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How to measure Golf Swing Speed? 5 Simple ways to Unlock Power

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Measuring golf swing speed is vital to improve distance and performance. Various methods like radar guns, launch monitors, calculators and apps quantify velocity. Focused training on strength, flexibility, mechanics and equipment can then boost clubhead speed.

For golfers, nothing quite compares to the sheer exhilaration of hitting a perfectly struck drive that soars deep down the fairway. As you stand over the ball, club in hand, you visualize the satisfying crack as clubface meets dimples and sends your shot sailing into the distance. This euphoric moment is only made possible by one key element – Speed

In the modern game of golf, Speed is truly king. The ability to swing the club at high speeds and maximize that all-important clubhead speed (or swing speed) is what separates average golfers from professionals. Faster swing speeds translate directly into greater distance. And distance is the name of the game in golf. 

With longer hits off the tee, you set yourself up for easier approach shots into the greens. The pros make the game look easy because of their blazing swing speeds. While amateur golfers may not reach the crazy speeds of tour players, recreational players can also reap major benefits by improving their swing speed.

This comprehensive guide takes an in-depth look at this foundational golf skill. We will explore why speed matters, how to accurately measure your swing speed using various methods, and provide actionable tips to help add yards to your drives.

The Relationship Between Swing Speed and Distance

Quite simply, faster swing speeds allow golf balls to fly farther. The quickness of the clubhead traveling through the impact zone determines how much energy gets transferred to the ball at the moment of collision. More energy equals greater carry distance. This physics principle directly correlates swing speed to total yardage.

Elite professional golfers intuitively understand this relationship. Data shows that the average driver swing speed on tour clocks is around 113mph. Now compare that to a mid-handicap amateur player swinging at around 90mph. That enormous 23 mph speed differential goes a long way in explaining the huge gap in driving distances between pros and weekend golf warriors. 

More examples:

– A 90mph swing speed typically produces drives between 200-220 yards

– 100mph generates around 240-260 yards

– 110mph leads to 270-290 yard shots 

– 120mph can reach drives over 300 yards

Of course, factors like launch angle, spin rate, equipment, and strike also influence final totals. But in general, faster swing speed equals longer shots. 

Distance off the tee is a massive advantage, but increased swing speed benefits golfers in many other ways too:

– Reaching more par 5 greens in two shots

– Hitting longer irons and mid-shorts into greens 

– Having more stock wedge and short-game approach shots

– Improving the ability to hold greens and stop balls quickly 

– Minimizing course hazards and penalty strokes

In essence, generating faster swing speed makes the entire game more playable and enjoyable. By increasing speed, you give yourself more scoring opportunities and a margin for error. Identifying your current speed benchmarks and embarking on focused training to improve them is a crucial step for golfers seeking to take their game to the next level.

How to Measure Golf Swing Speed

Okay, we’ve established that swing speed is super important in golf. Faster speed equals more distance – no mystery there. But how exactly can you measure your personal swing speed? What tools and methods can provide useful intel to help improve your power?

Luckily, today’s golfers have several options to gauge swing speed, ranging from high-tech radar guns to basic online calculators. Let’s break down some of the most common techniques.

Radar Guns – The Gold Standard

For point-blank accuracy, you can’t beat radar guns. Just like the cops use to catch speeders, these handheld devices fire a radar beam at your ball right before impact. The reflected signal is processed instantly to give your precise clubhead speed at that moment.

You can pick up affordable radar swing speed guns online or at most golf shops for around $200-400.

Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor

  • Pairs iOS camera with radar processing for precise shot measurement
  • Immediate swing replay & shot trace
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Here are some step-by-step tips on using them:

  1. Choose a flat, open practice area with plenty of room to swing freely. Point the radar gun down the target line you intend to hit balls towards.
  2. Turn on the radar gun and allow it to calibrate according to the manufacturer’s instructions, usually by holding it steady for 30 seconds.
  3. Take your normal stance and grip. Have a friend or coach stand approximately 10 feet behind you and aim the radar gun emitter directly at the golf ball in your stance.
  4. Make your standard swing, keeping your head still and finishing in balance. The radar gun will instantly display the clubhead speed from that swing.
  5. Take 5-10 swings, allowing the radar gun to measure each one. Your friend should aim the gun consistently down your target line for accurate results.
  6. Review the speed measurements after several good swings to determine your average driver swing speed. The real-time feedback provides objective data to evaluate swing changes.

Using a radar gun takes the guesswork out of measuring swing speed. The instant, objective speed metrics let you experiment with mechanics and training to empirically see what works. It’s no wonder Tour pros use them so extensively.

Online Calculators – Quick and Easy

Don’t have $200+ bucks for a radar gun? No worries – a free online swing speed calculator can offer a decent approximation.

These handy web-based tools only require two inputs – your typical driver carry distance and the loft angle of your driver.

To use them:

  1. Measure out on a course or practice range the total carry distance of one of your standard driver shots. This is the rollout-excluding distance the ball traveled in the air.
  2. Look up the loft angle of your current driver (usually between 9-12 degrees).
  3. Enter those two numbers into the online swing speed calculator. Popular free calculators include versions by,, and TrackMan.
  4. The calculator will use some basic physics equations taking into account carry distance and loft to estimate your swing speed. Most also provide an estimated total distance.

While the results won’t be tour pro-level precise, it’s an extremely easy way to get a ballpark idea of your driver swing speed. And the price can’t be beaten!

Use swing speed calculators as a starting point, then measure with more advanced tools for finer tuning. But for a quick and free assessment, they deliver decent approximations.

