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Suchmo

Slow swing speed - would you quit?

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I'm a fairly small 32 year old guy: 5'9 and 130lbs and pretty weak in the upper body. I've played golf for a couple of years and really enjoyed improving. I average 85ish. Anyway, my 7 iron distance is roughly 135 yards and driver is 200, at best (total distance, not carry). I'm starting to feel that without a faster swing, further improvement will be incredibly difficult.

Here's my question:

If you woke up tomorrow and found that you were stuck with 200 yard drives, forgetting about the sense of embarrassment on the course, would you continue to play? (I love the game, but my lack of distance is surprisingly demoralising.)

 

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My "typical" drive is about that, so play on. :dance:

From the usga:

Quote

A male "bogey golfer" is a player who has a Course Handicap of approximately 20 on a course of standard difficulty. He can hit tee shots an average of 200 yards and reach a 370-yard hole in two shots at sea level.

 

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I'm almost 100 lbs heavier than you but only hit prob 15-20 yards more. Golf is still fun and challenging for me (granted I'm still trying to break 90.) It's also definitely possible for you to get custom fit clubs, train your core and take lessons to improve distance. Weight has very little to do with it. Justin Thomas is 145 lbs and bombs it.

 

So to answer your question, hell yea I'd still play.

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Your distance is probably a lot closer to average than you think.  I would guess 80%+ of male golfers don't hit it much further than that, and if you're scoring mid-80's, which is also not terribly common, great!

Part of the draw for many of us when it comes to golf is the satisfaction from getting better, so I think knowing you'd never be able to hit it further, whether it's 150 yard drives, 200 yard drives, or even 250 yard drives, would suck.  I know it's not your question, but I'll bet with lessons and a good fitting (not sure if you've had either) you could get some more distance.

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Its hard to imagine a sudden change like that, but I'm pretty sure that I'll be losing swing speed as my life goes along.  I'd like to believe that I'll continue playing at whatever level I'm able to play, as long as I'm physically able.  I love to play, I love the time outdoors with friends, I love the competition, its hard for me to imagine choosing to give it all up.  

On the other hand, you're relatively young, fairly new to the game, so I don't think your swing speed is limited to what you have now.  If you've only been playing for a couple of years and already average in the mid-80s, you're obviously doing a lot of things pretty well.  One of our assistant pros has a similar build to yours, and has plenty of clubhead speed.  I suggest you find a good instructor and take some lessons, and see if you can start t hit the ball a little further.

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If all I could do is hit driver 100 yards, I would still get out and play.  I would obviously adjust my own expectations on scoring (par 4s turn into 5s or 6s) but I would still enjoy golf for the challenge it always provides regardless of my own skill.  

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Theres alot more to golf than driving the golf ball.Drive the ball 175, hit next shot near green then chip and putt.Unless every hole is over 380 or so then youll get on some greens.

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I'd say for the truly average golfer 200 yds is above average when you factor in very few don't slice it 30 yds+ offline.

I play as a single 3 times a week and always pair up. I see maybe half the guys get it 200+ in play consistently. 

Now the good news is at 32 and a healthy body weight unless there is a prevailing body injury you can improve that distance.

Two years ago my drives were 200 on a good day. My swing speed clocked at about 87mph. I felt the same way as a healthy young guy. I researched everything and learned to swing through my core and let my arms and wrists hang loose. Now I clock at about 107mph and can get the drives 260 with ease. 

My advice is get a SS measuring device and practice. Start your backswing with your wrists, then pull the club up only using your shoulders until the club is parallel at the top. Then twist your hips to the left rapidly and just let your arms fall at the ball. 

It feels very weird at first but when done correctly you shouldn't use your arm muscles at all to generate power. The club does it naturally. 

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15 minutes ago, Suchmo said:

I'm a fairly small 32 year old guy: 5'9 and 130lbs and pretty weak in the upper body. I've played golf for a couple of years and really enjoyed improving. I average 85ish. Anyway, my 7 iron distance is roughly 135 yards and driver is 200, at best (total distance, not carry). I'm starting to feel that without a faster swing, further improvement will be incredibly difficult.

Here's my question:

If you woke up tomorrow and found that you were stuck with 200 yard drives, forgetting about the sense of embarrassment on the course, would you continue to play? (I love the game, but my lack of distance is surprisingly demoralising.)

 

That is not as debilitating as it sounds. Most 6,000 to 6,100 yard tee sets should be doing you just fine. Shooting in 80s in the first few years is not a joke. You are obviously doing plenty right.

As other's have posted, if you are new (2-3 years) then you are not nearly where you could be. Golf is tough and a life long self inflicted pursuit for improvement of all kinds for most of us. I would strongly advice against accepting things as a finality.   

