How Important Is Swing Speed In Golf?
Whether you have been playing golf for many years or have just discovered this incredible sport, you will likely have heard a lot of talk about swing speed.
As with many sports, your level of skill and ability will have a huge impact on how well you play and whether you are able to stay one step ahead of your competitors.
But all this talk of swing speed may be a little excessive; surely it can’t be that important? Or can it?
In this article, we are going to be looking at the importance of swing speed and how this can have an effect on club head speed as well as giving you some handy tips on how to increase yours.
Swing Speed in golf is very important, it is critical to driving the golf ball further and ultimately helping the golfer lower his or her scores.
Ways to improve your swing speed
1. Strengh and conditioning training
2. Overspeed training like the Super Speed training system
3. Optimise your golf ball spin rates and launch angle
4. Longer Driver shaft but this can increase you missing the target with a worsening dispersion rate (missing the target/fairway)
What Is Swing Speed And Why Does It Matter So Much?
You will hear swing speed being talked about a lot in the world of golfing; you can’t go and buy a set of clubs without the salesperson boasting about the incredible club head speed that the driver will give you.
But in truth, the swing speed has less to do with the club you are using and more to do with your own physical make up.
Of course, there is a vast difference where men’s and women’s clubs are concerned in terms of weight and length and these differences are primarily designed with the difference in swing speed in mind.
Women tend to have a much slower swing speed than male golfers and having the right equipment can make life easier.
But it certainly won’t make your swing speed any faster than it already is.
Swing speed simply refers to how fast the golfer swings the club and despite many golfers not wanting to admit it; it matters intensely.
Simply put, the faster you can swing the club, the further you will get the ball to travel.
Of course, that first drive or iron shot in a game of golf can mean the difference between winning and losing.
On the professional golf tours, you would see some of the top players hitting their balls with swing speeds in excess of 120mph and much higher; that’s insanely fast.
But the average hobby golfer probably wouldn’t get anywhere near that, at least not without intense amounts of training.
Although, if you put your mind to it and are consistent, you will be able to achieve a noticeable difference.
The average swing speed for a casual male golfer sits around 94mph, this is sufficient for most weekend games, but since we know that golfers can be incredibly competitive, it doesn’t come as a surprise that this speed just IS. NOT. GOOD. ENOUGH.
For ladies, the average swing speed comes in at around 65mph which is almost 20% slower than that of their male counterparts.
When we look at this figure, it isn’t difficult to see why women’s golf clubs are made in such a way that they can make the most out of their natural swing speed to maximise that club head speed and gain a little extra distance from the golf ball.
But again, female players are just as eager to improve this swing speed and become better players.
Swing Speed Vs Distance
One of the key things to think about when looking at the importance of the swing speed is how far the golf ball will travel.
It’s quite significant when you look at it and someone with a swing speed of 70mph would not be fairly matched to play against someone whose swing speed was approaching triple figures.
It is widely reported that an extra 1mph swing speed will launch the golf ball a further 3 yards.
For instance, you may have heard of the PGA Tour Player Bryson DeChambeau, who has been training with the World Long Driver Golfer Kyle Berkshire to improve his golf ball distances.
The results have been dramatic, he has also found that the correct golf ball spin rates, swing tempo and ultimately having optimum ‘smash factor‘ have all helped him gain huge distance, and notably when he obliterated the field at the PGA Championship Major tournament with his incredible distance.
Bryson DeChambeau is achieving 340 yards + driver distance which is insane.
Look at the table below to see how much further your ball will travel when you swing speed is improved.
|Swing Speed||Distance (Yards)|
Golf Clubs And Swing Speed
As we have mentioned, your golf club is not going to improve your swing speed but the technology in the new golf equipment can help; it may help you to make the most out of your abilities but your equipment alone cannot make you a good player, that takes years of practice and dedication.
However, there are certain people who might benefit from different types of golf clubs as a way of maximising their swing speed.
Women’s clubs are much lighter and tend to have a greater loft.
If a woman were to use a club designed for men (this is the majority, there are obviously women how can use these clubs to great effect), her slower swing speed would not work with the design of the club and the golf ball would not go as far.
A female golf club is designed to work with the nature of a woman, rather than against it.
