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Hacker James

increasing swing speed

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okay, so you are practicing and obtaining consistency, working on mechanics, ironing out flaws e.t.c. You are now at a point where you would want to be able to hit further consistently without sacrificing accuracy.  ( yah, I know, THAT is a really novel idea - duh).

How then, do you increase your swing speed?  Do you step it up gradually being careful not to over swing?  I know the usual discussion regarding, increasing arc, rotating hips, making solid contact.  What brought this about is listening to the sound of driver "swish" and watching the videos, then comparing with others and noting that some of the better players seem to practically whip around much faster. Obviously they can do this because they are better able to maintain balance and sync at higher speeds.  I also know that "harder" is not better as in the old cliché "swing easy, hit hard".   Every time I really try to "lay into it", invariably the result is a low hook.

Thoughts?

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oh never mind...I looked up at previous threads (something I should have done before posting) and have come to the conclusion that there is no definable answer owing to the infinite amount of variables. Just keep practicing I guess.
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Just my personal experience take it however you like.  I bought a driver about 4 years ago and was measuring at about a 94-96mph swing speed.  Since then I have started lifting considerably and boosted my current driver speed to a controlled 109mph to a 114mph speed if I put a little more umph into it.

I personally don't like the idea of swinging harder to increase your swing speed because with more speed comes more misses and less control with your club.  To increase speed I would recommend working out and training, lifting weights in general and eventually you will be able to swing the club around faster without feeling like you are swinging for the fences and out of control.

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Stretching and flexibility training help tremendously...also 'width' in your swing (i.e. making sure your hands don't get too close to your right shoulder at the top of your swing). The 'wider' the arc the further the club travels and the faster it can move. Don't think you need a lot of distance at Vineyard and Eagle Crest...see your up in Esco.

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1) lifting weights help, just the fact that if your able to lift more weight, then lower weights will move faster for you

2) flexibility

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I have not played Vineyard or Eagle Crest for quite awhile.  I play at Meadow Lake and Castle Creek or MCAS Miramar. I also want to go back to Woods Valley.  As far as exercise and training, admittedly that is something I really should do, but like a lot of people, just cant seem to find the discipline. My flexibility is not too bad since I have been swinging in my training area at home.

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Originally Posted by saevel25

1) lifting weights help, just the fact that if your able to lift more weight, then lower weights will move faster for you

2) flexibility

I do have one of those pull up bars that hook over a door frame, or can be used on the floor for push ups. Would it be as helpful as lifting weights, or bench presses?  I have been told that free weights work best but you need to be careful that they are used properly. Keep in mind, that although I am in pretty good shape, I am 71 years old.

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Well, maintaining your muscle mass will be tough at the age stated. Unless you have the time, money and inclination to visit the gym often, at home workouts (did anyone say YOGA?) and walking up and down some roadways will help. With that H'cap i suspect clubhead speed beyond, say, 95mph will be hard to find regardless of your off course exercise program.  The speed  starts from your feet, moves up to the biggest body muscles (thighs and butt), and out through the shoulders and arms. Probably it's the upper body that's holding back your speed. Too tense, trying too hard to power the ball, and the worse of all 'hitting the ball';  All these errors lead to slow motion at the clubhead.

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Just my opinion, but I don't think it's a particularly worthwhile goal, for two main reasons. First, if you are around about a bogey golfer, it is not lack of distance that is primarily holding back your scoring, it is lack of consistency. And second -- in my own experience -- it is very difficult to significantly increase your club head speed, at any level of the game. Yes you read all over the Internet this guy and that guy posting that they started gripping the club a little looser (or whatever) and immediately gained 20 yards on their 7 iron. I think it's bullshit and, myself, have yet to see any player go from pitty-patting it to really crushing it out of sight unless they are a junior and go through puberty in between. There's plenty of anecdotal evidence at the top level, too. Paddy Harrington spent two years focusing intensely on increasing his club head speed. Strength training, stretching, overspeed training, the lot. And he's a fanatic hard worker so you know he didn't half-arse it. He gained 1 mph on his driver.

Don'y get me wrong, this doesn't mean you -- Hacker James -- can't still learn to hit the ball further. I'd just suggest that trying to swing faster isn't the way to reach that goal. I play with a 71-year-old lefty who swings in the low 80s with the driver and is hitting it a lot longer now than he ever has in his life -- just because we fixed his geometry. I've posted these before but will again just for illustration.

