I’ve yet to find a golfer who does not want to hit it further. Often, though, they try to do so using the incorrect strategy. Choosing to swing as hard as possible, without knowing what you are trying to do, and likely compromising solid contact in the process, is a recipe for disaster.
To be effective we need to create speed in an efficient manner, one that does not compromise our ability to hit the golf ball in the centre of the club face when it is aligned to our intended start line.
So where do coaches constantly see power “leaks” in the swings of average golfers? Primarily it occurs in the way they use their body in both the backswing and downswing, specifically the order of movement.
While even the best players can look dramatically different in their swing styles and aesthetics, the best also exhibit an efficient “kinematic sequence.” That is a formal term for the movement of body parts, in this case one that is trying to create as much energy as possible to propel the golf club quickly through a swing.
The Order of Things
Efficient swings, on the downswing, will see the pelvis (lower body) move first, then this energy transferred into the torso, followed by the arms, then, finally, the golf club. Each segment builds on the speed of the previous.
The chain will see the each piece move, then slow down as the following body segments takes over and accelerates past in a “cracking the whip” type effect.
Factors like improperly fitting equipment, poor technique, misunderstood concepts, or physical limitations can all impact your ability to have an efficient sequence.
These are issues you can work on with your instructor/coach.
There are visual indicators in your golf swing that can reveal your sequence but there is no more accurate way to do so than with the use of 3D measurements (G.E.A.R.S, 4D Motion Sports, K-Vest, etc.) which have become more widely available in recent years.
So, if you are looking for more clubhead speed, don’t just swing harder, swing more efficiently. Work with your coach to unlock your sequence, and unleash your full speed potential.
Scott MacLeod is a Class A member of the PGA of Canada and the Associate Publisher/Editor of Flagstick.com/Flagstick Golf Magazine.