How to Increase Your Club Head Speed TODAY
By Chuck Quinton, Master RST Instructor•FULL BIO•
"WHAT IF YOU COULD HIT THE BALL 10, 20, EVEN 50 YARDS FARTHER IN THE NEXT 10 MINUTES?"
Doesn't it make you furious when you see someone swing effortlessly and pound it 30 yards by you when you KNOW you should be hitting it farther than them off the tee? Are you frustrated with your efforts to increase your club head speed?
It may sound almost impossible to pick up that much distance and increase your club head speed by 10-20 mph in only a few minutes, but it's simply a matter of mechanics, and I'm going to show you exactly how to do it. I'm going to give you one simple drill that will increase your swing speed by at least 8 mph in as few as 2 minutes. You interested?
If I could get you 10 mph more club head speed, would you be interested? What would that mean to your golf game? About 30 yards off the tee - that's what it would mean! Imagine hitting it 30+ yards farther off the tee without hitting the gym and without buying another $400 driver; you'd instantly be the envy of all your golfing buddies!
How YOUR Swing Speed can JUMP up to 118 mph in 2 minutes!
Josh's club head speed had gone down significantly over the past several years, and on the course had dropped as low as 100 mph because he feared where the ball might go. Being a "former" long hitter that regularly hit 300 yard bombs, this was pretty disheartening, to the point that he didn't even enjoy the game much any more and had stopped practicing.
Having Josh work on the "Throw the Ball" drill for less than 2 minutes, as you will learn in the video below, we increased his average swing speed DRAMATICALLY. But first, let's look at where he was when he started out.
|Both Arms||Left Arm||Right Arm|
|Average Speed||110.2 mph||81.8 mph||88.6 mph|
His first set of averages weren't bad and were consistent with our own research as well as that of books such as the Search for the Perfect Swing, with his left arm only swing speed being about 25% slower than with two hands. Also, his right arm was significantly faster than his left; more evidence for the importance of understanding the proper use of the right arm.
However, in Josh's case, he wasn't using his right arm properly, and so after getting baseline averages of his swing, I coached him on how to do the "Throw the Ball" drill for about 2 minutes. The results of the 2 minutes worth of work may shock you, but they are truly just average for my students.
Josh went from swinging at 110 mph to 118 mph within just two golf swings, and we caught it on camera, take a look!
8 MPH MORE CLUBHEAD SPEED IN 5 MINUTES!!!
Needless to say, a jump in 8 mph for someone who already has a relatively high swing speed is very impressive by itself, but by working on this drill, we also significantly improved Josh's path into the golf ball.
Before working on the drill, Josh approached the ball severely from the inside and tended to hit massive blocks or quick hooks. Using the drill helped tame his shoulders and get the golf club approaching the ball on a more square path.
So, not only can he hit it further, but he can actually find it and hit it again!
How much further can he hit it, you might ask?
Well, you pick up about 3 yards of carry for every 1 mph of club head speed, assuming the ball is struck solidly on the right part of the club face. Given the fact that Josh picked up 8 mph of swing speed, that's a gain of 18.4 yards of carry. Add with roll of approximately .7 yards per mph of club head speed and you get a total of:
24 MORE YARDS IN 2 MINUTES!
Josh not only improved his clubhead speed by 8 mph, but look at this solid impact position he achieved as well! His shoulders are now square rather than open at impact and his hips are open, while his right arm is fully extending through impact for maximum swing speed.
The Rotary Swing Drills that will Increase Your Swing Speed by up to 10% or More!
I mentioned two drills that I used with Chris and Josh to increase their club head speeds by 8-10 mph in mere minutes. So, what are they and how do they work? The first one that I will discuss is the "Throw the Ball Drill".
Throw the Ball Drill
Many students aggressively unwind their shoulders from the top of the golf swing, leaving the arms stuck behind their body and causing the arms, hands and club head to release late, reaching maximum speed after impact, where it is useless.
This is due to the fact that the right shoulder is constantly moving out in front of the hands, making it impossible for them to release at maximum speed, as the right arm is put into a position where it can't extend with speed as it would in a throwing motion like a side arm or under arm baseball pitch.
