Who doesn’t want to hit the ball longer? A liar, that’s who.
Whether you are searching for your first 200 yard drive or your first 300 yard drive, there is always something that you can do to increase the distance you hit the ball off the tee. Heck, there are lots of things that you can be doing RIGHT NOW to increase your yardage and learn how to hit the ball 300 yards (if that is your goal). The first step is to learn, and the second step is to DO. So get your body ready to get up and get started in a few minutes. Make sure you finish the article of course 🙂
Note: when you are practicing hard to increase your club head speed, your golf game itself might suffer a little in the short term. The new speed and practicing will take some time to get used to. If you are a serious golfer, I would recommend you start this training routine in the off season. That way, your new swing speed won’t interfere with any scores or important tournaments.
Another note: I’m going to assume you have a decent swing. If you know for a fact that you don’t, I’d recommend you first work on fixing your swing before you focus on generating more speed. You will only keep developing your bad habits otherwise. However, if your swing is decent enough, get ready to start swinging fast!
Let’s begin, shall we?
This is something that you can 100% start doing today. Here is the best method to swing the club faster, generate more club speed, and get that ball flying for miles:
- Practice swinging something light very fast (most important; called overspeed training; develops your fast twitch muscles)
- Practice swinging something heavy very fast (improves your hand & forearm strength and strengthens your slow twitch muscles)
- Practice swinging your normal driver very fast (in case you haven’t noticed, it just involves a lot of swinging fast)
The more you practice swinging quicker, the faster your swing will become and the longer drives you are going to hit.
Overspeed training is your best path to hitting longer drives. No question about it. For the first bullet point, I’d recommend you find a very light club shaft or just use an alignment stick. Put some grip or tape on it if you want to build up the grip. Take some time out of your day and swing it as FAST AS YOU CAN. This will develop your fast twitch muscles, which are the most important muscles to be training if you want to hit the ball further. Swing fast and aggressively into your finish. Once you reach your finish, pause for a second and reverse your swing and swing fast in reverse. You’ll be going from a right handed swing to a left handed swing most likely. You don’t want to become a one sided golfer.
Note: I’d recommend you pick up a Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radar and challenge yourself to keep reaching faster speeds. Once you reach a new milestone, set another goal and keeping moving forward. It’s just like working out in the gym. You never want to stay content or get lazy. Always try to reach faster speeds. You can also use the swing monitor to work on finding the best techniques and swing thoughts to maximize club head speed and driving distance. For example, some golfers find that they can swing faster when they try to keep their wrists as loose as possible in the swing. Others find that their maximum distance is a result of trying to make the “swoosh” of the swing occur as late as possible. You can use the swing monitor to test out different techniques that might add some mph’s to your club head speed.
For the second bullet point, consider picking up some sort of heavy training aid. Practice swinging it as fast as possible. It will feel super heavy compared to the light club you have been swinging with. This will develop your slow twitch muscles. These aren’t as important as the fast twitch muscles, but they still matter. You can also use something with air resistance, such as a broom. Remember, though, swing that thing as fast as you can.
For the third bullet point, get on the range with the intentions of hitting the ball further. Take the training that you have done with heavy/light clubs and put it to a real ball. Don’t become discouraged with wayward shots. You are focused on distance at this moment, not consistency. The consistency will come later. Try to hit the longest drives that you can.
If you want the most convenient option to start practicing with lighter and heavier golf clubs, consider just getting SuperSpeed Golf’s product (in the picture above). They offer one package with differently weighted “clubs”. There are simply weights on the end of club shafts, but they included a standard golf grip as well. It is a very proven system, that comes with a laid out schedule and exercises to do. Many tour pros and top amateurs/junior use them!
It is much more convenient than making the light and heavy clubs yourself, but it is a bit more expensive. So it’s up to you: do it yourself (with spare golf club shafts or training aids) or buy it from SuperSpeed.
2) Hit the Gym
Why do you think pro golfers hit the gym? Just to look better? No, they do it to swing faster, to last longer on the course and in practice, and to avoid injuries.
Is it 100% necessary to hit the gym to play golf? Heck no, have you seen some of the physiques of the best golfers in the world like Jason Dufner, Pat Perez, John Daly, and Kevin Stadler? However, it will 100% increase your swing speed and power if you do it properly.
What to focus on in the gym to improve club head speed:
- core activities (stabilizing movements & torso rotational movements)
- heavier weight, compound exercises like squat & deadlift
- exercises revolving around jumping
- fast movements like medicine ball throws against a wall (from both left and right sides of your body)
Core activities are great for developing your (no surprise) core muscles. These muscles are almost solely responsible for your torso rotation, where you get a lot of your speed and power from. The faster that you can rotate your torso and uncoil from the top of the backswing, the further you can hit the ball. My favorites are planks, mountain climbers, reverse crunches, and using the ab wheel. Keep progressing in some way, by adding more reps or increasing the time/speed.
Compound exercises and jumping exercises are the best things that you can do to learn to create more power from your lower body. Without changing anything about your swing technique, you will definitely notice a big increase in power if you can increase your jumping distance and the amount that you can squat. I would stick to the 5-8 rep range for compound exercises like squats and deadlifts. Make sure you throw in both lower rep set and higher rep sets though, to cover all of your bases. This will ensure you are improving both your endurance and your strength.
