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Increasing club-head speed - suggestions

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

I was getting fitting for a driver yesterday and found out I have a very slow swing-speed for my age with a driver (42 years, 72 mph) .   For the control driver I was was using my Nike Sumo SQ 5000 with regular flex. In the past I've hit the Nike driver straight but not very far, so I believe the fitting statistics were accurate.

 

The fitting system recommended a Taylormade 2010 Superfast driver with a senior-flex shaft, which seems to add 5 MPH to my average club-head speed and 20 yards to total distance (at 200 yds).  I swallowed my pride and went ahead and ordered the senior-flex driver and fairway wood (bought them used to save some money).

 

For 2011, I want to work on improving clubhead speed, so I'm looking for suggestions from people who have had the same problem I have with slow speed and got their speed up to at least 90 mph within a year.

I'm open to any ideas (training gear, exercise tips, technique) that may have helped you improve your own speed.

 

For strength and speed training gear I have two devices I picked up in the past, a Speed Stik (older model) and also the Medicus Maximus weighted driver club.  I had kept these items in the closet since my swing was bad at the time and I wanted to work first on hitting straighter and eliminating my bad slice.

 

But now I hit straighter, and wonder if those two training devices would help me out with speed, and also what kind of daily routine I should follow.

 

I also have a Roger Fredericks CD on golf stretching.   I was doing those daily but slacked off, perhaps just following the routine once a week.

post #2 of 32

The last thing you want to do is try to rotate the left arm that will throw the clubhead outside the line and create a weak slice....do you have a video?  That would help

post #3 of 32

Flexibility

Core Strength

Upper body strength

Lower body stability

Solid Contact

 

Flexibility can be done daily

the next three you can achieve through basic working out, check out the fitness and exercise section

Solid Contact, pray to the golf gods for this one ;b

post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianpro View Post

The last thing you want to do is try to rotate the left arm that will throw the clubhead outside the line and create a weak slice....do you have a video?  That would help


I agree on your suggestion to avoid rotating the left arm (intentionally).  On the video request, I'll try to put together a video perhaps in January 2011. 

 

The reason for the wait on the video is that I suspect I have developed golfer's elbow in my right arm sometime during the last 2 weeks, so I will need to rest my arms for a while.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

Flexibility

Core Strength

Upper body strength

Lower body stability

Solid Contact

 

Flexibility can be done daily

the next three you can achieve through basic working out, check out the fitness and exercise section

Solid Contact, pray to the golf gods for this one ;b

 

Thanks, I'm doing some of what you suggested but I'll try to put in more frequent sessions (exercise, stretching and stability, etc.) and also read through the exercise and fitness threads.

 

saevel25, I see you list using stiff-flex shafts. At what point of your swing do you feel like you power it, right around impact? Is it the lower body driving club or do you feel like your upper body is really socking it to the ball at impact?  Or perhaps a combination of things?

post #5 of 32

Are you in generally ok physical condition?  If so, have you had lessons?  If not, my suspicion is that getting some help with your technique is going to pay faster dividends than getting into exercise routines.  72 mph seems slow enough that I wonder if you're really swinging freely.  I pretty regularly see guys at the range who have swings that go through a decent set up and backswing only to check up at some point during the swing, throwing all their power away. 

 

I'd expect that someone your age with proper technique ought to be able to muster a faster swing speed even without being in great physical shape, so I'd suggest having someone take a good look at your technique.  Of course, don't hold back on the exercise too, but that's going to take a lot longer to make a difference.  Personally, over the last year or so I've added 20-30 yards to my irons just through practice and a lot of work on improving my technique.

post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeg View Post

Are you in generally ok physical condition?  If so, have you had lessons? ...

 

I'd expect that someone your age with proper technique ought to be able to muster a faster swing speed even without being in great physical shape, so I'd suggest having someone take a good look at your technique.... 


To answer your questions, I believe I'm in good physical condition at 42 years: I ran 2 miles in 15 minutes last week, and was able to leg-press 400 lbs for 4x10 reps. My lower body is a little stronger than my upper (I can only bench 150 lbs during my work-outs).

 

On lessons, I've been taking lessons through GolfTec the past year (around 16 total).   As a result I'm hitting straighter than when I began, starting from a big push-cut in my swing. But I have not seen any improvement in my technique that would add to distance.  After my recent club-fitting session for the driver and woods another instructor at the store looked over my fitting statistics and stated, "Perhaps you aren't hitting hard enough".  But I don't understand how one hits harder on top of all the technique.

