Improving your swing speed could help you achieve greater distance with nearly every club in your golf bag – including the driver. Tour pros such as Bubba Watson, Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson hit the ball great distances because of their superior swing speeds, form and timing. As an amateur you’ll probably never hit the ball as far as those guys, but there are some techniques you can use to improve your current swing speed and perhaps out-drive your buddies.
Improve strength in your lower body. LPGA teaching professional Karyn Dunphy believes greater swing speed and improved distances start with the lower body. She suggests women and men can achieve greater swing speed with stronger lower bodies, allowing them to drive through the ball with greater power. Improve your lower and upper body strength by working with a fitness coach, if possible. But overall fitness is also important. Consult with your trainer to work on stretching exercises and overall flexibility.
Hold your head high enough at address so your left shoulder can turn under your chin, if you're right-handed. Tiger Woods recommends this technique to allow a wide backswing, promoting speed and power -- especially with the driver. Woods suggests turning your shoulders fully while keeping your arms extended for maximum speed as you start the downswing.
Accelerate through the ball during your downswing. Golf.com recommends imagining that you're throwing your golf club at the target. That means allowing your wrists to cock naturally at the top of your backswing, then to unhinge as you strike the ball and follow through. Baseball pitchers use a somewhat similar motion as they cock their wrists and fire the ball to the plate. Allowing your wrists to hinge naturally at the top of the backswing stores power you can release during the swing. Power enhances speed.
Practice making one-handed swings with the longest club in your bag, the driver. Golf.com reports that this drill will help you understand how to swing the club faster. Listen for a “whoosh” sound as you take the club back with one hand and swing through an imaginary golf ball. Keep increasing your speed to make the sound louder. As you feel your speed increasing start swinging the club with two hands while listening for the whooshing sound. Eventually this drill will help you improve your swing speed.