Comparison Statistical Information
An analysis of data from a report in Golf Magazine demonstrated that a series of mid to low handicap men golfers with an average swing speed of 97 mph achieved an average distance of 239 total yards.
Analysis of data reported in a specific robot swing testing study demonstrated that a swing speed of 105 mph and a launch angle of 12.25 degrees resulted in an average carry distance of 254 yards and an average total distance of 288 yards (robot was set up for perfect contact with the ball).
According to data published by the Professional Golfers Association (PGA), the average driving distance for players on the PGA tour is about 285 yards, with an average of 64% of drives landing in the fairway.
Another report in a national golf magazine stated that a swing speed of 110 mph is required to achieve a 300 yard drive, which included carry in the air and roll on the ground. It also stated that in addition to the speed of the swing, other important swing and equipment factors must be in place to achieve that distance.
Although it helps to be physically strong, you do not need to have the build and strength of a football tight end to have potential for very long drives. The ladies on the LPGA tour can routinely deliver 260+ yard drives.
Why Measure Swing Speed and Tempo Time
The measurement of swing speed and tempo time is important for those golfers who want to increase their ball striking consistency and their distance.
For the purpose of this survey, swing speed is defined as the speed that the club head is moving as it contacts the ball.
Tempo time is defined as the time it takes for your club head to leave the address position, proceed through the take away and back swing and then return to the impact position.
Although most professional men golfers have a tempo time less than 1.0 second, it is most important to maintain a tempo time that you personally are comfortable with so that you can consistently bring the clubface back to a square position to the target line at the point of impact. Rushing your take away and backswing can lead to very poor ball contact and bad shots.
If you are just learning to play golf other elements of the your swing and playing might be more critical, (grip, posture, alignment, ball position, swing path, etc.), but eventually you will need to manage your tempo and may want ways to increase your swing speed without adversely affecting your accuracy and consistency.
One measurement of swing speed and/or tempo time can only provide a starting point for discussion and evaluation. Typically, I like to start with a minimum of three sets of 10 shots per set. The objectives are to 1st identify the swing speed and tempo time, and then to maintain consistency with the results being no more than 0.1 second of tempo time and 5 mph of swing speed differences from shot to shot.
There is no incorrect or correct tempo time. Each golfer has their own tempo comfort level.
In the long drive competition at the Novi Jaguar's FC golf outing, the men's winning drive of 270 yards had a tempo time of 1.14 seconds and a swing speed of 109 mph. The fastest men's tempo time was 0.78 seconds, (with a 118 mph swing speed), which resulted in a similar length playable drive that did not land in the fairway.
The overall objectives for measuring swing speed and tempo time are to assure that your swing is very close to the same tempo time with each club. A consistent tempo time will help you achieve very consistent distance for each club. This helps you score better because if you know your distance for each club then you will have confidence in your shot length and end up close to your target.
Swing speed will vary with each club based on the length of the club. The longer the club the slightly faster the swing speed. (E.g., 9-iron, 80 mph; 5-iron, 92 mph; Driver, 101 mph.)
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