3 Sources to Increase Your Golf Swing Speed

If you think more rotation is how to increase your golf swing speed, then you may be giving up a ton of distance. Rotation is important for swing speed, but you’re not going to get much distance if you ignore the other sources of power and speed in the golf swing. In this golf instruction video, I’ll explain your 3 sources of club head speed and, more importantly, you'll learn how to balance them for maximum distance.

This golf instruction video is especially critical for those golfers looking to regain much of their lost golf swing speed as they've gotten older or those who are tired of being out driven by skinny guys like myself! The simple fact of the matter is that when you are seeking to increase club head speed, there are essentially only three sources where you can get that power from and one of them is more important than any other!

If you focus just rotation like so many golfers do, you'll quickly find yourself very frustrated as your clubhead speed will peak out very soon and you'll struggle to get much over 90 mph. As you get older, you'll lose swing speed more quickly than those who use the other two sources of power I discuss in this video.

So, if you're seeking more clubhead speed, you've come to the right place!

  • Leverage: Creating Angles w/ Wrist and Arms (Lag and Release)
  • Width: Bigger Arc = More Speed
  • Rotation: Torso Rotates and Decelerates to Transfer Speed

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Marco
Hi Guys. My golf has improved a lot since joining RS. However, my swing speed remains on the low side no matter what I do. With driver, is stuck in the 80-85 mph range with 195-220 yards distance. Your advise on the best drills to follow is most welcome.
January 20, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marco. Love hearing the game has improved. There must be a power leak somewhere. I would suggest a swing review for best diagnosis. Also, take a look How Swing Speed Affects Compression for some helpful hints.
January 20, 2020
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charles
Yes I understand the swing speed video but how do I get more speed from the 32 lbs of Muscle. How do I engage to get another 10 miles per hr? Cheers. Long time subscriber
April 19, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Charles. The muscle is recruited during the swing for speed. For example: if you fold your trail arm too soon in the takeaway it will hurt your rotation. By not rotating and recruiting the core you miss out on that muscle fiber recruitment. The key is not to make the the swing solely arms based and use the body. This is the only way the use the muscle. I would suggest a swing review to see where you are missing the power, or if you know where your power leak is I would be happy to direct to drills to help.
April 19, 2019
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Ian
Hi, I have been using your methods and have been working on the weight shift and rotation drills. I had a good experience at the range last weekend, in that I was making much better contact. However, I am now hooking everything to the left. What drills should I work on to correct this? Thanks! Ian
June 14, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ian. Sounds like open shoulders and flip release. Work on making sure proper release (Flip vs Release and 5 Minutes to the Perfect Release). Also, shoulders must be square at impact (Arms vs Body Release).
June 14, 2018
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Kenny
For the past 10 years I have been working on the single plane swing (SPS) and have no problem hitting the ball straight. However, I haven't had the distance that I want. I made the change to RST a couple of months ago and I have seen an increase in distance, which I like a lot! However, the SPS uses a flexed lead knee, and I am having a hard time "posting up". How much speed am I losing if I'm not posting up correctly, and what can I do to get in the proper position? I having found any drills specifically addressing posting up. When doing the 9 to 3 drill slowly, I have time to focus on it, but when I go to full swing, I flex the knee.
June 12, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ken. You are losing the trigger to the release and ground force leverage. Focus on You Hit the Golf Ball with Your Legs Video and use the Step 2 - Core Rotation Video as a good drill to train the sequence/posting.
June 12, 2018
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Michael
Should I feel like I am achieving max clubhead speed at/around impact and then the follow through is kind of an effortless deceleration or should I feel like I am trying to keep up the club speed deep into my follow through (to be sure I'm not slowing down too early)?
February 14, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. Max speed will happen just after impact. You want to deliver into the strike. The momentum of the release will carry you around to the follow through. The follow through should feel pretty effortless.
February 14, 2017
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Peter
I read you need to concentrate on the insteps of your trail and lead feet when executing the backswing and downswing. I find that it limits my turn and swing arc and it's better to load my weight on the entire trail foot in the backswing to get the body momentum needed to power the lower body in the downswing. Am I wrong?
October 20, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Peter. You want to use the insteps to keep from rolling on the outside of the foot. If you are staying away from the outside of the foot you should be okay.
October 20, 2016
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VICTORIA
Can width and speed be balanced out by swinging a shorter shafted driver faster rather than the usual longer one? I understand that the longer shaft would tend to give more distance but if the swing speed is greater on the shorter shaft is the tendency that they balance each other out such that the distance is about the same?
September 12, 2016
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Edward
NO!
November 7, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Victoria, Great question here... The thing to remember from a physics stand point is that the longer the radius, the faster the club will swing. If you are swinging a shorter club, you will be having to work harder with the body to make up for the lack of radius. However, you can also be sacrificing control with a longer club. Hope that helps - Chris Tyler
