5 – Distance
A- From Newton’s 2nd law, Force = Mass times Accelaration (F=MA) the
complex equations of mechanics are derived. Ignoring the fact that properly
fitting clubs will help, the golfer has just two areas ( the two variables ) to work in.
1. He can somehow increase his
acceleration to a higher impact velocity.
2. He can somehow
increase the mass contribution to the hit.
It will be seen that as you work on the technique to improve
one variable, the second one is also helped.
B - By calculation, it
takes roughly 36 lbs. of force to accelerate a typical driver to an impact velocity
of 100 mph. ( This will vary depending upon the moment of inertia of the club used ). For most people this is not
feasible by using the arms and hands alone. To swing at a maximum speed to whatever the individual’s body can
achieve, the large muscles must be employed. These are the legs, hips, the lower back and the shoulders.
The object of the golfer is to pass energy from the body,
through the arms, into the shaft and finally to the clubhead. This requires both force and technique. Done
correctly, the arms will slightly decelerate in the lower part of the downswing and transfer energy into the shaft.
Since the flow of energy of motion – kinetic energy or KE– is passing from a larger source into the smaller,
tapered shaft, the shaft will operate rather like a whip and accelerate. KE = ½ MV squared. Since the torque
applied is essentially constant, as the energy flows into a smaller mass or M, the velocity or V must
proportionately increase to maintain the balance of the equation. In a properly executed swing
club head speed will increase significantly.
In sketch #6 we see a pro swing his
driver to a speed of 110 mph, with the arms slowing and the club head speeding up. During the downswing, with the
customary “late” hit position of the wrists, he passed energy into the shaft which accelerated it and bent it so
that it stored elastic energy. This in turn slowed the arms, by Newton’s 3rd law of equal and opposite
Although the average person cannot generate the power to
swing at 110 mph, the principles apply just the same if more distance is to be gotten. Typically the average player
shoves the club handle forward in an attempt to gain velocity. By doing this, the clubhead lags, no energy is
stored in the shaft, velocity is minimized, and the hit is weak.
In looking at sketch #3 again we can visualize how Symple
Swing does just what is needed:-
The special setup puts the player
virtually in the hitting position at the start. This enables him to actuate all the big muscles while taking a
short backswing. The release springs those muscles into a powerful late hit. Elastic energy is stored in the shaft
and released at the right time. The right side fires through the stroke automatically against a solid left leg,
adding both velocity and mass contribution. The left shoulder is acting as a pivot point that extends the arms and
slingshots the clubhead forward. The net result of this technique is more distance without the player feeling that
he has to supply more force than normal. Eliminating the strain of trying to hit harder leads to easy acceleration
and more distance.
Since the clubhead is on plane during the entire swing, it
will strike the ball squarely on center. This automatically increases the effective mass imparted to the ball,
resulting in more distance yet.
As the ball and the clubhead are both very hard and rigid,
the collision time where ball and clubhead are in contact is extremely short, between 4/10,000’s and 5/10,000 of a
second. The force of the collision, and impulse given to the ball, is very large as a result.
This is an actual oscilloscope reading of an
LPGA Tour pro striking the ball at 101 mph. The force is over 2600 lbs. at the peak. Unlike
other sports, where the striking implement and the ball are relatively softer and the collision time is quite long,
(say baseball), the golfer cannot add very much mass contribution to the hit. ( a large portion of the total mass
is in the club itself ). The time is too short. Our research indicates that each added ounce of mass he can supply
produces 7.5 yards of extra distance. When employing the classic swing he has to scramble using several sources, a
little here and a little there. In Simple Swing it is all wrapped up in a single package.
We cannot isolate the several masses that are involved to
know how each is precisely contributing – club, all of the body parts, square contact – but the overall results can
be seen clearly. In cases where the player was new to Simple Swing and had not yet learned how to increase swing
speed, typical increases in distance were 12 to 20 yards.
We have not yet isolated the exact amount that elastic
energy from the shaft adds to the total increase of clubhead speed. Calculations indicate between 2 to 5 mph,
varying with the player and the club used. A 4 mph increase computes to around 13 yards of added distance, using a
Obviously Tour pro’s already execute well using the classic
swing. They don’t need anything else except lots of practice. However, most players can increase their results by
employing Simple Swing for the two essentials – accuracy and distance – easily, far faster and with lasting
results, than can be gotten with the classic swing.