To cut straight to the chase, to get 120 mph swing, you need to have a baseline swing speed of about 100 mph.
It also helps to be male, and between the age of 18 – 45, but there are plenty of younger and older male golfers who can hit these numbers when they combine their natural swing speed with overspeed training.
If your baseline swing speed is less than 100 mph, do not be deterred. You can still unlock 20-30 yards of extra distance off the tee, if you have the self-discipline needed to follow the methods outlined in this article.
Table of Contents
1. Overspeed Training Is The Ultimate Key
Of all the tips and techniques listed in this article, Overspeed training is by far the most important. To put this in perspective, you need to understand how powerful a single session of Overspeed training can be.
For instance, after a single session with SuperSpeed or Rypstick, it is common for a golfer to gain 5 miles of clubhead speed by the end of their first session. You could spend 6 weeks doing strength, conditioning, and golf-specific stretching, and still come nowhere near gains like these.
Every single golfer on the long drive circuit uses Overspeed training as the foundation of their training regime. Everything else, including strength and conditioning, essentially plays a supporting role. This is not to say that the other tips listed in this article are unimportant. It’s more a case of recognizing the Pareto principle when you see it.
80% of your distance gains will come from Overspeed training, and it only takes about 20 minutes, 3 times a week.
All of the other ideas mentioned here will unlock the final 20%. If you are pressed for time and you just want the best bang for buck in terms of energy expenditure, just focus on Overspeed training. You could realistically gain 20 yards in 3 months of training. For most amateur golfers, that is good enough.
2. Get Yourself A Swing Speed Radar
When you use a swing speed radar, you get quick and accurate feedback on how fast you are swinging the golf club. Without access to this information, it’s almost impossible to verify if you are actually increasing your swing speed.
More importantly, you get access to real-time instantaneous feedback on which movement patterns give you the highest clubhead speed. Once you start seeing the numbers increase, your motivation to swing faster and harder will shoot through the roof. It can be quite addictive. We believe it is one of the reasons Bryson DeChambeau is so hooked on hitting bombs.
On this point, it’s worth mentioning that the following 2 swing speed radars are very accurate and relatively affordable.
3. Increase Your Range of Motion
While there are players that achieve amazing clubhead speed with abbreviated backswings (ie Jon Rahm and Tony Finau), the simple truth is that most amatuer golfers are severely limited by their flexibility (or should we say, lack of flexibility).
In most cases, tight hip flexors are the cause, preventing golfers from loading into a truly powerful position during the backswing, and making it difficult to turn efficiently during the follow-through.
If this applies to you, the best thing would be to invest in an online training platform like dynamic golfers (or something similar). Alternatively, working with a physiotherapist could help you increase your range of motion over time.
The point is, if you have extremely tight hip flexors, you are leaving plenty of distance on the table. Unlocking your hip flexibility will give you access to a whole new source of power.
4. Increase The Speed Of Your Backswing
Believe it or not, if your backswing is too slow, it can impede your ability to generate maximum clubhead speed. This is partially why players like Sungjae Im and Hideki Matsuyama don’t really feature in the driving distance stats on the PGA tour. While their slow backswings may help them achieve maximum control, it actually serves as a kind of unintentional breaking mechanism.
If your aim is to get to 120 mph of clubhead speed, you need to practice hitting balls with a faster backswing. You might be surprised by how much faster your entire swing will become in the process.
5. Practice The 3 Key SuperSpeed Drills
There are 3 key moves that form part of the SuperSpeed Training Protocol. These are hightly athletic practice swing moves that will improve your ability to generate and control force and torque during your golf swing. Even if you choose not to invest in overspeed sticks, practicing these drills will make your swing more athletic and unlock extra miles of clubhead speed.
A) Step-Change Swing
To execute a step-change swing, start with your feet together, make a normal backswing all the way to the top, then step forward with your lead foot to initiate the follow-through.
The video below (2:44) explains how to do a step-change swing.
B) Double Step Swing
To execute a double step swing, start with your feet together, then step back with your trail leg during the backswing, and then step forward with your lead leg to initiate the follow through.
As you can see, these drills are very similar. The Double Step Swing is the advanced version of the step change swing. You should find that it improves your ability to load into your right side during the backswing, and it improves your ability to plant and pivot during the follow-through. Both of these movements are crucial if you are going to unlock 120 mph clubhead speed.
C) Heel Stomp Swing
With a heel stomp swing, the goal is to lift your left heel (lead heel) off the ground during the backswing. This makes it possible for you to ‘stomp’ the heel back down during the follow-through.
Interestingly enough, Jack Nicklaus is famous for integrating this move into his golf swing, and he was an absolute monster off the tee. Matthew Wolff has also built this move into his swing, and it’s one of the main reasons he has mindblowing vertical force numbers during the downswing.
This move is also very common on the long drive circuit. It’s a bankable way to maximize ground force during the downswing and increase your swing speed in the process.
6 Distance Only Range Sessions
One thing that Kyle Berkshire (World long drive champion) and Bryson DeChambeau have in common is that they do a ton of distance-only range sessions.
During these sessions, accuracy is literally the last thing on their minds. Instead, they roll up to the range, with the intention of reaching their absolute maximum ball speed number for the day.
Said simply, once they are warmed up, they smash anywhere from 100-200 drivers, as hard as they possibly can. It’s the type of range session that should leave you drenched with sweat, totally exhausted, and eagerly seeking the nearest available couch.
7 Golf Specific Strength Training
There’s no question that all of the players on the long drive circuit incorporate intense strength training into their lifestyle.
The goal of strength training for clubhead speed is to improve your explosive power. This translates to the kind of movements that most powerlifters employ, meaning:
- Clean and jerk
- Bench Press
- Vertical Jump Training
You basically need to train like you would if you were aiming to place as high as possible in the NFL Draft. All your strength training should be directly connected to increasing your speed or your power, in short bursts.
8 Build A Vertical Jump Into Your Down Swing
Believe it or not, almost every PGA tour player has a mini vertical jump built into their golf swing. This video from the Titleist Performance Institute explains this power move in greater depth.
In essence, during the backswing, it is common for tour players to lower their bodies by about 2 inches. Lowering your body is a prerequisite for any type of standing jump move.
Then during the follow-through, tour players will push against the ground and raise their bodies by about 4 inches, on average. This is also sometimes called a golf power squat. You squat down during the backswing, and jump up and away from the ball during the follow-through, but without coming out of the shot.
This move is extremely athletic, and you will need to practice it in order to have a chance of reaching 120 mph clubhead speed. Also, you can see this move very clearly in the swing of Justin Thomas, who has a very slight frame yet still hits the ball a country mile. JT literally jumps during the downswing, and he regularly swings the club over 120 mph.
While we have supplied 8 genuinely effective ways to get to 120 mph swing speed, it’s worth reiterating that Overspeed training is by far the most important variable.
To this end, you might want to check out our comparison of the SuperSpeed Training System versus the Rypstick. These are considered the gold standard in terms of golf speed sticks (you can’t do Overspeed training without speed sticks).
Lastly, we also have a detailed post on golf training aids for swing speed specifically, which you might want to check out as well.