Golf Swing Speed vs. Ball Speed – A Reality Check

This is the most important report I have ever written.

After 20+ years of matching golfers with the right golf ball, I’ve concluded that there is a huge misconception regarding golf balls, the golf swing, and how the 2 combine to create more distance, control, and lower scores.

These days, one can scarcely turn on the TV or open a golf magazine without hearing someone exclaiming the virtues of more club head or swing speed.

For example, you’ll often hear:

* To hit it further you need more club head speed.
* More swing speed or club head speed will take you to the next level.
* This new swing gadget will increase your swing speed!

Golfers, here’s the little known truth:

To really improve, every golfer needs to focus on their Ball Speed.

What is Golf Ball Speed? Ball Speed is the speed of the ball (typically reported in mph) as it leaves the club face. Here are some typical values:

driver swing speed

Golf Driver Swing Speed (mph)

Golf Ball Speed (mph)







Notice the ball speeds are higher.  Why?  Because when that heavy club head transfers its momentum to the high energy, light ball, the “conservation of momentum” principle says the velocity of the ball must increase.

That’s great news for us golfers, because more ball speed = more distance.

But here is the Most Important Point:

The truth is that you don’t need to increase your swing speed to increase your ball speed and gain more distance.

Read that line again, it is critical golfers at every level of the game understand that point.

Now this is fantastic news for golfers who may have limited range of motion, or men, women, or junior golfers with slower swing speeds.

Here is another way to look at it. You can have “high” club head speed and zero (0) ball speed if you swing and miss!

Or if you have a slice or hook, you are losing loads of ball speed due to your slice/hook side spin.

If that misplaced club force is causing the ball to spin sideways, it is not compressing the ball and “pushing” it down the fairway. What a waste!

Let’s look at an example:

fast golf swing speed

golf swing speed

“The Young Gun”

“Birdie Man”

Tony – Age 28

Jim – Age 58

Fit, Flexible

Stout w/Aches and Pains

Slings the Ball

Compresses the Ball

Swing Speed ~100 mph

Swing Speed ~92 mph

Driver Distance 250

Driver Distance 265

So what’s going on here?:

* Jim is maximizing his distance and overall performance by using the right golf ball matched for his swing speed.

* Jim has a very efficient golf swing with no power leaks. Even though he has a lot less swing speed than young Tony, he compresses the ball more efficiently and therefore generates more distance (and control).

The Right Ball ==> No Swing Power Leaks ==> More Ball Speed ==> More Distance

I have the privilege of working with golfers of all abilities, from high hcp golfers and those brand new to the game, to scratch players and tournament professionals.

I recently did a ball fitting and game analysis for Alwyn, a gentleman from Australia. He was very determined to optimize his game and get to the next level.

He had average swing speed, very poor driver distance, and an intermittent slice that reared its ugly head at all the wrong times.

A few weeks later I received this genuine, unsolicited note from Alwyn:

“30 metres longer”

“Hi Robert,

Thank you for the golf ball recommendation. You were perfectly on the mark when you said the “right ball” would save 5 strokes a round.

I tried the recommended stance, etc, on the practice range; then I took your advice and bought a sleeve of the RB balls like you suggested.

I then played in my club Stableford competition and scored a “41” being 5 strokes under my handicap with my game improving on almost every hole.

My friends noted that I was driving about 30 metres longer than normal, with a much reduced slice; only into the rough on 2 shots.

My “3” wood on the fairways was also about 20 metres longer.

Thanks again for the advice and looking forward to my next round.”

Alwyn B. – Australia

RB = Recommended Ball

Nice going Alwyn. Golf can be a lot of fun!

Would you like to take advantage of my firsthand experience in the Golf Ball Industry?

I recently introduced the new, 7th Edition of “The Key To A Repeating Golf Swing” golf instructional, 6 part package.

Inside I show you how to use every ounce of your available swing speed and hit the ball with precision and power.

You can actually hear the difference at impact!

My customers receive detailed golf ball recommendations based on their specific game characteristics (not a golf ball hitting robot).

For a limited time, I am also including a copy of my new book, “Putting Rebel – Conversation with a Putting Wizard”. This breakthrough work is based on my in depth conversation with the best putter I have seen in all my years of playing golf. You will discover the exact techniques this putting expert uses that enables him to average less than 30 putts per round.

You can have Instant Access to the complete 6 part, Digital Package or receive the Hard Copy option delivered right to your doorstep.

I look forward to working with you on your game. I’ll see you on the other side. – Rob Cotter

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