Sometimes a player comes along who transforms a sport all on his own. For golf, that was Tiger Woods. His powerful style changed the landscape for both professionals and amateurs as they chase the art of his swing. But you might wonder, how can I swing faster?
To increase your swing speed with a driver, you first need to choose the right driver for your style and golf shoes for stability. Use physical training to build strength, flexibility, and balance. Improve your swing mechanics, swing alignment, and timing. Use a proper grip and relax your swing.
This article will discuss the best tips for improving swing speed and why it matters for your game. I will also explore best practices for avoiding injury on the course and other ways to enhance your play.
What Is A Driver?
You can think of golf clubs as a set of tools, each designed to work best in a certain situation. Sure, you could stamp down a nail with the flat side of your wrench, but the hammer is the better choice. You want the right tool for the right job.
There are four main categories of golf clubs:
Putters – Putters have a flat face where they strike the golf ball so that it does not take air upon impact. They are used for rolling the ball across the green towards the hole and are designed for accurate shots over small distances.
Wedges – Wedges have an angle to their striking face, which is referred to as loft. These clubs have the steepest slope, as much as 60 degrees or more, to make the ball go as high into the air as possible. They are used to escape sand and tall grass or to clear obstacles. The ball does not travel far after being hit.
Irons – Irons are numbered 1 through 9, with the striking face’s loft increasing with the number. While the one iron can hit a ball the farthest, many golfers don’t own a one or a two because of the skill needed to use them well. These are used to launch a golf ball up to 200 yards.
Woods – Woods have the largest heads and the longest shafts of all clubs. Additionally, the only clubs with smaller lofts to their striking face are putters. Among them, the one wood has the biggest and broadest head. This club is also called the Driver. Woods are used for hitting the golf ball the farthest of all clubs.
For many players, the driver is the first club they ever use in a game. It is the club you tee off of because you can drive your golf ball as far downfield as you can and close the distance to the hole in a single shot. Because of the length of its shaft and weight of its head, you can swing the driver faster than any other club thanks to centripetal force.
How To Avoid Injury While Golfing
There is a saying, “Don’t swing hard, swing fast.” Many amateur golfers try to use their drivers to smash their golf ball into space by using every bit of strength they have when they are trying to swing faster.
This isn’t just poor form that yields lackluster results. And it isn’t just fun for your friends to watch as you spin yourself off balance with your own swing. The practice is also terrible for your back.
“Let the ball get in the way.” Another saying you might have heard before. It means that your real swing should be exactly like a practice swing. The goal is not to hit the golf ball, it’s to make a perfect swing where the ball just happens to be there.
Remember what sport you’re playing and swing like Tiger Woods, not Babe Ruth. Champion golfer Andy North illustrates this point in the video below.
As much as football or hockey, golf is a physical sport. Aside from making sure you use the right form when you swing, you can, like with any sport, do a few things before you start to avoid injury:
- Stretching – The importance of stretching is hard to overstate. If your body isn’t ready, you can pull or tear muscles when you use sudden strong movements, like swinging your driver. Some good golf stretches include:
- The Shoulder Stretch
- The Standing Quad Stretch
- The Standing Side Stretch
- The Standing Back Stretch
- The Hip Flexor Stretch
- Warming Up – A warm-up is a solid start to any routine. If you go for a run, you don’t take off sprinting as soon as you have your shoes on. Your body needs to ease into the work you are about to ask of it. As a golfer, be sure to take some practice swings to get into the motion. For more helpful warm-up tips PGA Pros Piers Ward and Andy Proudman show us their routine in this video.
11 Tips For Increasing Your Swing Speed With A Driver
As you have already read, a faster swing takes a lot more than swinging the club as hard as you can. Here are the eleven best tips for increasing your swing speed with a driver:
- Find The Right Driver – The first thing you’ll need is the right tool for the job, and few of your tools will be more important than the driver. The one wood is often the priciest club a player owns, so it’s doubly important that you get this one right. Sure, every one wood serves the same purpose, but there is a lot of nuance in the way these are made.
Drivers vary by shaft length, club head size, loft, lie, material, and a half dozen other factors. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of possibilities on offer here, but I can break some of this down for you.
- Shaft Length – A shorter club will grant you more control, but a longer one will offer more power. Don’t be tempted to grab the longest one available. All the power in the world is meaningless if you can’t keep your shot on target. I recommend testing a driver at the range and finding the sweet spot that works for you before you buy.
- Club Head Size – Most players are using clubs between 440 and 460 cubic centimeters. The smaller size gives you more control over your ball’s path, while the larger has a wider face that makes it easier to hit the ball.
- Loft – I described loft earlier as the slope of a club’s striking face. The steeper the slope, the higher a ball will rise after impact, and the lower it is, the lower the flight path will be. If you are aiming for a faster swing, a lower loft will fit your playstyle better.
- Lie – Where loft is the slope of the club’s head, lie is the slope of the shaft from where the club meets the ground. Loft changes the ball’s path up or down, but lie changes it left or right. While lie isn’t a big factor in swing speed, it can still impact the way you play.
- Material – Woods earned their name because they were made of wood initially. The drivers of today are an assortment of metals and composites from steel to titanium. Titanium alloy clubs are both strong and light, and the lighter the club, the faster you can swing it. Heavier clubs sacrifice speed and control but may add more force to your swing and more distance to your shot.