Tempo Trainers – Rhythm is Key

Tempo trainers that attach to your club can measure swing speed while also helping you ingrain an optimal rhythm. As you swing, these devices display your real-time clubhead mph along with a tempo metric.

Here are some tips for using them effectively:

  1. Attach the tempo trainer to the end of your driver or golf shaft. Popular options include swing clickers and smart sensor tools like TempoTimer, Zepp, and Blast Motion.
  2. Take normal swings while keeping your head and eyes still throughout the motion. The tempo trainer will register clubhead speed and tempo for each swing.
  3. Pay attention to the feedback after each swing. Look for inconsistencies in your tempo or outliers in swing speed.
  4. Experiment with adjustments to your rhythm, sway, and transition to achieve more consistent tempo and speed metrics.
  5. Use the data over multiple sessions to ingrain your optimal tempo for maximum speed through impact.

Controlling your tempo is hugely beneficial for creating lag and unleashing more club speed into the ball. Tempo trainers provide instant feedback to find your personal rhythm sweet spot for an explosive yet controlled spedd.

Apps – Convenience and More

Lastly, swing speed apps use your phone’s microphone and built-in sensors to estimate speed based on the ball’s impact sound and flight data. Are they as accurate as radar guns? Not quite. But apps provide solid approximations along with other useful features.

Here are some tips for using swing speed apps:

  1. Download a swing speed app like SwingU, GolfMetrics, or Swing Profile to your phone. Many have free trial versions.
  2. Take a normal swing with your phone placed on the ground next to the ball. The app will record impact audio.
  3. The app analyzes the sound frequencies and duration to mathematically estimate clubhead speed at impact. Some also incorporate video analysis.
  4. Factor in wind, temperature, elevation, and other environmental variables the app requests for increased accuracy.
  5. Many apps provide additional statistics like attack angle, distance, dispersion, and swing analysis. Review this data to identify improvement areas.

While swing speed apps may not match dedicated launch monitors, their convenience and versatility make them useful for casual golfers. Try a few free trials to find one that provides helpful insights into your swing speed and overall game.

How to Improve Swing Speed?

So you’ve measured your baseline swing speed. Pretty good, but how can you get even faster? Let’s explore some proven strategies for unlocking more speed and distance.

Build a Stronger Golf Body

Strength training provides the foundation for increased swing speed. Developing muscular power in your core, hips, legs and upper body helps generate more forceful rotations and speed through impact.

Focus on exercises that target the specific muscles used in the golf swing. Rotational movements with resistance bands, cable machines, and medicine balls build rotational power. Compound lifts like squats and deadlifts pack strength into your legs and core. Just remember to maintain proper form to avoid injury. A stronger golf physique pays dividends in clubhead speed.

Improve Your Athleticism

You can also boost speed by enhancing overall athleticism. The golf swing is a dynamic full-body motion requiring balance, coordination, flexibility, and explosiveness. Interval training with sprints, plyometrics, and multi-plane movements develops these athletic traits.

Yoga and dedicated stretching routines also improve flexibility and mobility for a more fluid swing. The goal is to have a supple yet strong body that can unleash its full athletic potential into the ball. Better athleticism equals better swing speed.

Refine Your Technique

Even small adjustments to your swing mechanics and sequence can drive speed gains. Work with a PGA pro to establish an efficient kinetic sequence from backswing to downswing to maximize your speed.

Optimizing aspects like weight transfer, hip turn, lag generation, low hand position, left wrist hinge, and the transition move is key. A professional instructor can identify any problem areas in your swing sapping speed. Unlocking faster mechanics takes focus, reps and expert guidance.

Find Your Optimal Club Fit

Having properly fit clubs designed for your swing attributes also maximizes speed. Most golfers can gain speed from lightweight graphite shafts with the right shaft flex, loft and length combinations. Don’t assume you need a lower lofted driver either. Find a club fitter to test and dial-in equipment matched to your swing efficiency.

Monitor Progress Over Time

To gauge effectiveness, measuring swing speed consistently over your training cycle is crucial. Periodically check your speed using a launch monitor or radar gun under the same conditions. Analyze the data to determine when you’ve hit new speed plateaus that require training adjustments to progress. Numbers don’t lie – tracking speed provides tangible evidence of improvement.

Increasing swing speed requires targeted physical training, technical refinement, optimal equipment, and continual progress monitoring. But dedicating yourself to an integrated speed training program can pay huge dividends in the form of longer drives, tighter dispersion, and lower scores. Unlock your athletic potential and feel the satisfaction of unleashing faster clubhead speed.

The Takeaway

In conclusion, measuring and continually monitoring your personal swing speed metrics provides invaluable insights into this foundational golf skill. Quantifying your starting baseline speed allows you to structure an effective, targeted speed training program. A blended regimen combining evaluation, strength/flexibility training, technical refinements, speed-focused practice and monitoring can unlock dramatic gains.

With a focused, disciplined approach and dedication to on-course application, golfers of all abilities can experience tangible improvements. But be patient, as increasing swing speed requires steady progression over time. Even tour pros are perpetual works-in-progress.

The journey to add speed and distance demands diligence, perseverance and commitment. But the thrill of overpowering drives that soar deep down the fairway makes every early-morning workout and late-night practice session worthwhile. Stop limiting your potential and watch your game transform by embracing speed training.

Andrew is a 38 year old golf enthusiast turned instructor from Chicago. For the past 7 years he has offered private golf lessons, helping students refine their skills. Andrew shares his passion for golf through instructional articles for

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