Hello and welcome to this weeks tips & tricks. I hope you have all had a good week and are looking forward to a weekend golfing. This week we’re going to look at speed training to improve distance. It’s a really simple drill that can be used in your range sessions or at home. The inspiration for this content is from big Bryson. If you didn’t see it go and watch his performance in the World Long Drive Championships on YouTube. It was awesome! I have never actually sat and watched the worlds longest hitters compete but what an incredible sport. They’re incredible athletes and we can learn some things from them.
Those guys competing for the World Long Drive Title are producing 150 mph clubhead speed with their drivers. Some of them then get 230 mph ball speed. To put that in perspective I swing my driver about 112 mph and produce about 170 mph ball speed with my driver. I’m not a big or short hitter so just thinking about creating that much speed hurts my brain.
Lets be fair, we all want to hit the ball a bit further. Most club golfers find themselves playing from the front of most greens because they don’t hit the ball as far as they think. Hitting it further off the tee leaves a shorter second shot meaning the likelihood of a better approach is higher. The best players in the world are the longest hitters and they have had to work hard to get there. We need to do the same. Overspeed training is like working out in the gym. We need to be progressive and get better each time. In the gym we go for more weight or more reps. In golf we want to do the same but we want more clubhead speed.
So how do we create clubhead speed? We create more clubhead speed by increasing strength, flexibility, timing, and technique. The drill we are going to practice should help with most of these. We need to be using the big muscle groups in the body, such as the legs and core, to help produce maximum force. We then need to understand how using these with good timing can help increase how fast the end of the club moves as we hit the ball.
Take a look at the following video and watch how I move my body and create speed. I thought I would mix it up a bit and turn myself into a cartoon. Most of you laugh at me like in the cartoons so I thought it would be quite fitting.
Waist High Opposite End
Firstly grab the driver at the opposite end. Hold it properly like if you were holding it at the grip end but close to the clubhead on the shaft. Hold it at waist height and create a baseball like swing. Try to swing as fast as you can and create a loud noise with the club. You will hear the shaft cutting through the air, the louder the swoosh, the more clubhead speed. When you have done this 5-10 times move into the next step.
Waist High Grip End
Now create the same type of swing holding it on the grip. Try to make baseball swings as fast as possible for another 5-10 reps. Again the louder the swoosh the faster the clubhead is moving. This will be slightly harder than the previous stage meaning we are creating progressive overload.
This is now a proper golf swing but with the same feelings as before. Try to swing the club as fast as possible from a proper golf posture. Make another 5-10 swings with full commitment. By this point you will probably start to feel some fatigue.
Moving out of your comfort zone with the speed of you swing is difficult. Repeating this drill will hopefully help add some wanted clubhead speed. The golf swing is a very dynamic movement and requires power and timing. Building an athlete is not easy and takes commitment. If you learn to swing it fast and time it well, fixing direction is easier. Doing it the other way around is much more difficult.
The most common faults I see, which could be the reason why you lack power are:
We can monitor clubhead speed in more technical ways than the amount of “swoosh” we can create. I have a PRGR launch monitor which monitors clubhead speed even without a ball. We also have Trackman which monitors clubhead speed with every shot hit. We try to use trackman in every lesson to monitor this and note any improvements. You can also rent Trackman for your practice sessions to work on this in your own time.
Try this drill as much as you can and try to add more speed to your golf swing. We need to keep the ball in play on the course but when you practice don’t be scared of stepping out of your comfort zone. Be careful if you have any weaknesses or injuries. The last thing we want to do is cause an injury. If you can hit the ball further the likelihood is your score will start to improve. You need to find the middle of the clubface with speed to maximise efficiency but when you get this you will be a much better golfer than you were before.
If you feel like you lack speed and would like to work on it through the winter let me know. We can put a technical and physical programme together so you’re hitting it 5-10% further by the start of next season.