How to Maximize Your Golf Swing Speed

By Mike Southern
A key to increasing swing speed is getting your wrist cocked correctly from the top of the swing to the bottom.
A key to increasing swing speed is getting your wrist cocked correctly from the top of the swing to the bottom.

Every golfer wants to hit the ball farther, and an entire industry has sprung up to try to satisfy that quest. Even touring professionals are not immune. According the website Scigolf.com, only about 15 percent of clubhead speed comes from the rotation of your body. The remaining 85 percent is generated by the swinging motion of your arms and hands. The largest proportion of your power comes in the bottom half of your downswing, when your wrists uncock just before the club strikes the ball. You can learn how to do this by following these steps.

Tee up the ball when you practice. This helps you hit the ball more cleanly as you are learning the technique.

Address the ball as you would normally. Be sure to keep your grip as light as possible. Tensing your forearm and wrist muscles will cost you some clubhead speed.

Begin your takeaway by coiling your shoulders. They should be turned almost a full 90 degrees by the time your hands reach waist high on the backswing; this will create most of the rotating power your body will provide.

Start your downswing after your hands have reached the top of your backswing, but just before your wrists have fully cocked at a 90-degree angle. To create maximum clubhead speed, maintain this angle through most of the downswing until your hands reach waist level or just below. The change of direction between the backswing and downswing does not have to be particularly fast, but you must change direction before the clubhead has finished cocking your wrists. If your wrists are relaxed, the pressure of the club shaft against your wrists, caused by the momentum of the clubhead, will keep your wrists from uncocking too early.

Swing your arms down as your hips and upper body unwind toward the ball. If you are right-handed, your right elbow should swing past your right hip. Many players pull their right elbow against their right side, which slows their arm swing and causes their wrists to uncock too early. By swinging your arms past your body, you can accelerate your arms smoothly throughout the downswing without jerking them.

Straighten your arms as your right elbow swings past your hip. This will cause you to uncock your wrists at the proper time and make solid contact with the ball.

Continue accelerating your arms as you swing halfway into your follow through, then let them fold naturally into your finish.

About the Author

North Carolina native Mike Southern has been writing since 1979. He is the author of the instructional golf book "Ruthless Putting" and edited a collection of swashbuckling novels. Southern was trained in electronics at Forsyth Technical Community College and is also an occasional woodworker.

Photo Credits

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