Time must be spent on the range trying to hit balls hard and fast as you can.
Club head speed is the speed the club head is traveling immediately prior to impact of the golf ball. The more club head speed you develop in your golf swing the more potential distance the ball travels. Every increase of 1 mph of club head speed equates to approximately 2 to 3 metres further distance of the golf ball. The modern day game of golf has become obsessed with club and ball speed with players trying to over power golf courses. Bryson DeChambeau took his fitness training to new levels to gain weight and power, helping him to be able to swing faster and harder. He has had some great success doing this as he won the 2020 US Open by bombing drives consistently over 300 metres. Tiger Woods was the first player really to take to the gym to develop his strength and fitness. In the early 2000's he dominated the game with his sheer power and mental strength gaining more distance than his competitors.
Professional golfers are more aware of strength training and keeping fit to develop more swing speed. They understand the importance of more speed can help their golf game. Many incorporate speed training into both their gym programs and practice sessions on the range.
On the Mens PGA the tour average driver club head speed is around 113 mph, whereas on the Ladies LPGA the tour average driver head speed is around 94 mph.
Below is a comparison of amateur players club head speed the data being taken off a Trackman as follows:
Scratch of Better – Mens 110 mph, Ladies 90 mph
5 HCP – Mens 101 mph, Ladies 87 mph
10 HCP – Mens 95 mph, Ladies 83 mph
Average Golfer (14.5) – Mens 94 mph, Ladies 79 mph
This gives you an idea of what the average club head speed for your gender and ability should sit around. Your golf swing has a massive influence on your maximum speed and your ability to generate speed. Many golfers try and swing harder at the golf ball to gain more driving distance, but they just do not have the correct sequencing to be able to drive the ball further. Many golfers often have poor lower body connection in their swing and this will significantly reduce their ability to swing fast. You may be able to lift weights powerfully and with speed, but this does not necessarily translate to speed and power in your golf swing if you lack technique.
The three key areas that can help you increase your club head speed includes coaching, fitness training and your equipment.
A coach can teach you good swing technique and sequencing to help you get the golf club in the correct positions, creating more speed in your golf swing. Teaching good fundamentals of posture, alignment and correct sequencing connecting the lower body and the upper body during the golf swing. Good swing technique allows you the ability to hit the ball more consistently, which in turn gets you more distance with each shot. The coach often gives drills to help with muscle memory to achieve optimal sequencing to hit the ball. An improved golf swing will help you lower your scores. In golf it is important to swing the golf club using the big muscles of the body as this creates more leverage and consistency in your swing. Many recreational golfers will only use their arms to muscle the golf ball around the course. If you want to shoot lower scores get a good coach on board to teach you how to swing the golf club with efficiency and consistency.
Many golfers go to the gym with one goal and that is to focus on gaining more power, as they believe swinging faster will improve their golf game. Young golfers are strength training, trying to generate power and increased speed to they can swing faster. There are a few ways in which you can train your body to help you develop the club head speed you need. It is not all about speed and power, a good fitness program will focus on all aspects of training,
Postural control and balance is essential to swinging faster and hitting the ball further. It is important you return the club with controlled angular velocity to achieve the most consistent ball strike. It is important the ball hit in the sweet spot of the club face as this increases the smash factor of your golf swing. Good set up, posture and reducing the amount of head movement through your swing improves your control and timing, allowing you to develop club head speed as your swing is more efficient. Just swinging hard is not the only key to increased club head speed.
Flexibility is vital to allow your body to get into the correct positions your coach requires to be able to deliver the golf club correctly and in sequence. Many older and amateur golfers lack flexibility and are unable to get their body into the correct positions. Hip mobility is an extremely common theme amongst everyday golfers causing faults such as lead knee collapsing in or early extension. Improving your hip and upper back flexibility will help your golf swing and improve your driving distance. Improving your shoulder separation from your lower body will create a bigger X factor, which can have a direct correlation to greater club head speed. The term X-factor is used to describe the rotation of the shoulders in relation to the hips throughout the golf swing, enhancing the power of the golf swing by utilising the stretch shortening cycle of the myofascial system.
Strength training the correct muscles and patterns of movement will help you be able to hit the ball farther. Strength training helps creates speed in your downswing and gives your body the base for building further power and speed. Research on strength training for golf showed improvements in lead arm speed and acceleration, total rotational power, force and velocity. Building strength is valuable for golfers of all skill levels, getting a stronger upper and lower body has been shown to increase club head speed by 1.5-6.3 MPH in research. Importantly a strong core to connect your upper and lower body is important in your strength training.
Power or Speed training the correct muscles and motor patterns will help improve your body speed, in turn increasing your swing speed. Power is the ability to overcome resistance in the shortest period of time leading to the ability to produce higher velocities against a given load. Power training causes neurological adaptations such as higher firing frequency and a stronger activation of the high threshold motor units. Power training can potentially lead to a shift in the muscle fibre type to fast twitch, this can create speed in the downswing with control. Applying this with good coaching allows you to get the club head through the ball with speed and more energy. This will result in longer shots hitting the ball farther, helping many golfers to shoot lower scores.
Getting the right equipment suited to your golf swing, will allow you to play better golf by hitting the ball with more control and speed. The right equipment will create more possibility to play with more focus and distance in your game. The correct club in your hands builds confidence you can swing hard and with good effect. Being fitted for your equipment means you can hit your club with the right amount of launch and spin to get optimal ball flight and distance. Golf equipment has evolved in recent times and there is endless fitting options. There is equipment options for every golf swing, this makes golf available to all abilities and ages.
At any age you can improve your golf swing to hit better and longer shots. Older golfers can improve their flexibility to increase their shoulder turn, creating more torque and width in their swing with resultant gains in club head speed. They may also develop their strength creating the ability to apply more force through the club. Young golfers will often lift heavy weights and combine this with power training to develop speed throughout their body. It does not matter what age, ability or gender you are capable of developing your club head speed. As discussed, coaching, training your body and equipment can all contribute to this outcome.
Importantly, the current science recommends one important factor to developing club head speed. Time must be spent on the range trying to hit balls hard and fast as you can. The training in the gym will not necessarily carry over unless you put it into practice. Time must be spent smashing balls on the range to get your speed up. Your training program will allow you the potential to do this without risk of injury. Developing club head is not as simple as it seems, It is a multifactorial approach by improving your golf technique, fitness, correct equipment and time patterning the speed changes into your game.
Let Elastic Golf help you train your body to give you the fitness fundamentals to swing your club harder and faster to gain club head speed. Whether it be flexibility, postural, strength or power training we can guide you safely to stronger golf performance.