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Golf Misconceptions - Impact Factors - Speed

This is the fourth in my five part series of blogs about the many mis-conceptions I hear during my coaching.

The biggest misconception I hear regarding club head speed is people believing that a fast clubhead speed requires brute strength or that they just need to swing the club harder. These is a big misconception!

I’m not suggesting that strength doesn’t help when trying to generate extra club head speed. We only need to look at the top players in the world and how many times they visit a gym!

A combination of strength and flexibility will certainly help your clubhead speed but for the average golfer who doesn’t employ a personal golf fitness trainer I believe extra club head speed can be gained by timing our power levers.

In the golf swing there are four main power levers that we all possess.

  • Wrist cock

  • Elbow fold

  • Arm swing

  • Body turn

Any golf coaches reading this blog will be shouting at the screen, saying “What about leg drive and ground force leverage??”. This is true but in my experience the average golfer gets more benefit from timing the levers I’ve listed above.

This picture above shows Rory McIlroy storing all of his power levers. He has:

  • Cocked his wrists to about a 90 degree angle

  • Folded his right arm

  • Rotated his arms to above his right shoulder

  • Turned his shoulders to 90 degrees whilst resisting with his lower body

Here we can see Rory at a position just before impact. He has maintained his power levers. His wrist cock is still at 90 degrees, his right arm is still bent, his arms still have room to swing into the ball and his body still has some unwinding to do. He is ready to unleash his power levers onto the ball.

Compare Rory’s position to this guy. His wrist cock has gone, his shoulders are almost square with the ball and his right arm is too straight. He has lost 3 of his power levers before getting the club to the ball. Essentially he is hitting the ball with only the use of his arms!

Every club golfer manages to use some (if not all) of the power levers listed above but does not time the release of them correctly. The key to extra club head speed is therefore:



How I Increased A Clients Driving Distance By 55 Yards In One Lesson!!

The power levers mentioned above require a lot of practice to perfect but there are other ways to increase distance off of the tee.

I gave a lesson to a client who was struggling with his driving distance and without increasing his club head speed considerably, he went from hitting his drives 186 yards to a whopping 241 yards! We achieved this extra distance by:

  • Changing his angle of attack into the ball from 5 degrees down to 2 degrees up. This helps to launch his drives higher, which gets more carry but the main benefit of this change is the reduction in backspin.

  • Creating a square hit. A club head path that cuts across the ball is effectively creating a glancing blow. By swinging more squarely to through the ball he was creating more ball speed.

These changes required commitment but the difference was worth the effort.

Everyone would like more distance and hopefully this blog will give you a few ideas of how to achieve this. Next time you head to the range to increase your club head speed, work on your timing rather than brute force.

I would also advise that you have your swing filmed by a trained PGA Professional to make sure that you are not hitting the ball with a glancing or descending blow.

For help with your club head speed, please contact me here.


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