The TaylorMade TP5 Pix 2.0 is our top suggestion if you are a senior (having a greater-than-average swing speed) on the hunt of a golf ball that would cover long distances with ease. By smartly managing spin and displaying a rebounding motion, this ball is counted amongst the longest golf balls available today. Swing speed is measured as the speed that the club head travels through the golf ball. Many golfers believe that it is the speed of the swing action but this is not true. At the top end of professional performance, the PGA tour, the average speed of a driver club head travelling through the ball is 115 miles per hour. There are a number of options that you have. If your swing speed is less than 75 mph you should use a senior flex. However, if it is between 75 and 85 you should use a Regular. Some senior players with very slow swing speeds use ladies clubs with ladies flex, these clubs are very light and it is very easy to get the ball in the air. Finding a good loft and flex combination is vital to ensure. Scratch golfers average around 106 mph of swing speed. High single-digit handicap s hover around 97 mph. Average golfers swing the club about 93 mph. And as Golf Digest notes here for reference.
Written by Aaron Ainbinder - bio on our Editorial Team.
I have often wonder whether professional baseball players would have a higher batting average if they slowed down their swing. They all appear to be trying to rip a home run with each swing of the bat. Slowing down would, in my humble opinion, allow for more accuracy in hitting. I hold the same thinking with regard to swinging a golf club.
“But I have always swung my golf club as hard as I could!” It takes some inner work to come to creative thinking, dismissing reflexive defensive posturing. I remember playing a round of golf with a relative of mine some many years ago. An older gentleman, probably in his 70’s, joined us. His swing was relaxed and thoughtful. His shots worked their way up the fairway. My relative and I were often looking around, just trying to find our errantly-hit balls. Guess which golfer had the slower and more productive swing.
Swing Speed Chart
|10-16 years old||93||83|
|17-29 years old||113||93|
|30-50 years old||103||88|
|50-60 years old||98||73|
|60+ years old||93||72|
Four Factors of Swing Speed
There are four factors which combine to produce the speed at which we swing a golf club. Efficient Technique – Proper Equipment – Flexibility – Physical Strength. All four combined create for a huge impact in reducing or increasing your swing speed, while also being able to connect the club face with the ball accurately.
Be aware of your stance, grip and timing of club head velocity. A wider stance provides us with stability, allowing for the transfer of weight from the inside leg/hip to the driving outside leg/hip. But also remember, if your stance is too wide, you won’t have the mobility to rotate your hips.
Gripping the club firmly but not in a choke hold will let us follow through with appropriate rotation of shoulders, torso and hips. Time your highest club head speed for the moment of impact (MOI), keeping an ear open for the “whoosh” sound. Remember, of course, to keep your head down. Whether we waggle your tush before creating the whoosh is a personal choice of style. I find that it relaxes me. A bit of appropriate levity always does.
Get your hands on clubs that fit your height, strength and golfing ability. As we get older and lose some club head speed, it is worth having a driver with a few more degrees of angle on the club face. Such a club will provide a shot which launches higher, thereby giving us more distance. Drivers are also designed to be more forgiving of slices and hooks. Here is our list of the best drivers for senior golfers. Also, be sure to take your clubs into a professional golf fitting shop near you, in order to get properly sized. You can also buy specific golf balls that are designed for your age group. Here is a list of the best golf balls for seniors.
Flexibility and Balance
Flexibility and strength are always related. The broader range of motion our body exhibits, the greater we can access more muscles, and ultimately create more torque. The same is true in golf when trying to increase swing speed. By increasing flexibility, we are able to rotate at a higher degree. Balance is equally as important as flexibility, if, for no other reason, to keep your bodies proportionally stable throughout the entirety of the swing.
Here is a video by Personal Trainer David Jacobs, at Level 3 Fitness, on driving range flexibility exercises.
Increasing physical strength will directly correlate in the ability to swing at high speeds. Too often, people stereotype golf as a leisure sport. The reality is that professional golfers take weight training very seriously in order to increase their swing speed.
As we travel into and through the later decades of our lives, keeping up with physical mobility and strength is important in all areas of our lives. On the golf course, as age naturally slows down swing speed, keeping up with your physical fitness will pay off in high speeds and longer distances.
Older Golfers Swing Slower
Through our 40’s or into our 50’s, many of us have a history of clobbering each shot until we get on or around the green. Youth, ego, pride, talent and aggressive desire to win are all drivers of that ship. When we get older, either wisdom, experience or physical changes can provide the Captain of the H.M.S. Golfer with a different mindset.
