# Backswing Swing Speed of the Pros

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very quick look at some sequence charts like this make me think for most good golfers it peaks 25 MPH on the backswing. It’s 1/4 the impact rotational speed and and at a much smaller radius than at impact.

But like I said, only a few minutes.

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2 minutes ago, iacas said:

I didn’t ask a question. I simply requested the math you said you did that led to to believe the club head speed was 25-30 MPH.

The OP raised a question to whom I responded.

Did he want average speed? Peak?  Of what?  If you look at the bend on a shaft in the backswing, the change in velocity is very modest.  It takes 3 times as long to take it back as it does to bring it down and the average tour speed is 112 mph on the driver.  37.33 mph would be too high because 112 is peak velocity and the velocity on the way back is much more consistent.  If you spend anytime looking at high speed video frame by frame, there is not a lot of acceleration in the backswing relatively speaking unlike on the downswing at around 9 o'clock.  The distance from frame to frame is increasingly more and more distance wise, indicating acceleration.  At least on my swing and those that I have observed, the backswing has modest decel and acceleration at the top.  I know for sure that I personally do not load the shaft starting down.  Others may.  This would require a lot of investigation and analysis along the lines of the paper that I had linked.   Some players have a stronger load at the top but they also have a quicker tempo all around.

Please show evidence of any meaningful acceleration in the backswing since you seem it should be part of the estimation?  The extend of narrowing the downswing varies from golfer to golfer, and is almost zero for certain swings

How about 75-80% of (112/3) to account for both average acceleration and average increase in angular momentum owing to the narrowing of the downswing.  Works for me.

Speed per se is not the issue, it is consistency in tempo.

8 minutes ago, iacas said:

very quick look at some sequence charts like this make me think for most good golfers it peaks 25 MPH on the backswing. It’s 1/4 the impact rotational speed and and at a much smaller radius than at impact.

But like I said, only a few minutes.

What are the units?

If this is a 100 mph swing, it comports with my estimation.  I based it off 112 mph average tour speed.

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41 minutes ago, Rippy_72 said:

It takes 3 times as long to take it back as it does to bring it down and the average tour speed is 112 mph on the driver.  37.33 mph would be too high because 112 is peak velocity and the velocity on the way back is much more consistent.

It's closer to 114 these days. Been 113+ for the past several years.

But anyway… you said this:

9 hours ago, Rippy_72 said:

I'd suggest/estimate max. backswing speed at 25-30 mph since 3:1 tempo and then some calculus applied

As someone who has spent over 40,000+ hours or so on this stuff (golf, the golf swing, etc.) the past decade or so… I was curious to see the "calculus."

My own back-of-the-envelope math puts the number a fair amount lower.

41 minutes ago, Rippy_72 said:

Please show evidence of any meaningful acceleration in the backswing since you seem it should be part of the estimation?

The clubhead isn't moving at address, and has to accelerate from there. Like I said, the backswing contains both an acceleration and deceleration phase.

If the tempo was 1:1, and the backswing had both acceleration and deceleration, while the downswing had only acceleration, the backswing would have a higher peak speed if it covered the same distance. Since we're making an assumption that an average backswing is about 3:1 relative to the downswing, that argues for a slight bump from the number you'd get by dividing 113 by 3.

But then other factors, like the change in width, or the graph I posted, make the case for lowering the number you'd get when taking 113/3.

41 minutes ago, Rippy_72 said:

The extend of narrowing the downswing varies from golfer to golfer, and is almost zero for certain swings

Of course, but in general, it's narrower on the downswing, so the clubhead has to travel a smaller distance. I mention this because the graph I posted, which shows clubhead speed as a measure of degrees per second (i.e. rotational rates), is about 1/4, and a clubhead rotating around a smaller radius can have a much lower linear clubhead speed while having a higher or similar rotational speed. When the peak 1/4 rotational speed occurs, it's relatively late in the backswing, often when the wrists have hinged about 80° or so, making the linear clubhead speed at that point slower due to the shortened radius.

In other words, a clubhead traveling at 1600 RPM at full extension (i.e. like we see near impact) around a radius roughly near the top of the sternum is traveling linearly much faster than a clubhead traveling 1600 RPM around a radius near the grip.

Since the chart I showed was roughly 1/4, if the impact speed of the driver is 113 MPH, then 1/4 of that is 28, and we have to reduce that further because of the shorter radius.

Again, it was a one-minute search to find the graph with clear numbers and another minute to type up the quick thoughts.

41 minutes ago, Rippy_72 said:

If this is a 100 mph swing, it comports with my estimation.  I based it off 112 mph average tour speed.

I'm not sure I agree there. I'm not sure about anything here right now, we don't have much info. That's why I requested your "calculus." So that it might add to the conversation about peak backswing speed.

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18 hours ago, mighty said:

So I started to pay attention to the pros' back swing swing speeds and I realized they are probably very fast, I'm not sure if there's a way to measure it, but if it looks fast on camera then it's probably is. From what I'm seeing I'm guessing they reach at least 50 mph on the back swing. If anyone has any data please share them, and is there a way to know if my back swing is on the slow side and need to speed it up?

I'm not up on all the numbers, the analysis having gotten so deep these days. Let's just say that I was never one who benefited from the old advice, "low and slow on the backswing". What am I doing here? Hitting a golf ball or making BBQ?!

Then I really started watching the Tour pros closely. They didn't seem to waste a lot of time getting the club back to the top, but they didn't get out of rhythm either. Very smooth all the way around. I contrasted that with a lot of guys I'd see on the course who took the club back at a snail's pace, and would then jump out of their shoes on the downswing!

I figured I could benefit by picking up the pace a bit on my backswing.

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10 hours ago, ncates00 said:

I said as much above.  You're missing the point on the backswing--it's to set up the proper entry into the ball on the way back down.  That is more important than thinking about how fast you take it back.  Planing the club allows you to have correct alignments through the ball on the way back down.  It also helps alleviate corrections you must make on the way down.

How does thinking about how fast you take the club back do any of that?

Show us some data to support your belief.

I dont have any data, I just estimate based on watching videos of the swings, I dont think there's any device to measure it either, people here are also estimating only by analysis

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To avoid confusion, I'm talking about the club head speed, but I guess body speed, arm speed, hand speed are all correlated to the club head speed?

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