Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Handicap Predictor?

Handicap Predictor?

Recent laboratory studies have found a relationship between club head velocity and a player’s handicap. In the study, a high-speed camera was used to capture the club head velocity of each participant during their 10 shots. All shots were performed in a controlled laboratory setting to help eliminate uncontrollable outdoor variables.

The results of the study should that all players had very consistent club head velocities during each of their 10 attempts and the lower handicapped players had the highest club head velocity.

What does this mean?

These results, although scientifically accurate, may not reflect the true nature of golf. Since golf involves not only long tee shots but an accurate short game is also necessary for a low handicap. This study was unable to look at accuracy of each players drive and never took into consideration their short game skills. Therefore, club head velocity is a direct predictor of drive distance, it also appears to be related to a players handicap.

So if you want to lower your handicap, try taking steps to increasing club head velocity on the drive. Research has shown several ways to increase club head velocity and some are as easy as dynamic, light stretching before your game, a proper warm-up, plyometric and flexibility training and even strength training. These are some easy ways to help improve your game without having to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on new equipment or other gimmicks that claim to help improve your game.

Stay tuned for examples of plyometric, flexibility and resistance training programs that have been shown to help increase club head velocity…


Fradkin AJ, Shearman CA, Finch CF. How well does club head speed correlate with golf handicaps? J Sci Med Sports 2004, 7(4), pp.465-472


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