September 12, 2016
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Will
Width has perplexed me relative to the wide-narrow-wide swing shape. Seems like wide-wide-wide would generate more speed...
September 10, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Will. Increasing the wrist angle allows more energy to be released. Think about a hammer. If you never allowed for wrist set or a little arm bend and kept it very straight. Could you apply more force to the nail? Or, allowing for some set? More wrist angle and less tension will allow you to create greater speed in the same distance. Take a look at Using Your Wrists for Speed.
September 10, 2016
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Will
I guess I wasn't clear - I was assuming wide-wide(with wrist set)-wide. After rewatching the W-N-W video it's clear that getting narrow is essential to building lag. So W-W-W with wrist set seems more of a mythical swing.
September 10, 2016
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Frank
It's seems that (aside from different ball position and an upward angle of attack) that the Driver itself offers an opportunity for more power and distance simply because of the longer shaft and hence, greater "width.". Is that right? (I'd say that the larger sweet spot on a driver is another advantage but you have to hit it just right, as the true sweet spot is a lot smaller than most of us think.)
September 9, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Frank. Yes, the longer shaft will provide greater width. Therefore, the potential to create more speed. You don't see many drivers putter length.
September 9, 2016
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Jarod
Seems whenever I keep my hands and wrists soft in the downswing, which creates lag, I come into the ball with an open (delayed) clubface and hit the ball right. How do I fix this?
October 19, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jarod. The wrist need to remain soft, but don't give up too much control in the hands. The average tour pro goes from a 2 - 8 (Address to Impact with 2 being weakest) in grip pressure. Soft wrist, maintain control, and release (Fix Your Release Video).
October 19, 2015
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David
How do I maintain soft wrists but have a firm grip? I agree with Jarrod. I get the lag BUT the face is open.
September 10, 2016
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Mary
This week I have been dong the exact same as Jarod, everything was going to the right. I may have been adding to much width or so I thought but maybe my hands were too soft and was hitting eveything on the toe of the club, it is so frustrating!!! Mary
May 16, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mary. Using the Curing Elbow Pain Video and the RST 5 Step Process to get a better release and to make sure the sequence is proper into the strike.
May 16, 2016
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Mary
Hi Craig, I have checked out the video on club release and will do that I don't have any elbow pain, watching the ball go to the right is the pain!! Thanks for the advice. Will try to do more drills!!
May 16, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mary. Happy to hear you don't have elbow pain. However, I am killing a different problem with the video. It will help with a constant release. More consistent face rotation to help with the toe shot.
May 16, 2016
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Mary
Ah ok I understand now will check the video out. Many thanks!
May 16, 2016
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Anthony
Does the rotary power come primarily from the core muscles rather than the shoulders?
July 11, 2015
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Steven (Certified RST Instructor)
Correct Anthony. We want to use the core muscles to build up speed and power within the swing. If we use our shoulders and try gain speed and power with them we are now swinging from the rectangle and will end up spinning out the upper body into impact.
July 11, 2015
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Anthony
Thanks Steven, is it the same in the backswing, is it the pull of the core muscles from the right oblique not the right shoulder. So the shoulders in both the backswing and downswing are somewhat passive compared to the core muscles which provide the rotary power in the swing.
July 12, 2015
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Steven (Certified RST Instructor)
In the backswing we want to feel the right shoulder being pulled back towards the spine. But the obliques are responsible for the large majority or the rotation in the swing. It is a combination of both movements. And yes the shoulders are "passive" in relationship to the core muscles in the swing
July 12, 2015
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Anthony
Steven, thanks for the quick response, that helps a lot. I've been using my shoulders for power (especially on the downswing) and not the core muscles, it was all push and no pull. Big,big change, can't wait to try it. Thanks again
July 12, 2015
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Dean
There seems to be conflicting stories as to where speed and power come from in the golf swing. In this video you seem to emphasize leverage and release of the right arms to produce 60% of your speed. Others mention the core and big muscles, parametric acceleration, etc. etc. Could you clear this up for me. Thanks!
May 20, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dean. Leverage and release constitute 60% of your speed. Nevertheless, everything else is contributing. The obliques (pull and deceleration of the hips), leverage from the ground, torque build up in the backswing (separation of the lower half and upper half), etc. Take a look at How to Maintain Club Head Speed as You Get Older in the Introduction Section. If you can create good width, rotation and leverage you will maximize the potential for high club head speed.
May 21, 2015
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Dean
