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Swing Speed: Step by Step guide to help increase your speed

Updated: Dec 15, 2023


The current trend in golf is ultimately to create more club head speed! Whenever you turn on a PGA or LPGA tournament, you’ll be hard-pressed to go more than 10 minutes without a commentator mentioning a professional golfer's increase in club head speed from previous seasons. More professional golfers are realizing that a quick way to shoot lower scores is to simply hit the ball farther. Giving yourself shorter clubs into greens helps eliminate the possibility of missing greens and provides more birdie opportunities each round! The gold standard model for this in today’s golfing world is Bryson DeChambeau. The increase in club head speed he has developed over the last 2 years has provided him with the performance to be inside the world's top 10, and consistently be in contention on the weekend in major tournaments. 

Swing Speed! Ball Speed! These two data points are the main talking points of any golf conversation that involves speed. However, to improve these two statistics, five key areas need to be addressed. 

Key Components for Hitting the Ball Further

  1. Mobility

  2. Proper muscle activation

  3. Proper body sequencing

  4. Strength in key muscle groups

  5. Neurological drive-fast response to stimulus (response time)

1. Mobility

Most golfers understand the importance of mobility, however very few have the mobility available to achieve sufficient club head speed based on age and strength abilities. Therefore, it is crucial that mobility deficiencies are identified and addressed before starting any program to increase distance. Without proper mobility, swing changes and new body movement patterns are challenging to achieve. 

The main areas in the body that need to be considered when evaluating mobility for golfer are the following:

  1. Spine control (ability to extend and flex spine) - This will affect how you can rotate and separate your upper body & lower body which is important to have enough length in the backswing

  2. Thoracic mobility (upper back) - A rounded upper spine will affect how you can extend and rotate your spine, which limits how far you can rotate as well as maintaining your spine angle

  3. Pelvic & hip mobility - Restrictions either in pelvis or hip rotation mobility will limit how you can rotate and post up properly throughout the swing and affect how you use the ground

  4. Shoulder mobility - Limited shoulder mobility can not only affect how deep you can get into the backswing and also how you can get the club in a right position without being too steep at the top of backswing for the transition to happen correctly

  5. Ankle mobility - Ankle mobility affects how your foot interacts with the ground and the ability to maintain your lower body posture throughout the swing.

If you struggle with any of the above mobility, it is crucial that you seek guidance from a TPI certified individual who can properly diagnose these 5 key areas for proper mobility to identify the root cause so you are working on the right thing and prevent any risk of injuries.

Once these areas are cleared from any major restrictions, you can now begin to start training for more distance!

2. Proper Muscle Activation

Before any physical activity, priming the body for success via a dynamic warmup or muscle activation routine is critical for maximizing the body’s ability to generate power. If the muscles in the body are not firing or “turned on,” you will lack the ability to efficiently transfer power in the in the golf swing. Therefore, I suggest working through a dynamic warmup routine before any training or golf session. We have created a Dynamic Warmup routine that targets the main muscle groups in the body. Feel free to try it for yourself. 

Many people exercise, but very few people exercise effectively for golf! It is not uncommon to see someone who is very athletic and muscular fail to hit the past 250 yards. This often leaves the individual frustrated and unmotivated to continue to play. This tends to happen mainly because the “athletic”/“strong” individuals cannot often properly engage the correct muscles in the golf swing. This leads to inefficient body sequencing in the swing, resulting in less speed and power produced. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that you focus on exercises that have a carry-over effect to the swing when you exercise.

Key Muscle Groups In The Golf Swing

1.) Core strength: Helps with maintaining angles in the golf swing and initiating the downswing. Crucial to engage this muscle group to swing in the correct body sequence. 

2.) Torso rotational strength/stability: Obliques are big muscles that rotates the ribcage and helps provide a strong stable base for rotation in both backswing and initiation of downswing. 

