Can you increase your swing speed by just trying to swing “faster?” Hank Haney seems to think so! Let’s tee it up!
Listen to the full episode here https://anchor.fm/dataaxisgolf/episodes/A-Faster–Faster–Faster-Golf-Swing-e2osdv
Hank Haney will tell his students to swing the club faster. He’ll go far as to say clubhead speed determines your potential in the game of golf. Is that the case? Let’s tee it up.
Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Data Axis Golf. Appreciate you being here and tuning in to the opening. Yes, I was in the car today, driving along, minding my own business. Listening to a little radio, it was the Hank Haney golf show, which seems to be on now 24/7, much to my chagrin. But yeah, listening to Hank Haney beat the same drum of swinging faster, it seems to be what I hear him say most. And he repeated clubhead speed determines your potential in the game. And I’ve written it down. So I can burn it later.
clubhead speed determines your potential in the game
But anyway, so clubhead speed determines your potential in the game, he talked about, if you have a lousy swing, and you’re swinging fast, and then you slow it down, you just have a slow, lousy swing. He went into some kind of discussion about how he could get all of us within just a few minutes to swing four miles an hour faster, and then went on to demonstrate verbally how he gets this done. And it goes something sort of like this swing faster Is that all you got? Swing faster. Come on, give me some more swing faster, swing faster, oh, fast than that go faster than that. Go faster, faster, faster, faster, faster, somehow or another apparently, with Hank Haney coaching you and encouraging you along. If he says swing faster, long enough, repeats it enough, somehow or another, you’re able to find four miles an hour extra speed in your golf swing, which is amazing. I’ve never tried it, I can’t argue the fact that that may work. And it may very well be that you just swing four miles an hour faster. So he’ll just stop yelling at you. I don’t know how it works, particularly.
Now I will agree with Hank on one point. He says he always says swing faster. He never says swing harder, which … Okay, I get that he’s saying you know swing with less tension. And you can pick up some swing speed, hundred percent agree, you can swing much more quickly. You can have a much faster swing. If you are not tensed up, right? If you’re relaxed, you just can swing the club faster. I’ve got data to prove it. That’s just absolutely 100% true. I agree with Hank on that point. What I don’t agree with is that clubhead speed determines your potential in the game. I don’t know how this phrase is continued over and over again on his radio show and nobody calls them out on it. So let’s do this.
Just a real quick exercise I want you to join with me. And let me read you some names. And see if you know any of these names. Some of you may. So let me read some names and see if you know them. Maurice Allen, Justin James, Joe Miller, Tim Burke, Jeff Flagg. Tim Burke, again, Ryan Winter, Carl Walter, Joe Miller. Again, Jamie Sadlowski now people are probably starting to get it. Jamie Sadlowski again. Okay, I have just read the last 10 winners of the world long drive champion, right? Those are the last 10 winners. Any of them went on tour this year, or last year, or the previous year? Anybody know none of them to have, right? So if clubhead speed determines your potential in the game that we have in any of these guys gotten out there and won anything. Now again, he’s running over a little bit by saying their potential in the game, theoretically, then by Hank Haney ease statement. Those guys who have won the long drive championship have the most potential in the game. Come on. Do you believe that? If I say it that way, does that make sense? Do those long drive champions have the most potential in the game? No, they don’t. So I have a very hard time believing that. Is it nice to hit it further? Yes. And is there ways to learn how to hit it further? Yes.
As I was growing up, I was always told to hit it as far as I possibly can, and will straighten it out later. Yes, I somewhat believe in that theory. And I believe that if you learn to hit the ball far when you’re younger, and you get that idea in your head that you’re able to do it more as you get older. I don’t know if that’s because you develop fast twitch muscles better when you’re young. And you can’t really do it when you’re old. I don’t know. But I do know this, that I was been able to measure my swing speed. And then I’ve been able to do work with a various number of products that claim to increase your swing speed. And if you work with them over time, that actually does work. So you can increase your swing speed over time. I don’t think it’s just about swinging faster. That’s not the way it gets done. And Hank Haney talks about he swings the club 100 times every day. Okay, fine. Good. Swing the club 100 times every day. And do it faster and faster. And do it without any tension. And yes, I can see how that may be helpful and at least keeping you limber and ready to go play the game. But if your swing stinks, I also believe 100 swings every day, trying to go faster and faster and faster, could be a complete disaster to your health. Throw your back out pop a shoulder. It doesn’t make any sense.
So what we need to do is fix our golf swing. And I will say this, we have data to show that if you have some sort of messed up to playing golf swing, that if you start to simplify that golf swing and you get to one plane, then you will increase clubhead speed. So if you fix your golf swing, that’s a great way to increase your clubhead speed. Excellent way to do it. Another way to do it as once your club is on the plane and you’re swinging correctly, then there are exercises and there is equipment that you can use to increase your clubhead speed and do it in a very organized, proper manner that won’t. Or you won’t enjoy yourself, where you work your way into it and build up to it and work on your flexibility and then increase your clubhead speed. That’s the way to do it. Not just get on a tee and swing faster, faster, faster with somebody screaming behind you to get you to do it.
