Do I need new clubs if my swing speed goes up? | Firsthand with a Fitter

True Spec studio 2024

With more golfers training to swing fasters, knowing when to get your clubs adjusted can make a big difference.


Welcome to GOLF’s “Firsthand with a Fitter” series, where with the help of True Spec Golf we dive into some of the most common questions golfers have about club fitting, issues they struggle with on the course, and how properly fit equipment can help fix those issues and make the game easier.

For this edition of Firsthand with a Fitter, we dive into a hot equipment topic for a lot of developing players: Do you need new clubs if you see a big jump in club head speed?

true spec
A look inside a True Spec Golf fitting bay. GOLF

With more professionals and amateur golfers using various programs and training tools to add mobility, strength and speed to their golf swings, one of the forgotten factors in maintaining and controlling that speed is a player’s equipment.

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“With a deeper understanding of strokes gained, and how every yard off the tee can be an added benefit on the next shot, we continue to see golfers at all levels year after year adding swing speed,” Kris McCormack, VP of Tour and Education at True Spec Golf. “We are seeing the biggest gains with younger players coming in faster and faster every year, and for many of them, we have to make tweaks to ensure they’re still creating the best and most consistent launch numbers.”

How are golfers getting faster?

With a distance limit only enforceable through equipment regulations, golfers look for any possible advantage to hit the ball farther and straighter. Adding swing speed is a top ingredient in the recipe for distance and because of this, we have seen several specialized training tools come into the market in recent years that have become quite popular. Alongside a training program, improved coaching, and better technology, the sky is the limit for players who want to add speed.

fitzpatrick STACK speed 2024
Matt Fitzpatrick has used The Stack system to gain a large amount of speed over the last 3 seasons. Ryan Barath

Once club head speed is added the next thing golfers have to consider is how that speed will change their launch conditions, with a focus on the driver because a natural byproduct of more club head speed is ball speed followed by launch and spin. Launch and spin are the biggest concerns in this equation because by controlling those parameters with the help of equipment a golfer can quickly add more distance.

TheStack Swing Speed Trainer (Hardware + App Bundle)

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  TheStack Hardware 5 milled Stack weights enable 30 weight combinations between 0g and 300g Dual-purpose weight case / phone stand Highly engineered training club – Adult (41.5″) or Junior (38.5″) version (see Fitting Juniors) Speed radar not included. View all compatible devices here.  We recommend the PRGR TheStack App Training 2-year License included, accessible on iOS only. Dynamic speed training formulated by Dr. Sasho MacKenzie Guided workout timer for reps, sets, and rest intervals Custom speed metrics to track your gains Hands-free data entry using voice entry technology Includes access to Stack Putting (Beta) – Learn more Includes Single User License – Enables training and tracking for up to five local (i.e. family) users under one login. Multi-user Coaches License license sold separately. Access TheStack App from the App Store when your order arrives. Requires iOS 15.0 or later.
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“Anytime we’re working with a golfer, it’s our goal (with a driver) to maximize ball speed output because it creates the potential for the most distance. From that point, we work on getting a player further dialed into the more detailed specs of the driver,” McCormack continued. “Everything from the hosel settings to adjustable weights, are something we are going to look at adjusting based on how the golfer reacts to the changes we make during the fitting process. This also includes the shaft flex and shaft weight because club head speed is only a small part of the equation. How the golfer loads and unloads the shart during the swing are just as important.”

Ping driver optimal chart fitting
Ping Golf’s driver optimization chart. Ping Golf

What needs to change

Club head speed leads to more ball speed, and as ball speed increases so does the need to better control launch and spin.

Just as players on the lower end of the speed spectrum often need to add launch and spin with the help of lighter shafts and more driver loft, faster players more often than not depending on their impact dynamics need to reduce loft and find a stiffer shaft profile to handle the extra load placed on the shaft during the swing.

Ping G430 driver 2023
Do you need a new driver if you’ve added speed? This pro’s setup offers clues
By: Ryan Barath

Speaking in the most general sense, a stiffer shaft gives faster players the ability to feel where the club head is during the swing which leads to greater control of the club face into impact.

“With the goal of reducing variance in launch and spin, in most cases we lower the club head loft either with the head on its own or with the adjustable settings to find the right window.” Kris McCormack, “Another key factor and benefit to modern golfers is just how stable modern equipment has become, especially on shot missed around the face. These stable heads yield much higher consistency compared to drivers from even a few years ago, and when everything comes together in the right specs we can see incredible results that translate to more distance and lower scores.”

Looking to work firsthand with your own club-fitting expert to dial in your equipment and play better golf? Book a fitting with the industry experts at True Spec Golf. With more than 40 locations, it’s easy to find a location near you.

For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast.

Ryan Barath Editor

Ryan Barath is GOLF Magazine and’s senior editor for equipment. He has an extensive club-fitting and -building background with more than 20 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. Before joining the staff, he was the lead content strategist for Tour Experience Golf, in Toronto, Canada.