Clubhead speed is created by the kinematic sequence of different body parts that rotate in order to transfer energy to the club. This sequence starts from the ground up. For example, your lower body begins to rotate, followed by the hips and midsection, arms, and eventually the golf club.
Basically, the higher your clubhead speed, the more efficient you are at transferring energy from the ground to your body to your golf club.
The key here is efficiency, not necessarily size or even strength. For example, you probably have a playing partner who’s much smaller than you, yet they hit the ball much further.
They’re not stronger than you. They’re not bigger than you. So how is this possible?
It’s likely because they have developed a more efficient kinematic sequence that provides them with greater clubhead speed and, therefore, more distance.
So now that you understand a little bit about how clubhead speed is generated, what’s the average clubhead speed for amateur golfers?
Average Clubhead Speed for Amateur Golfers
The average clubhead speed for a male amateur golfer is 93 mph while the average clubhead speed for amateur ladies is 78 mph.
However, these numbers will vary on a case-by-case basis depending on the strength, age, flexibility, technique, injuries, and other characteristics unique to each golfer.
Regardless of your individual circumstances, there are some things you can do to increase your clubhead speed. Let’s take a look!
How to Increase Clubhead Speed By 10 mph
You might be wondering, why only 10 mph? Why not 15 or 25?
Despite many of the claims made on those late-night golf channel infomercials, it’s unlikely that you will be able to increase your clubhead speed significantly more than 10-15 mph.
That’s unless you’re brand new to the game of golf or you’re a junior golfer who is still growing.
Setting a goal to increase your clubhead speed by 10 mph gives you a realistic target to strive for while allowing you to still see quality results.
And these results aren’t small either.
Seeing as each additional mph of clubhead speed results in an approximate gain of 3.16 yards, this means that increasing your clubhead speed by just 10 mph can add as many as 31.6 yards to your tee shots!
Here are 3 tips that I believe to be the most effective for increasing clubhead speed.
1. Swing Training
Without a doubt, one of the best ways to increase clubhead speed is to train your body and your brain to swing faster.
How is the brain involved?
To understand this, let’s take a look at a type of training used by the Soviets in the 1970s. It was known as overload/underload training and was initially used to help train athletes for their track and field teams.
Fast forward to today and the applications of this type of training extend far beyond just track and field. It’s perhaps most commonly used by hitters in baseball who are looking to increase their power at the plate.
If you’ve never heard of this type of training before, here’s the gist of it – overload/underload training focuses on slowing you down or speeding you up by no more than 20% while you train.
To speed you up (swing faster) you would swing a club lighter than the one you would normally use. This is known as the underload portion.
To slow you down you would swing a club that is heavier than the one you would normally use. This is known as the overload portion.
These underload and overload reps would be combined with reps at normal weight during a weekly training protocol.
Think of it this way. You’ve probably taken thousands of swings if you’ve been playing golf for very long. Most of those swings have been within a 5-10mph range. Effectively, your brain doesn’t know that it’s capable of swinging the club even faster.
There’s an old story that can help explain how our brains create our own limitations.
At a young age, domesticated elephants are tethered to a post by a single small rope. Try as they might, they cannot break free – they simply aren’t strong enough. So, they stop trying.
As they grow and get stronger, they now have the capability to break free from their restraints with very little effort. But for some reason… they don’t.
This is because the belief that they cannot break the rope was so deeply ingrained into their brains from a young age that they don’t even bother to try.
By using the correct training techniques, you train your body and brain to swing faster – not harder. When done right you won’t feel like you’re swinging the club with more effort.
In fact, it may even feel like you’re swinging with less effort because your normal swing now becomes much more powerful and efficient. I’m sure you’ve noticed before that some of your farthest drives have felt like you’re putting in the least effort.
This feeling of effortless power is what overload/underload training can provide.
How do you get started with overload/underload training?
You’re probably thinking, that sounds great, but I’m not going to go out and buy three drivers with different weights just to practice.
I don’t blame you, I wouldn’t either.
