Well, I’ve had several knowledgeable people steer me to the Stack System for increasing swing speed. I’m currently at 80-83 but would love 8-10 more. But just turned 75 and have doubts about how much incremental gain can be achieved for someone that age. I make (usually) great contact so 8 more might get me another 10-12 mph ball speed. Would welcome comment from anyone in similar situation
I’m 65. In my 50s I was ball park 98-102 mph. At age 58 got into a very bad car accident that pretty much wrecked my left shoulder. Doc told me to chill and of course I didn’t. I developed a swing that was a lot of poor principles. But it was relatively pain free. My SS dropped to 84-87. I was barely hitting the ball 200 with the driver and definitely not str8. I wanted to hit a ball like I did 15 years ago. Age will slow you up a bit, that’s just fact. High 90s is attainable, but takes a lot of physical work. Low 90s is very attainable even into your 70s - 80s, I went back to the drawing board and really re-learned all I could about the golf swing. Here’s what I found. Strengthen your grip. Not strong or weak but make your hands strong. The hands control the club face. I went back to Hogan and listened carefully. The golf swing is not a weight transference it’s 2 separate pieces though. The lower body and the upper body. Hogan said the lower body is what starts the swing. It is the engine of the swing. The turning for a RH player of the hips to the right will begin the shoulder turn to the right. Your weight will stay centered picture a pole going through the center of your body Because, with a Driver, you are playing off the left instep the general body weight and your head are behind the ball. If it’s not you are either lurching forward or swaying back off your center post. When the hips can no longer turn. The upper body and shoulders will continue to turn to the right. As the shoulders and arms are continuing the turn to the right and this is where you begin to turn your hips back to the left. Opening up or clearing so when you uncork your shoulders and arms and wrists, this unwinding is centrifugal force. You are still centered on your center post. Just turning. Your left shoulder is the fulcrum of a lever machine. If the bottom half is the engine, the top half above the hips wrists, arms, shoulders is the gas pedal. The faster you can coordinate your shoulders and arms with the unwinding of your hips the more speed you can create. Yes, weights on the club will help increase speed. Flexibility and coordination will increase it even more. I am back up to 95-98 mph, ball speed is 135-142, distance average is 232-270 today. I still beat balls, not as much as I used to. But enough to keep the engine oiled. I will tell you to watch Hogan, look at his lower body. Concentrate on that first and foremost. Then coordinate that with your upper body and arms and shoulders. Watch this snippet. Listen to the sound of the club coming through. Mr Hogan shows us the golf swing in its simplest formSpeed, that’s the deal. The more you can turn when you let it go, the more speed you will have. More speed you can acquire, the further the ball is going to go
I thought a little further about your question. If I’m not mistaken, at one point Mr Sherman was promoting The Speed Stick system on the sight. Which was a system of graduated weights on the end of a shaft and a program of how to exercise with them. I am assuming, after I read a general overview of The Stack it’s a similar deal. So you are in your 70’s. I assume you aren’t missing any parts to the body . No you won’t develop 100mph SS anymore. I was thinking about a chance encounter I had with Mitch Williams a few years back in the early 2000s. Mitch pointedly said to me I can still throw a baseball as hard as I ever did with close to the same mechanics. This was a guy that threw a ball upwards of 100mph. Then he says all that said, the ball now only goes 85mph. So there are a few things we have to realize. Flexibility is an issue. The golf swing is definitely some moving parts that depend on flexibility. Mechanics, there are some minor adjustments we can make like pointing the right toe out and dropping the right leg at address back 2 inches. That will promote a fuller hip turn. Your alignment should be a little left of target on purpose, flexibility issues won’t allow you to turn your head at the target, most senior golfers end up (and I do this too) create an address position right of target. It’s just working with the tools within your body. Now here’s what I’ll tell you, if LPGA 5 foot nothing golfers that weigh 110 pounds of nothing can generate a swing speed on average around 94-95mph with a driver, I’m sorry, there is no reason you can’t muster up 90-92 mph. NONE except poor mechanics and loss of flexibility. You can work on both. Flexibility is cheap, take some YouTube classes for yoga. Mechanics, more expensive, hit up a PGA pro or maybe one of the better golfers at your club. I’m talking handicaps of 2 or less to evaluate your swing for you. Take a video of your swing, then compare it to watching an 80 year old Trevino swing on YouTube. See if you are executing correctly. I’ve said this before, golf is a very humbling sport. You will hit way more bad shots in a round or practice session than good ones. On course, it’s about managing the bad shots. On range, it’s about finding the correct mechanics and executing those correctly. So, is a Stack System going to improve your game. Probably not. Poor mechanics are poor mechanics and no new club or ball or swing enhancing devices is going to change that. IMO, I would really work on flexibility, get a swing eval done and just have FUN!
