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Suchmo

Slow swing speed - would you quit?

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43 minutes ago, Psyber said:

Wether you stay with golf or not I'd highly suggest improving your upper body strength if you feel it's a weak point. Chances are if you think your upper body is weak than your lower body probably is as well. If you can find three hours a week to work out a simple 5x5 routine might help your distance. Get your strength up and improve your technique and there is no reason you can't hit it further. You're only 32 so hit the gym three days a week and get in plenty of good clean calories and you'll get your weight up to 160 in no time with significant increases in strength.

It sounds so good, I am going to it too !! :banana:

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Thanks to everyone who's posted. The responses inspired me to do the following:

1. Start exercising and trying (again) to add some weight.

2. Get a lesson - Had one today and it turns out that my swing path is around 5° in to out. While my little fade is pretty accurate, with a draw I was able to carry 15-20 yards more with a 7 iron (according to Trackman averages). The instructor suggested that swing speed wasn't something that could/should be worked on and discussed equipment as a route to the same goal. Still 68-72mph of club-head speed with a 7 iron seem awfully slow, so I'm still going to try to swing faster in practice.

3. Just enjoy the game, and try not to let ego get in the way. :beer:

Edited by Suchmo

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Not to hijack your thread so I hope it doesn't feel like I am but I very much feel that I am in the same boat as you are. Your thread has helped me but for what it's worth I am actually in a slump and very much debating quitting.

I know, distance isn't everything, but gosh can it be demoralizing. At the course I play a lot plays at just over 6,400 yards from the white tees. We are at altitude, but it's just tough all the same.

I honestly feel like distance (lack thereof) is one of the few things holding me back. To put it into perspective... I am currently in AZ on vacation and was fortunate enough to go to PING and get custom fit. I was fit into iBlades with a total carry distance of 135 for a 7i. (Yes, iBlades. I really hit my irons THAT well compared to a driver.)

So anyway, swing speed with a 7i: 76 MPH. SS with a driver: 81 MPH. That's depressing to me. I'm just ridiculously horrible with a driver. It's especially frustrating, because I have a black belt in martial arts, and my former sport before I injured myself was baseball. I often pinch hit and have hit a homerun or three in my life. Basically, I know I can create speed with myself. I just can't figure it out for golf. Result being I take 3w all the time, and driver isn't getting any better.  Here's my dispersion map with the iBlade 7i:

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 2.28.08 PM.png

The shots in orange are the final 4 iBlade with the correct shaft combination (which ended up being stiff, even though I'm below the "suggested speed") 

Every shot was a 4-6 yard draw, and they land right next to each other; I have extremely tight dispersion circles. It's just that the shots don't go very far.

I understand your frustration on an extremely personal level. I've not been playing golf for very long. This is my second year, and I've gotten decent at it so far (at least, if a fitter reaches for the blades based on my first shots, lol.) It's just incredibly frustrating to be around the idea that if you aren't born to hit the ball far, you're screwed. My younger brother is trying out for his HS golf team this upcoming fall, and can regularly carry a driver over 270 -- he's 14. He was born able to hit a golf ball far. It's hard playing next to him, or anybody really, when the options are either be made fun of by your tee selection from playing partners, and if you win, then the reason was because you chose the short tees, and if you lose, because you are a short hitter. Seems that all the people saying you have to be born to hit the ball far comes from only those who can already do it. (Argument to find better friends acknowledged). My backswing is competent enough. I just don't have the ability -- at least, yet -- to create that kind of speed. It doesn't help when the average internet golfer hits it 350+ at least ;-) 

Maybe all hope really is lost for those of us who are short hitters. Maybe not. I don't want to become a World Long Drive champion. But it'd be nice to not take 4i when playing partners take 8i. 

Will keep an eye on this thread -- Best of luck to you. Again, hope that I didn't hijack your thread!  Tell me if you find the secret. :-)

Andrew

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3 hours ago, Suchmo said:

Thanks to everyone who's posted. The responses inspired me to do the following:

1. Start exercising and trying (again) to add some weight.

2. Get a lesson - Had one today and it turns out that my swing path is around 5° in to out. While my little fade is pretty accurate, with a draw I was able to carry 15-20 yards more with a 7 iron (according to Trackman averages). The instructor suggested that swing speed wasn't something that could/should be worked on and discussed equipment as a route to the same goal. Still 68-72mph of club-head speed with a 7 iron seem awfully slow, so I'm still going to try to swing faster in practice.

