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Golf teaching and playing articles > Feel the difference in club-head speed

5 Feb 2004

The Law of Speed


The Ball Flight Law we are going to examine today is Speed. This is the velocity the club is traveling at impact or how many miles an hour you swing the club.


Putting would be an example of low club head speed, while using the driver represents our highest club head speed. 


The short game is one area where to much speed can cause problems.  Specifically I mean when your pitch shot carries farther than you intended, leaving your ball in the back bunker or some other kind of trouble.


You plan your approach shots so that you are not left in a situation where you are faced with a short pitch over water or bunker, but sometimes it happens.  The anxiety you feel when facing a short shot over trouble causes a rush of adrenaline.  The swing gets quick and your shot goes over the green.  The result is you have little chance to get the ball “up and down”.


Because all your pitch shot swings are full ones and length of swing helps create club head speed, most of the time you are long.  Occasionally you will decelerate and hit the shot fat, striking the turf well in front of the ball.  During the lesson I asked how much back swing you thought you were using and you answered a half swing.  I used video replay to let you see your swing was big enough for the driver.


I matched swings with you, standing in front of a mirror where you could see the correct length and speed of the swing for a shorter distance.  For the next several shots, I gave feedback on the length and speed of the swings you are actually making until you start to sense them correctly.  When you can correctly identify both, you have established touch and feel. You can now control speed and therefore distance.


Remember on the course your tendency to make a big swing and create more speed than you need when touch and feel are what is required!