One of the most asked questions in golf is how to hit the ball farther. To do that, you will need to know how you can swing faster.
Here are 10 tips on how to increase swing speed:
- Focus on your grip pressure
- Get wide with your hand path
- Think rotation in your backswing
- Stay centered
- Rotate completely on downswing and thru impact
- Steeper hand path on the downswing
- Increase your strength
- Increase your flexibility
- Buy the right shaft
- Get the right shaft length
You’ll want to understand the details about each of these tips so you can put it into practice. If you make a mistake, you could slow down your swing speed.
But by the end, you will have the knowledge needed to start putting in the work necessary to increase your swing speed.
Understanding the Importance of Swing Speed
Swing speed equates to ball speed. That is how fast the ball moves in miles per hour after it leaves the clubface.
What does all of this mean to golfers? Quite simply, the distance their ball travels in the air.
The faster you can efficiently swing the club, the faster your ball speed will be.
What Is a Fast Swing Speed?
World Long Drive phenom, Kyle Berkshire routinely records swing speeds in the mid 150s (mph) with his driver. For comparison’s sake, let’s look at the following chart.
|Golfer Type||Average Driver Swing Speed|
|Average PGA Tour Pro||114 mph|
|Average Male Golfer||93 mph|
|Average LPGA Tour Pro||94 mph|
|Average Female Golfer||70 mph|
And just so you knew…the World Record swing speed was recorded by Ryan Winther in 2012 at a mind-boggling 167 mph!
So one might ask, how many yards does each mph increase in swing speed equate to? Studies show that for each mph increase in swing speed, you will gain 2.4 yards.
Read more: How To Increase Clubhead Speed
The Factors That Affect Swing Speed
There are several factors that affect the speed at which a golfer can swing the golf club. Let’s take a glance at these factors, and then break them down more in-depth.
- The Force You Apply to the Grip
- Hand Path: The Distance That You Move the Grip
- How Much You Rotate Throughout the Swing
- How Much Torque You Apply Through That Rotation
- Physical Aspects
- Range of motion
- Club shaft
The Physics of Swing Speed in Golf
Dr. Sasho MacKenzie is a biomechanics expert from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada. He is an advisor for golf club radar manufacturer, Rapsodo. In a blog post with Rapsodo, Dr. MacKenzie broke down the science of swing speed using Newton’s Laws.
In that, he came up with four factors that will determine how fast a golfer can get the club moving. They include the following:
The Force You Apply to the Grip
The takeaway here is that your grip pressure needs to be firm enough to control the club, but light enough to limit tension. If you think of grip pressure on a scale of 1 to 10, you should strive to be in the 4 to 6 range. Especially as the club is on its way down from the top of the swing.
This will allow you to increase your potential to swing the club at the maximum speed you are capable of.
Hand Path: The Distance That You Move the Grip
Hand path is how your hands move as they:
- Go back to the top of the swing
- Come down from the top of your swing
- Move on through impact in your swing
- Release post-impact and up to your finish
In terms of speed within the swing, you are looking to have as wide of a hand path as possible going back. That should be followed by a slightly narrower hand path as you come down from the top of your swing. You should also attempt to maintain your wrist angle as long as possible as you move into the ball (lag).
The longer the hand path the more speed you will create.
How Much You Rotate Throughout the Swing
Rotational force will give power and speed to your golf swing. From the ground through your feet, and all the way up through your legs, hips, core and shoulders. That twisting force that comes from the ground and up results in increased swing speed.
How Much Torque You Apply Through That Rotation
The following video from the USGA’s Science of Golf series is an awesome explanation of this bullet point.
Read more: How To Drive A Golf Ball
How The Physical Aspects Affect Your Swing Speed
There are two aspects to consider from the standpoint of your body and creating speed in the swing. Your ability to move freely and create force, are the physical keys in creating a fast and effective golf swing.
How Strength Affects Your Swing Speed
Strength is an important factor in creating a powerful and fast swing. It’s not the most important, but it is indeed important. The more important physical factor in creating speed is having an adequate range of motion.
Strength can help you in terms of being able to apply force, which is a factor to being able to create speed in a golf swing.
How Range of Motion Affects Your Swing Speed
Range of motion or flexibility is incredibly important in being able to create speed in a golf swing. As mentioned previously, the rotational force will give power and speed to your golf swing. Your range of motion is what will allow you to get depth in your backswing and allow you to rotate properly throughout the swing.
The following video lays out some great exercises that will help you increase your swing speed.
How Equipment Affects Your Swing Speed
In terms of equipment, one of the first places you should look in helping increase your swing speed is the shaft. Having a shaft in your clubs that matches up best with your current swing speed, will help maximize what you get out of your clubs.
Using the right shaft can boost your driver swing speed by 1 to 1.5 miles per hour. That increase can equate to two to four more yards on a well-struck tee shot.
The right shaft for your swing speed can be found in the flex. The following chart shows the correct shaft flex based on your current swing speed.
|Swing Speed (MPH)|
|Shaft Flex: X Stiff||Very Fast|
|3 Iron||+97 mph|
|6 Iron||+92 mph|
|Shaft Flex: Stiff||Fast|
|Driver||97 – 104 mph|
|3 Iron||90 – 96 mph|
|6 Iron||84 – 91 mph|
|Shaft Flex: Regular||Average|
|Driver||84 – 96 mph|
|3 Iron||80 – 90 mph|
|6 Iron||75 – 83 mph|
|Shaft Flex: Senior||Slow|
|Driver||72 – 83 mph|
|3 Iron||68 – 78 mph|
|6 Iron||65 – 75 mph|
|Shaft Flex: Senior||Ladies|
|3 Iron||<68 mph|
|6 Iron||<65 mph|
In addition to shaft flex, the length of the shaft can also aid in helping increase your swing speed. Research shows that an additional 1” shaft length generates approximately 10 yards more in distance. The caution with increased length however is the potential for lost control.
