If you’ve watched any of the PGA Tour lately, you’ve probably heard them talking about Bryson DeChambeau’s incredible swing speed and distance. DeChambeau has taken a different approach to conquer golf courses by utilizing advanced metrics and statistics to break down the trials and tribulations of a round of golf. He has bulked up and added muscle to increase his swing speed and ultimately hit the ball farther.
But while he may look like he’s trying to annihilate the ball off the tee, it comes down to a few different aspects of his swing. He wants to make the course shorter, so he’s trying to add distance to his drives and iron shots as much as he can. One of the main aspects of him adding distance to his shots is increasing his swing speed.
There’s a direct correlation between driving distance and swing speed. It has been shown that the faster your swing speed is, the farther you can hit the ball. So, there’s a reason that DeChambeau swings as hard as he does. But that doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for you immediately.
I’m going to break down why swing speed is important, swing speed averages for amateurs and pros, and what you can do to increase your own swing speed.
What is Swing Speed?
Swing speed (also referred to as club head speed) is the speed at which your club moves at the point of impact. Ball speed is directly correlated to swing speed. The faster your club head speed, the faster the ball speed that’s generated (assuming good contact).
Of course, swinging as hard and fast as you can doesn’t always guarantee a great shot. Your mechanics have to be in line, and you need to keep your hands and arms straight as you’re coming through, or you’re almost definitely going to slice or shank it.
While it may be nice to play a baby fade, it’s not good if you have a sharp hook that you hit onto another hole’s fairway. Finding the right swing speed for you is important before you try to master the art of the long ball.
Average Swing Speed (Swing Speed Charts)
We all want to be as good as the pros, but you won’t be, in terms of swing speed, until you match up with the averages they post. While advanced metrics weren’t around when Bobby Jones or Walter Hagen played golf, Tiger Woods has relied on metrics and increasing speeds for his club head and swing for many years. Since 2007, the PGA Tour has been tracking golf swing speeds using the TrackMan Combine data.
The average male amateur driver’s swing speed is 93 mph. The PGA Tour averages 114 mph and scratch golfers are right around 106 mph.
Swing speed decreases for clubs other than the driver. According to TrackMan, PGA Tour golfers average the following swing speeds.
- Driver: 114 mph
- 3-wood: 107 mph
- 5-wood: 103 mph
- Hybrid: 100 mph
- 3-iron: 98 mph
- 4-iron: 96 mph
- 5-iron: 94 mph
- 6-iron: 92 mph
- 7-iron: 90 mph
- 8-iron: 87 mph
- 9-iron: 85 mph
- Wedge: 83 mph
Since 2005, the average male handicap in the United States has been around 15. Below is swing speed chart data released by TrackMan showing the club speed for average male golfers.
As you can see, anything above 90 mph is within the average for male golfers. So, once you find out what yours is, you’ll know where you stand compared to other golfers.
Average Swing Speed by Age
In a study produced by Par4Success that took data from golfers in North Carolina and across the country, they were able to collect data from 2015 to 2019 to get a better idea of the swing speeds of male and female golfers. From juniors to amateurs to professionals to seniors, they collected data and averaged it out, as seen below in the chart.
This shows the percentiles that certain golfers ranged. Anybody not in the 99th percentile likely is trying to figure out how exactly to get farther up the chart. These are smaller sample sizes, but this can help give you an idea of the kind of data that people have collected on swing speed. You’ll then have to figure out how to measure your own swing speed.
How to Increase Swing Speed
Swinging out of your shoes is one way to increase your swing speed, but it likely won’t give you the results you’re looking for. You have to be smart about increasing your swing speed to increase your distance. Lifting weights or using weights to speed up your swing are tried and true methods. If you’ve ever seen a baseball player warming up in the on-deck circle, they will put a weighted donut on their bat so that the bat is heavier during their practice swings to have it feel lighter when they are at the plate.
That’s similar to how the SuperSpeed Golf Training System can come into play. This comes in options for PeeWee (ages 5-7), All-Star (ages 8-10), Junior (ages 11-14), Men’s and Senior golfers. Three specifically weighted clubs will help you maximize your speed, power, and consistency. It’s never a bad idea to get your son or daughter who shows interest in golf into the newest ways to improve their game either. By just having these in your bag or warming up with them at home, you’ll feel like swinging your club takes less effort, allowing you to crank up the velocity during your swing.
You can also use a swing training aid like an Orange Whip Golf Swing Trainer. This will help strengthen the muscles you use during your golf swing. The stronger you get, the more speed you’ll be able to generate. This has a patented counterweight system to increase your flexibility and boost your strength. You’ll also be able to simulate your swing with this, allowing you to get into the rhythm with your timing. This will deliver instant feedback, as any wobbling means your tempo or balance is off. It will also help you avoid injury, as your range of motion will be enhanced.
Specifically, targeting your arms and torso with exercises will help you generate more power and allow you to bring the club through the zone faster, adding to your club head speed. Focusing on your core will allow you to rotate your hips for increased velocity. This means working with dumbbells, or free weights are a good idea, as long as you’re lifting the proper weight. Any straining could potentially hurt you in the long run. Resistance band training is also helpful, as you can use the tension to increase your muscle. Core exercises such as planks and sit-ups will help you as well.
How to Measure your Swing Speed
There are multiple ways for you to find out what your swing speed is. You can invest in a personal launch monitor that helps you track swing speed as one of its metrics. You can set it up on the driving range with you or in your backyard as you’re hitting into a net to get a better idea of just how fast you’re swinging.
The Garmin Approach G80 is a terrific option that can do a lot for you on and off the course. It will track club head speed, ball speed, smash factor, swing tempo, and estimated distance to allow you to keep tabs on how you’re doing. This has practice and game modes, so you can utilize it any time you pick up a club.
Another way you can measure swing speed is by using a high-end swing simulator that tracks swing speed. This may be available at a driving range nearby or any professional club fitting store. This will allow you to hit golf balls with sensors in them to get better readouts of how fast you’re swinging. Premium simulators can be pricey, so getting a proper club fitting is a great way to measure swing speed without coughing up a lot of money.
Going to a store or a pro shop can be smart to get the right clubs for you to swing faster. Getting fitted properly for golf clubs will give you the best opportunity to put forth your best swings. You can work with a fitter to get the proper length on your clubs to best suit your height and swing. This will lead to more consistent swings and allow you to pick up your swing speed once your mechanics are down.
Wrapping It Up and Heading to the Clubhouse
Swing speed is one of the many different metrics measured in today’s golf game. The more power and more strength you have, the higher swing speed and club head speed you’ll be able to generate. You can track your swing speed by using a personal launch monitor or a high-end simulator.
There are multiple ways to increase your swing speed, such as lifting weights, using swing aids, and strengthening your core. Swinging as hard as possible will not work if you cannot make good contact. So while increasing swing speed can add distance to your game, you should gradually build it up as a part of your consistent swing.