Practicing speed in the golf swing

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Speed is a tricky topic when it comes to the golf swing.  These days, it is difficult to determine if you are supposed to swing slow, or if you’re supposed to swing fast.  Most golfers think of a slow swing as one with rhythm, while a fast swing is one with power but less control.  How about trying to incorporate both into your swing?

The proper golf swing isn’t about learning to swing slow, or fast.  Rather, it is about knowing WHEN to swing slow and fast.  Most players I see have a difficult time with this concept.  I either see a slow backswing and a fast downswing, or I see a fast backswing which results in a slower downswing.

I like to see my students begin both their backswing and their downswing at the same speed.  This is a terrific thought to help incorporate proper rhythm and speed into your swing.  Typically, this will result in a slow takeaway, as well as a slow start to the downswing.  But when does the speed kick in?

The speed in your golf swing needs to occur at the moment you are striking the golf ball.  I like to see my students accelerate into the finish of their swing to generate this proper feel.  Rather than accelerate on the way to the golf ball, you need to accelerate on the way past the golf ball.  The idea of beginning your backswing and your downswing at the same speed will make this easier for you.

I like to use the following analogy to illustrate this point.  Imagine riding a bicycle and coming to a large downhill, followed by an uphill climb.  Rather than peddle down the hill, I’d like for you to coast.  As you approach the bottom of the hill, you should begin peddling to generate enough acceleration to help you back up the hill on the other side.

In your golf swing, I’d like for you to stay relaxed and coast as you begin your downswing.  As you approach the bottom, begin your acceleration into a full finish of your swing.  As you get better with this concept, your swing will have better balance, better rhythm, and better speed.

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