Additional Tips to Add Distance
I have mentioned slowing down our swing, and the benefits of doing so. Even with a slower swing, we can do something to add distance to our drives. From the fairway, with an iron shot as we are approaching the green, we often hit down on the ball. This gives the ball a lot of back spin which will, we hope, stop the ball on the green.
Too often, however, we hit down on the ball when using our drivers. When we do this, the ball gets too much back spin, too much floating height, and no forward roll on the fairway. Adjust your stance and tee the ball up higher so that you hit the ball on the upswing. This will increase the launch angle, and without the excessive back spin your ball will fly further, even with a slower swing. The professionals swing a driver at speeds from 110 to 125mph. Their high level of talent, strength and experience delivers drives upwards and beyond 300 yards.
Most important to me, when I play the game, is my mindset. Crushing every shot is not ever my intension. This does not mean that I swing like a butterfly, hoping to sting like a bee. It means that I play the ball where it lies, so to speak, dealing with the reality of how my body functions at this stage of my life. I am not dead yet, but I am not in my 30’s or 40’s either. My swing speeds are what they are capable of being, and I go from there.
In closing, I’ll share this thought with you. I am a bassist, having played bass guitar and the string bass since I was a kid. When I have played in bands, I have had the experience of sharing a stage and rehearsal rooms with some folks that know only one volume setting on their amplifiers. That setting is LOUD! My personal philosophy is that I only need to play as loud as the song and the scene calls for.
It is not necessary for me to turn my amplifier up to 11. NOTE: That is an inside joke among musicians, since the volume controls on amplifiers only go up to 10. We only need to swing a golf club as hard as we need to swing it. Leave the crushing of shots to the professionals. Work on stance, equipment, mobility and strength and let the club do the work it was designed to do. Now go out and enjoy your next round, chasing the little white ball towards the cup.
Wed Feb 27, 2019 by Chris Finn
Senior Golfer Club Head Speed
Over the past four years at Par4Success, we have been working with and testing juniors, amateurs, professionals and senior golfers in the state of North Carolina and throughout the country. Our mission has been to collect information and data on all of these “average” golfers to better understand how to help the 99 percent of us that love and play the game of golf.
From all of this testing, over 600 data points at this time, we have been able to identify a number of top metrics in the physical realm that you should be striving for if you want to play at your highest level. While we have identified over 10 critically important metrics for golfers, today we wanted to share the one that is most asked about...club head speed.
If you are in the golf industry, you have no doubt worked with a golfer who swings, looks at his/her speed and then turns to you to ask, “is that good?” If you are like us before we had this data, you likely pull from your memory bank of other golfers you have worked with to compare the person in front of you to them...not the most scientific or accurate approach.
This is one of the most important questions to answer as most of the data out there is on PGA and LPGA tour averages. To have 13 and 65 year olds comparing themselves to the 113 mph PGA Tour average or the 98 mph LPGA Tour average is silly (and, in some cases, potentially dangerous). It is like the average person comparing their wealth to Warren Buffet...let’s be serious and come up with a realistic and helpful comparison of where you are today and where you want to be in a few months and even decades from now.
On the LPGA and PGA Tours, it is very clear that length matters with most of the top money earnings belonging to the longer hitters. It is a reasonable assumption to make that the same would be true with amateurs, juniors and seniors around the world. The longer you hit it, the easier it should be for you to score better. You will have a shorter approach and hopefully avoid hitting a hybrid into every green.
Before we go any further, however, please do not mistake the previous statement to mean that you 'have' to be a super long hitter to play on a professional Tour or to play at a high level. You can clearly make a living on Tour not swinging 120 mph and play at a very high amateur level not hitting it 300 yards. The stats clearly show, however, that length helps a ton when it comes to earning dollars on Tour.1
When children are little, all parents reading this remember being told by the physician what percentile your child's height and weight were. While this is a fun metric, it doesn't tell you how tall they will be, how good of an athlete they will be or anything else predictive of their future. It does, however, give you an objective metric to be able to understand where your child stands at that moment compared to other children of the same sex and age.
With our data, we have done exactly that for club head speed. The percentiles that follow below are meant to help you in a few ways depending on where you are in your golfing life.
