In light of Tiger Wood’s most recent comeback victory in the 2019 Masters Tournament– his fifth green jacket and first since 2005– many golf analysts and statisticians have been analyzing his numbers to see what strategies brought him championship success (especially after four back surgeries and years of undulating performance). Most often, statistics reveal that higher percentage rates of hitting greens in regulation results in a better position on the leader board . Hitting greens in regulation involves making centered contact with the ball, along with precise aim and distance (typically dependent upon the club and shot shape you choose). However, we have long been discussing a key component to success: speed.
PGA superstars might make fast swings look effortless, but high speed shots with controlled distances are actually quite difficult to achieve–unless you have the proper training and practice. Have you ever tried to measure your own club head speed? This is a good place to start to see where you measure up, and then you can plan your fitness routines and golf drills accordingly. The average club head speed with a driver on today’s PGA Tour is around 110-113 mph, with the longer hitters having driver speeds from 120-130 mph. Keep in mind that the club head speed is not necessarily reflected in the ball speed, as this is incumbent on the mechanics of the contact as well. If you can swing faster than Tiger Woods but can’t make proper contact with the ball, your speed may not be an asset to your performance. With high speeds and precise accuracy, the average ball speed with a driver on the PGA Tour is usually around 165-170 mph, with the longer hitters closer to 180 mph.
You might be beginning to wonder how you can achieve additional speed with your own swing. At the most basic level, speed comes from strength, stability and agility. The strength required for a swift swing is also not entirely concentrated in your arms; speed comes from flexible engagement of the entire body, which is why we will be focusing on speed exercises that engage the legs, arm, core and chest. Putting power behind your swing requires concentration and cooperation from all parts of your body. Be patient, focus on your form, and try these drills during your next work-out.
Bosuball Lateral Hop
- Place the Bosuball against a wall or cement column.
- Hop to middle of ball with left leg then push off landing on right leg.
- Perform 15 to 20 reps then switch legs.
- Great stability and coordination builder.
- Start in a semi-squat position with both hands grasping the ball.
- Hop back into a push up position then perform one push up.
- Hop forward into the squat position again.
- Thrust forward with the hips and lift ball to chest.
- Press up with both arms until the ball is overhead as shown.
- Perform 12 to 15 reps.
If you have the means to keep track of your speed over time, record your club head speeds at the start of each week. Are your speed exercises helping? The numbers will surely speak for themselves!
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