Luckily, there’s an alternative option for those looking to get started with overspeed/underspeed training to help increase clubhead speed and hit longer drives.
For example, a company called SuperSpeed golf was one of the first to realize the benefits of overload/underload training to help golfers increase their swing speed.
So, they began researching the best way to create a product that would help golfers do just that. Thus, they created what they call the OverSpeed training system. According to their website,
“OverSpeed training works by getting the body to move at a faster than normal speed during a known motor pattern. Essentially the brain has a set-speed for the neuro-muscular response when a golfer makes a golf swing. We first need to increase the response speed from the body by decreasing the “load” or in this case the weight of the golf club. We then need to gradually increase this load to teach the brain that the body is capable of running the motor pattern faster.”SuperSpeed Golf
They then go on to explain that their training system involves the use of 3 different weighted shafts.
One shaft is 20% lighter than a driver, the other is 10% lighter than a driver, and the last one is 5% heavier than a driver.
These three shafts are used together to get the body comfortable with swinging faster and essentially “rewire” motor patterns.
When you purchase one of their training sets you will get a full training program so you will know exactly how to train each week (reps, sets, etc…).
Aside from overspeed training, another way you can work towards increasing your clubhead speed by 10 mph is by using an aid called the Orange Whip. In addition to promoting a powerful swing, this handy tool has the added benefit of improving balance and tempo. You can learn more about the Orange Whip here.
2. Work on Your Fitness
Starting a golf-specific training program can be a great way to increase clubhead speed and improve your overall health.
Historically, golfers aren’t known for their strength and athleticism. However, after Tiger Woods arrived on the scene in the late 90s/early 00s, the PGA Tour underwent a rapid transformation.
Now, it’s commonplace for players to be lifting heavy weights and working on their flexibility several times per week.
Players like Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka wouldn’t look out of place on a football field or a hockey rink with their muscular physiques.
Aside from the obvious health benefits like more muscle, less fat, and a healthier heart, strength training can also help increase your clubhead speed.
In an article published by the Titleist Performance Institute, sport science expert Mike Carroll explains that every golf strength and conditioning program should include 5 key pillars:
Motor control refers to your ability to get your body to carry out a particular movement. For example, you might be in fantastic physical shape, but without the proper motor control, you still might not be able to execute an effective golf swing.
The more motor control you have, the easier it will be to implement changes to your golf swing.
It’s important not to confuse mobility and flexibility.
Mobility refers to how well you can go through a range of motion (ROM) in a certain movement – ie. the golf swing.
Flexibility measures the available ROM at a particular joint or how much a certain muscle group can stretch but doesn’t evaluate how well you can go through the actual movement itself.
Both mobility and flexibility are important for the golf swing and should play a role in your golf strength and conditioning program.
One of the best resources I’ve found for increasing flexibility for golf is the Flexible in 15 Program from Me and My Golf – one of the top names in the online golf instruction biz.
Flexible in 15 teaches you how to increase your flexibility and increase the range of motion in your swing with just three 15 minute sessions per week! You can learn more about the Flexible in 15 Program here.
In order to create an efficient golf swing that maximizes speed and power, you need to have adequate stability and balance.
For example, a loss of balance can cause you to sway too far towards one side of your body during the backswing.
When this happens, it becomes difficult to get back to the other side on your downswing. Not only can this be a drain on your power, but it also makes it difficult to time the downswing and achieve a consistent strike.
Proper training is required to center and stabilize our mass around our hips throughout the entire swing.
Beginning in our 30’s, we begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% of our body’s muscle mass each decade.
Strength training helps slow this process down and preserve muscle mass for longer.
There are 2 main ways strength training can increase clubhead speed:
Developing type II fibers (fast-twitch) – Fast-twitch muscle fibers responsible for fast, powerful motions like sprinting, weightlifting, or the downswing of the golf swing.
These fibers can be developed without increasing the size of the muscles and help increase explosiveness.
Increasing muscle size – simply put, larger muscle fibers are usually stronger and have the ability to generate more force. There’s a long-held stigma in golf that bigger muscles will negatively affect your game.
