by David Lake
The Olympics as well as every collegiate track program incorporates speed training in their practice regimens. This is also something that has been adopted in every sport where speed of movement is an integral part of overall performance. In golf this means enhanced swing speed for increased distance.
The basis of speed training is the reduction of resistance in the movement involved. For instance, a sprinter will train by running downhill, or a swimmer will train by swimming with the current. In both cases the reduction of resistance will allow the athlete to perform their particular movement at the fastest speed possible, and this is the key. Your mind/body becomes used to performing a mechanical movement at a particular (comfortable) speed. The idea behind speed training is to shock your mind and muscular response rate into a higher gear. The sprinter who regularly practices running downhill at his fastest speed literally re-programs his mind/body into believing that this is the speed he should be attaining whenever he runs. The result is increased speed in all sprinting events.
How does this translate to golf?
Very simply, if you increase your swing speed you will hit the ball farther. The question is how to effectively incorporate speed training into your practice, and the answer is twofold:
- Buy one of those weighted rubber donuts at your golf store and practice your driver swing with it for ten minutes a day performing slow swing after swing. This promotes a very strong basis for feel and timing in your golf swing. A solid and powerful golf swing can only be achieved if every individual part of the swing is synced and works in unison. This is where the increased resistance using the clubhead weight comes into play. By adding the extra resistance your body will automatically respond by utilizing the legs first, then the hips, followed by the torso and finally the arms in moving the golf club around your body. With the extra resistance you will be able to feel each of these individual parts of your swing and, consequently, your feel and timing of the movements will increase dramatically. Later, once this is ingrained, when you make a swing on the golf course it becomes automatic.
- After practicing with the weighted clubhead for ten minutes turn the club around and grip it just below the clubhead with the grip at the far end. Now spend five to ten minutes swinging the club as fast as you can.
I have found that doing this three or four times per week, and especially prior to a round of golf, will add at least fifteen yards to your drives and increased distances with all of your irons.