When it comes to hitting the ball farther, a lot of golfers realize that technique is important. In recent years, people are also beginning to recognize the importance of getting custom fit for your equipment in order to maximize driving distance and their overall average golf swing speed.
However, there’s another way to get more distance that most people don’t even know about (and how easy it is to do) or realize is possible… swing speed training.
How Important Is Average Golf Swing Speed?
It’s VERY important.
Sports Sensors makes a nice little general graphic that illustrates the strong correlation between club head speed and distance. Simply put, the more swing speed you have, the farther you’ll hit the ball.
So basically, it doesn’t matter how good your swing technique is…simply put, if you want to be a longer or better player, you MUST have more swing speed.
If you are looking for more consistent distance gaping between your irons,
try Sterling Irons same length irons: Custom fit to you individually by one of the top club fitters in the world.
Let’s take a look at some more specific club head speed numbers.
How Fast Is An Amateur’s Average Golf Swing Speed?
Regarding male amateurs, since 2005, the United States Golf Association (USGA) reports that the average handicap has been between 14 and 15. Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN) shows similar numbers of 15.3 handicap in 2003 and 14.3 handicap in 2012.
For these average male golfers, Trackman statistics report the average club head speed at this 14-15-handicap level is about 93.4 mph…yielding an average total distance of 214 yards per drive. That makes the average male amateur driving efficiency to be 2.29 yards per mph of club head speed.
We estimate the average amateur women run in the region of 78 mph and 179 yard drives. Some women we’ve seen in the mid to high 40s.
How Fast Is An Amateurs Average Golf Swing Speed?
Since 2007, the PGA TOUR has been tracking golf swing speeds of all of its players, also using Trackman.
The TOUR average runs about 113mph and they hit about 290 yards/drive, which means their driving efficiency is about 2.57 yards/drive. This is much better than the average 14-15 –handicap golfer who comes in at 2.29 yards/drive.
If you think about it, this makes sense because professionals hit the ball more consistently around the sweet spot.
Tom Stickney has done some impact testing for GolfWRX. Here’s what a Tour player’s striking pattern looked like after about 10 shots.
Compare that to the impact dispersion after only 5 shots from the 15-handicap golfer he tested.
As you can see, striking the ball consistently solid will help get you more distance out of your club head speed and improve your driving efficiency. If the average amateur had the same 2.57 yards/mph driving efficiency as the average TOUR player, he would average 240 yards/drive instead of only 214 yards/drive.
That means the average amateur could pick up over 25 yards simply from more consistent strikes.
Anyway, here are some of the swing speeds for the 2015-2016 season for the slowest PGA TOUR Players. These guys are definitely at a disadvantage on TOUR speed-wise. If only they knew it didn’t have to be that way!
2016 PGA TOUR Player Swing Speed Chart – The Slowest Swingers
Swing Speed Rank & Name
Average Swing speed
|#136 Luke Donald||110 mph||117 mph||106 mph|
|#140 Ernie Els||110 mph||114 mph||107 mph|
|#144 Danny Lee||110 mph||115 mph||106 mph|
|#148 Vijay Singh||110 mph||113 mph||106 mph|
|#154 Steve Stricker||109 mph||112 mph||107 mph|
|#155 Matt Kuchar||109 mph||114 mph||105 mph|
|#162 Jim Furyk||108 mph||114 mph||105 mph|
|#174 Ryan Moore||107 mph||111 mph||103 mph|
|#179 KJ Choi||106 mph||113 mph||101 mph|
|#180 Zach Johnson||106 mph||109 mph||103 mph|
|#184 David Toms (last)||101 mph||107 mph||97 mph|
Next are the guys who are considered to be in the middle of the pack as far as swing speed goes on the PGA TOUR. These guys aren’t hurting for speed, but they could definitely use more.
2016 PGA TOUR Player Swing Speed Chart – The Average Swingers
Swing Speed Rank & Name
Average Swing speed
|#43 Aaron Baddeley||116 mph||121 Mph||113 Mph|
|#47 Andres Gonzalez||116 mph||123 mph||112 mph|
|#49 Lucas Glover||116 mph||120 mph||112 mph|
|#50 Angel Cabrera||116 mph||119 mph||112 mph|
|#52 Phil Mickelson||115 mph||122 mph||111 mph|
|#54 Jimmy Walker||115 mph||119 mph||112 mph|
|#65 Bill Haas||114 mph||118 mph||110 mph|
|#71 Jason Dufner||114 mph||118 mph||110 mph|
|#72 Geoff Ogilvy||114 mph||119 mph||109 mph|
|#76 Hunter Mahan||113 mph||116 mph||110 mph|
|#78 Billy Horschel||113 mph||118 mph||110 mph|
|#79 Louis Oosthuizen||113 mph||116 mph||111 mph|
|#94 Padraig Harrington||112 mph||117 mph||108 mph|
|#107 Brandt Snedeker||112 mph||115 mph||108 mph|
|#108 Jordan Spieth||112 mph||116 mph||108 mph|
|#112 Retief Goosen||112 mph||116 mph||108 mph|
|#114 Webb Simpson||112 mph||115 mph||108 mph|
|#124 Graeme McDowell||111 mph||117 mph||107 mph|
Lastly are the guys with the fastest speeds. These guys definitely swing fast by TOUR standards. But as we’ll see in a moment, they are actually still quite slow relative to the competitors in the World Long Drive Championships.