You can see how much more energy he's transferring to the ball once we change the down-and-across club path. Even swinging 6 mph slower, he's carrying it 25 yards further. We altered nothing about the swing except his setup and his mindset.*

Not suggesting you are as extreme a case but again, just my opinion, this is the sort of area where you are going to find yards at your age and your level, not in the squat rack. Although you should still hit the squat rack, bcuz gainzzzz!

(* PS: Now he can finally hit driver, but his irons are a hot mess. There are no free lunches in golf or life.)

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Originally Posted by Hacker James

okay, so you are practicing and obtaining consistency, working on mechanics, ironing out flaws e.t.c. You are now at a point where you would want to be able to hit further consistently without sacrificing accuracy.  ( yah, I know, THAT is a really novel idea - duh).

How then, do you increase your swing speed?  Do you step it up gradually being careful not to over swing?  I know the usual discussion regarding, increasing arc, rotating hips, making solid contact.  What brought this about is listening to the sound of driver "swish" and watching the videos, then comparing with others and noting that some of the better players seem to practically whip around much faster. Obviously they can do this because they are better able to maintain balance and sync at higher speeds.  I also know that "harder" is not better as in the old cliché "swing easy, hit hard".   Every time I really try to "lay into it", invariably the result is a low hook.

Thoughts?

my carry on the low end is 250 to 280+ meters. which in yards is 275 -305+. im working on speeding up my back swing speed which is actually pretty slow.  for me generating downswing speed is about swing mechanics i guess. its just about properly loading up and starting that swing from the bottom up. i cant say its a specific thing i do. i just make sure my weight goes right while i get great hip turn and torso turn. my right arm extends further back on my drive back swing than my iron swing before creating my hinge. my left leg goes, hips follow, right shoulder drops right elbow sucks into my side, i hinge almost to impact, my weight is transferring and my hips are almost fully open at impact..yet my upper body is facing parallel to the ball and blam

im working on squaring the club  and my follow through though - i tend to get lazy and leave it open at times. and at other times i close the face too much.

plus, i need to work on my balance, sometimes i get too much weight going forward to my front foot it pulls me forward.

is the "secret" the right arm? ive tried to copy woods, daly, johnson - look at their right arms. i think it helps stabilize the shot when your "whipping around faster" as you said.

who knows though, i suck regardless of distances i put out there at times. im working hard at smoothing out my irons the same way. good luck to you

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Originally Posted by Hacker James

I have not played Vineyard or Eagle Crest for quite awhile.  I play at Meadow Lake and Castle Creek or MCAS Miramar. I also want to go back to Woods Valley.  As far as exercise and training, admittedly that is something I really should do, but like a lot of people, just cant seem to find the discipline. My flexibility is not too bad since I have been swinging in my training area at home.

My father is 78 and still plays twice a week too.  The key for him in maintaining a reasonable swing speed and distance is definitely in flexibility.  An inability to make a full turn simply can't be made up through strength, and as you mention, gaining strength is much more difficult as we get older than maintaining/improving flexibility.    Keep the arc long and smooth, and natural acceleration will result in the speed and control you need/want.

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Originally Posted by Hacker James

I do have one of those pull up bars that hook over a door frame, or can be used on the floor for push ups. Would it be as helpful as lifting weights, or bench presses?  I have been told that free weights work best but you need to be careful that they are used properly. Keep in mind, that although I am in pretty good shape, I am 71 years old.

I think flexibility will be the biggest help to you. Yoga probably would be the best. Yoga promotes balance, which means your developing strength in the smaller stabalization muscles (like hip abductors), it also give you flexibility. Its pretty low impact, so your not going to get injured if you were to say go to heavy on free weights. You'd be suprised how just using your own body weight can be a work out.

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Thank you all for the suggestions.  I am not going to fret about it. Although I have not measured it, my swing speed is probably not much different than most. I can drive around 220 yards fairly consistently,(240 once in a blue moon) my game is improving. If I cut back to nine hole rounds, the index would drop considerably I am sure as just about every round I play has one of the nines at 41-43.  I do not plan on doing that however, as I would not be satisfied after only 9 holes.   The Yoga is a good idea, but truthfully I doubt if I would keep it up. I will get some weights though, I had a set long time ago and kept at it much more so than the exercise bar that you hang over a door frame.  I might even buy one of those Sport Sensor gadgets that measure swing speed. I saw on Amazon one for around $95 and they got good reviews.  So, I am going to duck out the patio door and hit a few thousand balls before breakfast (its only 5 yards away). See ya and thanks again!

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