 

Perhaps it's also time for a new instructor...

post #7 of 32

 

 

Quote:
saevel25, I see you list using stiff-flex shafts. At what point of your swing do you feel like you power it, right around impact? Is it the lower body driving club or do you feel like your upper body is really socking it to the ball at impact?  Or perhaps a combination of things?

 

Actually, i use to play an X-Stiff shaft, but not anymore. I don't really feel when i power it because i never thought about it, its never became a swing thought for me at all. Sorry i can't really explain how that works in my swing. I do say that i never have issues with getting the club through impact with a stiff shaft. But if i had to guess its right after i reach the top of the backswing, when i start down its full out period. Theres no lets swing easy down and speed up at impact, its constant acceleration to the ball. 

 

My power comes from my build, i am pretty strong guy, and decently flexible. I get a lot of club head speed. 

post #8 of 32

I recently had my swing speed checked and was shocked that my average swing speed was only 88. I have been exercising more now and walk when I play and am trying to really stretch. I am 6'2 and my swing felt the most comfortable when swinging after a slow take back. When I 1st started I would say that my swing speed was a lot faster just because of the nature of wanting to kill the ball. I have developed a slow take back and am really trying to hit down on the ball. I got set up with a reg flex I hope this works because being on a simulator indoors and teeing one up are different. I would hate to have to get all new shafts on my driver and 5 wood because my swing speed is actually in the 90's.

post #9 of 32

Wow, an interesting thread.  

 

Swing speed starts with the turn of the upper body I think. How fast can you turn your upper body? Do you have some physical infirmity that prevents you from turning faster?  If it were me I would simply work on turning my upper body faster than I do now.  Working on arm strength is not a waste of time but it doesn't directly increase SS, likewise lower body strength isn't an issue. How are you at sit ups and crunches? I can do 20 full extension reps with a hand wheel easily so my abs are in good shape and turning doesn't hurt or cause any pain/strain/muscle pulls.

 

I'm 57 and I work on turning faster and maintaining control. My measured SS with a 6i is @95-96 mph.

 

Here is a tip I found online: http://www.pga.com/golf-instruction/feature/increase-swing-speed-more-distance

 

 

Edited by The Road Dog - 12/28/10 at 10:56am
post #10 of 32

 There's been people who just look violent into the ball and those like Fred Couples who just easily lay a bomb out there like he was destined to do so. So there has be some inate ability to gain club head speed, if its using your core and really fire into the ball, or there some sort of golf mechanic that all long hitters have. I would say there are two type of long ball hitters then,

 

Smooth: Els, Couples, Nichlaus, Snead

Violent: Bubba watson, JB Holmes, Phil

 

Not sure what makes one more successful than the other though.

 

I would probably be in the case of violent swingers because i tend to loose my balance if i overswing, and things tend to get out of wack quicker. With that being said, i guess i tend to be more upper body focused than lower body focused, because it does seem that those who are smooth look like they get that really good lag that just flows down to the ball, while those who look violent tend to have a quick upper body motion through the ball. Thats not to say they move there upper body first, its just how there swing looks in real time.

post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Road Dog View Post

 

...Swing speed starts with the turn of the upper body I think. How fast can you turn your upper body? Do you have some physical infirmity that prevents you from turning faster?  If it were me I would simply work on turning my upper body faster than I do now.  Working on arm strength is not a waste of time but it doesn't directly increase SS, likewise lower body strength isn't an issue....

 

...How are you at sit ups and crunches? I can do 20 full extension reps with a hand wheel easily so my abs are in good shape and turning doesn't hurt or cause any pain/strain/muscle pulls.

 

I'm 57 and I work on turning faster and maintaining control. My measured SS with a 6i is @95-96 mph.

 

Here is a tip I found online: http://www.pga.com/golf-instruction/feature/increase-swing-speed-more-distance


Thanks, that's some good info, and that tip in the article looks promising.

 

I don't believe I have a physical infirmity, but it's possible I'm turning my upper body slowly rather than quickly. 

 

In the downswing I turn back my hips left and get my weight over the left side, and at that point I'm just trying to swing through the ball and not thinking anymore due to how fast things move close to the moment of impact. I also focus on keeping my left arm straight since I've had a problem with over-bending the left arm.

 

As a result in my downswing I might be hoping the lower body is propelling my upper body to help turn the arms and club quickly.  But in reality I'm just lurching over to my left side and letting my arms and centrifugal force rotate my shoulders around.  This behavior may also explain why I come up in the follow-through off-balance at times.

