We've heard it all before, drive for show and putt for dough. The best golfers in the world make their money in the short game; however, it is becoming clear at all levels that increasing clubhead speed is instrumental in taking strokes off your game. In the graphic shown below, you can see a direct correlation between average money won per season and average ball speed. At 165 MPH ball speed, the winnings average around $1.5 million but increase that to 180 MPH, and they double to around $3 million. An extra 15 MPH makes a 1.5 million dollar difference at the PGA level. It's said on the PGA tour that every 3 yards you gain, you can afford to be 1 yard less accurate to keep your "Strokes Gained Driving" the same. So the extra distance gained allows for a larger margin of error with your accuracy.
Chances are you are not on the PGA tour, but studies by Trackman resoundingly show that clubhead speed matters to individual golfing performance. Trackman reports the following ball speed averages for male golfers with their driver:
Scratch or Better – 161 mph
5 HCP – 147 mph
10 HCP – 138 mph
Average Golfer (14.5) – 133 mph
Bogey Golfer – 131 mph
"Jumps" in golf improvement directly correlate with increased ball speed. Equipment, clubhead speed, swing efficiency, and contact influence the rate. Part of the reason better golfers have higher speeds is that they make better contact with the ball in the first place. However, we focus on improving swing efficiency and clubhead speed at our office, leaving contact training to your golf instructor.
Our training facility uses a Swing Speed Radar to test an individual's top-end clubhead speed. The device is a great tool to monitor a golfer's progress throughout a training program and objectively measure swing speed changes. We additionally rely on the radar to help strengthen power throughout the swing.
But swing speed is only part of the clubhead speed puzzle. An even better way is to evaluate how efficient one's swing is and to determine where the fastest clubhead speed occurs during the swing. Utilizing a K-Vest motion sensor tracking device, we can determine how fast your pelvis, mid-spine, arm, and hand are moving, how in sync they are, and if the highest velocity occurs at impact. Below is an example of a screen performed on a golfer. If you look at the brown line indicating the hands, you'll notice they continue to pick up speed even after the impact line. This prolongation leads to lower ball speed since the maximum clubhead speed occurs AFTER contacting the golf ball.
Each golfer is different and requires tailored approaches to improve their game. However, if you don't have a system in place to assess how you swing, you're just guessing on the right way to fix it. If you would like to have your swing analyzed or deal with pain when golfing, give our office a call at 636-938-9310. Please tune in to our next article, where we will teach you how to increase clubhead speed with performance training.
About the Author:
Comprehensive Chiropractic & Sports Performance is your Complete Wellness Center. St. Louis turns to us for chronic pain relief, injury rehabilitation, and treatment for many other conditions. We believe that our health is our greatest asset. Any effort we make towards taking care of ourselves is valuable and necessary.