Fast movements like medicine ball throws are absolutely huge for learning to swing the club faster. Don’t use too heavy of a ball, because we are trying to focus on learning to rotate your body as quickly as possible. Make sure you use both sides; don’t just focus on the dominant side of your body (right handed side only). Throwing against a wall in preferred just for efficiency sake.
This is one of my favorite swing mantras for longer drives. “Less tension, more lag”. It is so easy for tension to sneak it’s way into your golf swing. If you want to swing fast, though, you’ve got to make it a note to always take the tension out if at all possible. Typically, the tension will start in your wrists and forearms. Loosen up! We are trying to swing the club fast here. We can’t do that with muscles that are rigid as a board. Grip the club lightly, and keep your hands and wrists from applying too much pressure throughout the swing. The wrists have a huge impact on long drives. The longer that we can keep them loose and cocked in the downswing, the more we can unleash at impact. This is a great segue (I never knew that’s how it was spelled into today) into the concept of “lag” in the golf swing.
If you are not familiar, I’ll try to explain it as simply as possible. Lag is allowing the club to “lag” behind the hands, until the last split second where the ball is actually being hit. If you don’t use lag to your advantage, you are losing out on potential club head speed and the ideal impact position with irons/wedges. Incorporating more lag into your swing will increase your swing speed and improve your impact position.
Here are three good ways to think about incorporating lag in your swing. Hopefully one of these will click in your head.
- Keep the wrists loose from the start of the downswing until you come into impact. The looser your wrists are at the start of the downswing, the more likely you are to hold that angle and unleash it right at impact (not before impact).
- Imagine the club shaft hitting your rear shoulder at the start of your downswing. This is an exaggeration, but it really gets you feeling how your wrists should be loose.
- Don’t “hit” the ball or “swing” the club until you are about to make impact. If you swing right when you start your downswing, you will lose that powerful angle between your club and your wrists. You will be forced to generate power just from torso rotation, because you have already released your power from your wrists. If you wait until just before impact, you can use that power of unleashing the wrists at the perfect time to hit the ball as far as possible.
- Don’t let the club “swoosh” until right at or right after impact. Too many golfers would hear the “swoosh” of the club somewhere in the middle of the downswing, as they swing too early and release the angle of their wrists too soon. The correct way to swing is to hear the “swoosh” right at impact. That makes sense, because you want the fastest part of your swing to be right when you actually hit the ball, not before! A good way to practice this is to practice making the swoosh AFTER the ball. This is an exaggeration, but it teaches you to keep the angle in your wrists.
Another thing worth mentioning is that tension can creep up into lots of other parts of your body as well. If you want to swing as fast as possible, you need to reduce all tension as best as you can. Some people are too rigid at address. They feel tight in their knees, their back, etc. Find a setup position that allows you to feel loose as a goose!
A great training aid to add more lag to your swing is the Power Lag Pro training aid. It keeps your right wrist (for righties) bent at impact, which leads to a much more lag and a better impact position
This is another great swing mantra if you want to increase your club head speed. A bigger shoulder turn and getting your hands more extended in your backswing are simple ways to hit the ball longer. Both of these changes or swing thoughts allow you to create a wider arc in your backswing.
Note: don’t keep turning your shoulders past a comfortable spot. I’m only mentioning this in case you are stopping your shoulder turn short of your comfort zone without realizing it. Next time you are on the range, or next time you see your instructor, try to determine if you are cutting your shoulder turn too short. If you are flexible enough to turn more and point your back towards the target, then do it!
If you look at nearly every long hitter on tour right now, just about every one has a big shoulder turn. The exception, if you are interested, in Tony Finau. Everyone else turns back so that their back is facing the target at the top of their swings. Some focus on resisting their lower body at the same time, but that all depends on how flexibible you are. In general, I am a proponent of letting your hips turn naturally in the backswing. I don’t like the idea of resisting lower body rotiation unless you are extremely flexible and extremeley talented.
Another thing that you can work on is getting more extension in your backswing. One way of looking at it is this: getting your hands further away from your head in your backswing. Many golfers keep their hands too close to their body in the backswing. The more extension that you can get, though, means the more room you have to generate speed and lag in your downswing. A great training aid for getting more extension in your golf swing is the Golf Swing Extender. It basically just keeps your trail elbow from folding too much, which is the most common reason for not getting enough extension and having your left arm (for righties) bend in the backswing.
Sure you could just see how long you can hit it on the course, but it’s hard to get a real measure for how fast you are swinging and how much you are improving.
As a result, I recommend you get a Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radar. It will give you an accurate measure of how fast you are swinging. Just keep it a consistent distance away from the bottom of your swing, and you can work endlessly to see how fast you can get it to show. Always have a goal swing speed in mind, after you see how fast your swing is currently. Try to increase it by 10mph if you can. If that’s not enough, add 5 more mph. Remember, each mph is roughly 3 yards!
Have any other questions about increasing your club head speed? Please ask them below, I’d love to help!