Most golfers believe that with old age comes a decrease in clubhead speed. Well, that might be true. There is a lot of research that supports this case. It is an inconvenience to older golfers, and many tend to lose interest in the game. That should not be the case because as a senior, you can actually improve your clubhead speed and even surpass the record you set in your 20s.
Have you asked yourself what happens when you get older? To understand the decrease in clubhead speed, you also need to understand the changes that happen in your body. The most obvious is reduced body strength, but that’s not just it. There is a lot more than meets the eye.
In this article, we take you through the entire process of understanding your clubhead speed as a senior and how you can make a change for yourself. Let’s dive right in and understand why clubhead speed reduces with age and what you can do about it.
Why Your Club Head Speed Reduces as You Age
Before we continue, note that everybody gets older, but not everybody loses strength. What this statement means is that it’s not your age that determines your strength. Understanding what happens to your muscles makes it easier for you to apply the necessary interventions. Below are aspects that lead to the loss of power and eventually clubhead speed.
When you age, you tend to move and exercise less. The immobility causes muscle loss in your body, where your skeleton muscles reduce in mass and strength. The more immobile and inactive you are, the more the quality of your muscles decreases. That is what we call Sarcopenia. The muscle power decreases at a very high rate, and as we all understand, strength is significant in increasing your clubhead speed.
2. Decreased neural drive
Our body muscles are connected to the central nervous system. When we age, our neural drive decreases, and this affects the command to working muscles. Eventually, the force output from these muscles reduces, significantly affecting the clubhead speed when you take a hit on the ball.
Scientists suggest that reduction in the neural drive is a defense mechanism to prevent the body from fatigue due to vigorous exercises. When working out as a senior, be careful not to overdo it because the body will sense and automatically decrease your neural drive.
3. The decrease in fast twitch muscle fibers
In muscle fiber categories, there are fast-twitch muscle fibers and slow-twitch muscle fibers. Fast-twitch muscles, in particular, are characterized by more robust and faster contractions and are responsible for rapid movements of muscles in various parts of the body.
Research says that fast-twitch muscle fibers tend to shrink and reduce as we age. The results significantly affect the movement of body parts such as your arms and waist. With your arms and waist affected, it directly reflects your performance on the golf course. Your clubhead speed and distance gradually reduce as aging progresses.
What to Do to Increase Your Club Head Speed
Now that you have understood what happens to your muscles when you age, it is about time you do something about it. It may be inevitable to reduce aging but not entirely impossible to improve your strength and get your muscles working.
Note that training your muscles is not the only thing you can do to improve your clubhead speed. There are other drills and aspects, such as the type of equipment you can combine with training to change your clubhead speed tremendously.
The information on what happens to our muscles as we age can be psychologically devastating. However, there is one fantastic thing about muscles that you need to understand. Whether old or young, body muscles tend to be very responsive to training.
And this is not just any kind of training. We are looking for specific results; therefore, the training has to be particularly specific to your aim and purpose. The first type of muscle training we look into is strength training. This training enables you to achieve the muscle power necessary to exert force or pressure in a particular direction.
The best type of muscle training to increase your clubhead speed is the use of weighted golf clubs. Weighted clubs are heavier than standard golf clubs, and practicing with these clubs allows you to gain power and strength in your arm and waist muscles so that when you use the regular golf club, you find it lighter and more flexible, thus increasing clubhead speed.
The second type of muscle training you need to consider is speed and power training. Muscle strength declines faster than how fast you move them. Therefore the speed and power of muscles are critical in increasing your clubhead speed. You may have less strength, but how quickly you move the muscles has a major impact on your clubhead speed.
Using Lighter Equipment
Using lighter golf clubs is arguably the first thing senior golfers do to achieve better clubhead speed. The trick always works, and the results are usually quite impressive. Clubs with lighter shafts help you build your swing speeds and improve your skillset as you get older. Hybrids are easier to hit than 4 iron or even 5 Irons.
Using Proper Grips
As you get older, your arms may not be as strong as before. Therefore, you need to get grips that comfortably fit into your hands. If they are too big, your hands will not move freely, which eventually affects your clubhead speed. On the other hand, if they are small, your hands will struggle with grasping.
It is quite helpful for an older golfer to have a wider stance. As you get older, you will likely struggle with balance. When you are off-balance instinctively, you will swing slower, reducing your clubhead speed. Therefore, widening your feet gives you balance, enabling you to hit the ball with more impressive swing speeds, leading to higher clubhead speed.
Work on Your Rotation
It is expected, that as we get older, our rotation when swinging, worsens. Most golfers tend to rotate harder to produce more power, and this has detrimental effects. Therefore overusing rotation when you are younger will significantly affect you once you get older. Rotation is one of the primary sources of clubhead speed.
As a young golfer, you should not rely so much on rotation since it works out your back, which worsens at old age.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a good clubhead speed?
A good clubhead speed is between 90 and 100 miles per hour. That is the approximate range of LPGA professionals. The best speeds of tour players average between 110 and 115 miles per hour.
Q: How can seniors improve clubhead speed?
There are many practical ways that seniors can improve their clubhead speeds. This article talks about using lighter equipment, muscle training, rotation, and improving on their balance.
Q: What is Tiger Wood’s clubhead speed?
Tigers Woods’ clubhead speed is about 130 mph. In 2020 his club head speed was 128.42 mph.
One thing seniors need to understand is that as we get older, we slow down. We lose more flexibility and balance, and this affects how we do our day-to-day activities. As a senior golfer, expect changes such as reduced golf club speed. Your records won’t be as impressive as they were 20 years ago.
However, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing you can do about it. There is a lot you can do. From the article, we understand that our muscle loses their vitality, but we can train them to be better. You can also do some drills that suit your type of play and also improve on your equipment.
Last Updated on March 16, 2021 by Tom Fiore