Over the last decade, performance data has grown to show areas of a golfer’s game that can lend the most improvement in distance and consistency. These metrics are so important that every PGA tour player has detailed analytics on the most important metrics. Even golf club manufacturers have been specialty crafting golf clubs to maximize these particular metrics.
While there are many different swing metrics, the two most important have to be golf swing speed and clubhead speed. Both of these two factors determine how much energy is generated on a swing and thus, transferred to the golf ball at impact. Generally, the higher the swing speed, the higher the clubhead speed, the more distance generated. Of course, to get the highest clubhead speed, your swing also has to be optimized.
So today we are going to take a closer look at club head speed and all the different ways you can eke out a couple more MPH of clubhead speed.
Why swing speed is so important
Before we take a look and clubhead speed in particular, it’s important to understand the largest contributing factor: Swing Speed. Since the golf club is essentially an extension of your arm the faster the swing, the faster the clubhead moves. But what is swing speed and how is it measured?
Well, swing speed is simply the average speed of the downward part of your swing. The best way to measure swing speed is by looking to the apex of the swing; right before impact. The average golf speed according to Trackman, the leader in golf statistics, is about 93mph. Although most amateur golfers will fall somewhere between 80-100 mph. Swing speed is also used to determine what type of shaft flex is needed for your golf clubs.
Overall, swing speed directly influences clubhead speed. So the difference between 10mph of swing speed can be 15+ yards! This means it’s very important to know and practice increasing your swing speed.
Is it possible to increase your clubhead speed?
Unless your name is Bryson DeChambou or Dustin Johnson, there’s a very high chance you can increase your clubhead speed. Since there are so many different variables affecting clubhead speed, finding an increase can be a complex process. Thankfully, lots of studies have pinpointed some of the most crucial areas of one’s swing that affect clubhead speed.
As discussed in an earlier section, most ways to increase clubhead speed rely on Swing Speed. But some other techniques such as flexibility improvements and specialized golf training aids can help any golfer gain more clubhead speed.
How to increase clubhead speed
Here are several different ideas that can help increase your clubhead speed. We recommend using more than one technique so that you can see the most improvement possible.
Overspeed training is a specialized style of training that most golfers are probably already familiar with. This style of training uses various repetitions of your golf swing using significantly heavier and lighter training aids. Baseball players commonly use this same technique to increase bat velocity and swing speed.
Golfers who are healthy and have few physical issues can certainly benefit. Although it should be noted that prolonged use of Overspeed Training can cause muscle fatigue-related injuries.
Flexibility plays a big part in having an efficient golf swing. An efficient golf swing is also a fast golf swing. So by increasing your overall flexibility, you can experience more clubhead speed and less muscle fatigue. While there are many different ways to increase flexibility, we recommend either starting an easy yoga routine or practicing stretching. The best stretches will focus on the upper body, arms, and core.
Build Muscle Through Strength Training
Strength training is crucial for any athlete. While golf doesn’t exactly require extreme strength or speed, these two factors can help you generate more clubhead speed. Despite the use of your arms during a golf swing, strength training should focus mostly on the legs and core. These are the two areas where golfers generate the most power.
So this concept is a bit more advanced but certainly gives golfers an extraordinary boost in clubhead speed. Ground Force is essentially the amount of force you exert against the ground during your swing. For most amateur golfers, the ground force equals their weight.
So if you weigh 150 pounds you will then exert 150 pounds of force between your two legs at impact. Many of the best golfers in the world have a ground force that is significantly higher than their body weight.
To achieve this, they shift their weight throughout the swing and “push” against the ground. This results in faster swing speeds and consequently more clubhead speed. You too can increase your ground force through a variety of drills that force you to “step forward” during your swing.
Golf Training Aids
There are literally dozens of golf training aids targeted at improving clubhead speed. Our favorites include weighted warmup sticks, “heavy” clubs, and lag sticks. All of these training aids can help with flexibility and Overspeed training. Plus, adding these training aids into your weekly golf practice can help you achieve faster and more consistent clubhead speeds.
Inspect and adjust your swing technique
If you have ever watched a PGA tour event, it’s pretty easy to see that most pro player’s golf swings are silky smooth. This silky smooth look comes purely from efficiency. That’s right, each player’s swing is crafted to be as effortless and efficient as possible. “But I can never have a swing like that!” you might say.
The truth is, you probably can’t. But you can certainly improve on your current swing. To get started, grab a friend and hit the range. Then have your friend video record you hitting a couple of balls. Take this video and slow it down to see where any potential issues are with your swing. You can also show this video to your local golf pro and see if they can point out areas of improvement. Read more golf tips here.
After you identify areas of your swing you can improve on, research what the correct technique looks like. That way the next time you go to the range you can try and fix this part of your swing. Even small changes such as swing plane adjustments can result in several additional miles per hour of clubhead speed.
Now that you are armed with all the information you need to increase your clubhead speed, it’s time to get out and practice! Of course, some drills need little practice. But for the majority of the drills, practicing will help create more consistency and a more natural feel.
When you are practicing and specifically targeting higher clubhead speeds you will probably see more inconsistent shots. Don’t worry. This is a natural reaction to swinging faster and will require you to become comfortable with this new swing speed before you become more consistent.
We also recommend using a swing tracker or range monitor to help better quantify your swing speeds. While these options are a bit expensive ($150-$400) they do a great job at capturing important swing data like swing speed and clubhead speed. Most options also track these data points which can help you visualize your progress over time.
In the end, clubhead speed is an extremely important data point that heavily influences your average distance. So if you want to pick up more yards off the tee and fairway, you’re going to have to focus on increasing your clubhead speed. But thanks to this article you are now armed with all the information you need to create more clubhead speed.
It should also be noted that while clubhead speed can be increased relatively quickly, it can also lead to more wayward shots. So make certain to take time and practice before playing in an important match or tournament. Also, if you are using weighted training aids please make sure you understand and follow the instructions given with the product. While weighted training can quickly improve your swing speed, it can also result in injury.
Now that you know how to improve your clubhead speed, it’s time to get out on the course and show your foursome your newfound distance! Visit the Golf Accessories Reviews homepage for more expert information & advice.