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Partition the factors of clubhead speed

5 posts in this topic

I have seen many players with very short  backswings pound the ball 265 yds yet some with long swings unable to make 210 yds. I have seen stiff wrists make good shots.  So i wonder about the factors which make for clubhead speed. I can see length of arc and its components. I can see hips sliding forward.  I can see hip rotation and lack of tension. And finally i can see lag or the ability to flail the wrists. All of these, and maybe others, contribute to clubhead speed. But what % does hip slide contribute to the clubhead speed? What % does a loose upper body contrbute?

If we knew the answer to this partition question  then we could focus our attention on that factor which  contributes the most to clubhead speed. . I  have experienced difficulties focusing on hips. upper body, and wrists all at the same time so would like to focus on that one most  influential factor.

Not to deny your comments but if you can only guess, i can too.


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The golf swing is all about kinematic motion. Basically the power in the golf swing is from the ground up. There is a reason why the body movies in a specific order in the golf swing.

Some swings look easy and hit the ball a long way, Fred Couples. I think your getting confused by window dressing here. Pretty much all type of swings are able to harness power and transfer it to the ball optimally. How it looks doesn't matter.

Take a look at the threads regarding Lag by @mvmac , trying to add to much lag can hurt your power just as much as flipping at the ball. When things move right, lag is not a conscious thing, unless its for the betterment of your golf swing in getting the 5 keys.

Also being a 19 handicap I would focus more on your over all ball striking. Until you can hit the ball first, in the center of the clubface repeatably, I wouldn't worry about how to gain club head speed. A lot of it will be gained just with a better swing.


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1: Club length

2: Mechanics

3: Size and physical ability

Clubhead speed is a combination of mechanics and relative core strength IMO. Mechanics probably have the most to do with it though. Coordination is more important than strength by a lot, and you need more stability than flexibility, IMO. A compact but really on plane swing can hit the ball much better than a long but loopy swing, and it takes fewer compensations and less reliance on timing.

We take the club back and start it on an arc on the downswing. That arc needs enough length to allow us to accelerate it fully, but it needs to end up on the path we want so we can hit the ball consistently solid and straight. The farther off plane we get will require the clubhead to either change its path through the ball or for us to compensate by swaying back, missing the ball, casting, or rerouting the club to name a few problems.

265 isn't pounding the ball either, it's pretty good for a weekend player but a guy who considers himself a good athlete should be able to hit it over 280 if they wish if their mechanics are good.

Hip rotation is important but learning to slam your hips open is the wrong way to go about it; the best guys create that rotation as a by product of swinging hard, not creating the speed as a by product of the hip movement. You do need to shift your weight and you need to use your legs to help drive the rotation, so the hips need to move a lot and act as an indicator of weight distribution when seen on video. Same thing with "lag", that's not something you simply add to a bad swing.

Taking a long backswing is only going to hurt most players. I'm a very flexible player but I only go to parallel when I'm about to kill the ball or I want to hit it extra high. Making a longer backswing with a near perfect swing plane is too inconsistent. I can stay on plane on an insanely long swing if I lift my left heel and take my eyes off the ball, I could probably hit the longest drives of my life if I started to do that regularly, but it is less controlled and it can be hard to aim. At a certain point, you have to cheat a little because you're off balance and can't make the swing in a single athletic motion. Stop turning before you reach that point. For me, it's my vision; before my eyes start to pull off the ball I change direction.

Don't flail your wrists, btw. The wrist action in the swing should be a subtle one unless you want to hit down too much or hook it. I find wrist and arm strength to be more about control than clubhead speed for me.


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That's why I need lessons. Need to get my wife on board

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There is a guy that plays in our Saturday game that can hit them out there pretty well. He's (or was) a big strong guy about 6'4" tall and probably weighs about 250 lbs. Fairly decent golf swing so no surprise he would be able to hit the ball.

Three months ago he had to have surgery on his neck to replace two discs. He was finally cleared to play last Saturday and he said he didn't know how it would go because in his rehab he could only curl between 5 and 10 lbs. with his right arm and had limited mobility and he didn't know how much effect all of that would have on his distance.

The answer that was evident on the first tee, when he drove the green, was that it didn't have any effect on his distance at all.


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