How to Increase Club Head Speeds

By Ainsley Whitley

Simply put, the faster your club head, the farther the ball travels. Therefore, if you're trying to get more distance, you have to increase the club head speed. The keys to maximizing your club head speed are the ability to relax your muscles, hinge your wrists and release the club at the optimal moment in the swing.

Swing Faster

Hank Haney, Tiger Woods' former coach, said the best tip he ever heard for increasing club head speed is to "swing faster, not harder." To do so, you have to relax your hands and arms. The more you relax, the easier your turn and the louder the swoosh that the club makes.

Learn to create a louder and higher-pitched swoosh at the bottom of the swing by turning the club upside down and holding it just below the club head. Swing the club faster and faster, trying to hear the swoosh at the bottom of the swing -- where the ball would be. Keep swinging until you can increase the pitch of the swoosh, then turn the club over and try to re-create that same sound as the club head reaches the bottom of the swing.

Create Lag

Amateur golfers lose lots of club head speed by releasing the club early -- known as casting the club. If you learn to hold your wrist hinge and create some lag, you'll notice more power in your swing.

Swing the club back, pause and let it drop so it rests on your shoulder. Start rotating your torso and hips to transition into the downswing, but keep the club on your shoulder as long as possible. Allow your body to pull your arms through. Notice the amount of angle between your trail forearm and the club shaft. This angle is known as lag, and it gives the club head more time to generate speed. Practice the lag drill without a golf ball, and notice how your body rotation brings the club around. When you do tee up a ball, take a normal back swing without resting the club on your shoulder.

Feel the Speed

Strengthen your arms and feel the speed by using weighted training clubs. Start with the lightest club and swing as fast as you can safely 10 times. Then do the same with a slightly heavier club, followed by an even heavier one. Do three sets of 10 repetitions of this drill. When you return to your normal club, you should notice an increase in swing speed. Because of the weight of the training clubs, you had to use your body to swing them and you unconsciously relaxed your arms and shoulders. The added benefit of this drill is better flexibility and increased arm and shoulder strength.

Rotate Your Hips

Rotating your hips on the downswing helps generate club head speed. Without hip rotation, you will swing with your arms, lose the club lag and slow your swing speed. To get the idea of a good hip turn, hook your right thumb into your right hip pocket -- lefties use your left thumb and pocket. As you turn, think of pulling that hip pocket around until your belt bucket is facing the target. Then try it with a club. Using your normal swing, focus on rotating your hips faster on the downswing. Practice turning through the ball with more and more hip speed.

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