Clubhead Speed: The Key To Longer Drives

By | July 12, 2014

Submitted by: Steve Pratt

Most golfers want more distance. Although several generations of super-hot titanium drivers have come on the market in the last ten years, the public s average drive still remains around 200 yards. Even all the golf videos and training aids on the market have collectively done little to increase this average drive.

Therefore, in most cases, it has been documented scientifically that an average golfer who can hit longer shots will shoot lower scores. Let s take a look at some milestone clubhead speeds:

Clubhead speed: Golfer Skill:

Average Drive: Optimal Drive:

80 mph

Average Golfe

200 yards 224 yards

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90 mph

12 Handicap Golfer 225 yards 256 yards

100 mph

Low Handicap Golfer 250 yards 280 yards

111 mph

PGA Tour Average 284 yards 310 yards

126 mph

Bubba Watson

320 yards 350 yards

135 mph

Average Long Driver 351 yards 378 yards

150+ mph

Champion Long Driver 390 yards 420 yards

As you can see from the chart, the average golfer can expect to gain about 2.5 yards for every mile per hour of increase in clubhead speed. Better golfers, who regularly strike the ball precisely on the sweet spot and are generally have better fitting equipment, will gain 2.6 or even 2.7 yards per mph increase. A perfectly struck golf ball with optimum launch angle, backspin, and angle of attack will travel 2.8 yards for every mile per hour of swing speed.

Overall the speed of the clubhead has the most correlation to creating longer drives.

The first milestone you should shoot for is 90 mph clubhead speed. At this speed you will be able to reach almost every hole on any golf course (from the appropriate tees for your skill) in regulation. For example, an average drive of 225 yards backed up by a 200 yard fairway wood would reach 425 yards. There are very few par 4 s on regulation golf courses that stretch over this distance from the middle tees, even with a bit of headwind. Therefore, you will be able to cut several strokes per round when you reach this hallmark for clubhead speed. Hitting 90 miles per hour isn’t that formidable of a task, and will give you much more enjoyment from your golf game.

The 100 mile per hour milestone is another significant dip in average score. This is because your best drive and your best fairway wood shot will reach some par 5 s in 2 shots. You will also have a short iron into more par 4 s, and this doesn t hurt either. When you reach the 100 mile per hour plateau it is very likely that your handicap will be in the single digits. From this point you will likely want to focus more on precision and accuracy to compliment your new found distance. It is possible to shoot scores around and even under par on many courses when you can swing at this speed.

There are many programs and websites that purport to increase your swing speed. However, most are hype and will prove a waste of time and money. Be careful of heavy weighted clubs and elastic bands, as they may not be effective, and can increase your risk of injury. The golf swing is a very specific coordinated event, therefore the training involved in increasing the speed needs to be very specific. Look for a teacher with a scientific background who uses the latest technology like Trackman, and can show evidence of effectiveness with his or her own students.

About the Author: Author Steve Pratt is a Kinesiologist and coaches some of the world s longest hitters and is an expert on increasing club head speed. He teaches the Mike Austin swing method from his website,



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