Speed – it’s all any golfer seems to talk about these days. But why do you need to learn how to measure swing speed in golf?
Because speed is king.
Your clubhead speed has a direct correlation with your total distance with every club in the bag. The more you can increase the average distance off the tee, the easier golf is with your approach shots.
Think about it, pro golfers swing the club with significantly more speed and hit it substantially further than the average player. While long drive professionals swing at incredible speeds that are hard for us mere mortals to even imagine.
If you want to play better and more consistent golf, understanding club speed is key. To increase your club speed, you need to measure it over a period of time.
Keep reading to learn the best ways to measure swing speed so you can increase and make golf a little easier on yourself.
How to Measure Swing Speed in Golf
Before getting started, let’s first define the two types of speed in your golf swing.
- Clubhead speed: This is also known as swing speed. Trackman Golf defined it as “Club speed is the speed of the club head just prior to first touch with the golf ball.” The average golf swing speed for a professional with a driver is 113mph.
- Ball speed: The second number that is important and often discussed in the golf world is ball speed. Trackman Golf defines it as, “The speed of the golf ball’s center of gravity immediately after separation from the club face.” The average ball speed for a PGA player is 167 mph.
When you have a faster swing speed you almost always increase ball speed.
So, how is swing speed measured? Keep reading to learn how to calculate golf swing speed:
Key Takeaways on Golf Swing Speeds
- Your golf clubs can increase swing speed
- Swing speed correlates to more distance with every club in the bag.
- Pros swing the golf club 20-40 mph faster than the average amateur golfer.
- You can increase speed in your swing with weight training and speed training.
- You can measure swing speed with a launch monitor, in a golf simulator, or an app on your smartphone.
The most convenient way to measure swing speed is with a portable, handheld launch monitor. These small handheld devices measure so much about your swing and no longer cost a fortune. Now, launch monitors are as low as $200 but can provide amazing insight to your game.
It’s common for most launch monitors to provide data on:
- Ball speed
- Swing speed
- Launch angle
- Smash factor
- Carry distance (some also provide total distance)
And if you invest in a higher end monitor you’ll get other data too when hitting balls. Click here to check out the best launch monitors or check out our top three picks below.
PRGR Launch Monitor
The PRGR launch monitor is the smallest and most portable launch monitor available. It’s not much bigger than a sleeve of golf balls and makes it easy to determine speed with every club in the bag.
The device works indoors on a simulator or outdoors at the driving range. Plus, it works with practice swings and speed training sessions if your goal is to swing faster. Not to mention it’s a great price for the average golfer.
Swing Caddie SC300i
The Swing Caddie SC300i is another top launch monitor that is decently priced with tons of benefits. If you’re ready to easily figure out how far your ball travels, this device can help with driver swing speed and more.
First, it’s small and easy to carry in your bag at all times. Second, it works with or without an app thanks to the large, easy to read LCD screen.
The screen always displays smash factor, ball speed, carry distance, swing speed, apex and launch angle. When you sync it with the free app you get even more data and it stores your shots so you can measure it over time.
The only downside is that it doesn’t work with practice swings without hitting a ball (which is needed in some speed training programs). Other than that, it’s a great device that works indoors with a net/simulator or outdoors on the driving range.
Another trusted name in the golf world is Flightscope which is endorsed by tons of professional golfers. The Flightscope Mevo is another incredibly small launch monitor that pairs with an app on your phone to provide tons of data.
The only downside is that the device does not have a screen so you have to use your phone for every swing. But it does track your results over time and has tons of other great benefits too.
Swing Speed Radar
The one downside to launch monitors is that they aren’t cheap. Even the lowest cost ones are $300 or more – ranging up to $20,000+ if you want to splurge for a Foresight or Trackman monitor. Needless to say, they’re not the most affordable golf gadget out there.
However, if you want to measure speed and not break the bank, invest in a swing speed radar. These handheld, portable units are even smaller than launch monitors but measure speed for golf or baseball. Unfortunately, that’s all the measure – they do not provide swing data for ball speed, smash factor, carry distance, etc. like normal launch monitors.
These devices are a fraction of the price and a good tool to invest in your game. The radar we suggest using is the Swing Speed Radar from Sports Sensor. Here’s why:
- Easy to use
- Very small and portable
- Works for all type of golfers
- Works up to 200 mph swing speed
Golf Simulator (with Launch Monitor)
Another way to measure your swing speed is with a golf simulator. A simulator is a launch monitor on steroids and something you’ve likely used at your local golf store.
