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Handicap versus Clubhead Speed/Driving Distance


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Check out this chart from a Hank Haney Tweet on Twitter. Let me know what you guys think. My swing speed in in the low 90s for my driver and I am a 16 handicap. I wonder if this means I will never be a single digit handicap?

I love you Nicole Aniston

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Based on this, it looks like you fit into the graph almost perfectly. My driver club head speed averages 102, so it looks as if I do too. You don't have to search too hard on this forum to find a LOT of claims of speeds well north of 110mph, but then, that's the wonder of the Internet, isn't it? ;-)

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Who cares?

Hank has this thing about speed over technique. I've read articles where he says concentrate on speed, technique can come later. Hank tends to get things backwards. Yes, you want to make it fun and swing with speed, but there is an educated way to do so.

There is a right way to swing fast and a wrong way - swinging your arms faster, ala Hank, is not the right way. When I went to his people, they said nothing about the speed of the slide and hips turning - only to get them forward and then turn, and swing those arms really fast. When that led to OTT swings, they'd say "oh, keep your back to the ball a tiny bit longer to give the arms the chance to start before the shoulder does...

It would have been a lot easier if they had educated students as to the role of the lower body and the body-arm connection.

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This does have interesting implications however: Given teh length of courses today, a person who cant drive the ball 250+ is at a distinct disadvantage. I cant help thinking of the myswingevolution series where after picking up 12mph of swing speed, Christo starts shooting the lowest scores of his life. Am I saying speed is everything? Of course not.....but it certaily helps!

"If you watch a game, it's fun. If you play it, it's recreation. If you work at it, it's golf."

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Yeah this is a bunch of bull.  I work with a guy who is a legit 6 handicap and I know he is around 90 SS.  You just move up a tee if you don't hit it as far.  Handicap has so much more to do with shot placement and short game than SS.

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Nate

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Originally Posted by jefkve

This does have interesting implications however: Given teh length of courses today, a person who cant drive the ball 250+ is at a distinct disadvantage. I cant help thinking of the myswingevolution series where after picking up 12mph of swing speed, Christo starts shooting the lowest scores of his life. Am I saying speed is everything? Of course not.....but it certaily helps!

Don't disagree.

At the same time, don't know what point Hank is trying to make - we all need more lessons to lower the hc? Because having a lot of speed by itself doesn't translate to low scores.

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Originally Posted by cipher

Yeah this is a bunch of bull.  I work with a guy who is a legit 6 handicap and I know he is around 90 SS.  You just move up a tee if you don't hit it as far.  Handicap has so much more to do with shot placement and short game than SS.

Not to mention that the chart doesn't even make sense.  There is no scale along the bottom, so I guess we're to assume that it's linear.  In which case, the chart is basically saying that if your swing speed is over 102-103, you are a + handicapper.  (And if you're a double digit handicapper, then you swing 95 or less.)

Maybe he just got 24 hand selected students that he knew would help form the graph he wanted and used them. :)

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It makes sense

Shorter irons to the green = more GIR's

But it tells me, to many people are playing golf from shorter tees. Though with 24 points, that is a pretty sparse showing of data, if you put a trakman at the first tee of any local golf course, you can get easy over 100 points of data in a day, just ask them there handicaps, and then take down the data from there.

I would like to see this with a couple hundred points on there, the confidence level seems to high, golf is played by to many people to have that much of a correlation

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I would not say it is total bull.  In general, note I said in general, the better players can swing faster.  Sure there are some exceptions to the rule on both ends, but again "in general" it holds true.

-Matt-

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Yes in general, but the lack of deviation from the assumed direct correlation of SS to Handicap is questionable to me in this graph.  Yes generally as you are able to swing the club better with more knowledge you will probably become faster.  But any notion that a low SS golfer cannot become a single digit golfer and that a high handicapper cannot have a fast swing is not real.  That is just to say that if you have a slow swing speed there is no need to abandon hope for improvement.

Nate

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The chart is made up.  I know I can go out and find several golfer's with 110 SS at most courses, but the chances of me finding a +4 at a course is probably 1/100 if that.  If the chart went from 5-18 I might take some time to think about it but going from +5-18 is ridiculous.

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How does the chart account for transitional handicaps? As in people with higher swing speeds that hit the ball far but inconsistently in the direction of their targer, that have higher indexes and are trending down as their game improves.

Dave :-)

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Originally Posted by mad max

The chart is made up.  I know I can go out and find several golfer's with 110 SS at most courses, but the chances of me finding a +4 at a course is probably 1/100 if that.  If the chart went from 5-18 I might take some time to think about it but going from +5-18 is ridiculous.

Exactly.

Originally Posted by 14ledo81

I would not say it is total bull.  In general, note I said in general, the better players can swing faster.  Sure there are some exceptions to the rule on both ends, but again "in general" it holds true.

I would.  I will agree that if you look at players that are + handicaps, that they will all probably close to or over 100, several over 105 or even 110.  But there are a lot of golfers out there that swing fast that suck.  I think a more accurate chart would look something like this:

The only conclusion I'd draw is that you certainly have limitations without distance, but you can also have a lot of distance with several other limitations.

I'm a 107-108 guy, so believe me, I wish that the chart was something close to accurate , because it means I'd be spending my days shooting in the 60's and I'd have 10 more years to hone my skills for the senior tour.

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Guys, now that I had time to think about the graph; all it says is there is a strong relationship between swing speed and handicap. Correlation does not prove cause and effect.

It seems Haney can be brutally honest at times on his Twitter account. I think he is known for saying better players tend to have faster swing speeds and better golfers tend to hook instead of slice.

I love you Nicole Aniston

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That's not an awful lot of data points ...

I have heard it said -- but have no direct evidence to back it up -- that the single best predictor of handicap (using the word as a proxy for general golfing ability) is how far your low point is in front of (or even, sadly, behind) the ball.

Stretch.

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Originally Posted by johnny_14424

Guys, now that I had time to think about the graph; all it says is there is a strong relationship between swing speed and handicap. Correlation does not prove cause and effect.

It seems Haney can be brutally honest at times on his Twitter account. I think he is known for saying better players tend to have faster swing speeds and better golfers tend to hook instead of slice.

I'm no brain surgeon, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say better players tend to neither hook nor slice.  (There is no magic in the left rough that makes it better than the right rough)

The other conclusion I should draw from all this info is to take what Hank Haney spews on his Twitter account with a grain of salt.

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