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Most golfers want to know how they can add distance to their game, and they should. If you go further, you have a better opportunity to post lower scores. How can you do it? In my opinion, a laser-sharp focus on increasing your golf ball speed is the way to get it done.
In this article I will investigate why ball speed is so important when it comes to distance, and I will give reasonable steps that you can take to improve your ball speed.
What is the speed of the golf ball and why is it so important?
The simple definition of ball speed is how fast the golf ball travels when it comes off the face of your club. If you're a fan of professional golf, you've probably seen golf ball speeds appear on TV. Some of the longest hitters on tour are somewhere in the ball speed range of 170 mph – 190 mph (which requires a minimum swing speed of around 115 mph). As you can see in this DECADE Golf infographic, it is also directly related to earning money as a professional golfer:
What are typical golf ball speed numbers for recreational players? Trackman reported the following averages for male golfers with their drivers:
Scratch or Better – 161 mph
5 HCP – 147 mph
10 HCP – 138 mph
Average golfer (14.5) – 133 mph
Bogey Golfer – 131 mph
When golfers talk about increasing their distance (especially with their driver), they usually focus on the speed of the club head. In my opinion, focusing on ball speed is more important . Although your swing speed is very critical, the golf ball speed is a better measurement of how efficiently you have transferred the energy from your swing to the ball.
For example, if you had a golfer with a handlebar swing speed of 100 mph, but with very efficient impact conditions, they could hit the ball farther than someone who swinged inefficiently at 110 mph.
Long story short, when it comes to distance, golf ball speed is the king . A 1 mph increase in ball speed can lead to an approximately 2 meter increase in distance with your driver. Often that profit can come without adding any speed to your golf swing.
How does the impact speed change the ball speed?
Modern golf clubs have done an excellent job in giving forgiveness to strikes outside the middle. No matter how good the technology is, there is still a fine for missing the sweet spot (center of gravity). I will show you some examples from my own clubs to illustrate how the stroke location can change your ball speed (and a few other important parameters for distance).
Since the distance of the driver is what everyone is most interested in, let's start there. With my SkyTrak starter monitor, I shot a number of shots and kept track of where I bumped with foot odor spray.
I pay particular attention to ball speed and how it relates to distance, but pay attention to spin speeds and launch angle, two other data points that largely determine how far your ball will travel.
Here's a perfectly hit driver's shot:
This shot had a ball speed of 153 km / h and carried 260 meters over a total distance of 286 meters.
Looking at the launch angle and spinning speed, that is about as efficient as I can control it. According to the Shot Optimizer from SkyTrak it is within every optimal range:
If you hit it right, the golf club can do what it was designed for. You get a maximum ball speed and other ball flight parameters will also benefit (launch angle, spin speed, etc.). The end result, a golf shot that you can be proud of.
Now let's see what happens if I miss something:
If you hit it high on the face towards the heel, this results in a ball speed of only 142 mph (a fall of 11 mph) and a total distance of 255 meters (a fall of 31 meters).
If you look at the shot optimizer, you can see that my turn has dropped a bit, but the biggest culprit for the distance decline is the lack of height. If you are a player with a low spin like me, you need ball speed to keep the ball in the air . If I lose 11 mph speed from the driver's face, the ball struggles to climb in the air as much (see it as a rocket without fuel) and the total distance is considerably affected.
When I stand with my driver on the bottom of the face, things look even worse. I have lost no less than 50 meters because the ball launches so low with very little ball speed.
Now let's look at my 7-iron …
This shot was hit a little higher on the face, on what I would call the "hot spot" of my 7-iron. It launched a little higher with less spin and a lot of ball speed. It registered at 122mph and transported 185 yards, which is about 10 yards longer than I usually hit this club.
Usually, when I miss my irons, it will be on the heel like this shot:
My ball speed dropped to 115 mph (7 mph less) and transported 167 yards (18 yards less).
Although there are endless variables based on the strike location and the type of golf clubs you use, strikes outside the middle result in a lower ball speed and a lack of distance. Although that shouldn't be a surprise to you, many golfers don't know how much they are losing because they probably don't know their impact tendencies and have not experimented with a starting monitor (yes, I am pretty golf geek with my lab at home).
