How to Gain Clubhead Speed to Improve your Driver Distance

Before you start adding driver distance it is crucial that you can consistently hit the sweet spot. Once you have mastered this, then you can move on to adding clubhead speed to your shot.

There are a variety of ways to achieve this, but the best way improve your distance is to improve your unloading sequence from the top of your swing.


This sequence is referred to as the kinetic sequence amongst golf scientists. The order of this sequence would the transition of the hips, shoulders, arms, and finally hands(wrists) to impact.

The reason why long drivers hit it as far as they do is because of their dynamic sequence. Each part of the body has a speed up and brake timing that propels the the club into impact.

To illustrate this, take a towel in one hand and try to snap a floor or wall with it. In this motion you will notice that your hand speed is quick at the beginning to create the momentum of the towel then to create the snap of the towel your hand will brake and recoil which maximizes the speed of the towel and snap.



Here are some steps to follow for improving your kinetic sequence to gain clubhead speed:


driver setup
  1. Setup facing a mirror in your stance with a club
driver distance
  1. Rotate your body to top of swing and be sure you have some shoulder turn and hip turn
  2. Your shoulders should have about 70-100 degrees in turn while hips 25-50 degrees
  3. To ensure proper turns, make sure your right leg is straightening gradually in the backswing (without straightening of the right leg your ability to turn will be limited)
driver 9 o'clock
  1. Once positioned, make sure you're starting down with hips sliding a couple of inches and turning back to square
  2. As the hips transition back to square the next part would be the shoulders unwinding back to square
driver impact
  1. Once this happens your arms will be the next to release and lower down to where your hands will be in front of your belt
  2. The next step will be the left hand uncocking and rolling into impact creating that slingshot speed
  3. As you do this release sequence of the hands you should start feeling the spine going from a forward tilt to straightening of the spine
  4. This straightening move of the spine is what catapults the club into impact
driver finish
  1. Finally rehinge your wrists after impact and feel your tailbone being tucked under the spine at the finish


When you do these moves be sure you don't necessarily stop completely with the hips and shoulders at square in those positions, they will still need to keep turning all the way to where your spine goes from its forward tilt to straightening.

To see what this looks like in an actual swing, Jeff Sluman does an excellent job below.

Driver Distance Jeff Sluman

The spine going from its forward tilt to a straight position is a major power generator. This is evident in many players' who have the ability to hit the ball long distances.

Plummer and Bennett gave a wonderful illustration of this move of the spine saying "the golfer should use the ground as a springboard during and after impact".

Charles Howell III demonstrates this beautifully below.


driver distance charles howell III

Notice the height of Charle's left hip socket as it progresses throughout the swing. You will see his hips slide laterally until the club is parallel to the ground on the downswing(2nd picture from left) and then the left hip will continue to rise until after impact.

It is just after impact that the hips rise tremendously shown by the red bars which demonstrates the springboard move. Also, to clearly show the difference in height notice the yellow line before impact and after impact.


Adding Distance with Trigger Finger

Another huge power source that can increase speed of the clubhead and gain you valuable driver distance is increasing the lag of the club and maintaining the pressure to a release point right before impact.

This pressure created by the lag of the clubhead will be located on the inside of your right index finger for a right handed golfer known as the trigger finger.


golf driver grip

As you go to the top of the swing and transition to the downswing you will notice the pressure exerted on the index finger. The key here is to maintain that pressure all the way to about where the club is parallel to the ground and the point your wrists start uncocking and rolling into impact. This period of uncocking and rolling the hands is where the the slingshot feel will happen.


golf driver release

This motion can be compared to casting a fishing rod and feeling the transition from back and forth until the release point. A huge benefit from this pressure is that it will help accelerate the clubhead, as well as consistently helping you find that sweet spot.

By working on improving your clubhead speed with a better unloading sequence I am sure you will start seeing a major change in your driver distance.

Return from Distance to Golf Tips on Driving

Return from Driver Distance to Bo Knows Golf Tips



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