So the latest ‘phase’ in golf is speed & distance but is it all overhyped nonsense or something we should all be attempting to achieve?
Bryson ‘The Scientist’ DeChambeau figured out last winter and into lockdown that if he increased his ball speed this would ultimately lead to numerous positive outcomes. His world ranking went up 9 spaces to 5th between 2019 & 20 and he won almost $2 million more on the PGA Tour (despite a number of cancelled events).
For Bryson to increase his ball speed he’s worked on his body to increase club head speed and adjusted his equipment (longer shaft/less loft) to impart the optimal physics on the ball to maximise distance.
The average driving distance on the PGA Tour in 2020 was 296 yards (up 2 yards on 2019). The whole “drive for show, putt for doe” quote is now void due to the correlation between distance & earnings on the PGA Tour (highlighted in the picture above).
2021 is going to be an interesting year in terms of driving stats. I can see most tour players following in Dechambeau’s footsteps in an attempt to increase their speed and I believe most will be successful. I wonder what odds we’ll get on the average 2021 PGA Tour driving distance being 300+ yards.
So what about you, the weekly golfer? If you are a young, aspiring golfer I think most coaches would agree that speed is a skill that we can no longer overlook. For those past their peak (me included) whilst I think we could all make club head speed gains it’s whether you are prepared to invest in physical/speed training to reap some distance dividends.
I do believe we can all increase our ball speed (even if the above speed training doesn’t tickle your fancy). Very few of us impart optimal physics on the ball whether it’s technique, skill or equipment (including most scratch players).
If you wish to get some baseline numbers and improve your club &/or ball speed give me a shout.