Technical Definition: Ball Speed is the speed of the golf ball’s center of gravity immediately after separation from the club face.
Inconsistent impact such as shots hit on the toe or heel can reduce the potential ball speed. Heal strikes will typically lower Ball Speed more than toe strikes. In some instances, toe strikes can Increase Ball Speed, as the toe of the club is traveling slightly faster than the heal through impact.
Although a golfer’s club speed is key to potential distance, the Ball Speed that is created at impact is the biggest factor in how far the ball actually carries. You can swing fast, but if you’re not hitting the center of the face, you’re wasting energy and likely losing distance.
Gaining 1 mph of ball speed can increase your driver distance by up to 2 yards.
Efficiency is the key when working on Ball Speed. All of the staff here at BGGA use Dr. Scholls foot spray applied to the face when working on Ball Speed. It all starts with a centered hit, you can work on increasing your club-speed once a consistent strike is achieved. You will likely notice a difference in distance just by working on a centered strike, so pick yourself up some foot spray or face tape and get to work!
One other factor to keep in mind is club-length. Longer is NOT always better. Today’s drivers come way to long from the factory (most at 45’5”). The longer I make your clubs, the more difficult finding the middle of the face becomes. If Sergio can play a driver at 43.5”, maybe you could too.
By: Kristofer Sirak, BGGA Master Club-Maker/Fitter, Assistant Coach