I’m 67 years old, and have lost about 10 mph over the last 4 or 5 years, from high 90’s to jut under 90 mph. I got the chance to review the Stack System for another golf forum, and through the first 8 weeks or so have gained back about 3 mph. That was the complete Foundations program, and I’ll begin the next program in a day or two I like the system, it all makes sense to me, and each new session is based on your results from previous workouts. I’ve never used any other speed training, so I can’t compare, but I believe the Stack app (the data recording and customized work plans) is the biggest difference to some of the others.
But its also more expensive than the others, you need both the Stack system (the stick and weights) and some kind of swing speed radar. The total of those is a bit over $500, and you’re required to have an Apple product to use the app. Its also a bit of a strain on the body, a lot of “max effort” swings, so if you have any physical issues speed training of any kind might not be a great choice.
Every one of us has some kind of personal maximum swing speed, influenced by age, mechanics, physical strength, and I’m sure a bunch of other factors. I feel like I’ve had good results so far in getting closer to my own personal max.
There is no doubt as we age we lose some strength and flexibility. Off the tee with a Driver, I swing at about 85% of what I feel I can generate with a 46” Driver, that is 9.5*. My normal swing puts me between 92-94 mph with a ballspeed of around 132-135 and gets me +215 yd carry and on nice day rolls out to 235-240yds. Now, I can step on one, which I do 2 or 3 times per round, I feel it, I know it’s going to hurt for a second. The hurt is in my left ankle. The pain goes away pretty fast, but I don’t think it’s worth it on every swing. I busted one 268 on the par 5 Saturday. Ss was 97 with a ballspeed of 143. Still didn’t reach in 2, but the second a 225 yd 3W left a 30 yd pitch to 2 ft for a birdie. I have attained SS at the range up to 130, I thought my back was gonna break. After a nice warm up I will hit 20 balls as hard and as fast as I can and top out around 105. But the shots are horrendous. When I dial it back on course it’s pretty natural and smooth. Now my secret to step on one is to get a little more flex in the left ankle. I’ll push hard on it and when I come through, if I don’t get on that left heel, the ankle will roll a bit hence the pain. I do a lot of trunk flex training. I do a lot of grip strength training. I take a lot of ibuprofen before a round upwards of 1200mg. A nice Hot Shower and since I have a shower that’s 20sq ft, I do decompression stretching while hot water is beating on me for 15 minutes. I still think a regular guy Can generate 90-92 mph swing speed with proper mechanics and flexibility training. I never really used a weight training system like they have today, but I do swing clubs heavier to light to stretch and warm up.
Some of the science of speed, as explained by Sasho McKenzie, is a combination of overload (heavy clubs) and overspeed (really fast with light clubs). Apparently this is used to improve jumping, running, and I’m sure a lot of other activities that require fast movements.
Thanks so much for your thoughtful and very comprehensive responses to my question.
A little context about me: I played prertty extensively in my teen, 20s and 30s, took a time out in my early 40s and then went at it pretty hard late 40s until I stopped cold turkey around 56. I was a +.7 at one time, a college player and missed making it to a USGA Open Sectional Q in a playoff. I was pretty long-long enough to win a bunch of long drive holes in charity stuff. and oretty close to Tour Average. Before I stopped cold I got enamored with Natural Golf which is an extension of Moe Norman’s One Plane, Face the Ball ideas, knowing I would lose 10-15 yards but beng more accurate with less practice time.When Istrted back up again in age year 68, my return was shocking to me. I had lost all rotational asoects to my swing and club head speed was down from from 106-110 (assumed from my carry distances then to 92 +/-. That’s a big loss. MY coitact now is excellent.
Your mention of the Hogan book and the sequencing of rotational moves must of been mgically on my radio waves for on Friday afternoon at the rsnge what clicked was the firing of the hips (mostly back hip) was one of the early sequence pieces of the downswing. I visuallized the old image of the motion of skipping a rock on water. The range I go to has Toptracer technolgy I noticed about a 3-5 mph difference in ball speed.
Your metion of grip strength fell on fertile ears. In all bat and ball sports, grip stength is a defining metric.I need to improve this. Flexibility for me is weird. I dont feel flexible but tests I’ve taken say I am for my age cohort. But, getting rid of that Face the Ball mentality will help. Oddly, my rotation of my shouldfers on the back swing measure top 20 percentile. It’;s downswing failures which are limiting me.
Finally, this is a great forum and you’re an example of why that is so.
