Ball speed and distance dominate golf news headlines and TV coverage. Tune in to any pro event and you don’t have to wait long before you’ll hear the announcers discussing the mammoth drives of Dustin, Rory, Bubba and all the other really big hitters in the game. Each player’s ball speed is displayed on the screen like it’s the holy grail. This sends a clear message to players of all ability levels – get fast or get left behind. Younger players know this and talk about their longest drives like a badge of honor, regardless of how it affects their scores.
With all this emphasis on hitting the ball far, there are some things we need to understand about ball speed (the source of these prodigious drives) and its relationship to low scores and playing the game at a high level.
Do Higher Ball Speeds Mean Lower Scores?
In general, yes. More ball speed and distance make the game far easier, especially for younger golfers. Golfers that hit it a long way have several advantages. Here are a few of the most significant.
What is a Really Good Ball Speed for a Junior Golfer?
We track ball speed and distance for all of our junior golfers and have noticed a strong correlation between multi-sport athletes and higher ball speeds. The table below shows the top 20% in ball speed by age.
Can Players Improve Their Ball Speed?
Yes, without a doubt. Here are some of the best ways to improve ball speed.
There’s no denying that on tour, in college golf, and among junior golfers there is a trend toward faster ball speeds. The standard at all levels has changed and successful coaches and players will adapt to this new style of play.
Jeff Isler shares his observations, insights, and experiences on the game of golf and those that play it at a high level.