If you are a junior golfer, the hope is that this data allows you to see where you stand compared to others in your age range and the older golfers at the next level. For example, if you are 10-16 years old and want to see how fast the college kids you will be playing against will be swinging, take a look at the 17-30 age group. The hope is that this gives you a target of where you may want to get to in order to be most competitive with the other players you are competing against.
If you are a working amateur in your 30-50’s, hopefully this gives you a realistic expectation of what is actually good for your age and how much your peers are losing on average over the years when it comes to speed. Use this data as a barometer to identify losses in power that would be abnormal for your age.
If you are 50+, the hope with this data is that you gain a realistic understanding of where you are vs where you could be. In fact, a 90 mph club head speed when you are 65 years old is not that good and there is likely lots of room for improvement!
Utilizing this data, industry professionals should be able to tell golfers who have forced themselves to accept that they are just getting old, that in fact, they are wrong. There is ample opportunity to improve and get better well into your 60’s if you have an organized and sport science based plan.
The next logical question for everyone not in the 99th percentile, of course, is probably 'how do I get more club head speed?' That answer lies in science and one of the four quadrants of speed. The four quadrants that a player can gain speed in are improving technical efficiency, improving equipment to match the player’s needs of speed with consideration for accuracy, improving mobility to allow full rotational capacity and improving power. Power is the simple sum of how much force a player can generate plus how fast they can produce that force. Simply put, Power = Strength + Speed.
Depending on where a player is in their golf lifecycle, the solutions to speed may vary in order of importance. For example, if we have two players, a senior with poor mobility and a junior with hypermobility and compare them, their increased club head speed solutions will be very different. For this example, let’s assume that equipment and technical efficiency are equal in both players. The senior player will see greater improvement in club head speed with mobility improvements. The junior player will likely see greater improvements in their club speed with a focus on improving strength and control of their mobility.
This isn’t to say that both players should ignore the other areas of the four quadrants, but rather, that the greater majority of their time should be spent addressing the low hanging fruit first. For example, the hypermobile junior will still work on mobility, but instead of trying to increase it, they would work on better control of their end ranges and throughout their entire range of motion. This might happen during active rest breaks between strength and power training. This will have the added benefit of injury prevention as well.
Pga Swing Speed
The senior player will not ignore strength and speed training, but likely use eccentric strength training periods throughout the year. This will help further their mobility gains while also working on strength. See my earlier mytpi article on the benefits of eccentric training here. The senior player will also work on speed and deceleration drills (sport specific, vertical, horizontal and torsional) to increase their speed. This will all be done, however, after a significant focus on soft tissue work, mobility drills and attention to golf specific rotary centers.
Knowing what percentile you are in for your age/sex can be the starting benchmark for you and help you set goals to shoot for. It is important you utilize a sports science based plan designed to maximize your return on the your time spent as demonstrated above. Seek out the guidance of a golf fitness/medical and teaching professional who can help you assess where you are and identify the quadrants of speed that you need to focus on most.
A note about the data. It is important to note that the age groups with the larger sample sizes can be extrapolated out much more than those with smaller ones. This is just the beginning of the database we are collecting and numbers will only grow and become more helpful. If you are a 30-50 year old female, please reach out so we can fill your age group’s numbers in as there is clearly a gap in our data for your age group.
Be on the lookout for the upcoming article on the top tests that we found related to identifying your low hanging fruit when it comes to producing club head speed based on your age. These tests have a very high correlation to club head speed and can shed light for you as to which quadrant you should be focusing on to improve your club head speed. If you’d like to see our full full free research report with all of the numbers from age 10-65+ You can download the full free report here.
At Par4Success, our speciality is helping golfers play better golf, swing faster and hurt less. The average golfer based on our research and in our programs, will see over 3 mph gain (~10 yards) in less than 12 weeks and many see much more; 50% more when they use the specific type of power and strength training most dialed in for their age and developmental level. Let us know if we can help you reach your goals!
Chris Finn is a Licensed Physical Therapist, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Titleist Performance Institute Certified Medical Professional, Certified Precision Nutrition Coach, and trained to perform Trigger Point Dry Needling in North Carolina. Since starting Par4Success in 2012, Chris has and continues to work with Touring Professionals, elite level juniors & amateurs as well as weekend warriors. He has contributed to numerous media outlets including GolfWRX, is a published author, works with many of the nation’s leading coaches and instructors to improve their players and presents all over the country on topics such as Golf Performance, Junior Golf Athletic Development, Injury Prevention and Power/Speed improvement for golfers.
What Is The Average Swing Speed For A Senior Golfer