Want To Train To Swing Your Golf Club Harder?

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The sheer multitude of fitness equipment and swing trainers at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando was mind-boggling. Many manufacturers are rushing products to market to capitalize on the golf fitness craze, spearheaded by strength and conditioning experts, like Ben Shear, who have assisted professional golfers in significantly improving their game. Unfortunately, many of the products only have one thing in mind: getting golfers to swing the club faster and harder. Ben Shear, Golf Digest Fitness Advisor, noticed this trend and believes this could be more harmful, than helpful to the average golfer.

“Take the typical amateur, that middle-aged, 15-to-20 handicapper,” Shear says. “Let’s say he hits the ball 230 yards and about 10 percent off line. Now, without improving his impact alignments, he hits it 270 yards because he’s swinging faster. That guy or girl is going to be significantly more off line because the impact alignments haven’t changed. It’s triangulation.”

Even worse, Shear says, is that with more speed comes more force on the body. A great many golfers can’t handle the extra force that comes with swinging harder, and the result will likely be pain and injury to the joints such as the shoulders and elbows. “If you’ve got a trainer, a physical therapist and a chiropractor, and you’re fit, strong and doing all the right things, then absolutely go for it. Get as fast as you possibly can,” Shear says. “Unfortunately, most of us don’t have access to that kind of help, and don’t keep ourselves conditioned enough to work on increasing speed.”

So what’s the alternative? Shear suggests working on improving your impact alignments. If your driver swing speed is south of 100 mph, you’re better off learning how to hit the ball on the upswing and making center-face contact. It’s a safer training goal, certainly more accurate, and will lengthen your shots.