Welcome to Shaving Strokes, a new GOLF.com series where we share improvements, insights and insights from amateur golfers like you – including some of the speed limits and challenges they encountered along the way.
Every player wants to hit the ball farther, but to increase clubhead speed, the golfer must first master the basics.
So if you’re a player who doesn’t quite spin, has trouble swinging properly, and can’t figure out how to line up the clubface when your swing sequence is accelerated, it’s best to avoid chasing more distance to the right now .
That doesn’t mean you can’t reach your distance goals in the future. It just means that your first step should be getting used to your swing principles.
That’s what GOLF Top 100 teacher Joe Plecker had to work on in today’s “Shaving Strokes” with one of his students, Bret.
Bret had years of golfing experience and even had “great clubhead speed,” according to Plecker. However, there were kinks in his swing that needed to be fixed.
So Plecker created an action plan for the amateur player to achieve those distance gains. The final result? Bret increased his clubhead speed by an additional five miles per hour, resulting in a whopping 27 yards increase in driver distance.
Plecker goes through the walkthrough steps he used on Bret – which should be helpful for any other player looking for more length.
How Bret increased both clubhead speed and driver distance
According to Plecker, “Bret’s driver is the most deceptive club in his bag that leads to hooks and slices.” His swing type is mostly “down” and requires a right-hand grip wedged under the club and his right elbow in brings his side.
“His build usually leans his upper body towards the target and relieves the pressure on his right foot at the end of the backswing. This error throws the entire forward swing into a steep, outside-in club path.”
Given his swing tendencies, improving Bret’s posture was what Plecker found to be the most critical area to gain more clubhead speed and distance. So the GOLF Top 100 teacher had Bret adopt a more upright position.
Next, Plecker said he worked on a more even rotation of Bret’s shoulders, which contributed to a greater shift to the right.
“That gave him a lot of time to move forward, shallow the downswing and crush the ball,” Plecker added. “That gave him back his old deficit.”
Below is a before image of Bret’s build, highlighting his forward push position at address.
Next, the image below shows what Bret’s ball flight looked like with his bad golf form. Bret’s spin rate with his driver was too high (4589) as he was hitting down (-4.6 attack angles), resulting in a decrease in overall distance (256 yards).
After realizing the problem, Plecker managed to get Bret to stand more upright. Standing taller at address and raising the leading shoulder moved Bret’s head back and directly affected the pressure and rotation of his backswing.
The setup change also resulted in more pressure on Bret’s right foot (trail foot), which increased from a max of 76% to a max of 90% with the new setup. It gave him an opportunity to take his lead shoulder position at the top of the backswing. Eventually, Bret managed to flatten the racquet from the inside and keep his body behind the ball at impact.
After all the changes, Plecker revealed the impressive gains.
Bret’s attack angle settled at -0.4 degrees, his clubhead speed increased by 5 mph (117), his spin rate decreased to 3,289 and his driver carry distance increased by 27 yards (to 283 yards).
Many amateurs struggle with the same problems as Bret. But by identifying the problem that was holding him back and setting about improving it, he saw how a new and improved swing led to better results.
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https://golf.com/instruction/driving/how-amateur-gained-clubhead-speed-distance-joe-plecker/ How this amateur achieved a clubhead speed of 5 miles per hour and driver distance of 27 yards