(Note: Due to several requests, we have put this part of the page from Jaacob back up as a blog post.)
When it comes to hitting the ball farther, a lot of golfers realize that technique is important. In recent years, people are also beginning to recognize the importance of getting custom fit for your ball and driver in order to maximize driving distance.
However, there's another way to get more distance that most people don't even know about (and how easy it is to do) or realize is possible... swing speed training.
Sports Sensors makes a nice little general graphic that illustrates the strong correlation between club head speed and distance. Simply put, the more swing speed you have, the farther you'll hit the ball.
Regarding amateurs, I don't have any large data samples, but from what I've seen and read, the average male golfer's club head speed is mostly around 85 mph to 90 mph...and hits about 220-225 yard drives. Average amateur women run in the region of 65 mph.
However, I do have some more specific data sample to show you from the Pro levels. Since 2007, the PGA Tour has been tracking swing speeds of all of it's players using Trackman. Here are some of the numbers from players whom you may be curious about. The Tour average runs about 112-113mph (Pro Women are about 95 mph).
PGA Tour Average Swing Speed 113 mph
PGA Tour Average Driving Distance 288 yards
At the moment, the European Tour doesn't post average club head speeds for the season. However, I did come across a document from a single event in 2008 containing the swing speeds of each player in the field. I'm not sure which hole or event these were measured with using Flightscope, but the numbers were interesting. Here are several notable players. The event average was 111 mph.
At the Pro Long Driver level, Trackman shows us the following peak club head speed numbers from the 2009 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championships:
Note: Throughout the Military competition, 20-23 mile per hour winds steadily blew into the competitors' faces and pushed balls right to left on the grid, where the wind-chill factor hovered around 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
As you can see, the more swing speed you have, in general the farther you will drive the ball.
Can you Increase Your Swing Speed?
Also note that just because you are fit does not mean you are fast. Camilo Villegas is arguably more "fit" than John Daly, but John swings about 4 mph faster. Granted, some of this could be due to John's technique, equipment, etc...but the point is that although fitness certainly has its place in golf and life, for distance it's more about being fast than fit.
We've got junior members from 12 years old to men on up in to their 80s with handicaps ranging from Pro to 30+ who add an average of 12-16 mph (30-40 yards) of driver swing speed in their first month of basic training. Believe it or not, we've even had several members who were willing to do the work that gained over 30 mph (that's not a typo) over the course of a few months. One of these members was 58 years old.