Similarly, all of us will lose swing speed as we get older and using the same clubs that we did at the age of 20 when we are 60 wouldn’t have the same effect.
For this reason, it is important to swallow your pride and invest in senior golf clubs once you reach a certain age, if you are losing distance, then this could be a factor.
This will help to make sure that you are working with equipment that will keep your game at its best, there is even golf balls that well improve the ball speed. Check out our article here The best golf ball for over 60 years of age.
How To Improve Swing Speed
Much like a sprinter must practice to improve his lap times, a golfer must train to improve his swing speed.
When you first pick up a golf club, your swing speed may not be very good at all.
Some people will have a naturally faster swing but in the main, the more you train, with strength training the better your swing speed will be.
But, unlike other types of training, increasing your swing speed won’t come from repeatedly swinging a golf club; this will probably have the opposite effect.
When you are looking to improve your swing, you must stick to a strict physical workout regime designed to improve your overall physical health which will then have a direct impact on your swing and ultimately your golf ball speed.
According to Golf Monthly, with a set of training exercises designed to maximise your swing speed, you could see yourself adding as much as 40 yards to your distance in as little as one month.
One of the first things to think about when looking at working on your swing speed is where the power for this speed comes from.
When you swing the club this way, you are using multiple parts of the body and each of these needs to be as strong as possible to get the best results.
In the main, the wrists, glutes, core, back and forearms are all working together each time you swing your club, so it is essential that you take good care of these body parts and keep them in tip-top condition, and improve your strength training.
There are several exercises that you can do to improve the strength and power of these muscle groups.
Many people don’t consider golf to be a sport that requires intense physical fitness but once you have played a few rounds, it becomes easy to see why remaining in good shape is vital.
● Bench side steps
● Rotational lunges
● Abs rotation using a medicine ball
● Bench presses
One of the things that remains consistent in all of these exercises is focusing on rotation and this is because that is such an integral part of the club swing.
Once you are able to rotate in an effective way, the power of this rotation will be delivered on the downswing, giving your ball a much more significant flight.
Superspeed Golf for Improved Swing Speed
There is a speed training system on the market designed to improve your swing speed through overspeed training which will help you achieve greater golf ball speed and ultimately extra distance with a higher swing speed.
The Superspeed golf training system is a series of weighted shafts in which you swing in various ways to overtrain your muscles so you can achieve greater speeds.
Many of the worlds best golfers are using this system to improve their golf swing speed benefiting European Tour Players, PGA Tour Players and LPGA Tour Players a like.
You can check your swing speed with a launch monitor or a swing speed radar, such as trackman, GC Quad or cheaper systems like the shot scope, Mevo or many others now on the market. If you want to read a more in-depth review on the Super speed golf system please read our review here.
You can spend all the time in the world concentrating on a workout routine designed to maximise your abilities, but then pick up the golf club and use it in entirely the wrong way.
For this reason, it is critical that you pay attention to your technique as well.
We have discussed the importance of rotation but how you rotate the body as you swing is equally important.
The best way to do this is to place your focus on the shoulders and hips which are the two key areas.
Once they are moving effectively, you will be able to generate an impressive amount of speed.
A lot of new golfers end up having an erratic backswing and downswing because their attention is only on hitting the ball as hard as possible.
But this is not how you want to practice your technique.
You should make sure that it is a smooth swing and remember that the most acceleration comes on the downswing from the point where the club passes the hit to the moment it impacts the ball.
Finally, before you start any game, make sure to do some stretches.
This will improve your mobility and will prevent any golfing injuries.
Once an injury has been sustained, you will notice that it has a permanent effect on your swing speed.
On the market there are training aids that can support your technique which which can help you be more efficient in your swing and help your speed, these swing training and tempo training aids will help your golf swing.
Currently I am personally using the SKLZ Gold Swing Trainer and you can read the review here.
All golfers want to be the best that they can be and having a better swing speed with greater club head speed is important to many of us.
Swing speed is important because the faster it is, the further the golf ball will travel.
Using the right equipment is important to maximise your swing speed but alone, this is not massively effective; you will also need to focus on your technique and staying in good physical condition if you want to increase your swing speed and improve your game.