3. Just enjoy the game, and try not to let ego get in the way. :beer:

I think he's right that swing speed isn't something to work on directly . .your swing speed will increase by itself with better mechanics.  Depending on where you're starting from - another 10mph or more isn't at all unreasonable. 

There are also the speed trainers . .like the orange whip, etc.  I hear they work as long as you keep using them all the time.  - edit . .not the orange whip . .but one of those shafts without the head-dealies. 

Edited by Rainmaker

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20 hours ago, amoline said:

Not to hijack your thread so I hope it doesn't feel like I am but I very much feel that I am in the same boat as you are. Your thread has helped me but for what it's worth I am actually in a slump and very much debating quitting.

I know, distance isn't everything, but gosh can it be demoralizing. At the course I play a lot plays at just over 6,400 yards from the white tees. We are at altitude, but it's just tough all the same.

I honestly feel like distance (lack thereof) is one of the few things holding me back. To put it into perspective... I am currently in AZ on vacation and was fortunate enough to go to PING and get custom fit. I was fit into iBlades with a total carry distance of 135 for a 7i. (Yes, iBlades. I really hit my irons THAT well compared to a driver.)

So anyway, swing speed with a 7i: 76 MPH. SS with a driver: 81 MPH. That's depressing to me. I'm just ridiculously horrible with a driver. It's especially frustrating, because I have a black belt in martial arts, and my former sport before I injured myself was baseball. I often pinch hit and have hit a homerun or three in my life. Basically, I know I can create speed with myself. I just can't figure it out for golf. Result being I take 3w all the time, and driver isn't getting any better.  Here's my dispersion map with the iBlade 7i:

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 2.28.08 PM.png

The shots in orange are the final 4 iBlade with the correct shaft combination (which ended up being stiff, even though I'm below the "suggested speed") 

Every shot was a 4-6 yard draw, and they land right next to each other; I have extremely tight dispersion circles. It's just that the shots don't go very far.

I understand your frustration on an extremely personal level. I've not been playing golf for very long. This is my second year, and I've gotten decent at it so far (at least, if a fitter reaches for the blades based on my first shots, lol.) It's just incredibly frustrating to be around the idea that if you aren't born to hit the ball far, you're screwed. My younger brother is trying out for his HS golf team this upcoming fall, and can regularly carry a driver over 270 -- he's 14. He was born able to hit a golf ball far. It's hard playing next to him, or anybody really, when the options are either be made fun of by your tee selection from playing partners, and if you win, then the reason was because you chose the short tees, and if you lose, because you are a short hitter. Seems that all the people saying you have to be born to hit the ball far comes from only those who can already do it. (Argument to find better friends acknowledged). My backswing is competent enough. I just don't have the ability -- at least, yet -- to create that kind of speed. It doesn't help when the average internet golfer hits it 350+ at least ;-) 

Maybe all hope really is lost for those of us who are short hitters. Maybe not. I don't want to become a World Long Drive champion. But it'd be nice to not take 4i when playing partners take 8i. 

Will keep an eye on this thread -- Best of luck to you. Again, hope that I didn't hijack your thread!  Tell me if you find the secret. :-)

Andrew

So it looks like we are three with the same shortcoming... We could play together though!! 

I know how you feel, but I am optimistic, and kep working. I will learn how to hit the driver further. I agree there are people with a really natural ability for doing so that maybe I don´t have... but everything in life is possible with work,don´t be discouraged. 

I will be posting any improvement, and continue working hard.

Good luck !

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This has been an interesting thread to read.  For me, the distance is usually there, but clean strikes are not a given.  I use the swing which comes most natural to me, which most people would describe as looking somewhat wild ala John Daly or Bubba Watson (club goes way past parallel on the backswing and with the left heel up off the ground and maybe some left elbow bend for good measure).  Some days this works great for me and I continue to improve my consistency so I'm not planning on shortening the swing from what I am already comfortable with.

As for the shorter hitters, has anyone tried using a longer, long-drive style swing?  I'm sure this is not recommended, but I would be curious to hear if a big wind-up like Daly and some jumping off the ground at impact like Bubba adds swing speed to an otherwise controlled player.  Also, has anyone tried SGI distance irons?  The Cleveland 588 MT is a good example, as they are offered with 50 gram graphite shafts and almost a full inch above standard length.  I would think that approach would add at least a few yards per club, but difficult for a guy like me to keep on plane with consistency.  I always though this category would be an equalizer for slower swingers who can control an ultralight club.

