Category Archives: club head speed

By Paul Myers

It is nothing short of an incredible achievement to win the Masters twice. That is exactly what Bubba Watson has done, taking home two green jackets in a span of just three years. Even with that impressive accomplishment on his resume, the average golf fan still probably associates Bubba with hitting long drives before anything else. Ever since arriving on Tour, Bubba Watson’s swing speed and incredible power has really turned heads. Watson doesn’t play like anyone else on Tour, and it wouldn’t necessarily be a good idea for the average golfer to try and copy his technique. It is all his own, and that is one thing that can make it so amazing to watch.

It isn’t a surprise to see Bubba leading the way in the club head speed statistical category on the PGA Tour so far in 2014. Bubba is at the top of the list with an incredible average of 124.11 MPH off the tee, and a top recorded speed of 125.78 MPH. That kind of power is simply hard to imagine for most amateur golfers, and even most players on Tour are presently unable to create that kind of speed with their fastest swing.

Maybe even more incredible than Bubba leading the way in 2014, is just how long he has been bringing his prodigious power to the golf course. Back in 2007, the Bubba Watson Swing Speed was second to the one of Tiger Woods. In fact, for every season since then, Bubba Watson’s swing speed was first or second in this category. No matter how you look at it, Bubba is one of the very longest hitters in the game, and he has been able to use that power, along with many other talents, to take home two major victories.

So what is it about Bubba Watson swing? What helps Bubba to generate so much power through the hitting zone? While it isn’t necessarily a good idea to try and copy every aspect of his swing, it can be beneficial to think about what it is that he does well and how it can be applied to your own game.

The following three elements of Bubba’s swing might be worth considering –

  • Long backswing. Most people don’t possess the eye-hand coordination and flexibility to pull off a swing as long as Bubba’s. However, you might be able to make your backswing a little bit longer and reap some benefit – as long as you don’t get out of control. Bubba has a very long backswing, but is able to still deliver the club head back to the ball time and time again. Experiment with a slightly longer backswing on the driving range, but understand that it can’t come at the expense of being able to hit the ball solidly.
  • Aggressive lower body. Bubba’s lower body moves so aggressively through the hitting zone that his feet are often moving around on the ground. This isn’t necessarily good footwork, but you can learn from how much he uses his legs in the swing. The amount of leg drive he has has resemblance to the legendary long hitter Mike Austin.
  • Freedom. Bubba makes seemingly fearless swings off the tee and trusts his body to do the job. Many regular golfers are so afraid of where their ball is going to go that they don’t relax and swing the club with confidence. Even if you aren’t a great golfer, you need to play with confidence and belief in yourself if you are going to play your best game.

Copying the Bubba Watson swing in it’s entirety is an effort that most people probably shouldn’t bother making. He has natural talent which is off the charts, in addition to having worked hard at his game for many years. With that said, the approach and confidence that Watson brings to the course is worth paying attention to, and you may be able a bit of distance to your drives simply by swinging with the same abandon and confidence that has taken Bubba to the top of the golf world on more than one occasion.

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By Paul Myers

There are a few numbers in golf that it seems everyone wants to know. Of course, your handicap and your average score would likely be near the top of that list. Shortly after those, however, you might find people asking about your swing speed with the driver. Swing speed is a great indicator of total driving distance, so it only stands to reason that people would be curious how fast you are able to swing your driver. Golf is also a game that is a constant competition between friends and opponents alike, so it’s not surprising to find a group of golfers debating who can actually post the highest speeds during their swing.

Of course, it will take a little bit of technology in order to measure club head speed accurately and settle the debate once and for all. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways in which you can measure your swing speed and see how you stack up to the professionals, long drivers, and the other players in your group.

Going for a Club Fitting

One of the easiest and quickest ways to measure club head speed is to go in for a club fitting at your local golf shop. Most golf stores today have club fittings available, as they are a good tool for getting customers to actually buy new clubs. When you go for a fitting, they will generally have you hit a number of shots with your current clubs to take some measurements  using launch monitors like Trackman or Flightscope to find out how your set of clubs can be improved.