Find a good instructor and give it more. Much more.

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Believe it or not I see a lot of golfers playing who's distances are in your ball park. You are shooting around 85 which I believe is better than average for male golfers. You are fine, and keep golfing.

You may not reach your golfing goals, but few golfers seldom do. Even some golfers with greater distances than you won't reach their goals. Some will never even "sniff" an 85. 

It is also very possible that the more you play/practice you will generate more swing speed.

I play with some young flat bellies who out drive me by a bunch. They are 1,  sometimes two irons longer than me. I still turn in the lowest 18 hole score a lot of times. 

Like I said, you are fine. Have fun. 

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28 minutes ago, Suchmo said:

If you woke up tomorrow and found that you were stuck with 200 yard drives, forgetting about the sense of embarrassment on the course, would you continue to play? (I love the game, but my lack of distance is surprisingly demoralising.)

Yes, I'd still play and I wouldn't be embarassed about it. I'd learn to be a short game wizard. There's more to the game to enjoy than how far you hit the ball.

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Thanks for the replies. It's really eye-opening and refreshing to hear other people's views on this. I am somewhat surprised to see lessons suggested. I had come to believe that swing speed was a 'you've got it or you haven't' sort of thing. Has anyone had any experience of increasing swing speed through good instruction?

12 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

That is not as debilitating as it sounds. Most 6,000 to 6,100 yard tee sets should be doing you just fine. 

Unfortunately, my local course is 6600 yards off the FRONT men's tees (and 7000 off the whites if I ever wanted to enter a competition).

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8 minutes ago, Suchmo said:

Thanks for the replies. It's really eye-opening and refreshing to hear other people's views on this. I am somewhat surprised to see lessons suggested. I had come to believe that swing speed was a 'you've got it or you haven't' sort of thing. Has anyone had any experience of increasing swing speed through good instruction?

Unfortunately, my local course is 6600 yards off the FRONT men's tees (and 7000 off the whites if I ever wanted to enter a competition).

Gosh no!! There is plenty of improvement for SS that can come by just improved mechanics alone and as you play more, you will improve. And FWIW, 6,600 yards is a handful even for who drive it much longer. Bottom line, no such thing as you have it or you don't. Maybe after 15 years or so.. 

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Absolutely I would play.  At the end of the day it isn't what clubs you use; it's how often you use them.

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43 minutes ago, Suchmo said:

Unfortunately, my local course is 6600 yards off the FRONT men's tees (and 7000 off the whites if I ever wanted to enter a competition).

Unless your course is at a high elevation, that sounds extreme to me.  How far do the back tees play?

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55 minutes ago, Suchmo said:

Thanks for the replies. It's really eye-opening and refreshing to hear other people's views on this. I am somewhat surprised to see lessons suggested. I had come to believe that swing speed was a 'you've got it or you haven't' sort of thing. Has anyone had any experience of increasing swing speed through good instruction?

Unfortunately, my local course is 6600 yards off the FRONT men's tees (and 7000 off the whites if I ever wanted to enter a competition).

 

No, definitely not - swing speed increases with improved technique.  I started out being able to carry my driver about 190 on a good hit.  I have it up to about 240 now and all I've done is get older (I'm 42).  I think I can probably get it close to 260 before I sort of "reach the limit of genetics and age" . so to speak.  Of course . I'm getting older every day so I need to hurry up, lol.   

Here is an interesting video on where to maybe get some more speed - this has certainly been a factor in me getting more distance.

 

If I woke up tomorrow and could only hit it 200 but I was striking it really well .. of course I'd still play.  There are lots of courses you can play very well with an accurate 200 yard drive and a decent mid-iron/hybrid game. 

 

 

Edited by Rainmaker

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53 minutes ago, Suchmo said:

Thanks for the replies. It's really eye-opening and refreshing to hear other people's views on this. I am somewhat surprised to see lessons suggested. I had come to believe that swing speed was a 'you've got it or you haven't' sort of thing. Has anyone had any experience of increasing swing speed through good instruction?

Unfortunately, my local course is 6600 yards off the FRONT men's tees (and 7000 off the whites if I ever wanted to enter a competition).

I would say that not everyone can crank up to 110mph swing speeds, but I feel that anyone in good health can get to 95-100 with a little work and the right form.  That will get you hitting plenty far.

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11 minutes ago, Duffer Waldorf said:

Unless your course is at a high elevation, that sounds extreme to me.  How far do the back tees play?

The whites are the back tees. The course only has ladies' (5950 yds), men's (6600) and white (7000). It's a British parkland course (Thorpe Wood in Peterborough) so not high altitude by any means.

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Note: This thread is 1248 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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