A question for the ages in relation to the golf swing. Golfers around the world are familiar with the term clubhead speed. It is the rate at which the golf club is traveling at impact with the golf ball. Golfers are also familiar with the term power. They know that power is directly related to clubhead speed. Knowing the connection between the two, which comes first?
Clubhead Speed and Power in the Golf Swing
Take a moment to answer the question; which comes first, clubhead speed or power?
Write down your answer and continue reading. Before we answer this question, let us do a quick review of both clubhead speed and power.
Again, we understand that clubhead speed is the rate at which the clubhead is moving at impact with the golf ball. The development of clubhead speed is a resultant of your golf swing mechanics. It is essentially a summation of the entire process of the golf swing, beginning with address, moving through the backswing, into transition, onto the downswing, and completing with impact.
The paragraph above should answer the question of which comes first; clubhead speed or power? Clubhead speed is the resultant of power development with the mechanics of the golf swing.
The next question we want to ask is about power:
How is Power Developed in the Golf Swing?
Power is a combination of two entities:
1. Golf Swing Mechanics
Your golf swing mechanics is the efficiency at which you perform the golf swing. Essentially, the golf swing can be broken down into the stages. These stages are;
Address, Backswing, Transition, Downswing, Impact, and Follow Through
Each of these stages within the golf swing can be performed efficiently or inefficiently. PGA Tour players tend to perform the mechanics of the golf swing very efficiently, where as the 30 handicapper performs them very inefficiently.
If the mechanics within each stage of the golf swing are efficient. The creation of power and transfer of this power into clubhead speed is at a greater percentage.
On the flip side, if each stage is performed inefficiently. The amount of power developed and transferred into clubhead speed becomes a low percentage.
The first key in power development and the generation of clubhead speed is golf mechanics.
Efficient Golf Swing Mechanics = Greater Power Development and Clubhead Speed
Once we understand that efficient golf swing mechanics equals more power and clubhead speed. We can turn our attention to the "support structure" of your golf swing.
The body is what drives the golf swing. It is your skeleton, muscles, and nerves performing the mechanics of the golf swing. As a result, your body has a direct affect on how much power you generate in your golf swing.
The mechanics of golf swing requires certain levels of:
Optimal levels within these body categories allow for the possibility of performing the mechanics of the golf swing at their most efficient levels.
For example, a full shoulder in the backswing is necessary for optimal power development. In order to perform a full shoulder turn, you must have a high level of flexibility.
If you are lacking the flexibility to perform a shoulder turn it will affect the amount of power you can generate.
Bottom line the body is the foundation on which the golf swing is developed.
If you have a weak foundation, you will have a weak golf swing.
Efficient Golf Swing Mechanics + A Strong, Flexible, and Powerful Body = Clubhead Speed
We now know clubhead speed is a product of power development in the golf swing. Power development within your golf swing is contingent upon two entities. The first entity is your golf swing mechanics. Performing the mechanics of the golf swing efficiently elicits more power. Secondly, it is the body. Optimal power development requires certain levels of flexibility, balance, strength, endurance, and power within the body. Put these two entities together and you have the ability to generate high levels of clubhead speed within your golf swing.