 

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Good point you bring up tees2trees. Indeed in my fitting I was put in XP95 shafts which are lightweight and got me an extra 4MPH of SS with a 7i. 4mph is nice but it's not changing the game for me sadly. I've also considered getting irons perhaps 3/4" longer than normal. I'm not short at 6' and if I could control it it might help me too. Bubba jumps because of rotation; if I try to jump midswing I will probably blow out my knee. 

 

Funny you bring that up though. Here's my old swing next to bubba. image.jpeg

I naturally have a huge hip turn. Too much, arguably. My left heel comes off the ground which is fine and even helps my back, but my issue at the moment is it doesn't replant in the same place. My lower body fires way too fast and my knee and leg goes along with it. 

Anyway, my fat man clone of bubba Watson didn't help. I am flexible enough to get into the same position essentially, but don't have enough technique or swing speed to correctly return the club to impact. I'll flip at it instead because I have nowhere near the speed required. 

For me at least there are no issues getting to a backswing where I could create speed. It's properly creating the actual speed that's the issue. I either don't know how or just cant. But again I know I can just not in golf. 

I've only been playing golf for about a year and a half. To the actual longer hitters out there: did you get any more distance as you played golf for 5, 10 years? Have you always been able to hit the ball far? ( :-( for me) if speed is something that can be improved upon it would make me feel better. 

An instructor in the past told me that there's no substitute for just going to the range and swinging as fast as you possibly can sometimes. Not even worrying about flight. This is something I've never done even once. I'm very concerned with ball flights on the range and not sure I could mentally 'swing as fast as I physically can' even on the range. 

Thoughts/advice still welcome. 

 

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1 hour ago, amoline said:

I've also considered getting irons perhaps 3/4" longer than normal. I'm not short at 6' and if I could control it it might help me too.

 

This won't actually help. Instead, it will mess up your lie angle at impact and will probably end up causing you to hit the ball to the left more than your current swing (assuming you were fit for your club and proper lie angle at contact was determined). It will also likely have you hitting the ball off center on the club. Both of these will result in less distance and less accuracy.

Club length has _almost_ zero to do with your height (almost because it is a result of many things, a small contribution of which is height). If your fitting involved measuring you in any way shape or form without hitting golf balls then it was a poor fitting and should be disregarded. A proper fitting is done hitting shots. Measurements can be used to zero in on a starting point, but any competent fitter can look at someone and be in the ballpark enough to start hitting shots.

 

1 hour ago, amoline said:

 

I've only been playing golf for about a year and a half. To the actual longer hitters out there: did you get any more distance as you played golf for 5, 10 years? Have you always been able to hit the ball far? ( :-( for me) if speed is something that can be improved upon it would make me feel better.

 

I will preface this by saying I have never been a long hitter by 'tour' standards. When I was playing near scratch I would carry my driver about 255 and roll out to 270 with a normal swing. I would hit my 8 iron about 155.

I have no idea what my swing speed was at the time. But I previously hit the ball shorter than that. Two years prior I was at about 250 total driving yardage and an 8 iron would go 140ish. I did nothing but work on the quality of contact and gained 20 yards with my driver and 15 yards on an 8 iron.

It may have been a result of swing speed increases. However, I lean more towards hitting the ball better being the deciding factor in that increase in distance.

FWIW, now I drive the ball about 250 again and hit my 8 iron 150ish. I am quite sure my swing speed is still around the same speed as when I was a scratchish player, but my contact is far far worse. I recently did some work on a flightscope and my 7 iron swing speed averaged 83.8mph with a ball speed of 115.7mph.

Although I am not as good as I once was, I am seeing my game get better every month since I started playing again late last year. Keep at it and keep focusing on improving. Make sure you are practicing the right things in the right way and you will continue to shoot better and better scores.

 

Edited by IanW

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1 hour ago, amoline said:

I've only been playing golf for about a year and a half. To the actual longer hitters out there: did you get any more distance as you played golf for 5, 10 years? Have you always been able to hit the ball far? ( :-( for me) if speed is something that can be improved upon it would make me feel better. 

Thoughts/advice still welcome. 

 

A little off topic but...

