** Our case study found a 27.5 yard gain in driving distance over a six week period **
The world is waking up to the importance of driving performance in golf. As Mark Broadie’s strokes gained research has shown driving distance is an important factor in scoring and becoming a better golfer. The key question is how can you hit the ball further?
Step in SuperSpeed Golf and their training clubs. The key variable for hitting the ball further is club head speed. The SuperSpeed Golf training system aims to improve your club head speed in a matter of weeks.
In this article we’ll look at the SuperSpeed Golf training, explain what it is, how it works and run through a case study with a great friend of mine and great coach – Rob Pritchard.
What are the SuperSpeed training clubs?
The SuperSpeed training clubs are three weighted clubs that are specifically designed to help you increase your swing speed. The set contains a light, medium and heavy training club. Along with the training clubs you have access to SuperSpeed Golf’s online training material.
SuperSpeed Golf claim that with just three 10-minute training sessions a week golfers will achieve a sizeable gain in driving distance within a matter of weeks.
Get your SuperSpeed Golf Training Set
SuperSpeed Golf case study
We ran a 6-week case study using the the SuperSpeed training clubs and online training program. Rob Pritchard (34 years old) was our participant, he is a PGA golf coach and player based in Suffolk, England.
- 3 x SuperSpeed training with a speed radar (Mon, Wed & Fri)
- 3 x mobility routine*
* We also created a hip mobility program for Rob which he performed 3 times a week. This was to alleviate lower back problems Rob has struggles with previously. We don’t think this was the driving factor in the results shown below, but we think it helped Rob push the intensity of his training and remain pain free with the new loads his body was experiencing.
Below are the pre and post speed measures for Rob with i) the green training club, ii) club head speed with driver and iii) ball speed with driver. The data were collected six weeks apart, on day one and the final day of his training.
Rob achieved a 9.5% increase in club head speed and ball speed, which reflects the similar gain seen during his training with the green training club.
Every 1 mph increase in club head speed with driver translates into ~2.75 additional yards. With this data we can infer that, on average, Rob gained 27.5 yards in driving distance over this 6-week timeframe.
The findings show a considerable increase (~27.5 yards) in driving distance in just six weeks. The gain is greater than we had predicted, in part, this was due to Rob’s commitment and the diligent training. In the following section we’ll aim to explain how this was achieved to help inform your own speed training.
Consistency and intensity
Much of sports performance revolves around doing the basics very well. Rob carried out these session each and every week and completed the training with intent. This may sound obvious, but it shouldn’t be overlooked, there is no way of achieving such a result without this as a foundation to your training.
Use of a radar
Feedback is critical in all aspects of learning and speed training is no different. The use of a speed radar may have also been a factor feeding the improvements seen above. Having instant feedback on if your last swing was faster or slower helps the body discover its own optimal movement solution for developing speed in the golf swing.
We can’t say for certain, but I doubt progress would have been as quick without a radar. Rob didn’t use a radar all the time, just when he felt he needed feedback. This approach is known as self-directed feedback and has been shown to produce good results when developing a skill.
Transfer from training to swinging
The data from our case study shows a 10.2% increase in speed during SuperSpeed Golf training and a 9.5% increase when hitting a driver. Personally, this was the most striking finding. It is one thing to improve speed during training, but rarely do we see this level of transfer when performing.
Rob said his focus during training was on building movement patterns and feelings that felt powerful, using the speed radar as confirmation. He then aimed to recreate the same feelings when hitting golf balls.
Overspeed training works, training consistency, intensity and feedback are key variables you should consider when trying to maximise your own gain from such training.
Who will benefit from SuperSpeed training?
We can see SuperSpeed training worked in our case study. Rob has also used this training with a few of his pupils. Here is Rob’s view on who will benefit:
“If you are a low, mid or high handicapper who is not currently doing any training, the SuperSpeed Golf system offers an easy win. For elite players who are well conditioned but perform little speed training, the SuperSpeed Golf training will likely help you transfer your athletic development onto the golf course.“
Other top tips for speed training in golf:
- Consult a strength and conditioning coach or fitness professional to minimise the chance of injury and maximise your gains.
- Use a speed radar during you training as and when you need feedback.
- Complete each session with intent.
- Focus on building feelings you can transfer into your golf swing.
Get your SuperSpeed Golf Training Set
Why does it work?
We don’t have any EMG or biomechanics data to look at what changed, but I think Rob’s reflection on the training below sums up why this approach is effective:
“Most golfers spend all of their time trying to hit the ball straighter and more accurately. This can be magnified if they also play on tight or challenging golf courses. Speed training flips this on its head – it challenges golfers to just swing hard, with no care about accuracy. How often do golfers actually work on creating power and have increasing power as a training goal?”
“What’s funny is that through this training many of my players have actually become more accurate as well as more powerful… Golfers often improve their body mechanics with this training, which in turn helps build a more consistent and accurate golf swing”
I hope you enjoyed reading this case study, a big thanks to Rob for allowing me to share his journey. Below are a few more details on overspeed training and the SuperSpeed Golf training system.
Frequently asked questions
What is SuperSpeed Golf training
The SuperSpeed training system is based on a training principle known as overspeed training. By training with a lighter club your body is able to generate a greater speed using the same amount of force.
This is not a new concept, overspeed training has been used in sprinting and baseball for many years. The SuperSpeed Golf system aims to utilise this approach with three training clubs of varying weights to help you increase your club head speed.
How does overspeed training work?
Great question – I’ve been keen to write this article for a while as it is an interesting debate. Much research in overspeed training has claimed the increased speed comes from neuromuscular adaptations (increases in muscle firing frequency leading to improved muscular power output), but proving this in practice is challenging.
Data from other sports has shown that much of the change in speed may come from specific changes in movement patterns (kinematics) and ground reaction forces (kinetics) created when performing overspeed training.
We don’t have any EMG, kinetic or kinematic data in our case study, but I think Rob’s reflection points strongly towards developing new, more powerful movement patterns during his own training.
What SuperSpeed training clubs are available?
Speed training clubs come in mens, ladies and junior options. Each are adapted to match the specific weight requirements for overspeed training. The weights are 20% lighter, 10% lighter, 5% heavier than a standard golf driver for each group.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect such a result when we planned this case study. The scientist within me needs to remind you this is a case study (n = 1) and we have no control group just furiously swinging away for 6 weeks.
However, the data does show that a 10% increase in swing speed is possible in just 6 weeks. I’m delighted to provide this as an example of the progress we, as golfers, can make in such a short timeframe with effective, targeted training.
Happy Golfing – Will @ Golf Insider UK
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