Has your instruction dramatically increased ones swing speed and power or do you believe this is more of a god given athletic ability. The reason I am asking is that without exception those that teach all appear to already be great ball strikers prior to teaching whatever method they are into. I have spoken to several top teachers in the game and many believe it is more of a natural athletic ability than any type of instruction they have received. Would like your opinion!
May 8, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Dean. If you take a look at our testimonials page. None of the information there is false or propaganda. They are all based on real experiences. You will see tons of players that have gained 20-40 more yards from their previous swing style. Chuck, myself, and our other instructors have seen dramatic improvements in speed and handicap. Yes, it does take some hand eye coordination and athletic ability to play golf. However, the motion of performing a well balanced and efficient swing can be learned like any other trait or motion one performs in everyday life. Some players might pick up how to correctly perform a movement faster than others. But learning is learning. No matter the skill level the brain learns a new movement pattern the same for everyone.
May 9, 2015
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Dean
Thanks for the help with all my questions!
May 11, 2015
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Gil
A bit of confusion--the video "right wrist in takeaway" seems to discourage cocking of the right wrist but here a couple of references are made to the right wrist cock. Explanation would be helpful.......Thanks
January 27, 2015
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Patrick (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Gil, In the "right wrist video", Chuck is talking about wrist hinge, which is different than wrist cocking. Hinging is not only an unnecessary movement, but it causes the club to shut and come inside too quickly. Wrist cock should happen gradually throughout the entire back swing. Cocking is needed to leverage the club and maintain lag in the downswing.
January 28, 2015
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KJ
Does leverage mean angle btw left hand and left arm? I understood leverage is related with right wrist
September 6, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello KJ: Leverage is the angle created with the wrist and arms. Both wrist will be increasing the angle as you add lag.
September 6, 2014
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Dennis
Is leverage and lag the same thing?
August 13, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Dennis. Leverage: Creating Angles w/ Wrist and Arms (Lag and Release)
August 13, 2014
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Matthew
You guys really need to watch how the CLUB SHAFT works in the golf swing. Your failure to even just mention the importance of "loading the club shaft" during both the back swing and down swing is mind boggling. You failure to mention how the club shaft UNLOADS/UNSPRINGS on the down swing and thru the impact area may cause me to cancel my membership.
August 6, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Matt. I'm sorry about the video content on shaft load. We don't spend a lot of time focusing on the clubs and what they do during the swing. We are focused on the body movements as that is the most critical part of the golf swing. Loading the shaft is purely consequential to body movements. We don't look for shafts that we are going to load up. Just for shafts that work well with the design of our golf swing.
August 6, 2014
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George
I admire your patience and control, I would have been tempted to respond somewhat differently but there again I am not an RST instructor.
January 28, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks George
January 29, 2015
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Vince
Chuck, you have a gift of clear and concise communication. I've learned more from your website and my first swing review (3 weeks total) than in 40 years of playing, reading golf magazines and taking a couple live lessons. Please keep up the great work.
July 6, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Vince. I will pass the good word to Chuck. Thank you for the compliments and happy you are learning some great information!
July 6, 2014
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Chiara
This is absolutely brilliant! As a woman (we never really try to hit the ball hard), I didn't pay attention at leverage/cocking wrists, and surely I did't realize that is the source of 60% of the power of the swing. This weekend I tried to practice it and I hit 170 yards with 6 iron, and the ball was also very straight
June 22, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Great Chiara! Keep hitting the long ball!
June 22, 2014
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francois
So how does the wide-narrow-wide logic works to conserve width in the golf swing? Seems like it would make the club come in real steep and add tons of spin to the ball. Just want to understand the concept. Thank you
April 23, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Staying wide early on in the swing allows you to narrow the arc so that you can build lag into the swing as you are moving the hands and arms into the hitting area and then getting wide through the hitting area allows to to accelerate the club at the right time when you are stalling the body and moving the power up the kinetic chain and releasing the golf club. The club shouldn't come in steep providing that your release is fine tuned and you have shallowed the arc by sitting left.
April 23, 2014
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damon
Hello i am a left handed golfer and have lost about 20 mph on my swing over the last year is the left hand more responsible for speed than the right i still hit the ball straight etc but distance is lost your thoughts?
April 6, 2014
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Damon, the right arm in your swing will be controlling the face and the left arm will be adding the speed at the release point. We can certainly help you get your speed back. I would make sure you submit your swing for review and let us instructors help fix the main problems first and lay out a game plan as you move forward.
April 8, 2014
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damon
ok thanks Tyler
April 23, 2014