3.) Lower body strength/stability: Allows you to move the lower body properly to load and use ground reaction forces for power production/generation during the golf swing.

 4.) Upper back/Lat strength: Large correlation to a more powerful rotational movement during the backswing and creating separation to load the core, you you can transfer the forces efficiently up to the club in the downswing.

 3. Proper Body Sequencing

Mastering the proper body sequencing in the golf swing takes a lot of practice and commitment. Unfortunately, moving the body as fast as possible in a downward rotational movement is not a normal human motion.  Training the body to move the hips, torso, shoulders, and arms in this order takes time! The good news is that with proper resistance and mobility training, you can help aid the body in moving in this sequence. When you perform the right exercises with a direct correlation to improving the efficiency of your sequencing in your swing, it will make it easier to be consistent as you practice and play.

Ensure that you’re practicing these movements weekly to engrain the muscle memory so that when it comes time to hit a golf ball, the body is already well equipped to engage and fire the correct muscles in the appropriate sequence!

Check out this blog post that we have about Kinematic Sequencing and how to use the correct muscles to help move you better!

Increasing Club Head Speed

People often ask the question; how do I increase my club head speed? The answer is simple. Move your body as efficiently and as fast as possible while swinging the golf club. One of the major factors in this topic is creating “separation” in the golf swing. Separation implies that the golfer is able to efficiently move the upper body independently of the lower body (and vice versa) in the golf swing. If one can do this efficiently, they often will hit the ball far. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time and commitment to get the swing to a point where it properly can separate the top half from the bottom half during the swing.

Check out this guide we have created to see if you’re creating proper separation in the swing.

4. Strength in Key Muscles Groups

As mentioned above, once you have worked on the mobility and proper muscle activation, the next step is then to start building strength in the key muscles groups.

The ability to work and control the mobility against resistance will be important in trying to generate speed as the forces generated by the club during the golf swing is only useful to you when you can control against the forces. Then you can really translate the forces into speed and be more efficient in your delivery.

If your key muscle groups are not strong enough to withstand the speed that you are swinging at, then the club contact will be very inconsistent.

Likewise, if your key muscles groups are not strong enough to pull the club down properly, the club will be pulling you instead in the downswing and you can’t use the ground reaction forces efficiently to transfer the forces up the chain.

5. Neurological drive-fast response to stimulus (response time)

Once you get enough strength, stability and control. Then the final step is to train how to move your body fast and be more explosive.

This will get to power training where you will be moving in a fast and explosive manner against low or high resistance depending on your body’s ability while maintaining the proper sequencing of the swing.

This is the most challenging part usually but with proper step and consistent work, it is doable once you have the mobility, strength and control so you can repeat the swing at a higher speed with consistent club face contact.

Planning Your Timeline 

Changing habits and body patterns takes time! Improving your physical condition and allowing for it to translate to the swing takes time! However, if you’re determined and willing to put in the work, results will come! We recommended giving yourself 10-12 weeks to work on the changes before the start of the golf season. I understand this might seem like a long process, but that’s the amount of time your body needs to make the changes stay as you work on them.

Suggested Timeline:

  • Weeks 1-4

  • Establish baseline mobility and strength

  • Muscle activation and awareness

  • Emphasis on core strength and correct body sequence

  • Weeks 4-8

  • Heavier resistance training

  • Maintain mobility and body sequence

  • Start to incorporate more speed training as needed

  • Weeks 8-12

  • Focus on speed

  • Transfer strength improvements to golf swing

So here you go, here’s a step by step of what you will need if you want to make your swing more efficient and gain club head speed! If you don’t know where to start, always start with a baseline so you measure and know what you can and can’t do to make sure we identify the root cause before you start working on things. Get on a complimentary call with us and we can help guide you to a better and more efficient swing!

Check out how we have helped over 100 golfers in moving better and gaining speed & consistency with our biomechanics assessment to start your journey to move well & play better!!

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