Today's tip comes from the group of really good questions we got from the live webcast that DJ and I recently did from his home. We couldn't answer all of them during the Surge Show so we will occasionally dip into the mail bag and grab one to answer. Ray Stool writes:
"Surge, I am 83 years old, in good health, and I hit a driver 150 yards. What can I do to get more clubhead speed?"
Well, Ray, clubhead speed is an important component in the distance equation but it isn't the only thing that determines how far your shot will go. Just as important is how solid a hit it is. Dr. Alistair Cochran, in his definitive book The Search For The Perfect Golf Swing, says that to hit a good golf shot your club must approach the ball On the aiming line, strike the ball while On the aiming line, and leave accelerating On the aiming line while striking the ball Square and Solid on the club's sweet spot. My Surgism for that is On, On, On Square and Solid. Simple physics dictates that a mishit ball will not fly as far as one that is solidly hit, even with 3, 4 or 5 mph greater clubhead speed. So the first thing you should determine is if you are hitting the ball as solidly as possible.
Another thing you should check is your club length. You mentioned your driver, but you should have all of your clubs checked to see if they are the appropriate length for a golfer of your age. Unless you are over 6 feet tall, I can't see you swinging a driver that is over 43 inches in length. Getting the length right will help you swing the club faster, thus increasing your clubhead speed.
While on the subject of clubs, if you are playing with a standard set of men's clubs, you may want to test playing with Senior clubs, or even a good set of ladies' clubs. Now, I know there will be some of you in the Surge Nation that will chuckle at this last suggestion and perhaps dismiss it out of hand. But before you do, consider this. The ladies' clubs of today are not your mother's set of clubs. They are made with high quality, lighter weight components and, in many cases, are better than the standard men's clubs of twenty years ago. They have smaller, lighter heads, lighter shafts and lighter grips--and all of this should translate to being able to swing the club faster.
Finally, even though you are in good health, you can still do a lot to improve your strength and suppleness. There are plenty of good books and websites where you can get advice on simple ways to do this. Another good route would be to go see an Occupational or Physical Therapist who can test you to find out exactly where you are weak and then suggest a regimen of golf-specific exercises for you to follow.
Keep it vertical!
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