2016 PGA TOUR Player Swing Speed Chart – The Fast Swingers
Swing Speed Rank & Name
Average Swing speed
|#1 Andrew Loupe||125 mph||130 mph||121 mph|
|#3 Jhonattan Vegas||124 mph||127 mph||120 mph|
|#4 Tony Finau||124 mph||128 mph||120 mph|
|#6 Sergio Garcia||123 mph||128 mph||116 mph|
|#8 Dustin Johnson||122 mph||126 mph||119 mph|
|#10 Bubba Watson||121 mph||127 mph||117 mph|
|#11 JB Holmes||121 mph||127 mph||117 mph|
|#16 Rory McIlroy||120 mph||125 mph||117 mph|
|#17 Adam Scott||120 mph||124 mph||116 mph|
|#20 Patrick Reed||119 mph||122 mph||115 mph|
|#21 Charl Schwartzel||119 mph||124 mph||114 mph|
|#22 Justin Rose||119 mph||124 mph||113 mph|
|#25 Jason Day||118 mph||124 mph||114 mph|
|#30 Ricky Fowler||118 mph||123 mph||115 mph|
|#40 Keegan Bradley||117 mph||121 mph||113 mph|
At the moment, the European Tour doesn’t post average club head speeds for the tour. However, we did come across a document from a single event in 2008 containing the swing speed of each player in the field. We’re not sure which hole or event these were measured with using Flightscope, but the numbers were interesting. Here are several notable players. The event average was 111 mph, which is more or less what we see on the PGA TOUR.
2008 European Tour Player Swing Speed Chart
How fast are LPGA Tour players?
Trackman also reports LPGA Tour players average around 94 mph, which according to the LPGA yields about 248 yards/drive. That’s 2.64 yards/mph of swing speed.
Interestingly, LPGA Tour players swing about as fast as the average amateur male. However, they are even more efficient drivers of the golf ball than PGA TOUR players. This is because they do not hit down on their drives as much as PGA TOUR players and their launch conditions are more optimal for their individual club head speed (we get in to this more in the member area of Swing Man Golf). PGA TOUR Players basically hit the ball too low and with too much spin to be as optimal as the ladies on the LPGA Tour.
We don’t have any specific numbers for the ladies, but based on their driving distances and the 2.64-yards/mph average driving efficiency numbers from Trackman, here are some estimated swing speed numbers for a few LPGA Tour players.
2016 LPGA Swing Speed Chart
(estimated based on 2.64 yard/mph driving efficiency)
Average Swing Speed
|Joanna Klatten (Longest)||106 mph|
|Lexi Thompson||106 mph|
|Brittany Lincicome||102 mph|
|Brooke Henderson||101 mph|
|Suzann Petterson||100 mph|
|Jessica Korda||100 mph|
|Michelle Wie||99 mph|
|Laura Davies||98 mph|
|Yani Tseng||98 mph|
|Cristie Kerr||98 mph|
|Anna Nordqvist||97 mph|
|Brittany Lang||96 mph|
|Paula Creamer||96 mph|
|Karrie Webb||95 mph|
|Stacy Lewis||95 mph|
|Morgan Pressel||95 mph|
|Cheynne Woods||95 mph|
|Inbee Park||95 mph|
|Juli Inkster||94 mph|
|Lydia Ko||94 mph|
|Sandra Gal||94 mph|
|Belen Mozo||94 mph|
|Christina Kim||93 mph|
|Beatriz Recari||92 mph|
|Christine Song (shortest)||87 mph|
It’s our belief that LPGA Tour players could actually be competitive on men’s professional tours provided they work on getting faster through a swing speed training like we have here at Swing Man Golf. The slowest player on the PGA TOUR each year is always around 104 mph. Based on that, for any LPGA Tour player (like Michelle Wie) to be competitive in a male event, she would need more speed.
When Annika Sorenstam was invited to play in the PGA TOUR’s Bank of America Colonial tournament, she averaged almost 270 yards/drive that year…which would put her at about 102 mph. She nearly made the cut and even beat some of the men in the field. It would have been interesting to know how well she would have done had she been 10 mph faster…which is certainly doable.
How fast are the swing speeds at the World Long Drive Championships?
At the Professional Long Driver level, Trackman shows us the following average club head speed numbers for the field at the World Long Drive Championships is about 135 mph.
