Every golfer’s dearest dream is not a million dollar stash in Cayman Islands. Their dreams are made of stuff like hitting the longest drive. If only the golf ball could reach over 10-15 yards more than their average shot distance! The distance that the ball travels has a direct correlation with your handicap. And driving long distances comes from higher clubspeed. To up your ante after a certain point in golf, you must learn how to gain clubhead speed. The faster you swing, the straighter and farther the ball flies, saving you strokes.
There are many ways to increase your swing speed. You can correct your address stance, your body mechanics while swinging and your hand movement. You can practice drills to correct individual elements in your swing like upper body movement, lower body movement, wrist movement, arm movement etc.. You can also become physically fit and draw from the strength of your body to lend speed to your swing. Swinging right isn’t enough, you have to swing fast to add more distance to your drives. This is the comprehensive guide with research on every avenue that can help you generate more clubhead speed. Take steps to improve with us! Don’t give up because you will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
What You Will Need To Practise Better Clubhead Speed Tactics?
#1: Golf Clubs
Specifically a driver would be good place to start, since drivers are the longest-hitting clubs. Make sure you have the right driver for your capability. There are plenty of drivers for beginners that are more forgiving than the traditional drivers. They impact the golf ball with their sweet spot more often. This way you can focus on generating more clubhead speed than just trying to hit straight. That being said, it’s important to drive the ball far and straight. So practise swinging the club for accuracy parallely. Make sure that your clubs have proper tight grips.
#2: Weighted Club
Weighted clubs are a great training aid for gaining clubhead speed. They help you swing faster with the lighter normal clubs. You don’t need to buy weighted golf clubs as such. There are weighted swing ring tools like the JP Lann golf weighted swing ring which can be slipped on a regular golf club to make it weight more for practice. Many of them are reasonable priced too.
#3: Headless Club
We will explain this later in the post but a golf club without a clubhead can be useful in swing-speeding drills. You can take an old club which got beheaded accidently. Or you can remove the head of an old club for practice yourself.
Step By Step Instructions:
Step 1: Average Clubhead Speeds
Before we start off, you should know how well you are performing in comparison to others.
For a male amateur golfer, the average swing speed is 93.4mph. It drives the ball to 214 yards on an average. This is for a 14-15 handicapper.
Average amateur women golfer will drive at around 78 yards, squeezing 179 yards out of the ball.
On the other hand, a male tour pro averages 113mph, allowing him to drive the ball 290 yards on an average. They hit the ball more consistently as well, striking straight most of the time.
To add to your jealousy, a long drive pro will hit anywhere between 125-150mph and average between 305-365 yards per drive. Aim for this and you will at least improve to the tour pro level.
Step 2: Correct Your Stance to Increase Clubhead Speed
Stand in the proper stance. Stand with your feet apart along the target line. Keep them a tad over the shoulder-width apart. When you reach forward to hold the club to the ball, a right-handed golfer should angle the shoulder of the arm which grips the club farther down, i.e. the right shoulder. Many golfers tend to level their shoulder straight. This creates a downward angle of approach which further fuels a low shot rather than a high flight. It also introduces spin in the ball which curtails the distance the ball travels.
Step 3: Swing Tips For Increasing Clubhead Speed
A. Swing Faster Not Harder:
Hammer this mantra into your head. We are not apes to swing the club with full force with our mind losing control of your arms. Swinging free works for very few golfers. Neither are we machines to control every aspect of our swing. The swing to generate clubspeed should be smooth and timed correctly. Speeding the club up and down will only waste your energy. You need to focus on speeding at impact so that maximum energy is transferred to the ball.
If you listen closely, your driver makes a whooshing noise in the downswing at the moment of largest energy release. Practice without a ball and try to time the ‘Whoosh’ at the imaginary impact point.
Check out Erika Larkin explaining this technique:
Or you can buy a ‘Speed Whoosh’ club like the Momentus Men's Speed Whoosh Golf Swing Trainer and practice the ‘Whooshing’ technique easily.
The video below explains how Speed Whoosh works:
B. Torso Separation:
All too often we try to control the golf club. What we need to do is to follow the rhythm of the club rather than control it. Torso separation simply indicates the difference in speed of different areas of the golfer’s body so that they work cohesively during a swing. You should always swing your hips towards the target a little faster than you move your upper torso. This sudden action ensures that maximum energy is transferred to the club in the downswing.
