This Article is About
club head speed
handed golfers
club shaft
golf shots
pitching wedge
target
losing control
golf swing
golf ball
acceleration
What Creates Club Head Speed
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There you are lashing away with all your might at your golf ball but gaining no distance whatsoever. In fact chances are that you may even be losing power and certainly losing control. Your efforts at gaining some additional distance seems to be failing.

So what is it that creates club head speed?

In this articel I will give you 7 elements that all contribute to club head speed.

For the purposes of this article I will be instructing both left and right handers using the following terminology:

  • Target side. This means the side closest to the target. For example a right handed golfers 'target side' is his left side.
  • Non-target side. The side furthest from the target.

Club head speed is created by a number of things:

  1. The length of the shaft. To check this lie your clubs down on the ground with the butt ends level and you will notice that the pitching wedge is shorter than the 9 iron which in turn is shorter than the 8 and so on. The extra bit of length of each club helps to generate a bit more speed. Hint: you don't need to swing any harder with a longer club as the manufacturer has done the work for you.
  2. Player flexibility. The more flexible you are the further you can turn your shoulders and hips. These core muscles are the ones that generate the power behind a swing. Imagine your swing to be a bicycle wheel with the inner (smaller) cog turning much slower than the outer (larger) cog represented by the club-head in golf.
  3. Shaft Flex. The slower your swing (us old folks) the more flex you need in your club shaft to help create lag and acceleration through the ball.
  4. Lag and acceleration through the ball. All golf shots should be played with "acceleration" through the ball. To achieve acceleration you need to have your hands way ahead of your club at impact. Put another way the club head should be ripping (accelerating) through the ball in its effort to 'catch up' with the hands.
  5. Technique. If your golf swing is not sound then creating club head speed will prove difficult. Every now and again you may flush one but generally speaking you will be inconsistent. Often this is due to a faulty pre-shot routine and set up. Start your swing by rotating your non-target shoulder around your spine. Do not swing with your arms. Start your downswing by turning your belt buckle (hips - which symbolize the small cog) back towards the target.
  6. Straight target arm on the backswing. Never bend your target arm on the backswing (a very common fault with ladies) as doing this leaks a lot of power. Only turn your shoulders to the point where your target arm's hand is at the furthest point from your head. The wrists should automatically cock at this point - it is the wrist cock that maintains the club-head behind the ball on the downswing.
  7. Follow through. Follow through to a high finish with the non-target arm straightening out. Your forward swing and follow through should be a mirror image of your backswing. Luke Donald, the current world number 1, is a great example of a classic finish.

For each 1 mile per hour that you can increase your club-head speed you will gain 5 yards of distance. A couple of miles an hour extra means a much shorter iron for your approach shot.

That's it, 7 things you need to think about when creating maximum club head speed. Remember it is only a small increase in club head speed (5 mph) that is needed for an extra 20 yards.

Getting the basics right and knowing and understanding how things work is far more effective than swinging wildly.


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