Podcast, Swing

111mph to 119mph club head speed in 3 golf swings w/ Dr Sasho MacKenzie

How can someone see a massive jump in club head speed in just 3 golf swings!?! We dive into a case study of how Dr Sasho MacKenzie helped Golf Science Lab host Cordie Walker do just that.

THE PROBLEM: Cordie had good club head speed with irons however the speed slowed down when it came to the driver.

“I could never get my driver speed over 113mph and had tried a ton of different cues and feels. NOTHING WORKED”

THE FEEL: Swing the club back faster.

THE RESULTS: In just a couple swings club head speed jumped to 119 and has gotten even higher in following months.

THE REASON: Although this seems like an overly simple swing thought it accomplished a lot in Cordie’s golf swing.

If you want to maximize your club head speed you need as much kinetic energy as possible in the golf club at impact. At the top of the backswing you have 0 kinetic energy, so it’s our job to create as much as possible in the downswing.

You change that by doing “work” on the club.

Work, in physics, measure of energy transfer that occurs when an object is moved over a distance by an external force at least part of which is applied in the direction of the displacement. If the force is constant, work may be computed by multiplying the length of the path by the component of the force acting along the path.

To do more linear work you can increase the average force applied (in this case the golf grip) or the length of the hand path to increase club head speed.

Cordie increased the muscle tension at the top of the backswing and applied more force to the grip increasing his average force applied creating more club head speed.

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ABOUT DR SASHO MACKENZIE

Dr. MacKenzie completed a PhD in Sports Biomechanics at the University of Saskatchewan, which focused on 3D forward dynamics simulation of the golf swing.

He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Human Kinetics at St. FrancisXavierUniversity and his research interests lie in the optimization of human movement with a strong emphasis on sport performance.

His research encompasses both optimal sport movement patterns as well as the most advantageous training techniques. He has conducted, presented, and published research on putting, shaft dynamics, 3D mechanics of the swing, shoe fitting, and the role of center of pressure in the golf swing.

My research interests are centered on the optimization of human movement in sport. My current research endeavors range from optimizing the biomechanics of athlete training techniques to customizing the properties of the golf club to a player’s swing.

My approach to solving problems on the optimization of human movement is founded on the development of forward dynamic models. Recently I have been programming genetic algorithm routines to determine the optimal timing of muscle activation patterns in my human models.

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Founder and chief curator of the Golf Science Lab. Documenting what's going on in the world of research and beyond that can help you play your best golf on the golf course (when it counts). Join the movement of researched based coaching over trusting beliefs and what worked for one person a few decades ago. Follow on Twitter