Taking Speed Work to the Course

I’m not entirely sure which category this should go in, but I think it’s a mental block so I put it here. I have been pretty dedicated to my speed sticks this season, because for a healthy guy in his early 30s I just don’t hit the ball very far. I recently signed up for Fit for Golf, and liked Irish Mike’s thoughts making sure you swing your driver hard too, sometimes with a ball.

I started putting this into practice, nothing seemed too far off during my speed sessions. Tonight I started working on my driver setup in my garage with my PRGR, and I noticed that when I took more of a “gamer swing” that my speed was waaaaaay lower than I thought it was. As I sit here and think about it, I think some scar tissue from early season driving issues (I became overly familiar with the off the planet slice) caused me to slow down and start steering the ball.

Guess my post is two fold now. One is personal accountability, putting down the thoughts and committing to trying to hit the ball hard again! The other is advice, any thoughts or experiences to get over that block and bring the speed to the course.


For added context, here’s the Arccos strokes gained breakdown of my game, set to compare to a 9 handicap (my current goal).

They attributed -1.5 of the driving deficit to distance

1 Like

The answer is confidence… it’s not an easy answer, but it is a simple one.

You just need to build confidence on the tee in your swing and swing your swing… at this point it might be worth trying to hit some HARD on the course and live with the consequences… it can quickly sort out your mental scarring!

1 Like

Um, how slow is “slow”? How short is short? Is ‘slow’ at least ‘controlled’? As to how to overcome your mental block, I’d ask your instructor for advice.

I am in a bit of a similar boat. I’m not very flexible, but when I get a full turn, get my weight back to my front, and whip the shoulders through, I can smack it a good 260-270 carry or so. (At least it looks that way, the third of the time I can even reacquire my ball sailing through the air. It’s really frustrating hitting balls, keeping my head naturally still, behind the ball, and completely losing sight of the %@#*! OTOH, maybe I’m hitting it even farther?)

Anyway, that’s if I catch it cleanly, and I usually don’t. Conversely, I take a nice, easy, 'feels like 1/2, but is actually (when I look in a mirror) an 80% swing, I make consistent, easy contact, but the ball only goes 220-230. I feel like I should be satisfied with the 225, and play old fart golf, but that feels like quitting.

And it frankly isn’t as aesthetically appealing—I play this game to watch a white sphere get really small, really fast, with feeling like hardly any effort at all. So, I advise asking your pro.

Personally, as someone who used to contend with a monster moonshot slice, both see a pro for advice concerning your driver swing, and the damned thing can go away with practice. Adam Young’s, ‘Visualize you trying to drive a nail in the right rear quarter of the ball, with your driver as the hammer’, was helpful for me to start an inside to out downswing path. Consult the new ball flight laws, and figure out how they’re applying to your swing and ball flight.

‘Dry-firing’—just getting on some flat ground, with a bare tee, and my driver, and trying to swing as $%*#@ fast as I could while keeping my other fundamentals intact, and while trying to clip the tee—has been helpful for me. You at least, have a launch monitor; I’m trying to do this by timing the greatest ‘Whoosh!’ sound, with the click of club head meets tee. And then trying to remember how that felt, then duplicating it. No ball, therefore no beating myself up after the inevitable moonshot slice.

Ultimately, I’m trying to get to where this speed, weight shift, hip turn, inside to out hammering the ball: is all unconscious. Then, I can step back in, watch the back of the ball as I’m ‘staying behind it’, staying within myself and launching that sucker. At least my slice has gone away.

EDIT: And if it becomes unconscious, then it’s your body steering it—which works really well, it’s how we walk, drive cars, eat, etc—and not your conscious mind, which tends to screw it up.

Take some ‘speed swings’ at the range/net with the clubs that are giving you issues. With, and without a ball. With a ball, figure out why the ball is doing what it’s doing: over the top, late weight shift, casting, whatever. Then try to visualize a strike that counteracts the motion you don’t want, and still keep swinging fast.

1 Like

One of the hardest things to do on the course is remove the outcomes from your mindset. As soon as you start thinking, worrying, expecting outcomes the mind will take over the body. Probably the best way to get past them to a point (almost impossible to fully get rid of them) is to go out early morning/late afternoon on the course and just swing and chase it. Or even to the extreme start expecting the bad swings to happen and it will free you up, I don’t suggest doing this in anything other than practice.


Swinging fast costs me many shots & balls. 4-6 primary courses I play have many 40 yd. wide fairways.
Anything more than 4° of face or path control is in the woods, swamp, pond, etc.
I still swing for the fences & just take the scorecard lumps. It’s nice when everything aligns & I blister a few in play and well past the gang. :grin:

I’m not looking to swing so hard I’m unbalanced, but I do need to step up my “game” speed. Numbers don’t lie, and it’s the biggest thing holding my game back from where I want to be right now.

I think it’s mental. I have league tomorrow, and it’s a 9 where I take a lot of 3 woods off the tee anyway. Think I’ll try and get out for a practice round later in the week, with the mission to be SMASH

1 Like

Yeah, I think it’s good to get some on course practice swinging with intention… I think the interesting thing about recreational golf is you have to figure out how to make some rounds “matter” and some rounds be practice (while also focusing on playing well)… I actually recently had to go the other direction and slow down my swing (it had gotten too long, so I had to intentionally swing at 75%) and it’s hard for me to keep doing that when the ball isn’t going “as far as it should”…

It’s just a matter of accepting that you are trying something new, and committing to the shot on the tee… i think if you can get into the positive mindset of “I’m going to swing HARD” and focus on staying balanced, you can pick up some yardage.

1 Like

There’s a big difference between thinking you need to swing hard to be fast after speed training and letting the training work for you. The idea behind speed training is to naturally increase your cruising speed, so your normal everyday swing speed is higher than it used to be. Obviously as a result your “max” speed will go up, as well, but how often do we truly need our max speed? Not very. For most of us there isn’t a wide enough gap between cruising and max for it to be worth getting wild to reach that max.
When I do Super Speed I always go straight to the mat and net with a 7 iron after I finish and make sure I focus on a smooth swing that finds the center of the club face. I’ll hit 15-20 balls just making good contact. For me this helps build swing speed without losing my golf swing in the process.


I appreciate your post and I agree. I think my biggest concern is my cruising speed is higher than I let flow on the course, mostly from scar tissue and fear.

My goal is to get back to what I know I can really reach based on my speed work. It’s more of a commitment to trust rather than swinging all out on the course

1 Like