Saturday Morning Tip: How to increase your swing speed
If you really want to hit the ball farther off the tee, and knock it past your buddies, you need to do three things: (1) Hit the ball flush on the clubface, (2) launch the ball on an optimum angle with minimal spin and (3) increase your clubhead speed. Today's advice will key on the last point, because increasing your clubhead speed is the quickest way to gain more distance. Here are some thoughts on increasing your speed, from three of Golf Digest's most experienced teachers. Let me know how these tips work for you, and follow me on Twitter @rogerschiffman.:
It is a common misconception that you must swing "harder" to increase speed. When the average player swings harder, there is almost always a breakdown in mechanics and a decrease in swing speed. Also, swing a weighted club, holding it steady in two key positions: at the top while making a full shoulder turn and wrist hinge, then halfway down while keeping the toe up and the shaft parallel to the target line. Then rewind and go back to the top. This will give you a sense of balance and stability, especially in your right leg. When you use your normal club, you'll be able to swing it freely with more clubhead speed.
The absence of tension creates clubhead speed. To sense this, try the baseball drill: Without a ball, simply swing a club on a horizontal plane. This encourages you to control the club by swinging your arms and hands in a relaxed manner with the shoulders reacting. This helps you feel the natural rotation of the forearms and club, which generates more clubhead speed.
Widen your stance at address. Then make a relaxed but slightly more aggressive swing. Instead of swaying laterally toward the target on the way down--a real distance killer that hurts your accuracy as well--you'll tend to keep your head to the right as you uncoil your body. The clubhead will continue to gather speed as it passes the center of your body and will be tearing through the air by the time it reaches the ball. You almost can't help but gain yards.