A simulator has a launch monitor built-in to the system to provide data for every swing. Paired with a hitting screen, mat, and projector, you can play golf from the comfort of your home, improve swing technique, and measure your swing speed.
Swing Speed Apps
If you’re like a lot of golfers, you’ve probably wondered if there is an app to measure speed? Yes, there are tons of apps but most of them require you to pair with a launch monitor to improve your golf game. For example, some of the common golf apps for speed include:
- Trackman Golf
- Garmin Golf
- Bushnell Golf
Luckily, there are a few good options that do not include buying a launch monitor. Check out the best option below:
Shot Vision App
One of the best options to measure speed with your phone is the Shot Vision app. On their website they describe it as, “ShotVision is the first and only launch monitor that uses the rear facing high speed camera of your mobile device to give you accurate data to improve your game.”
It’s been tested with some of the best launch monitors in the business and delivers consistent ball tracking data. This golf app makes it easier to know your game and map your bag to have a distance chart for every club. Even if it’s not perfect it gives you some good data points and a rough idea for each club in the bag.
This app is a paid subscription but significantly cheaper than the methods mentioned above. It’s $9.99 per month or $71.99 per year . Unfortunately, this app is only available to iOS users – sorry Android fans.
In a perfect world, we’d suggest using one of the methods mentioned above before this strategy. Because this method will require some math and is far from perfect when it comes to accurate measurement of distance. Here’s how to do it:
- Get warmed up for 10–15 minutes; starting from wedges, irons, then woods/driver.
- Once you’re ready to go, grab your rangefinder and hit 10 driver swings. Notate how far each drive goes with your rangefinder for carry distance with initial ground contact. Not your rolling distance.
- Throw out any awful shots that don’t accurately represent most swings.
- Once you have 10, calculate your average driving distance.
- Then, divide that number by 2.3 to calculate your swing speed.
If you’re like a lot of golfers you might wonder, where does 2.3 come from? Because for every one mph extra you add, it’s worth about 2.3 extra yards (while other sources say three yards). But this can change from player to player and with different equipment that is fitted for your game.
While this strategy can help and is the cheapest method, we suggest using a launch monitor or radar for the most accurate results.
FAQs About Swing Speed
Do you have more questions about increasing clubhead speed and the vital role it plays in golf? If so, keep reading to learn more now.
What is my swing speed if I hit a 7-iron 150 yards?
If you hit a 7-iron about 150 yards your swing speed is likely between 83-93 MPH.
Is there an app that measures golf swing speed?
Yes, there are several apps available to help you measure swing speed. But it’s important to note they are not as accurate as a radar or launch monitor due to the lack of technology.
Most apps pair with a launch monitor to provide results. But the Shot Vision app is a great low-cost, paid app to help you measure clubhead speed. If you get new clubs make sure to test them out vs. old clubs with this app to update your distance chart.
Do you need to measure speed with every club?
Not really – it’s most beneficial to measure your driver club head speed above all else. It’s okay to measure a mid-iron, let’s say 7-iron, to have a benchmark but not 100% necessary. Measure your driver speed over time because if you’re increasing it, you’ll naturally increase with all your clubs too.
What swing speed is needed for a 250 yard drive?
Which means you will need a swing speed of nearly 100 miles per hour or more. This depends on several factors including the club used, weather conditions, golf ball, and other factors.
How far should a 95 mph swing go?
Using the 2.3 factor from above, a 95 mph swing speed should go about 218 yards. This is a rough estimate and might increase/decrease depending on the quality of strike, golf ball, equipment, and swing mechanics.
What swing speed is needed for a Pro V1 golf ball?
Pro V1 and Pro V1X golf balls are made for players with high swing speeds, typically over 100 MPH with your driver. Otherwise, you won’t get the full benefit of the most popular ball in golf.
How do I increase swing speed?
The best way to increase swing speed is with training equipment like SuperSpeed Golf. These weighted swing sticks paired with their training protocol make it easy to add extra speed to your game.
Or, if you’re a more advanced player that wants more detailed analytics, check out the Stack System. This speed training system requires an app and has different training regimens but is preferred by top players including 2022 US Open champion, Matt Fitzpatrick.
Final Thoughts on Swing Speed
Remember, swing speed is one of the most important factors in your golf swing.
If you want to hit it longer and give yourself easier approach shots, start working on your speed. This comes from consistently hitting the gym and/or speed training using the methods mentioned above. Many golfers will see lower scores quickly with more speed and a club fitter helping with the right driver can help too.