Learn the three sources of clubhead speed. When it comes down to it, you only have 3 primary sources to choose from. When you understand that, increasing your club head speed will make more sense.

Most people think of increasing their clubhead speed as some sort of enigma, like black magic. The believe that some golfers just are gifted with lots of club head speed and others are doomed to play golf from the white tees for the rest of their lives! I'm here to tell you it doesn't need to be that way. 

The great thing about golf is that it really relies heavily on understanding basic physics and physic are completely quantifiable. That means that if you watch this golf instruction video by Chuck Quinton, you can learn not only what the sources of clubhead speed are, but exactly what to do to increase yours!

Rotation, Width & Leverage

Most golfers think that rotation is the way to increase clubhead speed. They believe if they spin their shoulders faster or spin their hips faster that their clubhead speed will increase. They believe this because they hear this non-sense on TV all the time. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reality is that if you spin your shoulders hard from the top, it will actually cause a LOSS of clubhead speed. Yep, you read that correctly. That's because when you spin your shoulders hard from the top, you create centripetal force too early in the downswing. The resultant force of this centripetal force is centrifugal force which acts on the club head and causes it to be thrown away - ie. you lose lag which is your most important source of clubhead speed. 

Lag is your friend because lag is simply saying you have leverage in your golf swing. Archimedes stated that if you gave him a big enough lever he could move the world and he was right, well, sort of. But the truth of the matter is that no matter how fast you spin your shoulders or hips for that matter, you'll never replace leverage. Leverage multiplies the force in your swing exponentially

Did you know that for the average tour pro who swings a 6 iron at 92 mph, that only three feet away from the ball it is only moving 22 mph? How could the golf club more than quadruple in speed in only 3 feet? Because you spun your shoulders really fast at this point in the golf swing? Of course not. It's due to the releasing of the wrist angle in your swing.

The release of this powerful lever creates about 66% of the clubhead speed in any good golfer's swing. This is the whole secret as to why tour pros look like they're not swinging very hard yet the ball goes a long way. Leverage is your best friend in the golf swing so it's about time you learn how to produce it in your golf swing.