C. Pressure on Feet:
We cannot stress enough as to how you should transfer weight between your feet during the swing to increase the clubhead speed. To understand the mechanics here, try to stab the ground diagonally, like you are sweeping. Like this:
But only with a beheaded club or a long stick. As you stab the ground, you notice that you first apply pressure on your feet. More pressure on the left foot and less on the right foot (for a right-handed golfer). Applying pressure with your arm simply won’t do. This is the same pressure that you should apply during the downswing.
During your backswing, turn your shoulders completely. At the apex of your backswing, your club should be behind your head and reaching back.
Photo Credit : http://www.golftoday.co.uk
E. Hinge Your Wrists:
For a proper backswing, learn to hinge your wrist correctly without changing the square face of the club. Wrist-cocking is cardinal to swinging straight as well.
Check out the video below to learn the right wrist movement:
Step 4: Exercise To Increase Swing Speed
There are a number of exercises which will work the small muscles in your arms and strengthen your torso for better, higher swing speed.
Puff your chest out and move your arms backwards. Pretend that you are trying to hold an object between your shoulder blades at the back. Move such that you have to hold that object steady there. You can do several iterations of this.
You can use tubing archers or resistance cables for this exercise. Latch these on to a constant point and pull the tubes by moving your arms back. The resistance is similar to what you face during a golf swing.
You can use a cable weight lifting equipment at the gym for this exercise. Stand in front of the cable attached to the weights and pull it forward like a downswing in golf. This will strengthen the hip area and help you achieve faster hip rotation during the swing. Please note, that you should do this with very less weight, only as much as you can bear. This sideways exercise is more strenuous than pulling the cable downward while facing it.
Watch the video below for details:
Sit on a stationary bike and pedal backwards. Or you can walk on the treadmill backwards to work your hamstrings and calves. This will prepare your legs to handle the weight transfer during the swing.
Step 5: Golf Drills To Increase Swing Speed
There are a few drills that you can pull off on the course of practice area with the golf club. Practice with the equipment will get you ready for the real gameplay:
Bring out the headless golf club. Take it into the backswing we explained before. No swing it down as fast as you can. Repeat this action. Let the downswing be fluid not deliberate. This will take the tension away from the swing. You have to swing fast not hard. This allows you to move to the rhythm of the club rather than control it.
Use the beheaded club again. Swing as you hear the ‘Whoosh’. Once you complete the downswing, swing in the opposite direction fast. This would also create a ‘Whoosh’ sound. Try to swing such that the ‘Whoosh’es from the two swings are as close together as possible.
The point of this drill is that to take the second swing in the opposite direction, you have to stop the first swing. This deliberate restriction of movement is the key to control your swing energy such that its transfers to the ball at the impact point.
Watch the drill below:
Photo Credit : http://derekhoopergolf.com
Sit on a chair with your feet flat just like at address with shoulder-width between them. Have the golf ball teed in front of you. Now swing the club backwards, completely turning your shoulders as we advised before. Bring it down in a smooth but fast downswing keeping the clubface square during impact and closed in release. This exercises allows you analyze your arm movements by restricting your torso movement.
Step 6: Weighted Club Training To Increase Clubhead Speed
You can use a weighted club to increase your clubhead speed. Usually, you lose the clubhead speed by releasing the club before impact. This can be corrected with a weight club like SKLZ Gold Flex. This practice gives you a better feeling of releasing the club through impact. This sensitizes you to the club movement and teaches you to control the release.
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You will find multiple articles on how to increase clubhead speed. But in this post we have tried to cover all possible avenues to help you in this regard. You can do any or all of the following to improve your swing speed and hence, driving distance:
- Correct your stance and swing
- Do arms, hips and leg-strengthening exercise
- Swing faster not harder
- Time the release correctly
- Follow golf drills
- Train with weighted clubs.
Each one of these steps will contribute toward a lower handicap and better distances on the driver. Use of training aids like Momentus Men's Speed Whoosh Golf Swing Trainer or SKLZ Gold Flex can also help your game significantly. If you enjoyed our tutorial or have more ideas, leave us a note in the comments below. Don’t forget to check out our vast arsenal on all-things-golf and don’t forget to share with fellow golfers.