Swing speed plays a significant role in the game of golf. Without enough clubhead speed, the ball will not travel far enough onto the fairway or putting green. Therefore, players should focus on increasing their swing speed if they want get the ball into the hole in as few shots as possible.
An acceptable swing speed for most golfers lies beyond 90 miles per hour when hitting a driver and 75 miles per hour with a 7 iron. If you are hitting below that mark, then you may want to consider increasing the swing speed.
In this article, we will be discussing a few tips and drills that will help you build more power and speed on the downswing thereby improving the consistency on your golf strokes. We’ll also look at ways you can measure your swing speed using both technology and estimation. Let’s dive in.
3 Tips To Increase Your Swing Speed In Golf
1. Rotate Your Body In Sequence
Professional golfers understand the importance of using ALL parts of their body when swinging their golf club. Some amateurs depend too much on their forearms to generate power and this causes a lot of inconsistency in their golf swing as their arms may tire or fatigue too quickly.
If you only utilize your arms, you won’t get enough clubhead speed to send the ball to a far distance. You are also more proned to throwing your arms on the outside or over the top, creating massive curving shots like slices or duck hooks.
Moreover, if you look at many of the female golfers, you will see that they hit the golf ball just as far as their male counterparts even though men are physically stronger than women.
So what could be the explanation?
Well simply put, female golfers rely much more on technique by utilizing ALL the parts of their body to produce power into their clubhead instead of depending on their arms for power.
The technique to increase your swing speed is to rotate your body in sequence. You have to create energy from the ground by using your base, legs, hips, torso, arms and hands that will be transferred into the clubhead to produce enough power for a high swing speed. It is important to get the order correct to get a good clubhead speed. Here is the sequence that you should follow:
- Turn legs
- Turn knees
- Turn hips
- Turn torso
- Turn shoulders
- Turn arms
Once you follow the order correctly, all the energy will be passed onto the clubhead and then onto the golf ball at impact. This technique can be done with every club and not just your driver.
2. Time Your Shot
There are some bad golf advice out there stating that you should get to a maximum clubhead speed as early as possible during the downswing. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
It makes no point to have the clubhead traveling at 90 miles per hour at the top of your swing since by time it hits the ball it gets much slower.
If you swing too fast at the start of your downswing, the clubhead will lose energy by the time it comes in contact with the golf ball.
Therefore, you want to apply the greatest amount of power when the clubhead is midway during the downswing as the clubhead will have enough energy to hit the ball far.
All in all, you should aim to get the maximum clubhead speed through the golf shot.
Now, there are a few drills that you can perform to get the clubhead speed in the correct place. One such drill you can practice at home is to use a light garden cane or stick and swing it hard as you can so that you hear a “woosh” sound as it goes through.
You want to make the woosh sound as loud as you can, as well as to get it in the correct place (through the golf shot).
When performing this drill, hold and swing the garden cane in your right hand for about ten times. When you are finished, swap the stick in your left hand and do another ten reps.
Right Hand Drill
Left Hand Drill
Once you have done ten with your right hand and ten with your left hand, you should then do ten with both your hands together to complete the drill.
3. Practice Throwing
Throwing is a great activity that will help you with power and sequencing in your golf shot. You can start out by throwing a golf ball into a net or screen. As you get more used to throwing the golf ball, you may start to increase the weight by replacing it with a heavier object like a lightweight medicine ball.
You want to throw the golf ball with your right hand and then switch to your left hand (10 throws in each hand).
When you are throwing the ball, start out with a backswing position as you would when swinging your golf club. Stamp forward with your left foot while your lower body and hips turn towards the target. Then throw the ball through as hard as you can. It should look something like this:
Once you’ve completed each hand, move onto the medicine ball and practice throwing it with both hands as if you are swinging your golf club.
How To Measure Your Swing Speed In Golf
Keeping track of your swing speed is important to improving your game. If you don’t know your swing speed, then you won’t know what to work on.
There are several technologies that can be used to track your clubhead speed. However, the one device we found most simple and effective is the launch monitor.
The launch monitor accurately calculates the clubhead speed as you hit the golf ball out into the range. The launch monitor works by measuring an array of club and ball data parameters using a combination of infrared object tracking and high-speed cameras.
There are two types of launch monitors. One that tracks the golf ball after impact using radar technology, and one that uses camera technology to record the data at the time the clubhead comes in contact with the ball. The two launch monitors will use their built-in algorithms to create a range of data and projections about the golf shot.
We suggest going with the SkyTrak launch monitor as it has been voted the number one value golf launch monitor for the past several years featuring the best on-screen shot analysis and an accuracy of 98%. Click here to check it out.
Though the best method for tracking your golf swing speed is using a launch monitor, some golfers do not have the money to invest in that technology. As a result, the next best alternative is to estimate the golf club speed by following these steps:
- Hit 20 golf balls at your practice range using a driver and write down the distance of each shot. Disregard shots that are mishits.
- Subtract 5% of the drive average to determine the distance of carry for your drives.
- To obtain the ball speed at impact, divide the distance by 1.75
- Finally, divide the ball speed by 1.5 to obtain the estimated swing speed for our drive.
As we mentioned before, if you are averaging over 90 miles per hour on your clubhead speed then that is considered an acceptable swing speed. Professional players on the other hand such as those on the PGA tour will average upwards of 110 miles per hour on their golf swing.
The speed of your golf swing will determine how far the golf ball travels. Increasing your clubhead speed will not only get the ball farther, but you will enjoy the game more as you obtain lower scores in your games.
However, the game of golf is not black and white. While speed does help to get the ball farther, applying too much power can lead to diminishing returns where the quality of stroke goes down as you swing harder. This could cause the golf ball to curve if you are hitting it too hard, so it’s important that you find the right amount of control over your swing. I wrote an article on how you can avoid slicing your golf shot. Be sure to check it out here
Nevertheless, by performing the right technique and drills as outlined in this article, you will be well on your way to improving your swing speed in no time.