So again, I’ll tell you a story. So I was working with Fred Shoemaker and I hope this is okay with Fred. But I was working with Brett Shoemaker. And we were working in Carmel Valley Ranch on the back tee working out there. And we’re working on my game and working on some stuff. And if you have the opportunity to have an afternoon with Fred, it’s one of the best experiences you’ll ever have. He’s a golf coach with a mind beyond any other. He’s brilliant. When he talks about the golf game, he doesn’t say things that like this clubhead speed determines the potential in your game. He doesn’t say stuff like that. He said stuff that’s actually true. That really works. Because he’s experienced it all himself. And he’s a very thoughtful, intelligent person. So, when I’m working with Brett Shoemaker on the back of the tee and we’re doing really, really great, and we’ve moved up through the bag, and we’ve got, I mean, I don’t know, it seemed like we had a full day together or at least half the day together. And we’re working on a lot of great stuff. We’re getting ready to kind of wind down and I just had a question for him. Right? And it’s the question that everybody asks their golf coach, hey, I want to hit it further. And so I talked to Fred, I said, Hey, Fred, I would sure love to hit my driver further, what do you get? And Fred very wisely said, so Fred always has a few throw clubs around. And I’ve talked about how that process works in Extraordinary Golf, and I’m not going to go too far into it. Because it’s the Extraordinary Golf. It’s how they do things. And that is from Shoemaker.
So if you see anybody else, anywhere, throwing a golf club, that’s from Fred Shoemaker, that’s where it originated. Fred shoemakers, the guy who came up with that. Okay, everybody else’s just copying at this point. So Fred Shoemakers deal throwing the golf club, and to kind of get you into how your body moves. And that’s the one thing that I think you have to be really careful about, is that when we want our bodies to perform a certain way, it’s better to really sort of not force them into anything that they can’t do. So if you’re not warmed up, and if you’re not ready to go, and you’re not swinging the club properly, to tell your body to swing faster, faster, faster, seems like a very quick way to get hurt, to injure yourself. But if you tell your body, hey, I would sure love to do this. And then you let your body sort of cut subconsciously sort of figure it out for you, then it will take care of itself. Right. That’s why I’m always talking about do not try to force things in your golf swing, just let it happen.
So that all being said, so Fred, wisely. I asked him the question, I want to hit the driver further. How do I do that? How do I generate more power? Right? And we could talk about less tension. And we could talk about doing faster? Well, that’s fine and all but how do you do all that? So Fred wisely handed me one of these throw clubs, and he has just a big bag of junky clubs that he’s picked up at secondhand stores, right? So he’s a big black bag of throw clubs. So you can kind of practice how your body propel something because that’s what all sweet, okay, and again, I don’t want to go too far in this. If you want to read all about this, I would say go out and buy Fred Shoemaker’s books. That is a great way to learn how to do all this. And I’ve got both copies right here. But Extraordinary Golf, the art of the possible. If you want the best book on golf, this is the one. Okay, and he talks about throwing clubs in here. So I would highly recommend you go buy this book and learn about throwing clubs from this book. Not for me, it’s not my thing to sell. It’s not my thing to talk about. Not that I sell anything. But go by Fred’s book. How about that? So free advice.
So Fred has me at the back of this tee, and he says, okay, he hands me a throw club. And he points. So the back of the range, you kind of go over, there’s a ferry down back behind the back of the range. And then there’s like a river on the other side. And so he hands me the club and says, okay, throw this club into the river. I can’t throw it that far. But I haul off and throw it as far as I can. And then he hands me another one. Say, Hey, you know, how far can you throw this one? Well, now my mind is focused on how do I generate power to put this club out there. So I’m allowing my body to tell me how to generate more power. I’m looking at the river and saying, boy, I’d really like to put this out there. But I’m not. But I’m not thinking less tension faster, faster, faster, and forcing my body into someplace where it’s going to get injured. I’m just saying, You know what, I am going to take this club, and I am going to throw it towards that river as far as it can possibly go. And then I’m going to experience what that feels like. And see if I can’t pick up anything. I know, for me, when I did that, I felt like some real ground forces in my feet. I felt how my hips were working. And I felt how my shoulders were working. And it basically taught me in a very real way, how my body would need to work how my body would need to move in order for me to generate more power. And then I could take that back and try to implement that into my own gang. Whatever that takes.
Now, automatically, in order for me to propel a club towards the river, I had to do it with less tension. I had to actually somehow another in my body, create more speed, but I did it naturally. I did it within the confines of what my body knows it can do within those parameters. And here’s the key, it knows what it can do without hurting yourself. So if you just decide to swing faster, faster, faster, because somebody screaming at you from you can get hurt. And if you’re just swinging the club 100 times just to swing the club 100 times, realize please do that cautiously. Because if you’ve got a bad golf swing, and you’re swinging faster, faster, faster with a bad golf swing, believe me, you’re gonna hurt yourself. It’s no good. It’s not worth it. If you want to stay flexible, take some yoga, there’s yoga for golf, go for that. Do something that in a responsible, careful way, protect your body and get healthier and then swing the club fat faster naturally. The big thing is to get your swing on plane first and then go through some programs to increase your swing speed.
As always, thank you for joining us. I really appreciate it. I’m sorry for these super passionate, borderline angry tirade in a podcast but sometimes you just have to be angry to get it all out. So I appreciate your patience with me today. Thank you for another show, as always better data and no white belts and nobody screaming at you and your backswing to swing faster means better golf. Thanks.