That means that a typical long driver is over 10 mph faster on average than the PGA TOUR’s fastest swinger. Some people consider guys like Bubba, Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, etc., long hitters. Indeed relative to amateurs they are long. However, in comparison to a professional long driver, no player on the PGA TOUR would stand a chance of winning (or even being competitive) at the World Long Drive Championships.
Look at how fast a typical Final-8 long driver can swing.
Swing Speed Chart for the World Long Drive Championships – Final-8 Competitor
Average Swing Speed
Peak Swing Speed
|2009||141 mph||150 mph|
|2010||143 mph||150 mph|
|2012||141 mph||149 mph|
|2015||141 mph||151 mph|
|2016||139 mph||149 mph|
Here are some average speeds of a few individual Final-8 competitors.
Swing Speed Chart for the Final-8 Competitors World Long Drive Championships
Justin Young138 mph2012
Average Swing Speed
|Jeremy Easterly||133 mph||2015|
|Tom Peppard||134 mph||2012|
|Mitch Dobbyn||134 mph||2016|
|Jeff Crittenden||136 mph||2015|
|Jeff Gavin||136 mph||2015|
|Trent Scruggs||136 mph||2012|
|Jeff Crittenden||137 mph||2016|
|Justin Moose||137 mph||2016|
|Domenic Mazza||139 mph||2010|
|Ryan Steenberg||139 mph||2016|
|Ryan Cooper||140 mph||2012|
|Jermie Montgomery||140 mph||2010|
|Josh Crews||140 mph||2012|
|Patrick Hopper||140 mph||2010|
|Paul Howell||141 mph||2016|
|Tim Burke (2013 & 2015 World Champion)||142 mph||2012|
|Kevin Shook||143 mph||2010|
|Jason Eslinger||143 mph||2015|
|Justin James||143 mph||2016|
|Landon Gentry||144 mph||2012|
|Joe Miller (2010 & 2016 World Champion)||145 mph||2010|
|Joe Miller (2010 & 2016 World Champion)||145 mph||2016|
|Will Hogue||145 mph||2015|
|Jamie Sadlowski (2008-9 World Champion)||146 mph||2012|
|Ryan Louw||146 mph||2010|
|Tim Burke (2013 & 2015 World Champion)||146 mph||2015|
|Ryan Winther (2012 World Champion)||147 mph||2012|
|Jamie Sadlowski||148 mph||2015|
|Connor Powers||153 mph||2014|
Realistically, to win the World Long Drive Championships, you need to be swinging in the mid-140s (the average champion is 146 mph based on 7 champions). This is over 20 mph faster than the fastest PGA TOUR players and over 30 mph faster than an average PGA TOUR player.
A good long driver would easily drive it 50 yards past Bubba. In fact, this actually happened in Hawaii a few years ago when Jamie Sadlowski hit drives at Kapalua in Maui ahead of the PGA TOUR event against Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, and Robert Garrigus.
Occasionally, you’ll see guys get in to the Final-8 at the World Championships that average in the 130s. Typically when that happens, they are better fit for their equipment, they are more mentally strong, they take better advantage of wind conditions, and things like that. As you can see, it’s very difficult to win swinging in the 130s, though.
If memory serves, Carl Wolter won the 2011 World Championships in the high 130s. That year there were very strong tail winds and Carl presumably hit a better wind ball (usually higher and with more spin) than two other champions he beat head-to-head, Jamie Sadlowski and Joe Miller…both of whom have swung 150 mph in competition.
At the Senior (Over 45 years old) level, in 2012 a Senior division Final-8 competitor averaged 131 mph with a peak of 137 mph. Even the “old” guys can bomb it past any TOUR player.
So as you can see, the more swing speed you have, in general the farther you will drive the ball. More distance also makes it easier to shoot lower scores.
Can you Increase Your Average Golf Swing Speed?
Aside from improving your technique and getting fit for your equipment, despite what many golfers (even Pros like Tiger) believe, yes, you can actually train to increase your swing speed…at any age! Just consider a long drive guy like Bobby Wilson. He is over the age of 53 and yet he swings over 12 mph faster than the PGA TOUR’s “long hitting” Bubba Watson.
Also note that just because you are fit does not mean you are fast. Camilo Villegas is arguably more “fit” than John Daly, but John swings about 4 mph faster. Granted, some of this could be due to John’s technique, equipment, etc…but the point is that although fitness certainly has its place in golf and life, for distance and application towards becoming a better player…it’s more about being fast than fit.
Swing Man Golf Helps You Increase Your Average Golf Swing Speed!
We’ve got junior members from 12 years old to men on up in to their 80s with handicaps ranging from Pro to 30+ who add an average of 12-16 mph (30-40 yards) of driver swing speed in their first month of basic training. Believe it or not, we’ve even had several members who were willing to do the work that gained over 30 and 40 mph (that’s not a typo) over the course of a few months. One of these members was 58 years old.
Get more swing speed now by becoming a Swing Man Golf member.
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