I’m glad I could help trigger some thoughts. I still would record my swing. Being that good of a player in your past, you should be able to recognize where the mechanics need help. Here is a great little article that breaks it all down
I actually went to the indoor range that has Trackman when I was I was having the same problem. Losing energy on the Downswing. I had my partner physically hold on to the club shaft at the top of the swing for like a second and then let it go so I could get the feeling back that I know I had lost after my car accident. For me it’s what should I be feeling in the swing, and practice that until I don’t have to think about it anymore… Lots and lots of swings…LOL! Some call that work, I call that fun! It’s mindless and takes me away from other outside pressures in LIFE! Happy Thanksgiving!
I’m 63 years old, my handicap bounces between 7 and 9. A few years ago I went on the hunt for more swing speed, as my driver speed was high 80s. I got a set of Speed Stix and practice with them religiously according to their speed training protocols. I got a couple of mph out of that. So I was swinging low 90s.
Then I subscribed to the Fit for Golf workout in September 22. By May of 23 my driver swing speed was up to mid 90s. So it seems to me the weight training did more for me than the Speed Stix, although I think both helped. I’m still following Fit for Golf so we will see if there are more gains to be made, or if I’ve got all I can get from that.
On a separate note, there are two golfers in my golf club in their 70s that both hit the ball farther than I do. I don’t know their swing speed, but it has to be higher than mine. And I’m pretty sure neither of them does either speed of weight training. So it’s possible even in your 70s.
There are benefits with systems like the stack other than pure swing speed btw. For example the absolute commitment on every swing. It’s mentally hard to really try to break your personal best on every swing, 30 times in a row, without much time to reset. It also forces exploration once the speed starts to plateau. You get forced to try different movements to progress further. And variability is a very good thing.
Continuing the discussion from Stack System value to Seniors:
Question 1: Do you attribute the increase in Swing Speed to the weight training part OR the flexibility part of Fit for Golf?
Question 2: Do you feel you use your lower body (hips and ground force) to create power OR because you feel your upper body; the biceps, traps and lats got bigger?
I went on the same journey, I found I had to understand the mechanics of a solid grip and how the golf swing works, execute that, combined with newer technology in golf shafts then work on flexibility training to increase upper body turn.
I kinda came to the conclusion that I needed to understand the swing better after a severe left shoulder injury, being older but still pretty strong at then 62 years old, now 65… not seeing guys older than me, pumping it by me, but attending an LPGA event and watching these 5 ft nothing, 110 lb nothing women busting them out there past where I could hit them…that no longer is the case, although I can’t keep up Maria Fassi still!
Q1: I believe (but of course can’t know for sure) that it is the weight training part. I had a bad back years ago and have been diligintley doing flexibility work for years (although not identical to what I am doing for Fit for Golf).
Q2: Good question! I am guessing lower body, not so much because I feel a do a great job of using my hips and ground forces, but because my lower body gains (squats, deadlifts, etc.) were much larger as a percentage of my starting point compared to my upper body.
Watching the tiny LPGA women hitting it well further than me makes me think I have a LOT of room to improve my distance via swing technique.
Do you mind sharing how far you are hitting ure Driver.
Car accident was 7 years ago. Busted up my L shoulder horribly. Doc told me no golf for 2-3 years. Well I didn’t listen, and formed a swing that was very poor, but no pain. My swing speed was maxing out at 87 and averaging 84-85. Distance was 180-185 total. Honestly, I should have followed docs orders, forming bad habits and not allowing the shoulder to heal properly… well that was a bad decision on my part. When the pain was completely gone, and the joint had fully healed I decided to rebuild my once reliable swing. That journey started about 2 1/2 years ago. I went to work, a lot of work, now I’m 94-96, I can step on it and get upwards of 98-100 if I execute pretty decently. Distance wise 220 carry and 235-245 total. I can bustem in the 260-275 range if I step on one.
Typical drive on the course is now 230 - 240 (up about 10 yards from the previous year). On the simulator a good one carries 220, but more typically about 210. Note I live at 3500 feet (and have the simulator set to that altitude also), so even shorter at sea level.
So we’re about the same which is good. That seems to corroborate my numbers. I’m really trying to work on flexibility, I don’t know what kind of improvement that will make but I’d like to drop 50lbs along with that. I think I can do that. I’d be like to be at 225-235 which was my college weight at strong safety. I’m working very hard on synchronizing the bottom and the top on my full swing. I’d like to think that a SS of 100mph is attainable at our age without breaking ure back, nice and effortless BTW we are at 220ft at sea level
We may be at about the same distance (your numbers look a little better to me), but we ain’t the same. I’m 6 feet tall and 160 lbs soaking wet! Nobody would ever mistake me for a strong safety. Or a strong anything, for that matter.
LOL I’m 6’ 0 270. Which IS soaking wet🤣,