Among the many numbers that their measurements will reveal should be your club head speed. You can even tell the fitter that you are specifically interested in your club head speed and they may have you hit a few extra drivers so you can get an accurate average of how hard you are swinging. In addition to learning your swing speed, it is a good idea to have a club fitting completed anyway so you can make sure your set is matched properly to your swing. If not, you might be able to have subtle adjustments made to the clubs you are using in order to make them more effective.

How To Measure Club Head Speed On Your Own?

Not interested in a club fitting? There are a number of at-home products that can be purchased with the intent of measuring club head speed. Our favorite at-home swing speed radar is the Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radar. You can measure your speed whenever you want, it’s great for swing speed training, it’s light weight, it travels well, it’s super affordable (as opposed to $20,000 for a Trackman launch monitor), and it’s as accurate as any at-home radar we’ve ever come across.

A Word of Warning

While it can be fun and exciting to swing at some drives at 100% to see what numbers you can achieve (and certainly that is an important aspect of swing speed training), it’s important to remember to take only what you can control out on the course.

There’s usually a tipping point where you cross the threshold of what you can hit straight. You can actually use your radar to check this if you want. Swing Man Golf’s Jaacob Bowden’s threshold is about 92% of his max speed. When he was working with David Gossett, David was also roughly 92%. Senior Tour player Andre Bossert can actually go upwards of 97%. Your personal number may be more or less, but the point is to train yourself to never swing above that threshold if your interest is in shooting the best possible scores.

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By Paul Myers

If you are a golfer, you have probably heard about club head speed before, but maybe didn’t know exactly what it meant. Is it important? Do you need to know yours? There are a number of questions that can come up when you hear a new term on the course, and other golfers aren’t always patient enough to stand around and explain it to you. This article will take a quick look at what club head speed means in golf terms, and why it is important for your game.

How Fast You Swing the Club

As the name indicates, club head speed simply refers to how fast the club head is moving when you hit your shot. The speed is measured at impact with the ball, and it is almost always measured with the driver. While you can measure club head speed with other clubs, when you hear golfers comparing their swing speeds, they are almost certainly referring to measurements taken while swinging a driver.

There are a great number of elements that come together to create the swing speed that you are capable of.  Technique helps. Many amateur golfers could achieve higher club head speed measurements if only they could learn to sequence their swing better. Instead of having the fastest point of the swing be the moment when the club hits the ball, they can make the mistake of releasing the club early and actually swing faster before impact than once they reach it.

Releasing the Club Head

Flexibility can also make a difference…and strength is an important aspect of it as well.

Does club head speed matter?

Yes – it certainly does. It is not the only element of your swing that you should be concerned about, but it is important enough to pay attention to. Assuming two shots that both are hit with the center of the club face on the same driver, the one with the faster swing speed is going to be expected to fly farther down the fairway. There is a generally direct correlation between swing speed and distance, so if you want to hit longer drives, the first step is improving how fast the club head is moving at impact.

There are also other reasons for which it is good to have plenty of swing speed at your disposal on the course. Consider the following –

  • Getting through thick rough. Good swing speed translates to your iron shots as well, and being able to swing the club fast means you will have an easier time carving through the rough to get your ball up and out of the long grass. You certainly don’t want to have to use this ability too often, but it is a great weapon to have at your disposal.
  • Controlling your trajectory. If you have a low swing speed to begin with, you probably won’t have the high shot in your arsenal. However, when you have more speed, you’ll be able to hit those sky high shots when needed to clear trees or trouble…or make the ball land on the green and stop. It’s much easier for a high-ball hitter with good club head speed to hit a low shot than a low-ball hitter with a slow swing speed to hit a high shot.
  • Reaching par fives in two. It is a big advantage to be able to reach par five greens in two shots, and a high club head speed will make that task much easier. Not only can you cover more distance with a fast swing speed, but you are also more likely to hit the ball higher in the air – key for holding the ball on a green from a long distance away.

Golf club head speed is just one statistic that can be measured in your game, but it is an important one. If you are able to improve your club head speed over time, there is a good chance that your scores will improve right along with it. In fact, statistics show there’s a direct correlation between club head speed and scores.

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