Clubhead Speed: The Holy Grail of Driving Distance

January 25, 2018

Sports & Recreations

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Most golfers want to hit the ball farther. Although club companies entice us to buy a new titanium driver every year, claiming that you will hit further, the public’s average drive still remains around 200 yards.

A recent study showed that in most cases, longer drives and second shots will lower the average golfer’s score by up to several strokes. Let’s take a look at levels of clubhead speeds.

The average golfer swing in the neighborhood of 80 miles per hour. This player’s average drive will travel around 200 yards, while a perfect drive will travel 224. The average player on the PGA Tour swings around 111 mph and drives an average of around 284 yards. A pro’s perfect drive will wind up around 310 yards from the tee, when everything syncs up.

Theoretically, the average golfer should gain about 2.5 yards for every mile per hour of increase in swing speed. Better golfers routinely hit the ball exactly in the middle of the clubface and generally have optimally fitting equipment, will gain 2.6 or even 2.7 yards per mph increase. A perfectly struck golf ball with optimum launch angle, backspin, and angle of attack will travel 2.8 yards for every mile per hour of clubhead speed.

Overall the speed of the clubhead is the biggest factor is hitting longer drives.

The first milestone you should shoot for is 90 mph clubhead speed. At this speed you will be able to reach all the holes on any regulation golf course (from the appropriate tees for your skill) in the allotted amount of strokes. For example, an average drive of 225 yards followed by a 200 yard fairway wood would reach 425 yards. There are very few par fours on regulation golf courses that play longer than this distance from the middle tees, even with headwind. Therefore, you will be able to drop up to 7 strokes per round when you reach level of clubhead speed.

The 100 mile per hour level is another significant dip in average score. This is because your best drive and your best fairway wood shot will reach some par fives in 2 shots. You will also have a shorter club into par fours, allowing you to control the ball better with more backspin.

There are many people on the web that advocate their programs for increasing your clubhead speed. However, too many of these instructors fail to do enough real research on whether their program will really work. You should find a teacher who has a good track record for increasing his students’ clubhead speed. Talk to some of them and find out how much distance they have gained, as well as how much clubhead speed. If the program is online, make sure that the creator has a background in applicable sciences. In other words, do your own homework before you buy.