How one golfer added 15 mph of clubhead speed in 6 months

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Adding distance can completely transform your game.

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In the current era of golf, distance is king. This has been a hot-button topic for years — inspiring an industry-wide distance analysis — and recently Bryson DeChanbeau has taken the quest for distance to the extreme, but it’s a fact backed up by loads of data.

Lou Stagner, one of the minds behind the data-driven DECADE Golf system, knows this fact well, but until recently, he hadn’t applied the data-backed drive for distance to his own game.

“One of the things I always preach is distance. It’s extremely important to the game and it’s one of the things that we can all train to get better on,” Stagner said. “I realized at the tail end of last year that I wasn’t really taking my own advice.”

That changed last October. The results have transformed his game.

Stagner’s methods weren’t quite as intense as Bryson DeChambeau’s well-documented bulk operation, but the results have been similarly beneficial. He was swinging the club 99 mph when he started his quest last fall. Now? He’s ramped his clubhead speed up to 114 mph.

And he hasn’t even had to introduce a seven-protein-shakes-a-day strategy to his diet to achieve these gains. Rather, he’s worked with Titleist Performance Institute to nail down a solid workout regimen, completed the SuperSpeed Golf training program (I can corroborate the efficacy of this program as someone who’s done it twice over the last six months) and worked with Top Speed Golf to bump up his speed.

The increase he’s seen in distance has him playing an entirely different brand of golf.

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“It’s a different game hitting it 30 or 40 yards further off the tee,” Stagner said.

While everyone talks about the benefits of increased distance, Stagner has the stats to back it up, too. According to him, on the PGA Tour, every increase of 10 yards of distance is worth between .6 and .7 shots saved per round. When extrapolated over an entire season, those strokes saved by the long ball quickly add up. In DeChambeau’s case, the 20 added yards of distance should result in over $1 million in additional earnings based on the shots he saves over the course of a season.

Stagner has not played enough golf this season to quantify the results of his Bryson-esque distance quest (having a full-time job and family makes getting to the course difficult at times), but the early results have been promising. Once unthinkable carries at his suburban New Jersey club he’s now flying with ease. Once he gets to playing on a regular basis, he estimates his 9 handicap will come down into the low single digit range.

“It’s pretty incredible,” Stagner said. “Hopefully I can start playing a little more golf, because I’m extremely confident the scores are going to be a lot lower.”

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Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com.