 

Anyhow, I will look into rotating my upper body quicker and try out the tips in that article, after my right elbow recovers. That upper body rotation could be the missing link.

 

post #12 of 32

 

I

I am hesitant to post here because I am far from a knowledgable instructor or even an amature swing technician. Other then reading stack and tilt I am completely self taught.

However you mentioned something that I experienced so I will offer what I went through.

You say you focus on keeping your left arm straight.

I suspect that subconsciously you bend your left arm to avoid crashing the club into the ground, that lack of confidence will also keep you from swinging at full speed.


There is a tid bit on this in the S&T book and as soon as I read it a light bulb went off for me. It took a concentrated effort for me to over come but once I did it cured my issue.

I should note, I have broken my neck twice and have had several spine surgeries and my neck is fused and plated.... So for me the whole crashing the head into the ground was a major issue. But still, my brain was not allowing my body to swing full speed and bending the left arm was the safety mechanism.... Anyhow, give it some thought and take them divots.
post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camo View Post

...You say you focus on keeping your left arm straight.

I suspect that subconsciously you bend your left arm to avoid crashing the club into the ground, that lack of confidence will also keep you from swinging at full speed.
...But still, my brain was not allowing my body to swing full speed and bending the left arm was the safety mechanism.... Anyhow, give it some thought and take them divots.


Thanks for that input.  My left arm has been bending too much, mainly at the top of the backswing, even though I felt I was keeping it straight. In my past two lessons the instructors felt I was overturning, and had me try to shorten the backswing a bit.  When they asked me to take a swing and feel like I had the club-head pointing at the wall behind me, at that point I was in the correct backswing position, the club shaft less than parallel (and my left arm straighter).

 

Also my arms were too tense at address. I was overdoing the Hogan setup method and trying to point my elbows to my hips and feel like the elbows were staying close together.  In the same lessons above I was asked to relax my arms more and let the left arm straighten more naturally in the backswing.

 

The feel for me now is like I'm pushing with my shoulders and arms to get the club away from me in the backswing.  I haven't been able to practice much further to an elbow injury (from hitting the ground too hard).

 

The PGA tip article posted by The Road Dog above also comments on how tension in the arms can produce a weaker impact.  When my right arm heals up I'm going to try a more relaxed arm position at setup and also try to turn my shoulders quicker in the downswing.

post #14 of 32

I don't think there is any benefit to bending your left arm on the back swing.  Better to train yourself to make a full shoulder turn while maintaining good balance.  Start with half swings, then three quarters, and then full.  When you make good contact the ball will take off like a rocket!

post #15 of 32

Has anyone tried one of these.  I got one for christmas, and I was hoping I ould get an increase in clubhead speed also.

 

http://www.practicerange.com/Power-Swing-Fan-P1.aspx

post #16 of 32

The key to swing speed is to have quick hips.  Without the connection to the lower body you are lost.  Watch any of those guys that make it look easy then concentrate on their lower body. There lies the answer.  

post #17 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve K View Post

I don't think there is any benefit to bending your left arm on the back swing.  Better to train yourself to make a full shoulder turn while maintaining good balance.  Start with half swings, then three quarters, and then full.  When you make good contact the ball will take off like a rocket!


Right, I agree on that suggestion. My instructors believe my shoulder turn was pretty good, just needed a little more weight transfer to the right to get in the proper backswing position.  I was mentioning the bent arm since I was letting it bend significantly and didn't feel it (which was a bad thing per my instructors).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TourSpoon View Post

The key to swing speed is to have quick hips.  Without the connection to the lower body you are lost.  Watch any of those guys that make it look easy then concentrate on their lower body. There lies the answer.  

 

I'll keep that in mind.  My instructors said my hips should rotate more in the downswing, which could mean I need to turn them quicker before impact. But I'll test that out after I've first tried turning my shoulders faster in the downswing (based on the suggestions above).

 

I'm still waiting for my elbow to heal before hitting the range to try out all the suggestions.  Worst is my new driver and 3-wood also showed up in the mail (Taylormade 2010 Burner Superfast 10.5 driver and 15* Taylormade 2010 3 wood), so I have to put them out of eyesight so I'm not tempted to swing them while I'm still injured.
 

post #18 of 32

Just remember that the hips start the swing.  If you start with the shoulders you are disconnected before you start and while you will feel like you are swinging harder with your arms, your club will be out of position and you will not get the desired outcome.   

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