- Weight – While it is true that a heavier club can slow your swing down, how that weight is distributed is also very important. A heavier head can lower your club’s center of gravity. This can actually increase speed through the swing.
- The Right Golf Shoes – A good pair of golf shoes will keep you stable and balanced throughout your swing and lets you get the most out of your motion.
- Speed Training – If you are really serious about increasing your swing speed, you should consider a professional speed training program that may already be offered at your favorite golf course.
- Overspeed Training – Overspeed training involves using weights or heavier clubs to practice your normal swing. The increased strength needed to perform the same motion will get your body accustomed to that level of effort. It will also help build all the muscles you use for your swing.
When you switch back to your driver, you will have a faster swing than before. But be careful. If not done correctly, Overspeed training can alter the natural motion of your swing. When using weights or heavier clubs, practice your swing slowly to keep the right form.
- Strength Training – As a golfer, you are an athlete. You should train that way. By strengthening your muscles, you can add power and speed to your swing. But you need to focus on the right ones.
Your back, core, chest, and forearms all work together to form the basis of a solid swing. And you probably knew that. But did you know your butt was just as crucial as that whole group?
The glutes serve to bring your hips and legs into the swing. Your lower body can maximize the strength and speed of your motion. For the fastest swing you can get, you want all those muscles working together.
- Flexibility Training – A fast swing demands a smooth arch. And that won’t happen if you’re stiff. By working on your flexibility, you improve your range of motion and make the movement easier.
This training can be as simple as stretching properly before matches and practice or as in-depth as regular yoga. Greater flexibility has the added bonus of lower rates of injury to your joints and back.
- Relax – Keeping relaxed goes hand in hand with flexibility and not trying to smash the golf ball with everything you’ve got. If you tense up in mid-swing, you risk both slowing down your swing and injuring yourself. Just relax and let your swing happen. It should be as effortless as your practice swings.
- Proper Stance – It might seem basic, but the right stance will help you get the most out of your swing, and the wrong one can hinder the entire thing. To hold a proper stance you must:
- Plant your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your toes pointed straight ahead of you.
- Bend your knees a small amount, but don’t crouch.
- Spread your weight evenly between both feet.
- Grip Size – Just like there’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s, there’s no “right” way to grip a golf club. There are specific accepted standard techniques, but even some world-class players ignore them to favor a more comfortable personal grip. If you can hold the club with both hands and hit the ball well, you’ve got the gist of it.
That said, the size of your club’s grip can affect how you hold and swing your club. In this, there is a “right” way. That is to use the grip size that’s appropriate for your hands. A rubber wrap at the top of your club determines grip size. For small hands, a narrow wrap will grant the best control. If your hands are larger, you will want a broader wrap.
Grip size is important because using the wrong one can restrict or awkwardly alter your wrists’ movement. As you twist your club during the downward arch of your swing, a grip that isn’t large enough can add too much rotation to the natural motion of your hands. A grip that’s too large can keep you from turning the club properly. Both problems have the potential to foul your swing.
- Swing Alignment – Proper alignment is the foundation for your swing. If you are just beginning, you will want to use this as a starting point and build a good, fast swing from here. If you have been golfing a while but are not aligned properly, there may be a problem with your swing that leaves you unconsciously trying to compensate. You will never find your fastest swing if you aren’t aligned.
- Swing Mechanics – The mechanics of a golf swing are the breakdown of each aspect of a swing’s rotation. The five parts of a swing are the:
- Takeaway – The start of your swing as you draw the club back.
- Backswing – The arch of the club as you raise it over your shoulders.
- Transition – The movement that ends your backswing and flows into the downswing. A smooth and proper transition is vital for the speed and effectiveness of your swing.
- Downswing – The arch of the club as it swoops down toward impact.
- Follow Through – The end of the swing after contact with the ball. A good follow-through means that you complete the motion of your swing after impact and ensures that you have met the ball at full speed and strength. If you end your swing right after contact, then you have slowed down too early.
For years, swing mechanics have been studied extensively. And that is because, out of everything listed so far, swing mechanics are the most important. Master every aspect of your swing to get the most out of these other tips.
The Top Drivers Sold On Amazon
Now that you have an idea of what you need to improve your swing, you should take a look at some of the best drivers out there today:
The PGX Offset Golf Driver – Made by Pinemeadow Golf, this is the number one best-selling driver on Amazon.com. The graphite shaft and large 460cc clubhead make it perfect for a faster swing. And it comes with a one year warranty.
The Men’s RBZ Black Driver – Produced by Taylor made, this excellent driver comes with an adjustable loft so you can customize its performance. Made with speed pocket performance for more distance and a titanium core for better control, this is another great choice to consider.
The Best Driver For Increasing Your Swing Speed
I saved the best for last, used and endorsed by Tiger Woods himself. I give you:
The M6 Driver – The M6 Driver from Taylor made has an aerodynamic design and was built with one thing in mind, speed. Every head uses a twist face design and is individually speed tested. The heads are also injected with a special resin to increase ball speed and shot distance.
A crowning feature of the M6 model is that it’s built to push the legal speed limit set by the USGA and R&A. If more speed is what you want, then this driver may be the one you need.
Champions like Tiger Woods have proven that a strong drive can be a powerful weapon in any golfer’s arsenal. Increasing your swing speed with a driver is one of the best ways to add distance to your shots. Adopt these tips to maximize the speed of your technique.