However, as long as you include mobility and flexibility work in your program, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Rate of Force Development
This simply refers to how fast you can generate the force needed to carry out the golf swing.
Of course, due to the very short duration of the golf swing, we want to incorporate exercises into our program that will generate maximum force in the minimum amount of time.
So, those are the main boxes you want to check when starting a golf fitness program.
However, if you’re not a sports science expert, it can be difficult to create an effective golf training plan and schedule.
Sometimes it’s nice when someone else does all the planning for you. That way, all you need to do is follow directions to start seeing results.
If you’re interested in checking out a golf-specific training program that covers all 5 of these key elements over the course of 12 weeks (3 training sessions per week), you can do so by clicking the link below:
Otherwise, here is a video that takes you through a few simple golf exercises for clubhead speed that you can do on your own:
3. Find the Right Equipment for Your Game
We’ve all heard someone say, “it’s not the equipment, it’s the player.”
For the most part, this is true.
But sometimes making simple tweaks to your equipment can have a significant effect on your performance on the course, especially when it comes to maximizing clubhead speed and distance.
Here are some things to look for:
Choosing the right golf shaft is extremely important for those looking to maximize their clubhead speed and hit the golf ball farther.
If you’re using club shafts that are too heavy for you, your swing speed will likely take a hit. That’s why it might be a good decision for some players to look into getting fitted with graphite iron shafts as opposed to steel.
These will be much lighter and allow you to swing the club faster.
Similarly, if your shafts are too stiff, you will struggle to reach your full potential in terms of clubhead speed. The proper shaft flex will allow you to swing the club effortlessly while maintaining speed at the point of impact.
For more on selecting the right golf club shafts for your game, see the article below:
Surprisingly, very few people consider how their golf shoes can actually have an effect on their clubhead speed.
Let me explain.
Remember earlier when I said that clubhead speed starts from the ground up?
Well, in order to fully harness the rotational power of the golf swing, you need to make sure your feet are rooted as firmly as possible to the ground.
This way, they can “grip” the ground, providing you with a solid base and pivot point for the rest of your body to unwind.
To better understand how the connection to the ground impacts our ability to generate clubhead speed, imagine you’re levitating a few inches of the ground when you’re swinging.
It would be pretty difficult to make a powerful swing, right?
In this case, there’s no connection to the ground, and therefore, no pivot point from which to begin generating power.
That’s why it’s important you select a pair of golf shoes with quality spikes that will help you maintain a stable base.
Also, keep in mind soft spikes can wear down fairly quickly. It’s a good idea to replace them every year, especially if you walk the golf course.
If you think it’s time to upgrade, I’d recommend checking out the selection of golf shoes at Global Golf.
They stock top brands like Footjoy, Nike, Adidas, and more, and I’ve found that they usually have some of the best prices!
Golf Clubhead Speed FAQ
What is the average clubhead speed for pro golfers?
The average clubhead speed for pro golfers is 114 mph on the PGA Tour, 94 mph on the LPGA tour, and 135 mph for long-drive competitors.
What’s the difference between clubhead speed and ball speed?
Clubhead speed refers to how fast the clubhead is traveling at the point of impact while ball speed considers how fast the golf ball is traveling immediately after impact.
Ball speed will generally be about 1.5 times faster than clubhead speed.
Keep in mind, just because you increase clubhead speed does not necessarily mean you will increase ball speed or distance.
For example, because you’re swinging faster, you may not be able to control the club well enough to make contact with the sweet spot.
Why is my clubhead speed so slow?
There are a number of things that could be preventing you from increasing your clubhead speed:
Lack of strength/power.
In order to address these issues, consider the points mentioned in this post.
If you’re looking to increase your clubhead speed by 10 mph, three proven methods you can use are:
- Using a golf swing speed training device.
- Following a golf-specific fitness training program.
- Making sure you’re using the right equipment for your game.
If you’ve had success using any of these methods or you have tried other things that have worked for you, feel free to share in the comments section down below!