Everyone want’s to hit the ball farther. Hardly anyone is satisfied with the distance they hit their club’s. After observing, video taping and measuring long hitter’s with the TrackMan Launch Monitor it is pretty obvious that some player’s are blessed with having a golf swing with a “big” arc that produce’s more speed. I recently spent a day with Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson taping a show for ESPN called Sports Science. Bubba and Dustin were asked how they generate the speed necessary to create a swing speed of 122 mph that generates a ball speed of 184 mph and carry distances of 306 yards (total distance 346). Both players said that they work on making a big arc that will automatically create more speed on the downswing. They said they were blessed with speed in their arms and were able to match their arms with their shoulder’s and lower body to generate the necessary speed to achieve the long distances they can hit the ball. Bubba and Dustin went on to explain that they have no idea how they create the speed, they are just able to do it and both believe they were born with speed in their arms.
The amateur player spends too much time trying to “hit” the ball hard by using force. This action causes tension in the arms, shoulders and body, reducing the speed that you are trying to create. The advanced players match up the swing of the arms and the rotation of the body to generate speed that is often referred to as “effortless power”, something that all amateur players should endeavor to do. It is the effortless motion that creates the speed in the downswing.
Another factor both of the PGA Tour Player’s referred to was an enormous amount of flexibility. They said that most of the amateurs they see have a lack of flexibility to achieve the “turn” that is required in the backswing that will coil the body to be unleashed in the downswing. They suggested that those players should get help with increasing their flexibility.
Having said all of this, it is fruitless if we can swing the club at warp speed but cannot control the clubface at impact that will result in a “long, straight shot.” The player must be able to swing the club as fast as they can while maintaining balance and control of the clubface.