Spoiler

I gained more distance with my irons when I practiced and introduced lag but driver distance was always there. One thing I have noticed that people who hit shorter drives never seem to gain any distance or very little over time. It could be that they don't ever get proper mechanics or don't understand the golf swing completely, I don't know. Mostly I believe it is the inability to fire their hips aggressively into the swing. An athletic move that is foreign to some people. You don't have to be tall or big to hit the ball a decent distance.

 

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I woke up this morning and I can only hit 200 yards... same as yesterday for that matter.

I will say that I am twice your age, but I just play from the forward tees.  I understand the embarassment because swing speed and distance seems to the total focus of golf... every mfg makes it the reason to buy their products. 

Golf has to be the oddest sport when it comes to driving distance and testosterone.  Over the 5 hours to play a round, probably only 5% of the time is spent actually hitting the ball.  And if someone rides they pretty much sit on their rear end the majority of the time.

John

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On 8/2/2016 at 11:09 AM, Valleygolfer said:

I can drive it over 250 regularly and am always ready to quit golf.

Lol, ain't that the truth!!

While 200 yds isn't the end of the world, I'm sure you can hit it further. Filming your swing is good place to start. Lots of good eyes on the forum here to help you out.

Have you considered a strength training program? Something based around squat, bench press, deadlift, pullups, and barbell rows could do wonders for your swing. Also, maybe put on 10-15 lbs while training. 130 is pretty slim for 5'9. 

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12 hours ago, anthony said:

Lol, ain't that the truth!!

While 200 yds isn't the end of the world, I'm sure you can hit it further. Filming your swing is good place to start. Lots of good eyes on the forum here to help you out.

Have you considered a strength training program? Something based around squat, bench press, deadlift, pullups, and barbell rows could do wonders for your swing. Also, maybe put on 10-15 lbs while training. 130 is pretty slim for 5'9. 

I'll consider that. For anyone interested, I do have a swing thread on that part of the forum. It details my most recent lesson (not a hugely productive experience, I'm afraid) and shows videos of me swinging a 7 iron. Any comments / suggestions appreciated.

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I will never quit this game till I can't physically play.  Too many golfers myself included are obsessed with distance but all it does is put us further into the trees!  

I play regularly with my uncle who's backswing is so short you could fit it in a phone box,  so he's not a big hitter.   Almost every time we play each other he beats me!  He plays off 6 and has been around that handicap for the last 20 years at least,  he focuses on contact and accuracy.  And doesn't give a hoot when someone bombs it past him. 

I wish I could wake up tomorrow and be more like him. 

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to paraphrase Charlton Heston  "They will have to pry it from my cold, dead, hands".  or Dirty Harry, "A man has got to know his own limitations"  or Don Meredith "It ain't over till the fat lady sings".

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On 8/3/2016 at 1:58 PM, Suchmo said:

Thanks to everyone who's posted. The responses inspired me to do the following:

1. Start exercising and trying (again) to add some weight.

2. Get a lesson - Had one today and it turns out that my swing path is around 5° in to out. While my little fade is pretty accurate, with a draw I was able to carry 15-20 yards more with a 7 iron (according to Trackman averages). The instructor suggested that swing speed wasn't something that could/should be worked on and discussed equipment as a route to the same goal. Still 68-72mph of club-head speed with a 7 iron seem awfully slow, so I'm still going to try to swing faster in practice.

3. Just enjoy the game, and try not to let ego get in the way. :beer:

I don't agree with that. Does this guy happen to sell equipment? ;-)

It could be that you are releasing the club too soon or something else in your swing. @missitnoonan shrugs his shoulders back right before impact which decreases his swing arc. When he doesn't do that, I swear he hits it 20 yards further. I bet if I told you to make a faster practice swing, you would swing faster than you are. 

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54 minutes ago, Steviestuboy said:

I will never quit this game till I can't physically play.  Too many golfers myself included are obsessed with distance but all it does is put us further into the trees!  

I play regularly with my uncle who's backswing is so short you could fit it in a phone box,  so he's not a big hitter.   Almost every time we play each other he beats me!  He plays off 6 and has been around that handicap for the last 20 years at least,  he focuses on contact and accuracy.  And doesn't give a hoot when someone bombs it past him. 

I wish I could wake up tomorrow and be more like him. 

I couldn´t agree more with your idea... the most important point by far is made good contact, control and stick to the course. Is what I am trying to do.

Once I had a teacher who told me to swing harder, and faster, more aggressively, looking for distance... With those words I was only trying to hit it, and got tense, with awful results... just my opinion.

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Note: This thread is 1172 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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