Club Head Speed And How It Is Generated | Swing Surgeon - Don Trahan Peak Performance Golf Swing

Club Head Speed And How It Is Generated

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 22:52 -- Don Trahan

I have yet another article from a golf publication talking about driving distance and club head speed.  Their answer is rotation, wrong. Rotation does not produce club head speed and we (PPGS players) are living proof that it does not come from body rotation.

How do you produce club head speed? Swing your arms faster and use a vertical golf swing. Do not expend energy pulling the golf club vertical then yanking it down to meet the golf ball.

Comments's picture

Submitted by dgundling@veriz... on

In my experience some body rotation is required to get maximum distance. Try a PPGS swing with the usual set up but do not rotate. You can take the club back and up the tree per PPGS but keep your body facing forward. Than make your swing and finish with the arms in front of your body. Zero body rotation. I expect you will find your driving distance greatly reduced. Note Don's swing in the video. How do you think he got from a position where his body is turned 70 degrees back of center on the back swing to facing the target at the end of his swing. I strongly suspect that he rotated his body.

Jurassical1's picture

Submitted by Jurassical1 on

True, but the rotation is primarily to allow the arms to obtain as much height and swing arc and to allow them to swing freely through to the finish. The idea is reducing the backswing thus lessening the low back involvement which leads to long layoffs or worse. Surge never said not to rotate at all nor that rotation plays no part in the speed of the arms. Arm rotation alone accounts for the major portion of speed and the freedom of that movement is key to maximizing it.'s picture

Submitted by on

You can disprove this idiocy very simply with a small experiment. From address position with any club, rotate as far back and through as you can, but do not use your arms. Just keep them in the same relation to your upper body as they are at address. No matter how hard you rotate back and through, the best you can do is the equivalent of a short chip. The ball doesn't travel at all. Then, without using any rotation at all, use an "arm's only" swing and you will find you can hit the ball quite far.

The same thing goes for the weight shift, aka the bump. Start at address and without moving your arms, execute a weight shift. The ball will dribble a few yards away. Definately not a source of power. It seems clear to me now, that the weight shift is not about using ground force as much as it is a way to move the swing arc's bottom toward the target a few inches. When we set up, we are setting up for the swing to bottom out at the back edge of the ball. We rather want the bottom to be 1-2 inches ahead of the ball, so we just shift the center of rotation forward that little bit and voila. Again, not a source of power. If ground forces are so important why do Bubba Watson and Justin Thomas swing so hard that both of their feet are off of the ground at impact?

I also suspect that the turn through to face the target after impact is completely wasted motion (the ball is gone). What we do after impact puts limits on what we can do before, but the balletic finish recommended for most recreational golf swings is beyond most golfers (just watch them), so why not let them swing through (with both feet on the ground) with the club wrapping around the body target side as it does in the back swing. This eliminates difficult moves and allows golfers to just swing and not worry about whether their weight is on their back toe and outside of their front foot (which is ridiculous).

Keep giving them hell, Surge, the power of the golf swing is in the arms. Always has been always will be.'s picture

Submitted by dgundling@veriz... on

I suspect, and in my experience, that maximum swing speed is obtained when you use everything that contributes to swing speed. To me, that means you use arms, body rotation, the bump, and, perhaps, a bit of wrist snap. The Momentus swing speed device that attaches to the club shaft is very useful for experimentation. Consciously adding body rotation to my arm swing is worth about 5 mph for me. I also suspect that the bump which gives a bit of forward motion adds a bit of added acceleration to the club head prior to impact.'s picture

Submitted by on

Well, of course it is ... but the fact that only professionals can pull this off because they practice and compete seven days a week, 11 months per year. This alone makes doing this a fool's errand.'s picture

Submitted by dgundling@veriz... on

I must be an exception. I play once a week and practice once a week 12 months of the year (Southern CA) and I can, every now and then get a bit of everything in my swing. (Believe me I need all the help I can get (Grin).'s picture

