Club head speed has been one of the fastest growing aspects in golf in recent years. Since distance gains are linked to lower scores for golfers of all levels, it is no wonder why this has become such a focal point in golf. Club head speed determines the maximum distance possible on a swing given optimal launch conditions. Increasing your club head speed will increase the highest potential distance on a well struck shot and will lead to lower scores. In this article, I would like to address three key areas of this concept that link your ability to produce force with specific movements. The areas discussed will be vertical force, rotational velocity, and stability.
Vertical Force in relation to the golf swing is the amount of energy transferred downward in the downswing. This movement is closely related to an Olympic lifter performing a clean or snatch movement. The key to both is what is called triple extension. In triple extension the hip, knee, and ankle combine to produce the jumping motion. In a powerful golf swing the golfer’s lead leg drives into the ground producing a tremendous amount of force which can then be moved through the body and into the golf club.
Check out this video discussing the link between vertical jump and swing power:
Rotational Velocity is a little bit more tricky. Our body’s biggest muscles don’t necessarily generate a lot of rotational force. Our hips and core are the main drivers when it comes to creating rotation. In order to create the “lag” necessary for an efficient golf swing there must be separation between the lower body and the upper body. Core strength is the determining factor in how much separation can be created, in turn training core strength in all 3 planes is most important for assisting rotational velocity.
Check out this video discussing angular velocity in the golf swing:
Stability is the final component I will discuss today but is perhaps the most crucial. With increased swing speed comes increased chance for misses and risk for injury. In order to combat these a strong and stable movement is paramount. Body awareness and control in imbalanced postures helps to increase confidence when driving power through the swing. Stability includes balance, limb control, core strength, and joint mobility. There are a wide variety of exercises that can help build stability, however putting the focus on movements that combine these components will lead to the best outcomes and fastest progress.
Check out this article for more exercises: https://steelsupplements.com/blogs/steel-blog/5-rotation-5-anti-rotation-exercises-for-core-strength
At SMART Golf & Fitness Instruction we combine golf lessons with golf specific fitness. This combination allows us to help each individual golfer learn proper swing mechanics in the golf lesson bay and in the weight room. Once proper movement is mastered, learning how to drive power through that motion, and preventing injury are the main functions of our fitness team.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can change the way you function, play, and perform, contact the team at SMART Golf & Fitness Instruction.
Nico van der Ven graduated from Washington State University in 2015 with a B.S. in Sport Science & Kinesiology and a minor in Strength & Conditioning. While at WSU, Nico spent 1,600+ hours training the golf, tennis, track, soccer, basketball, baseball, and volleyball teams. He then interned at the University of Washington training baseball, basketball, and volleyball. With a passion for learning in and out of the gym, continuing education is always a priority. Nico obtained his Titleist Performance Institute Level 1 certification and is a PGA Class A certified Golf Professional.
After training at the Division I level Nico transitioned to a career as a golf professional. He worked at Jackson Park Golf Course in Seattle before spending the past 3.5 years at Aldarra Golf Club. Nico is well versed in both the weight room and the golf swing, giving him a unique tool set to help golfers reach their full potential.
Click here to learn more about Nico.
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