Fart!

3 Tips For More Speed!

3 Tips For More Speed!

Klar, Parat, Fart!

Let's be honest who doesn't want a few extra yards off the tee?

I know that I do!

Golf courses are only getting longer and tougher. Winged Foot Golf Course, the host to this years US Open was just over 6800m in length. Royal Troon which held the 2020 Women’s British Open was just over 6000 metres.

So let's face facts: we could all use some more distance, regardless of our age, ability or gender.

Sarah-Jane Shepherd
Sarah-Jane Shepherd
PGA Coach

Clubhead speed is the key!

Obviously the faster the clubhead is moving at the time of impact, the further the ball will travel – assuming that the ball is struck from the centre of the clubface.

Facts:

  • The average clubhead speed for a PGA Tour player with a driver is 113 mph, whereas for the average male golfer it is 94 mph.
  • The average clubhead speed for an LPGA tour player is 94 mph and for the average female golfers it is 79 mph.
  • By increasing clubhead speed by just 1 mph you can gain an extra 3 yards of distance with the driver.

The question is how can we achieve this without losing consistency?

Wide Arcs

The club travels around our body in an arc. As we swing to the top, the wider the arc is, the further away the clubhead is from our body and the more speed we can generate. A wide backswing arc combined with some good wrist hinge, equals the potential for maximum clubhead speed.   

Many golfers lose width in their backswing in an effort to generate more distance. This is because the left arm (for a right handed golfer) breaks down and bends at the elbow, causing the swing arc to become narrow.

You can also see that the club head has travelled beyond horizontal at the top. Now you can argue that this should generate more clubhead speed than if the club were horizontal, because the arc is longer. This may be true BUT as soon as we start to see an overswing it becomes very difficult to control. So, while the ball may travel a few yards further, you will also probably see it flying towards the trees, rather than the fairway.

Think Wide!

Width and control in the backswing are necessary for power and consistency. Here is a simple exercise to be sure that you are getting into the optimal position:

Set up for a driver shot and swing back slowly, keeping your left arm straight (for a right handed golfer) and feeling the clubhead brush the grass during the first few inches of movement. This will ensure that the shoulders are turning from the beginning and that the club is not being lifted.

Golfsving start

Continue to halfway back, where the left arm is parallel to the ground and stop, as shown above. By now the wrists should have hinged so that the club is vertical and the left arm should still be straight. From here, rotate your shoulders to get the club to the top of the backswing.

Try rotating your shoulders as much as possible whilst also trying to limit your hip rotation, to really feel the muscles in your left arm and upper body working hard.

Hit a few balls from this position and feel the speed as you swing down!

Speedy Drills!

Here are a couple of other exercises you can try to help increase your clubhead speed and start outdriving your playing partners:

1. Hear the Swoosh

Fartovelser

Turn your driver upside down and take your normal grip on the shaft just underneath the clubhead. Hold the club out in front of you and swing it through the air. As you swing you will hear a ‘swoosh’ sound as the club swings through the impact zone. Try to generate as big a ‘swoosh’ sound as you can: the louder the ‘swoosh’ the more speed you have. Now turn the club around and try to do the same. 

2. Side Step

Taking the first drill a stage further, turn your driver upside down and grip just below the clubhead, but setup with your feet close together. Swing the club back but just before you reach the top of your backswing step out to the side with your left foot (for a right handed golfer). Then swing the club through and make the biggest ‘swoosh’ you can.

Side step Golfsving

By stepping the front foot towards the target before you reach the top of the backswing, you are adding some extra stretch between the body and club for more speed. The step also encourages the correct downswing sequence and the weight to transfer as you swing the club through.

You can hit a few balls using this same drill - I recommend using a mid iron and placing the ball on a low tee to make life a little easier.

3. Heavy Club

This is a good drill for speed but can also be part of your warm up, to get your golfing muscles ready for action. Do it regularly for a few weeks and months and you will find that you gain some more flexibility and strength too.

Two clubs swing

Use a heavy training club or take two short irons, such as a pitching wedge and 9 iron, and hold them together with your hands around the grips as shown above. Hold the clubs a few centimetres off the ground and make 4 or 5 slow swings. Try to make a smooth swing and maintain your balance.

The heavier weight of both clubs together wakes up the big golf muscles in your shoulders and upper body. Now make a few swings with your driver – it will feel as light as a feather! See how much speed and power you can generate now as you hit a few balls.

Remember that you can contact me at sj@dkga.dk with any questions, and you can book your next lesson using the link below. Good golfing!
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