To make this simpler, think of casting a fishing rod. When you want the bait on the end of the line to release out past the end of the rod, you bring the forward moving handle of the rod to a near complete stop depending on the angle and distance you wish to cast the bait. If you continue to move the handle toward the target, the end of the string containing the bait will not accelerate as quickly as if you "snap" the handle of the rod to a stop, letting the bait zoom past at maximum speed. The pivot point in this case is the handle and needs to remain relatively fixed in order for the end of the lever to reach maximum acceleration.
In the golf swing, this fixed point is the right shoulder, and it must come to a near stop through the impact area in order for the energy and speed created by the trunk to be fully transmitted to the arms, and eventually, the clubhead.
Above, you can see what it looks like when the drill is put into real world application. Notice the red circle drawn over Tiger Woods' right shoulder during these three frames. Now notice the yellow circles representing the clubhead.
Note that in this sequence Tiger's right shoulder barely moves an inch or so, while the club head travels closer to 3 feet. This is how efficient speed is generated at the point of impact where it matters most.
If Tiger continued to push his right shoulder around his body, the release of the clubhead would be delayed as the pivot point would be moving in front of the release point. If you look "jammed up" at impact and never have full extension in the follow through, this drill will change that immediately.
The "Throw the Ball" drill both teaches this proper release while helping teach the shoulders to remain passive during the downswing so as not to overpower the arms. It also engrains the feeling of "pulling" the left hip over into Neutral Joint Alignment for safe and powerful rotation while properly bracing the left side so the arms and club can release through the impact area with maximum swing speed.
Lastly, learning to move properly from the muscles in the left hip will rotate the hips open to approximately 40-45* and then decelerate them so the kinetic chain can fire in the proper sequence. Over using the right side, or "pushing" too much from the right side destroys this and leads to numerous problems in the downswing.
Right Arm Only Downswing Drill (RADD)
Once you've learned the proper feeling of how the shoulders remain passive in the downswing and how the left hip muslces work to provide stability and initial acceleration of the arms, it's time to sync everything up with the golf club while hitting balls. This drill will prove difficult at first for many.
If so, this makes it even more clear that you have likely not been using the right arm correctly and still have much club head speed to be gained in your golf swing!
The RADD encompasses all the other proper golf swing movements you've already learned from our biomechanical research on things such as the takeaway, top of the backswing, etc. The key difference is that the entire golf swing is done only using the right arm. The left shoulder and left arm do absolutely nothing during the swing.
To begin, take a short iron such as a 7 iron and place a ball on a tee after you've made a dozen or more practice swings using your right arm only. Placing the golf ball on the tee will help give you more confidence as you learn this drill because it is difficult for most to make solid contact on the first several tries.
Pause as you get to the top of the backswing during the first few to gather yourself, then, replicating the feeling of the Throw the Ball Drill, strike the ball.
At first, you should only try to hit the ball 50 yards or less until you can make solid contact. This is critical as this drill forces you to sequence your swing properly, and it is likely that it's a new feeling to you.
Once you master this drill, you will be able to hit the ball up to 85% of your normal distance as demonstrated by the graph above - you should be able to generate about 85% of your normal maximum club head speed using the right arm only.
More importantly, you will be able to sequence the weight shift and unwinding of the downswing properly while boosting your clubhead speed 10% or more once you place both hands back on the club.
CLUBHEAD SPEED RESEARCH
Everyone wants to hit the golf ball farther, but few have done as much research in the learning mechanisms and pathways for learning new and proper movement patterns, as well as what sequence of movements in particular produce higher swing speeds as I have.
As you well know, the Rotary Swing Tour was the first golf swing learning system to look at the swing from this completely objective perspective and build a golf swing based on scientific evidence and medical fact rather than opinion and bias. It should come as no surprise that we approached our research into club head speed the same way.
In this article and accompanying video, we researched the age old question of whether the right hand or left hand was capable of producing a greater swing speed.
The first question one should ask is "Why is this important?"
This is a valid question because many golf swing "theories" out there promote one over the other; ie, you should only swing the golf club with the left arm or vice versa.
