Drive for show, putt for dough? Here are some fun facts from the PGA Tour. In 2020, the PGA Tour driving distance average was 296 yards. 29 of the 36 events (81%) were won by players who averaged more than 296 yards. In the last two full PGA seasons, only 11 of 81 events (14%), were won by golfers who averaged less than 290 yards off the tee. No one won who averaged less than 283 yards for the season. The top 5 driving distances won 19 times and $27 million in 2018 on the PGA Tour. The top 5 driving accuracy players over that same period won zero times and only $4 million. Speed and distance matters!
Let’s leave the professionals out for the moment and discuss the amateur golfer. Higher handicaps have the slowest average swing speeds and the lower handicaps have the highest average swing speeds. When you follow the best players’ habits, they are more fit and they train like an athlete. The data indicates that all tournament golfers are chasing speed and increasing their distance.
The debate now is, will it help you play and score better? Our professionals who are trained properly to teach and coach speed will overwhelmingly say absolutely yes! Increasing speed improves efficiency, contact, accuracy and sequence patterns. Speed training benefits mobility, stability, and strength. Are there wrong ways to chase speed? Yes! A great example is trying to add 30 pounds to a 5’9” 155 pound frame, versus a 6’1” 185 pound frame. Should a golfer a train like a Navy Seal or Olympic athlete or weight lifter or bodybuilder? No! But we can take components from each of them.
There are coaches who have trained and focused on two very simple points that can help you get more speed, score better and improve your game regardless of age, fitness or talent. Golf speed training is non-technical. You will avoid being bogged down in the intricacies of swing techniques. The intention of creating your speed on the follow through, spawns the technique, not vice versa. If you are looking to CHASE SPEED, do it with proper supervision and a simplistic approach. BOMBS AWAY.
By Buck Mayers