Read more: How To Swing A Golf Club
10 Tips on How To Increase Swing Speed
Now that you have a detailed look at what is necessary to increase swing speed, the following are some quick tips to help you achieve it in your game.
1. Focus on your Grip Pressure
On a scale of 1 to 10, you want to maintain a consistent grip pressure of somewhere between 4 and 6, throughout the swing.
2. Get Wide with your Hand Path
As you take the club back, you want to get your hands as far away from your center as possible. Be careful not to sway, or move your center mass off the ball as you go back.
3. Think Rotation in the Backswing
A powerful golf swing is based on a good rotation of the hips and upper body. Your hips should rotate back as close to 45 degrees as possible. Your upper body, as close to 90 degrees as possible.
4. Stay Centered
As you rotate back, it is critical to stay as centered as you can with your center mass. That is your core and sternum.
5. Rotate Completely on Downswing and Through Impact
As you come down from the top, it is critical to rotate your hips first, before the upper body, and let them lead the way. They need to clear, and rotate completely so that the hands can have room to move fast through impact and release.
6. Steeper Hand Path on the Downswing
As your hand path is wide going back, you want it to narrow on the way down. You also want to maintain your wrist angle on the way down as long as possible. This is widely known as “lag.”
7. Focus on Fitness: Strength
No need to get big and bulky like Bryson did, but you do need to have some good core strength. Being physically fit is important in any sport.
8. Focus on Fitness: Flexibility
This is really the secret sauce from the standpoint of your fitness as it relates to finding more speed in your swing. The body needs to be flexible in order to rotate effectively throughout the swing.
9. Your Equipment: Shaft Flex
Having the correct shaft flex in your clubs, based on your current swing speed range will help in maximizing your output. In addition, the weight of the shaft is important as well. Lighter shafts will help you swing faster. These are both big things, so don’t overlook them.
10. Your Equipment: Shaft Length
There is some give and take with this. A longer shaft can indeed help increase your swing speed. However, it may get more difficult to control the face at impact the longer you go.
Using Training Aids to Improve Your Swing Speed
There are several great training aids on the market to help you increase your swing speed. Using these aids can help you increase your swing speed as much as 10 mph or more. That can equate to 24 or more yards off your driver!
Superspeed Golf Training System
The Superspeed Golf Training System It is widely considered one of the better training systems for increasing your swing speed. I’ve seen some students claim they saw marked increases in their swing speed. This product is well worth the look.
Have a look at our detailed review of Superspeed Golf Training System.
Orange Whip Trainer
The Orange Whip Trainer is another well thought of training aid for gaining speed. I personally have used the Orange Whip in the past and saw an increase of 3 miles per hour in my driver speed.
My biggest suggestion with any training device or training regime is to keep using it. You can just as easily lose the gains you made if you stop training.
The Aero-Swing is a new player in the marketplace. This is another product that I have used. I recommended it for some of my younger students. I really liked the results that I saw from the Aero-Swing.
Using Technology to Track and Improve Your Swing Speed
In addition to the numerous great training aids on the market that help golfers increase swing speed, there are also great pieces of technology that help as well.
The bulk of the tech available to help you as your train to increase your swing speed are personal launch monitors. These devices help you track your swing speed as well as several other data points that will help you become a better ball striker overall.
Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor
Rapsodo is one of the best budget personal launch monitors on the market. I know a lot of friends and students have talked highly about this piece of technology. Not only can you get great data from it, but it also records a down-the-line video too, with a cool shot trace. Well worth the money!
FlightScope Mevo+ – Portable Personal Launch Monitor
A little pricier, but it also has higher quality than a budget launch monitor. I use the FlightScope Mevo all the time in my teaching to show my students data about their swing.
My only complaint lies in the short battery life. But this can easily be taken care of with the use of an external battery backup.
Distance and speed have been hot topics in the game for quite a while. Most golfers are looking to find more of both of these.
The keys on how to increase swing speed include:
- Having an understanding of how speed is created
- Training your body so you can create more speed
- Having the correct equipment in your hands to help optimize your ability to create speed
Make sure to bookmark this article for future reference as you work towards a faster and more powerful swing.
What Muscles Increase Swing Speed?
Your glutes (butt), lats (back), forearms, and core are some of the most important muscles in helping you create more speed in your swing.
As mentioned in the article, strength training is important but not nearly as much as flexibility training. In terms of strength training, however, these muscles would be those to focus on.
How Fast Do You Have To Swing To Hit a Golf Ball 300 Yards?
You need to swing 108 mph to hit a golf ball 300 yards. The receipt for increasing your swing speed, to help you reach this feat, lies in three areas:
- Correct technique
- Good physical conditioning
- The right equipment
PGA Professional Brendon Elliott is the founder of Little Linksters, LLC, and its nonprofit arm, the Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development. He is the winner of 25+ prestigious industry honors, including the 2017 PGA National Youth Player Development award. Brendon is a respected coach, businessman, writer, and golf industry expert.