If you like information, check out this great Ping Golf card. If it does not turn your head, you can see how ball speed can correlate with other factors to create optimum driving distances:
How you can increase your golf ball speed
There are two ways that I think most of you can increase your ball speed (and distance):
Improve your impact trends
Train your body to move faster
I think all golfers should work on their impact tendencies when they practice, and I've talked about this before. It is not difficult to add this kind of focus to your existing practice routine. In my opinion, this is the way of least resistance when it comes to adding ball speed.
The second option requires more effort outside of hitting balls. If all things are equal, you will see a jump in ball speed if you increase your club head speed during training. However, I warn you to do it the right way. Just trying to swing harder will probably result in a malfunction in your technique, causing your impact location to suffer and your ball speed to fall.
Effect location training
Fortunately, working on your strike location is not that complicated. Buy a can of foot odor spray
and start recording your inclinations.
There are two main reasons that I like to practice with the intention of the impact location:
It gives your practice session more meaning and structure.
When you focus on impact, your swing can organize a fix yourself without having to think about all the moving parts that were needed to get there.
Although I never tell all golfers that everyone can solve it, many players are surprised at how much progress they can make once they discover their impact tendencies and consciously try to hit different parts of the face.
If you notice a tendency towards one side of the face, I would like to use an approach to & # 39; fight fire with fire & # 39; For example, when I'm struggling with heel attacks, I'm just trying to overdo a miss on the outside of the toe. Sometimes I even stand with that ball on that side of the face. Interestingly enough, when I try to hit the toe, it shifts my impact from the heel to the center of the face.
I try to move my impact more from the heel to the toe
You can also experiment with small changes in your setup to see how it changes your attack location – such as standing closer or farther away from the ball.
Another experiment that I enjoy doing is changing the tee height. Start by adjusting your tee at low, medium and high positions and see how it changes your impact location on the face of the driver (or other clubs that you use outside the tee). Your goal is to try to reduce the stroke to the bottom of the face, and bring them more to the center, or just above.
Adjusting your tee height can change where you hit it vertically on the face
The use of physical barriers such as tees can help improve your impact location. A good exercise is to set two T-pieces slightly wider than the width of your club – try to clear the gates with your practice swings and then try to hit a ball. Or you can also experiment with a tee on one side of the ball, depending on where your mistakes are.
Finally, you can challenge yourself to deliberately hit different parts of the face. Try deliberately to hit the heel, center and toe of the bat separately. If you are looking for real bonus points, try Andrew Rice's exercise, dividing the driver's face into four quadrants and trying to hit each one separately.
Training your body to move faster
If you like physical fitness, there are a number of ways to increase the speed of your club head without sacrificing your technique, which in turn will help you get more golf ball speed.
I believe that the most infallible method is to train several times a week, focusing on strength, mobility and strength. There are numerous wave-specific programs that can help. A recommendation would be to find a TPI-certified trainer. This article, written by Mike Carroll of Fit For Golf, is also about his top nine golf exercises.
In addition, Overspeed training has become a common method to increase the speed of club heads. This can be done alone or in combination with a training routine.
If you want to take golf shots that go as far as possible, increasing your ball speed is the most critical measurement to keep in mind. See it as a measure of efficiency. My most important recommendation is to work on improving your impact location, which is an easy (and useful) addition to your practice sessions. Moreover, increasing your swing speed through physical training is another way to get it done. Combine the two and you will quickly blow your discs through your friends!
To measure your ball speed during training, you need a start monitor. For recreational golfers, I believe that SkyTrak is one of the most effective solutions because it directly measures ball speed. You can read more about this in my review, and here are some other articles I used:
How I practice with SkyTrak
How do adjustable drivers & # 39; s affect a ball flight?
Iron vs. Driver Off the Tee
Driver's dispersion: choosing optimal targets for the T-piece
You do not have as much control over the ball as you think
How does the position of the golf ball influence the ball flight?
How does dirt and water influence spin speed?