Golf is a game of many skills and SPEED is without question one of the main skills needed. In fact one of the biggest problems I see in many golfers is their inability to produce enough clubhead speed in their golf swing to be able to hit the golf ball a reasonable distance. It can be argued that the modern game of golf is all about power and distance. The further you are able to hit the ball, the easier the game is without question.
The greatest players of the last two generations Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods had both these ingredients in their game. They had the ability to produce great clubhead speed and hit the ball a long way. Some people said they were “overpowering” golf courses. In fact many clubs recently have been spending huge funds redeveloping their courses to add extra yardage to make them more modern. So its crucial for an up and coming top class player to be able to produce high clubhead speed and power to be able to play these courses to the best of their ability.
To achieve maximum clubhead speed the golfer requires exceptional linear and agility movements. In addition to these requirements there will be several factors within the swing such as resistance to provide the coil at the top of the swing and then the uncoiling of the body on the downswing. The lower body initiates this first with the upper body following. In fact the faster you can separate the lower body from the upper body on the downswing it can create more clubhead speed. This phenomenon is called “the x factor” by our friends in the TPI(Titleist Performance Institute). The more clubhead speed you can produce, the further the golf ball will travel. As a golf coach this is one of the main attributes I am trying to develop into my players. It does come naturally to some players. Many are blessed with great flexibility and strength. But some are not.
A golfer needs a considerable amount of strength to be able to swing a weighted object at high speed. It is a dynamic action as maximum force expression occurs when the player is resisting as the muscle lengthens at the top of the backswing. Then very high levels of speed are produced on the downswing to produce the distance needed. The golfer has to be strong enough to be able to withstand the impact of the strike of the ball. This especially comes into play when a player is playing from deep rough. Before I started resistance training I used to struggle out of deep rough on links courses. It used to be hard to move the ball ten yards sometimes. But I noticed within a few months of resistance training that my improved strength was allowing me to handle shots from the rough a lot better. I have continued weight training to this day due to the benefits of extra strength on the golf course.