If you read our earlier blog with basics, clubhead speed is where the main focus was for more distance on the golf course. In this blog, we tell more on particular keys to training for speed in the golf swing and its methods. We deal with tempo as an important aspect of hitting the ball further also.
Before we get into the details of keys to training for speed in the golf swing, there are a few things, that you have to realize. First of all, we assume that you are injury-free. In addition, you are able to train two to four times per week for 30 minutes per session. Also, you have the time, space, and physical capability to do the training. And you also have the drive to hit the ball a minimum of twenty meters farther. In fact, you have got to want it, which is usually not the problem. Clubhead speed and distance comes with the need to work-out (sorry!).
The speed training must adhere to ‘laws of the body’ equivalent to many other training regimes in sports. We will detail two of the “body laws”.
The first body law is SAID, which is short for Specific Adaptation to Increased Demand. It makes sure that your body adapts to generate higher output when challenged to produce higher speeds with the driver or any other club for that matter. Therefore if you apply this to golf, you need specific speed-exercises. Also, when you start o improve, you need to increase the loading.
The second body law is the Stability & /Mobility Continuum. It would go beyond the scope to deal with this extensively. Let us say that your body needs a proper balance between stability on the one hand and mobility on the other. Your body might get harmed otherwise. For example, your lower back is not as flexible as your upper (thoracic) spine. Hence, it is important to do proper core training for golf and create a balanced sustainable situation.
Train your core muscles properly. Here are some great exercises for your golf game in our App.
Minimum Effective Dose
I got this one from Tim Ferriss also. It is the concept of Minimum Effective Dose. The smallest possible dose that will produce an outcome is all you need to do. Anything else beyond that is a waste of energy. In the case of speed training for golf, which would not be based on MED, it may lead to overtraining or injury. So when you work hours on hitting balls at the range you may initially gain meters, but you may consequently end up destroying your body.
Or you create stamina on the range, and go into ‘marathon mode’. We are trying to become sprinters on the golf course, not marathon runners.
Train with Resistance
Now, “Specific Adaptation to Increased Demand”, or in short SAID, is a proven principle. In other words, the body adapts to more work when you ask the body to do it. Lift a five-kilogramme weight with a bicep curl exercise, do it consistently, and your body will adapt. Then start to curl with a ten-kilogramme weight. You will be sore at first, but you start to adapt after a few workouts. You will not be sore anymore.
Keep in mind that the Adaptation is Specific. A 10 kg curl will not improve your golf’s clubhead speed. It will give you a larger adapted bicep. In other words, the resistance is not applied properly to the golf swing, like in most you like in many other training aids. For example, swinging a heavy club actually starts to pull on you on the downswing, and you actually put on the brakes instead of the muscles that take care of acceleration. The training aid in fact works against you.
Another prime example is hitting golf balls on the driving range. Hitting golf balls hours on end, or swinging heavy golf clubs simply does not fit this rule of the body. It may give you endurance, but not higher output. In fact, it thickens the myelin in your muscles for your present speed. Sorry folks, this has been researched as well, and not a key to training for speed in the golf swing. Also, practice swings are a waste for speed training, so get rid of them as well. Practice swings offer NO resistance and hitting balls offer limited resistance.
The Role of Tempo in Speed Training
With our newly acquired higher speed, we have to bring it to the golf course and let the golf club do the talking. Apply tour tempo to your swing. Can we increase speed even further? Yes, you can by increasing the tempo of your swing. Do not worry about hitting the ball yes or no out the middle of the clubface for the time being.
If you would like to increase distance, and you have a slow swing, what happens? Given comparable contact, would swing at a tour tempo of 24/8 or 21/7 increase distance? Intuitively, it seems like it would. Now 6 times out of 10 if you go from 27/9 to 24/8, you will increase speed. Nine times out of 10 if you go from 27/9 to 21/7, you will increase speed, and thus distance. Should you be unfamiliar with the Tour Tempo Lingo of 27/9 and alike, then visit this information page on our website.
To get that distance, you need a solid impact, however, speed is always the first goal. The key here is that you have to match that downswing number. If you go with a 21/9 tempo, you might not get the necessary speed.
Luckily for you, 27/9 (and slower) swingers get the most, easiest, fastest bump in speed by going faster. If you are already 24/8 or 21/7, you do not necessarily get more speed by swinging at a faster tempo. So, 27/9 seems to be a threshold mark. Also interesting is that going to 18/6 does not necessarily help anyone as it is so fast that most of us cannot get all the muscles fired in time to develop that speed.
Then use a Launch Monitor, and if you do see a bump in CHS, you find the confidence that you manage the speed part. You now need to get comfortable with that tempo and new speed and you will start hitting the ball out of the centre of the clubface.