Of course, any biomechanist will tell you that in most all movement your muscles work in pairs in a pushing and pulling fashion and this same foundational understanding should be brought forward to the understanding of the golf swing.
While a golfer may feel one move predominantly over the other, the reality is that both sides are working together. However, it is very common for one side to be over or under utilized leading to a break down in mechanics and, as it pertains to this article, a loss of clubhead speed.
I've read so much about how you arms should remain passive throughout the swing so became true swinger of my body, trying to fling my arms around by pulling from the left side exclusively. This has put huge strains on my body and cost me a fortune in medical bills. Thank you for suggesting using your right arm is a legitimate move in golf! You may have saved both my golf game and my physical health in one fell swoop."
A Case Study On Increased Swing Speed
Chris is a student of mine that I began working with in the summer of 2009 at Castle Pines Golf Club in Colorado where I was the Teaching Professional. Chris was a fine golfer at a 5 handicap, but wanted more club head speed, just like so many other golfers out there.
At age 61 and with one hip replaced already and another on the way, Chris wondered whether he had tapped out his driving distance potential already. But like most golfers, the belief that he could improve and cut his handicap kept him constantly searching for answers.
During the first few minutes of the lesson, it was apparent to me that Chris was not using the right arm to help generate speed. He had been taught that the golf swing was a dominant left sided movement and that had been engrained into his brain for many years.
After I explained some basic mechanics to him, I had him begin working on my "Right Arm Only Drill" and "Throw the Ball Drill". These two drills coupled together helped keep the upper torso from racing out in front of the club while also teaching him a natural positive release of the right arm at the right time.
Before working on these two drills, we took a baseline of Chris's club head speed using a Swing Speed Radar. Because Chris already had one, he had a firm history of his average club head speed which hovered between 100 mph and 102 mph with a peak of about 105 mph.
At one point in his practice at home, he stated he had hit 108 mph but never repeated the feat. Chris was so eager to increase his speed and get back to that 108 mph mark that he offered to double my hourly fee of $200 per hour if he broke 108 (which I politely declined knowing he'd be out an extra $800 for the four hour lesson when we were done)!
I promised that we would break the 110 mph mark in this lesson after I had him work on these drills. The results speak for themselves.
After about 10 minutes of drilling, Chris's swing speed jumped from 100 mph to 112 mph, a new personal best, and more importantly, he hit the ball just as solid and straight as before. His average hovered around 110-112 mph for the rest of the session and by the end of the summer his handicap dropped from a 5 to a 2 and he won the "Most Improved Golfer Award" at his golf club in St. Louis, MO.
Of course, the question is, how exactly did this happen and what scientific evidence is there to support this type of increase in club head speed in such a short period of time?
The Science of Club Head Speed
What is the real world science behind right handed and left handed swinging of the golf club as it pertains specifically to generating clubhead speed?
We wanted to know the answers, so we set out to gather real world data and publish those results. Below is a graph of that research.
From the graph above, you can see that the Right Handed Swing (RHS) produced 11% more club head speed than the Left Handed Swing (LHS). The average RHS was 94.4 mph; whereas, the aveage LHS was 84.6 mph for test subjects. The average CHS when combined with Both Hands (BH) was 112.8 mph, or about 25% more than LHS alone.
From this, it's easy to see why more actively promoting the correct use of the right arm was able to increase Chris's and other students' club head speed by nearly 10% during such a short golf lesson. Because he had been taught to only use the left, his right side, while still active, was under utilized and costing him serious club head speed.
Are you ready to increase your club head speed? Then watch the two videos below!
Checkpoints for Practice
- If the drill feels natural, you're probably fine - if it feels strange, you need to work on it
- In setup position, set the right arm where it would be at the top of the swing - keep the shoulder blade down
- Rotate back then throw a ball with the right hand, working to feel that the shoulders and hips remain shut
- In fact, the throwing motion will cause a natural weight shift leaving hips open while the right shoulder stays back
- Feel that the pivot point (the shoulder) does not move beyond the release point (the ball)
- This helps golfers who over-pull from the left and over-spin their hips
- The hips need to brace up in neutral at impact so the power of the swing transmits up the chain to the shoulders, arms and club
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