Probably the most important part of the game of golf is the golf swing. It determines not only how far the ball will travel, but also in which direction. While the strength of the golfer may play a minor role, their flexibility and the speed of the club at impact has more to do with the length of the hit.
When you look at a golf swing, it has physics written all over it. The size or age of the player has little to do with their ability to hit the ball long and straight. It is in the mechanics of the golf swing that determines it goes that way. An amateur hitting off the tee using a driver, should have a club speed of about 70 or 80 miles per hour and the ball’s initial speed when it leaves the tee of around 80 miles per hour.
Professional golfers typically have a club speed of about 100 miles per hour and an initial ball speed of about 140 miles per hour within two feet off the tee. Not all of them are big men and considering Tiger Woods at under 160 pounds can hit the ball over 300 yards consistently with a club head speed of about 125 miles per hour says a lot about his golf swing.
Flexibility and Balance Drives the Ball Further
Looking at the golf swing from the physics perspective, lining up the club head behind the ball and balance your weight on both feet is the first basic step. The mechanics of the swing is important to developing the kind of club head speed needed for long drives. During the back swing, the weight should be shifted to the right leg and by the top of the backswing, practically all weight should be balanced on the back foot.
As the golf swing begins its descent, weight should be slowly shifted to the front leg so that it is holding most of the golfer weight upon impact. This process allows the golfer to focus all their energy on the swing and flexibility allows the club to travel higher in the arc of the backswing giving it more speed as it strikes the ball.
While the mechanics of the golf swing may seem simple, maintaining a square position of the club head to the ball will determine if your newfound ability to hit the ball is helping or simply driving it 300 yards into the next fairway or the woods.