Submitted by on

Love all your instructional videos and the PPGS swing has helped me immensely. Can you please address maintaining posture during the swing and it's importance. Thank you.

douggolf's picture

Submitted by douggolf on

Hi Surge,
Reviewing your video and just wanted to ask you a question about square to square golf instruction. It appears to be simular to yours. Do you agree?
My background is a senior golfer 83 years young in reasonable good health and flexability. I have been using your instructions for the past ten years and could not use rotational type swing and found your way more senior freindly to the body. I have lost club head speed over the years but, found that with 3/4 swing and a solid contact that adjust my clubs to the required distance was adequate for me. The pro's deloft their iron and due to excessive body movement strike the ball distances most of us will never match.(will their bodies stand up to this type of swing for the rest of their careers?) time will tell! Thanks for letting me rant on current golf instructions. Yours for enjoyable golf....cheers :-)'s picture

Submitted by kenandjo5458@ya... on

I am now 63 and surgite convert after knne,back and shoulder surgeries. Other body injuries have restricted my ability to play mutch and enjoy being an instructor for Don here in Australia. The point I would like to make is I put up with a lot of pain refusing to give up distance as I had swung rotational with my body since 5 years old.I was playing a game recently with the usual culprits and one gentleman remarked on how well I was driving the ball with as seemed little effort. We then spoke about swinging within ourselves to last 18 holes. This person is rotational and over swings trying to hit it further. I was feeling fit that day and my timing was good so I was able to demonstrate a few long drives by simply holding the outward pressure firmer and swinging a couple at 90% plus. These drives were similar spots to where I finished 10 years ago. Of course you can't play the whole game like that but how far would've I been hitting the back then with what Don and Doc have taught me and know now. The player is now a student and we've shotened his swing and shortening his shoulder and hip rotation and he is more vertical automatically more vertical. As we know when he does all three he is longer more consistently and has lower dispersion. The sad part is he paid a mint for his driver and and I'm using Acer Xv fitted by myself using advice Doc gave me years ago for around the $300 mark.

billh175's picture

Submitted by billh175 on

I would like to resume getting the daily videos and tips from Surge.

Jerry Gaughan's picture

Submitted by Jerry Gaughan on

End of season: Hoping to play one more time tomorrow but weather is not looking good. Played Saturday had two birdies on back nine, hit it ok most of the day. A trying season, my back issues are starting to get worse - mostly arthritis plus a herniated disc. Need to get this worked on before next year. Thanks to the Surge Swing - this has been my 8th year using this method - it is the only way I could have played as much as I did. Hit the ball well when I did. Also a big thanks to Greg Courtnay who fitted me for my set. Having fitted clubs has made it more fun to play.
DJ: I see you are teeing it up this week at the Sanderson. Hope you can use this opportunity to get back to the big stage. Good Luck.
Surgites: Good luck to all, past and present. And thanks again Surge for all of lessons.
Jerry - Warren, MI

olddoc's picture

Submitted by olddoc on

Surge - Really enjoyed playing with you at Cobbs Glen Saturday,
especially the discussion on swing theory afterward. Your views make
a lot of sense; especially for those of us with physical limitations.

Bill Lepley's picture

Submitted by Bill Lepley on

Surge what do you recommend after shoulder surgery as preparation prior to competition? A Novice Surgite with a 11. 5 index. Bill's picture

Submitted by guymelrouse@gma... on

Hello, I am confused about the set up for chips and pitches. Do we use the bowed knees and shoulder swing for these as well? Also, videos look like you (and DJ) are using wrist action, but I have not really heard that discussed. Would like to better understand what is recommended. The basic short game videos do not address this.'s picture

Submitted by on

As a 71 y/o 6 hdcp rotational swinger who wants to stop aching after 18 holes, i would like to know if any equipment modifications (lie,length,grip size,style,etc.) are recommended to begin this limited turn upright swing journey?