Luckily, RotaryGolfSwing.com has got tons of great videos on how to produce more lag in your golf swing:

4 Step Golf Swing Lag Builder 

OrangeWhip Lag Builder Drill

Add the Lead Arm Drill

When it comes to power in the golf swing, every single amateur seems to want to know, "How do you hit it so far? How do you hit it further? Where does power come from in the golf swing?" I'm going to make it really simple for you.

                There are basically three sources of power in the golf swing: leverage, width, and rotation. When it comes to those three things, most people think of the golf swing as being 100% rotation. That's where they get all their power. That's why you see golfers go to the top of their swing and then turn their body as hard as they can. What happens is they tend to lose the other two. They lose some width and they lose some rotation. Let's quickly go through what those things are so we can get a really clear picture of what it is and how you balance all of these things out.

                Simply put, leverage is, the easiest way to understand, is just angles here. Think of a hammer. I have an angle here. There's potential energy because my wrists can move in this direction. There's energy here. If I hit you on the head, it's not going to feel great. That's leverage.

                Width, simplest way to think about it, the biggest circle that you can make. Simple way of thinking about it. The wider that circle is, the more time the club has to accelerate. There's other physics at work here as well. This part is moving at a certain speed. The outer part of the circle has to move faster to keep up with it. The wider the circle, the more potential there is for speed. Simple way to think about it.

                If you're hitting a wedge, just because of the shorter shaft, even if you put a driver head on a wedge shaft that's really short, it's still not going to go as far as a driver. There's not as much potential speed because the shaft isn't as long, so you're losing width.

                The last one is what I was just talking about is rotational power. Obviously, the rotary swing, we want to use rotation. The golf swing is essentially rotary-based. But what the key is is we want to learn to balance all of those things out. Where most golfers go wrong is that they overemphasize rotation and it costs them leverage and width.

                What do I mean by that? Let's say I go to the top of my swing. I've got some leverage. I've got some width. My hands are out here. I've got a long shaft of the club, so I've got a lot of potential energy. I didn't swing like this and really narrow. That's not going to give me any width. There's not a lot of time for me to accelerate the club, but as I take the club out in a nice, big, wide circle here, I've got some width.

                Now where most mistakes are made is that I go from here and I'm going to rotate my body as hard as I can. Well, what happens is all of a sudden, my golf club is going to tend to want to get thrown out away from me because I'm rotating so fast. I'm creating a lot of centrifugal force. But your result of that is going to be centrifugal force. The hands, the wrists, are going to tend to lose their leverage as the body spins too fast. You want rotation in the swing, but it has to be balanced out.

                The other thing that you have to think about is where most of your feet actually comes from, relatively, is leverage. That is the release of this right wrist angle in the swing. That's where the majority, about 60%, of your club head speed comes from. At all costs, you want to protect that. The last thing I'd want to do is rotate so hard and fast that I lose my leverage from my wrist angles.

                What I want to learn to do is balance all of these things out, having a nice, wide swing, which gives me a lot of time to build up speed, coils up my body so I do have the ability to rotate, but I want to protect the leverage. I want to protect this angle. This is our baby here. We don't want to lose this too soon in the swing by spinning out and then all of a sudden we don't have any leverage to hit with at the bottom. Imagine using a hammer and not cocking your wrist and just trying to hit a nail like that. It's not going to go very well.

                If I had to prioritize things in the swing, when it comes to hitting the ball further, you want leverage as your primary piece. You've got to always preserve width. Then you want to start to use rotation to help accelerate all of those things together.

                Above and beyond all else, protect leverage. That's your most powerful, most efficient move for speed in the swing. Then you slowly learn to blend all those things together, going through the videos on the website, learning how to shift your weight, learning how to maintain your width in the takeaway to get to a wide spot at the top, et cetera. Then you'll start to understand how power and speed is developed in the golf swing.

 

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