Club Head Speed in the Golf swing – When and Where it REALLY Happens

This excerpt is from the section entitled MGS versus The Classic Swing – A Comparison”.  Basic myth busting about the traditional  teaching that says the swing should be powered by a big shoulder turn, an active turn and rotation of the torso/shoulders. Here you go:

When Does Club Head Acceleration Happen?

If you read around golf instruction forums and literature at all you’ll find discussions on how to generate club head speed, and what is the most efficient way to generate club head speed.  You’ll find discussions of lag, pivot, releasing from the top, and various and sundry esoteric and fine points about how club head speed is generated.  What is often not mentioned though in all these discussions, is exactly when does the bulk of the club head speed get generated?

The shocking and overlooked fact is that most of the club head speed gets generated from the time the hands are about hip high in the downswing and the club is parallel to the ground. Note the high-speed swing sequence below.

 Total elapsed time from top of swing to impact is 132 frames.  It takes McElroy 110 frames to get his hands to hip high. And from that point to impact only 22 frames! Notice all the shoulder and hip action that McElroy uses and which is commonly attributed to his being able to generate his awesome club head speed. Is this really necessary if in fact most of the speed is generated when the hands have already dropped most of their way back to the ball?

Notice my  MGS swing pictured below, which at the time was producing a clubhead speed of 105 mph. The camera quality is not as good as in the McElroy sequence (not as many frames per second). It takes me 48 frames to go from top of swing to impact. And like McElroy’s ratio, only 11 frames to go from hip high impact. In this swing you notice that there is far less hip and shoulder action, and a very quiet lower body.  All I do is just drop my arms down along my chest wall till I hit the ball.  It is a very efficient and repeatable action and while it doesn’t have the club head speed of Rory, it’s pretty darn good for a 55-year-old geezer!


So what does this mean for us as we contemplate the MGS swing?  It means that we don’t necessarily have to put our bodies into all kinds of torques and turns in order to generate club head speed.

We’ve all watched as Tiger Woods makes his big back swing and then starts down, then some idiot in the gallery does something to distract him and he stops right about here:

Now if he was really swinging that fast, at that point in the swing, how could he stop? The answer is that – as we have already shown – ACCELERATION IN THE GOLF SWING HAPPENS WHEN THE HANDS ARE ABOUT POCKET HIGH.  There is just a lot of wasted motion and energy spent making the “big torque windup” of the classic golf swing.  The only reason it is continued to be talked about is because almost all golf professionals,  both teachers and players, learned the golf swing in this fashion.  The players have highly refined habits and their incomes depend on their swing, so they resist change.  The teachers know no different and so they teach this way.  For most of mainstream golf instruction the world is still flat.  But for those brave players and teachers who dare to consider an alternative – the possibilities are very exciting

What does this mean in a practical sense for us. it means we should not be in a hurry to swing down. We can allow our arms to drop, with no fear that we won’t get enough club head speed by not swinging fast enough. We will learn how to do this in the section on acquiring the MGS swing.

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