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Increased Swing Speed by Eliminating Early Extension?


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I recently gained over 15+ mph in swing speed by eliminating early extension and using my legs correctly.

 

Now, I used to early extend big time, which was caused by incorrect lower body movement. I would fire my hips and push up and onto my back foot while rotating, which made me come up and out of my swing. When I would make impact, I would be up on my toes on my back foot, my hips would be fully rotated facing the target, my shoulders/chest were turned past the ball and my arms/hands would trail behind with the club. I was basically in a finished position when I would make impact. I believe this was the main problem of all my swing issues. 

 

I focused on fixing my swing. I wanted to get in the correct impact position and use my lower body properly. I eliminated early extension, by staying down and pointing my body at the ball through impact. I used my legs to distribute and transfer my weight, while I rotated and pushed into the ground. By making this swing change, I generated an increased swing speed of 15+ mph, from 105 mph to 120+mph. I was surprised to see such a difference.

 

I want to know why my swing speed increased based on the changes I made? Does anyone have an explanation for this? Has anyone had a similar experience? Is it just my legs or a combination of things that would cause this increase? What else would have an affect on swing speed? Please let me know your thoughts, thanks!

 

 

Titleist TS2 10* Driver | Titleist TS2 15* 3 Wood | Titleist TS2 19* Hybrid | Ping i210 Irons 4-PW | Ping Glide Forged Wedges 50*54*60* | Scotty Cameron Newport 2 

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Interesting.  Maybe you always had that speed but it was being dumped or cut short early in the swing?   Edit:  Had a thought.  If this were somehow the case, I wish there were more accessib

Around July I began losing distance, the longer the club, the bigger the difference, and I couldn't identify the source of the problem.  I was going through a career change and unable to justify the t

Interesting.  Maybe you always had that speed but it was being dumped or cut short early in the swing?

 

Edit:  Had a thought.  If this were somehow the case, I wish there were more accessible ways to see this.  Imagine if a person knew they had 15 more mph to tap into via information from an accurate device of some sort.  That would be some good motivation to get some help and realize that potential I would think.

Edited by clevited
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22 minutes ago, clevited said:

Interesting.  Maybe you always had that speed but it was being dumped or cut short early in the swing?

 

Edit:  Had a thought.  If this were somehow the case, I wish there were more accessible ways to see this.  Imagine if a person knew they had 15 more mph to tap into via information from an accurate device of some sort.  That would be some good motivation to get some help and realize that potential I would think.


Yes, thats what I was thinking too. I’ve always felt I swung hard but never had the numbers I thought I should have. Its just crazy to me that I gained an extra 15 mph of swing speed. Maybe, my early extension was slowing it down or my legs are generating that extra power?

Titleist TS2 10* Driver | Titleist TS2 15* 3 Wood | Titleist TS2 19* Hybrid | Ping i210 Irons 4-PW | Ping Glide Forged Wedges 50*54*60* | Scotty Cameron Newport 2 

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Just now, Dcass5 said:


Yes, thats what I was thinking too. I’ve always felt I swung hard but never had the numbers I thought I should have. Its just crazy to me that I gained an extra 15 mph of swing speed. Maybe, my early extension was slowing it down or my legs are generating that extra power?

 

I am really interested to see where this thread goes and see if some people in the know will chime in.  I may be in the same boat you are.  I have large potential based on my superspeed numbers but I can't make that happen at the ball currently and I have early extension among other things.  That video above was a great watch but they did no mention of if the guy gained physical speed overall, or just moved the same speed to be at impact.

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Around July I began losing distance, the longer the club, the bigger the difference, and I couldn't identify the source of the problem.  I was going through a career change and unable to justify the time and money spent on golf, so I was only getting out to play once every 3 weeks.   By the end of October, right before the end of the season, I could play a bit more and was hitting the ball solidly, but struggling to touch 280 with driver and 215 with my 4 iron.  While those are certainly workable numbers, I knew I had a lot more in the tank because I always had, and as recently as the spring was topping 300 pretty regularly.

 

I'd worked on a lot of things, which were probably helpful, since then, but when I recorded a range session with my rhapsodo yesterday, my 8 iron/6 iron swing speeds were 6-10 mph low of target, and I couldn't even crack 100 mph with the 3 wood.  I also noticed I was going bolt upright at the end of the swing in a way that didn't look right - maintaining right spine bend until a little past impact, with the clubhead no higher than my knee.  I saw this thread, watched the AMG video posted above, thought "ah, that could be it," and headed to the range.  I focused on the center-of-hips movement pattern they describe and while I didn't get out the launch monitor, I was certainly flying it further despite the awkward new move.  I think before I was doing the wrench pivot that they describe and doing with my hips much the same as the OP describes above.  

 

I think I had always had a flawed conception of what rotation in the swing, or maybe at times in the past I'd done it better despite.

 

Edit:  this is driver and 5 iron from mid-August, from when it was still going well, though I'm starting to develop a bit of a pull here which I have been trying to turn in to a pull/fade.  I'm not sure if its as clear from the screenshots, but I'm certainly moving forward at the hips in the backswing, and I think my hips are maybe too far back to begin with.


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I studied martial arts from the ages of 11 to 18. Ended up achieving a 2nd degree black belt. It gave me an appreciation for just how much power comes from the legs and hips rotating, not the arms. 

 

One of the first things we were taught, trying to get to our first "rope" belt before even white belt, was a very exaggerated punching motion. Start from a normal standing stance, step forward with your left foot and point out chest height with your open left hand, with your right fist (palm facing up) cocked down at your right hip. As you settle into your stance (left knee bent) you start pulling the left hand back while punching with the right, rotating your fist to palm down through the punch and finishing with a pivot onto the ball of your right foot. 

 

It looks a little ridiculous. Nobody (obviously) punches like that. But it teaches a motion. It's impossible to not rotate through the hips with that motion.

 

Long story short, that culminated with a specific board break that I had to perform in my second degree black belt test. It's from a completely neutral stance, feet beyond shoulder width apart, knees bent, usually called a "horse stance" because your legs are bent like your astride a horse, and fist in that same position on my hip. I had to break a board from that position with no step, no movement, no wind-up, nothing.  I don't care how strong you are, you can't generate the speed necessary to break that board without proper hip movement. With hip movement? Not really all that hard. 

 

So many athletic motions are described as a "kinetic chain" where you're extending to crack a whip at the end. With a golf club it's unloading all that force on a little clubhead at the end of a 3'+ long metal tube. With a baseball pitch it's the wrist (and even fingers) that are the cracking of the whip. But what a lot of people don't consider is that the fat end of the whip isn't your arm or your shoulders, it's your hips. That's where the power of the motion starts. Your feet anchor the movement, but the power comes from the core. 

 

You must be pretty athletic to have been managing 105 mph without good leg movement, and probably were "getting away with it" and still having good distance because you're strong and athletic. That you saw a jump in speed once you started accessing your core doesn't surprise me at all, though. The hips and the rotation are the true source of power in a golf swing. 

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