There is a general misconception when it comes to hitting the golf ball farther that many people don’t realize. Many folks believe that in order to make the ball go farther, they must exert a greater amount of muscular effort. They try to swing with pure power. Therefore, you see golfers grunting, and ﬂexing on the range as they try to hit the ball over the fence. Sweat drips off of their foreheads, random curses are muttered under their lips but they are no better off today than they were yesterday. The big problem that they face is they don’t realize speed is what they are really after, and greater muscular exertion will not help them to get there.In my opinion, the goal of the swing is to sling the club head around the center of gravity of the body, essentially putting the club head in orbit so that it is constantly accelerating until it reaches maximum speed through impact. In order to do this we must keep our bodies alert but relaxed.When you see a pitcher on the mound getting ready to throw a ball across home plate, you’ll see the arms hanging at the sides very loosely as the pitcher discusses what to throw with the catcher. The pitcher will have to create a full stretch with his arms and body in order to manufacture top speed. This is similar to what the golfer needs to do.
A couple of years ago, Tom Slagle (one of my subscribers from Tennessee), sent me a book that he wrote and a program for speed that worked wonders for me. The work is based around the concept that our fast twitch muscles are trained differently than our slow twitch muscles. Slow twitch muscles help us with control and are vital for moving heavy objects, whereas our fast twitch muscles create speed. Tom suggested I take the head off a club and attach a few golfballs to the shaft, so that it would be lighter than a golf club. I readily had a driver shaft with no head so I just started practicing with that for speed, along with a speed radar Tom had sent it. It was a little microwave radar that measures club head speed. From what I can tell, it measures a bit faster than Trackman, but it will still give you a reading that you can measure for a baseline so that you can start to develop speed and see where your gains are coming from. I, like many golfers, had a swing that I would use when I wanted to hit the ball far. I’d get bowed up and try and kill the ball. Much to my surprise, I didn’t swing any faster with this muscular swing. In fact,I swung a few miles an hour slower! I was less likely to hit the ball pure, and the club head was moving slower with my long drive swing. Wow. I would have never known. But, I learned that with a longer, looser swing I could get my speed up a few miles an hour higher.
I kept working on this speed program a couple of times a week and by my 31st day of training, I had gained 22 miles per hour of club head speed. I went from 109 mph on the Swing SpeedRadar to 131 mph! Hard to believe, right? I was ﬂying the ball over 300 yards in the air,perhaps as far as 320. I hit some balls so far I couldn’t believe it! Even though I have not keptup with this pure speed program, I do revisit my radar to regularly check my speed. The lasttime I tried it I was able to swing at 124 mph. So, I’ve maintained a 15 mph increase over myold swing speed. Each mph on the radar translates roughly into 2.7 yards so I gained 40 yards of distance by learning how to swing for speed rather than power.