The offseason gets pretty dark for golfers in the northeast, both literally and figuratively. The clubs get tucked away, the weather turns cold, and the game slowly grows rusty.
But not this time.
This time, it’s going to be different. At least for four intrepid GOLF Magazine staffers, who were determined to do something productive for our games this offseason.
And so, we decided to go through swing speed training. The good people over at Super Speed — the same training aid used by Phil Mickelson to starting hitting “BOMBS” — sent us a set a set of their products and instructions to their Level One Speed Training Protocol. It’s a six week program, and by the end of it, the company guarantees at least five miles per hour of extra swing speed. That sounded like a challenge, so we accepted.
Swing Speed Training Aids
Over the past few years, the SuperSpeed Golf Training System has become a darling of PGA Tour players, including Phil Mickelson, who says his swing speed jumped four miles per hour in one season with the help of the training aid. Use three weighted clubs with the SuperSpeed’s six-week training program and the company guarantees a minimum five percent jump in swing speed.
The motley crew embarking on this speed challenge was myself, Senior Writer Dylan Dethier, Social Media Editor Tim Reilly, and Zephyr Melton, the new kid at GOLF.com and GOLF Magazine, fresh off a stint covering the Korn Ferry Tour.
The program is 39 swings a session: three right-handed with each color trainer, three left-handed with each color, three step swings with each color, three left step swings with each color, and three max speed with the green trainer to end it. In all, it takes about 15 minutes and do it three times a week.
All things considered, things went pretty well during week one. We saw some speed gains. There was a minor issue when Zephyr, who was having a great day up until that point, accidentally smashed our speed monitor during one of his step drill lefty swings. Turns out, he was standing a little too close, but on the plus side, if he tried to break the monitor pre-training, it probably wouldn’t have even made a dent. We finished the session without one, then ordered a new one, so all’s well that end’s well.
But apart from that small mishap, an encouraging start.
Dylan (Handicap: +3.3)
I can’t tell you how excited I was to start speed training. We spend a lot of time sitting in office chairs, which I don’t think is particularly helpful for my flexibility or strength…and I can feel the speed deteriorating, but wasn’t sure what to do about it. Even three sessions in I feel like I’ve seen measurable results. Partly it feels like a flexibility thing (these swings really help loosen you up) partly a specific strength thing (my body’s getting used to this move, too) and partly a mental thing (Swing HARD! Harder!). I’m encouraged and hoping it has real-swing applications. Can’t afford to lose any more speed if I’m going to stay ahead of Luke.
I’ve always thought I was leaving distance on the table. Part of it was by choice. The golfers I idolized growing up — Nick Faldo and Justin Rose, mainly — were more controlled ball striker types, so I grew up thinking it was cooler to be a sharpshooter than a bomber. Swinging hard made me feel like I had less control over my game, and therefore less confident in my game, so I simply didn’t do it. But for the first time in my golfing life, I feel like I’m tapping into those speed banks. I seem to be constantly sore, but it’s a fun feeling, taking off the hand break.
Swing speed training seemed like a good reason to get away from my cubicle and get in a few cuts during the workday, and to increase my pitifully slow swing speed along the way. Win-Win! Day one started with recording my swing speed on an ordinary drive, which clocked in at 100 mph with a driver (yikes), before starting with the training regimen. Twenty-seven swings with the weighted sticks later and I was surprisingly spent. Day two was more eventful. I already felt better about my swing when I got a little too close to the swing radar on one of my left-handed swings and destroyed the machine. Oops. Would I have had enough swing speed to shatter the screen before starting the program? Who knows. Here’s to fewer accidents in Week 2.
I’m sore! By the third day of Week 1 training, I was starting to feel it in muscles I’ve never felt bothered by from playing golf. Specifically in my shoulders and my wrists. It didn’t feel detrimental to my swing though. It was the type of sore that you get from lifting weights. At least that’s what I recall it being like from the one time I accidental found myself in a gym. Nonetheless, I could already feel like my swing getting longer and I’ve developed a newfound determination for speed. I’m hooked.
Results after Week One:
|Driver (Starting Speed)||Week 1 (Max Speed)|
Note: “Starting Speed” is an average of 10 stock driver swings. “Max Speed” is the highest swing speed