By Paul Myers

If you are a golfer, you have probably heard about club head speed before, but maybe didn’t know exactly what it meant. Is it important? Do you need to know yours? There are a number of questions that can come up when you hear a new term on the course, and other golfers aren’t always patient enough to stand around and explain it to you. This article will take a quick look at what club head speed means in golf terms, and why it is important for your game.

How Fast You Swing the Club

As the name indicates, club head speed simply refers to how fast the club head is moving when you hit your shot. The speed is measured at impact with the ball, and it is almost always measured with the driver. While you can measure club head speed with other clubs, when you hear golfers comparing their swing speeds, they are almost certainly referring to measurements taken while swinging a driver.

There are a great number of elements that come together to create the swing speed that you are capable of.  Technique helps. Many amateur golfers could achieve higher club head speed measurements if only they could learn to sequence their swing better. Instead of having the fastest point of the swing be the moment when the club hits the ball, they can make the mistake of releasing the club early and actually swing faster before impact than once they reach it.

Releasing the Club Head

Flexibility can also make a difference…and strength is an important aspect of it as well.

Does club head speed matter?

Yes – it certainly does. It is not the only element of your swing that you should be concerned about, but it is important enough to pay attention to. Assuming two shots that both are hit with the center of the club face on the same driver, the one with the faster swing speed is going to be expected to fly farther down the fairway. There is a generally direct correlation between swing speed and distance, so if you want to hit longer drives, the first step is improving how fast the club head is moving at impact.

There are also other reasons for which it is good to have plenty of swing speed at your disposal on the course. Consider the following –

  • Getting through thick rough. Good swing speed translates to your iron shots as well, and being able to swing the club fast means you will have an easier time carving through the rough to get your ball up and out of the long grass. You certainly don’t want to have to use this ability too often, but it is a great weapon to have at your disposal.
  • Controlling your trajectory. If you have a low swing speed to begin with, you probably won’t have the high shot in your arsenal. However, when you have more speed, you’ll be able to hit those sky high shots when needed to clear trees or trouble…or make the ball land on the green and stop. It’s much easier for a high-ball hitter with good club head speed to hit a low shot than a low-ball hitter with a slow swing speed to hit a high shot.
  • Reaching par fives in two. It is a big advantage to be able to reach par five greens in two shots, and a high club head speed will make that task much easier. Not only can you cover more distance with a fast swing speed, but you are also more likely to hit the ball higher in the air – key for holding the ball on a green from a long distance away.

Golf club head speed is just one statistic that can be measured in your game, but it is an important one. If you are able to improve your club head speed over time, there is a good chance that your scores will improve right along with it. In fact, statistics show there’s a direct correlation between club head speed and scores.

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