How to Increase Your Hand Speed in a Downswing

By M.L. Rose
Tom Watson says golfers should begin turning their hips toward the target just before completing their backswings.
Tom Watson says golfers should begin turning their hips toward the target just before completing their backswings.

The key to generating power from a golf swing is to increase your club head speed. The faster the club head moves -- all else being equal -- the farther the ball will travel. And since your hands are holding the club, increased hand speed will result in better club head speed.

Adjust your front foot. Jack Nicklaus suggests that golfers consider turning the front foot more toward the target when taking their stance. He once kept his left foot angled 30 degrees toward the target, but he felt that this stance prevented him from rotating his hips sufficiently to generate maximum club head speed. He eventually angled his left foot 45 degrees toward the target.

Loosen your grip. If you’re gripping the club too firmly when you begin your downswing the tension will tighten up your shoulder, arm and hand muscles and rob you of speed, according to golf writer Steve Newell.

Begin turning the left hip (for a right-handed player) toward the target just before you reach the top of your backswing. Tom Watson says this combination of arm and hip movements creates torque, which results in faster arm and hand speed during the downswing.

Drop your arms naturally to begin the downswing, keeping your left shoulder down as you do so, while your hips continue rotating toward the target.

Push the right hand hard through the impact zone.

About the Author

M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.

Photo Credits

  • Phil Inglis/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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