From the Forward Tees to the Tips
For the entirety of my golfing career, my club head speed has been average. On my best days I could break 100 MPH, but most days I was in the upper 90’s. Adequate, but far from great.
Lately, however, my club head speed has increased to as much as 113 MPH. Regular readers have noticed and asked, “How did you do that?” In this lesson, I’ll explain the steps I took to add serious distance to my drives.
Please note: I am NOT a personal trainer, biomechanics experts, or anything of that sort. This is an account of what worked for me, nothing more. Please consult our resident expert, Tyler Parsons, if you want a personalized plan for more club head speed.
Step 1: Lose Weight
Over the course of 2 years, I lost 45 pounds. There were plenty of good reasons to lose weight – better health, looking better – and you can add “swinging faster” to the list.
Look at some the biggest hitters on the PGA Tour: Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day. There are not a lot of extra pounds there. Swinging fast is about turning fast. The less of you there is to turn, the faster you can turn.
It’s also worth mentioning that weighing less means less stress on your joints. That means more longevity and less pain.
Step 2: Fix Your Body’s Deficiencies
Everyone’s body has limitations. Whether it’s a frozen T-spine from sitting in a chair all day or immobile shoulder from too much bench pressing, there’s something in your body that’s limiting your ability to swing a golf club.
This is where a professional like Tyler Parsons is invaluable. I sent Tyler a video of me doing a series of prescribed movements. He evaluated my mobility and created a list of exercises to fix my problems.
Keep in mind that fixing these problems takes a long time. They were created over years, and they won’t be fixed in a week. With relentless effort, however, I’ve made improvements on all my problem areas.
Step 3: Lift Smarter
I’ve been lifting weights regularly for almost twenty years. I’ve been lifting intelligently for less than two.
I started lifting in high school, and I eschewed anything that wasn’t related to bench press or biceps. Over time, my routines got better, but they still weren’t great because they ignored the big compound lifts: squats and dead lifts. In the last couple years, I’ve learned to love these lifts, and the results have been great. Not only has my club head speed improved, all my other lifts have gotten better, I look better, and I’m more resistant to injuries.
“Golf specific” exercises are fine, but they’re not the basis of good strength training. Create a strong foundation, then add accessory lifts.
Finally, a preemptive response to those that want to say, “I can’t squat or dead lift”: yes, you can. You may need to fix some mobility issues first, you may have to start very light, but you can and should be doing these lifts if you’re serious about strength training.
Step 4: Specificity
Perhaps the most important part of any club head speed enhancement plan is swinging fast. This seems simple, but it’s often overlooked: if you want to swing faster, spend more time swinging fast.
I saw huge, immediate gains when I started working with my Super Speed training clubs again. The reason that my gains were so substantial was that I had laid a great foundation before I started using Super Speed again.
My theory is that a regular routine of swinging fast will help you realize all the club head speed your body has in it. By losing weight, fixing mobility problems, and lifting smarter, I had repository of unrealized speed. My lighter, stronger, more mobile body was primed to swing faster than it ever had, I just had to tell it to do so. When I started using Super Speed regularly, my club head speed went up 8 MPH in two weeks. Since then, continued use has added another 2 MPH.
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If you want to see immediate gains in club head speed, check out Super Speed training clubs or any other club designed to add club head speed. Use it regularly, and you’re likely to see some gains.
If you want significant, long-lasting gains, examine your body composition, mobility, and strength in addition to swinging fast. I hope you’re all able to boost your club head speed like I did, because it’s a lot more fun being long.
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Great article! I’ve gained about 8 mph of club head speed in the last year by losing 20 pounds and focusing on a good fitness routine that includes lots of leg, core, upper body, and flexibility training. I’m intrigued to see if I can make further improvements with these Super Speed training clubs. I’ll have to check that out.
Very informative article.
I was hoping for a very easy solution to add speed but I will stop dreaming.
I know, I must loose weight and train properly.
Your results are a very good motivation.
Now, I know that your increase in swing speed is not a miracle or secret but is mainly due to lot of your efforts.
How long of a process was this? I always looked forward to your reviews as I noticed our chs was similar however I also picked up on a gradual increase over the summer as you posted more reviews. Maybe I can follow suit. I’m definitely going to look into this super speed device. Thanks for the post
The weight loss was over two years. After all the groundwork was laid, the speed gains came along in a couple months.
Of course it would be nice to hit my drives longer, but hitting the fairway more often is my dream. Can you please comment on how your fairway hit ratio was affected by the use of the super speed system?
My FW stats via Arccos have been unaffected. Subjectively, I feel like I’m driving it better and more predictably.
How often did you use the super speed training clubs the first 2 weeks? Thanks
My recollection is that I was using it every other day.
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I came across this review and was wondering if you had any kind of comparison between the super speed system and the orange whip? Do they aim to do the same thing?
No, the Orange Whip is not similar to Super Speed. Mike from Super Speed gives an excellent explanation of what makes Super Speed unique here: https://pluggedingolf.com/podcast-episode-63-super-speed-golf/
I’m 58 years old, and this past November I had a less than stellar report at my annual physical and my doctor recommended that I lose weight (I weighed around 240 pounds at 6’0″). Now it’s 6 months later and my weight is down to 215, but my ball speed has dropped by 18 mph and my swing speed is down 13 mph. My swing has not changed noticeably, but I feel I’ve lost all my strength along with the weight. Is this a common side-effect of weight loss in us older folks?
In short, no, it’s not too uncommon.
Forgive me if I misunderstood your response, but I take it you mean it’s a common problem for older golfers. I’ve never really trained for golf, but it sounds like I need to start.
Thanks for your reply!
I was more referring to your weight loss, but it’s true of getting older too. If you want that speed back, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how effective Super Speed is.
Your choice of movement specialist was interesting. Did you visit Tyler personally or was it all done remotely? How did you find Tyler in the first place?
All my work with Tyler has been remote. I honestly can’t remember how I first met Tyler – it’s been quite a while.
can you comment more on your weight lifting program? I’m 55 and have only been lift for the past 5 years based on the Starting Strength programming. I’m finding that bench press and over head press is causing undue stress on my shoulders which affects my swing path. After ready your brief article, I’m considering switching to only DL and squats during golf season. On a different note I’m looking towards swing tempo over strength to help with distance. Using the 3:1 tempo concept, I’m finding myself swing closer to 110 mph using a slower swing speed but a consistent tempo. Anyhow. I’d be interested in learning your lifting program.
My program has varied quite a bit over the years. Currently I’m using a modified Wendler program – their Wendler Log app is quite good. The main modification is that I make sure to leave at least a couple reps in the tank on the AMRAP sets, especially during golf season.
Just curious: Do you do conventional, SLDL, or Sumo when you deadlift? Do you Bench and OHP a lot? Is stretching pre and post lift something you factor into your workouts? Do you incorporate bands into your regimen? What are your numbers, as far as 1RM goes with bench, deads, and squat? Do you emphasize on strength or conditioning with your Wendler Program (apologies, I am not familiar with it).
Awesome article BTW.
I do conventional deadlifts. I bench press a fair amount, but overhead press with pretty limited weight as it tends to bother my shoulders. I don’t stretch before lifting – my understanding of the current research is that it’s mildly detrimental to strength in the short term – but I do put a lot of time into warming up. I do not use bands. I haven’t lifted heavy since late winter, so I would only be guessing about 1RM at this point.