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What You Should Work On Next — Swing Speed 

Art Sellinger, 1986 & 1991 U.S. Nat’l Long Drive Champion

I had the opportunity last weekend to have dinner with former two-time world long drive champion Art Sellinger.  Our conversation included some deja vu as Art, unprompted, reiterated something I mentioned in my last post which is the closer you can get your ball to the hole (especially on your drive), the lower your score will be.  He also said that he didn’t think it mattered if you were in the fairway quite so often if you hit the ball substantially farther, citing Bryson DeChambeau as a prime example.  Bryson hit his drives all over the place and hit just 41 percent of the fairways when he won the 2020 U.S. Open.  BUT, he was hitting it much closer to the greens than anyone else.



In Every Shot Counts: Using the Revolutionary Strokes Gained Approach to Improve Your Golf Performance and Strategy, Mark Broadie writes: “Extra driving distance is worth more to high-scoring golfers than low-scoring golfers” and that for “amateur golfers, driving distance is even more important for scoring than driving accuracy.”  The conclusions come from analysis of 100,000+ golf shots by players from ages 8 to 80 and scores from the 60s to more than 140.  Broadie is a professor at Columbia University and part of the USGA’s handicap research group.



Matt Fitzpatrick, Winner 2022 U.S. Open

Bryson DeChambeau, Winner 2020 U.S. Open

When I was watching the U.S. Open earlier this summer, I heard one broadcaster mention that Matt Fitzpatrick, the 2022 U.S. Open winner, had used used what are called speed sticks for what is known as “over speed training” to improve his driving distance and accuracy.  If you remember, Matt Fitzpatrick isn’t a big buff male.  He hasn’t bulked up like Bryson.  In fact, he appears to be an ordinary kinda’ guy.  I don’t mean that in a negative way.  He’s just not Tiger or Bryson, the epitome of male athletic physicality.  


So now you may be asking, what is “over speed training”?

Over speed training takes a known motion like the golf swing and speeds up the reaction speed of your muscles when you make the motion. This works by using a club slightly lighter than your driver, reducing the dynamic resistance of your swing, and allowing your body to move much faster than normal.  The training protocols the stick makers provide are pretty easy to remember and they also have videos available online, all of which are designed to maximize this effect.  In essence you’re taking the governor off the engine of your golf swing leading to increased club head speed.

 Can I use speed sticks to gain distance and lower my scores?  

My answer would be yes, you will gain distance and therefore lower your score.  I bought some earlier this year.  There are several brands out there but I prefer the SuperSpeed Golf Swing Speed Training System.  They are a bit pricer than others, but they have a set for every level/type of player (men/senior/ladies/junior).  During my research, I found other brands available at a lower price, but they were really a ‘one size fits all’.  I believe my speed sticks have, as advertised, helped me increase my driving distance about five percent.  A day’s training session with them takes less than 10 minutes. You don’t use them every day.  They say only a two-three days a week is sufficient but do so consistently.

The pandemic was a bit harder on my body and golf game than I originally realized — I wasn’t working out like I was pre-pandemic.  The speed sticks, in combination with regular stength training, have helped me regain some of my lost distance.  These will definitely be a training boost over the winter months when I’m not able to play as much.




What’s the Difference Between the Orange Whip and Speed Sticks?

The best-selling Orange Whip is designed primarily to help your tempo and timing.  It also strengthens your core.  It is not designed primarily to increase club head speed as are speed sticks.   Put another way, the whip will help ensure you swing as well as you now can.  The speed sticks will change your muscle sequencing so you can swing faster and hit the ball farther.



Thanks for tuning in.  If you find yourself digging my blog, please feel free to forward it to a friend who might also enjoy it.  As always, I would love to hear from you — feel free to shoot me an email to with any questions, comments or suggestions for future posts.  Coming soon:  Best of Survey.  Have suggestions, please let me know!

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