Why Speed Matters

The fourth primary fundamental in the pyramid is the all-important one of speed.  With many players on the PGA Tour hitting  the ball over 300 yards everyone knows the value of speed.  But, really there is more to the story.

Mark Broadie has shown us through his extensive research that approach shots to the green is where the top players can really separate themselves from the rest of the PGA Tour when it comes to strokes gained.  This means that these players are able to control the distance that they hit their irons shots with regularity.  This can only be done if a player can control his/her speed through the ball.  Very few times do we end up with that perfect number where we can swing full and feel that the ball will go the right distance.  Most iron shots require some degree of adjusting speed through impact.  This is where the greats excel.

A great form of practicing speed control is to go through a slow to fast progression.  Take an iron and hit 3 shots 10 yards with a full swing, then 3 shots 20 yards, 30 yards, etc. until you reach full distance.  Then try to hit 3 shots 10 yards farther than full distance.  As you go through this exercise you are increasing awareness of your swing tendencies and also how and when you accelerate the club.  Repeat this exercise with different clubs in the bag and you will find that you are much better at controlling and applying speed.

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