Swing Speed and Distances

I always heard that swing speed will determine how far the ball will go. Can swing speed alone if hit flushed determine how far a ball will go, no matter how the ball was struck? As a swinger they seem to have a longer time generating speed coming back down as they are more upright from the top of their swing. As for us hitters, we start pushing thru at p3 instead of the top of our back swing. Are hitters able to generate the same speed as swingers do? What actually creates speed and how does it effect differently in both type of swings (swinger/hitter)? Pivot, hands, arms?

Also, a hitter holding shaft flex with slower swing speed able to hit farther and or the same distances as a swinger who holds no shaft flex, but has a faster swing speed?

I also think that the weight of the club has an effect on distances as well. A heavier club head struck well with the same swing speed as a lighter club head should travel farther correct? or you would think…

Anyways, i just wanted to open a discussion on thoughts of swing speed and how it effects distances as a swinger vs a hitter.



Great topic, should be some good posts in here.

Weight is huge. My driver is now 20 grams or so heavier than before, and I feel I hit the ball a lot harder even with some lost speed. I haven’t measured my SS since starting ABS, so it would be interesting to see where it is now. I imagine that although it doesn’t always feel as fast, I have picked up at least a few MPH by constantly drilling. I don’t accelerate from the top as much, so I don’t feel like I decelerate into impact as much as before.

Maybe I’ll break out the SS radar thing tomorrow. I was about 103-106 prior to ABS, so I’d be curious to see where I am now. FWIW, I lost distance for the first couple months of ABS, but now (4-ish months in) I drive the ball further, both in my best drives and my average.

Hi Brandon

interesting topic,

By going stiff/flat/heavy hitting over modern clubs & swinging I think we are likely to be giving up a club of distance in exchange for a tonne of control. My loss of distance was dramatic early doors but not so much now, i’m hitting 6i where i was hitting 8i but the 8i i was using is equivalent in length & loft to the 7i i now use (so i’m effectively down a club). I’d be hopeful of getting back that club of distance in time as technique improves. I played monday & shot 80 with 3 birds & 34 putts, if i brush up on the putting that pretty much puts me back where i was before i started 6 months ago, which is encouraging. Basically our plan is to be able to beat the swingers with control & accuracy on any proper golf course. We get our better control and accuracy through the use of force rather than momentum.

The differences relate to Momentum (swingers) and Force (hitters), (Lag’s quote below may be helpful if you haven’t come across it)
and also to release, horizontal hinge release (swingers) & angle hinge release (hitters).

Swing speed is generally the biggest factor into hitting the ball further.

Other factors are hitting the sweetspot, dynamic loft and attack angle.

With irons for example, I have a set of failry brand new Srixon Pro 100 blades and some 1983 Hogan Personal blades. This weekend I played with both and was consistently about 1 club shorter with the Hogans because the lofts were weaker and thus the dynamic loft was higher.

Attack angle is the biggie, but it really only applies to the driver and if you’re using persimmon, probably too difficult to consistently master.


what about, as an example, all other things being equal, hitting the ball with a heavy 5i (say 20g heavier) at 85mph or a light 5i at 90mph ? Will the extra mass compensate somewhat/completely/not at all for the decreased speed ?

Could be a question in a science O level exam :slight_smile:

It will compensate somewhat but not completely. A 5% reduction in swing speed can roughly be traded with a 10% increased club head mass.

The velocity energy of the clubhead is 1/2 m v^2. Speed beats mass.

Didn’t know that. Great post.


But mass trumps in the feel department. The vast majority of golf shots on the course are going to be feel related… putting, chipping, pitch shots, knock downs, 3/4 shots, and so on.

By increasing the mass of the club, you increase your feel of the club and this can be a huge benefit if applied properly.

Mass also makes me make shorter accelerating strokes because of the feel in your hands.

I guess it depends on what sort of feel we talk about. Swing feel or impact feel. A lighter club will give more feedback from the collision with the ball.

in a fixed system where every swing is an exact replica the velocity will have more influence on distance but in a real golfer what will give a better percentage of better shots; I would think “m” way more.

I’d be pretty cautious with those swing speed radars because they don’t know where impact is. They just report on the fastest speed they see in the foot or two around impact, or even more depending on where you place the device.