Golf Speed Training: How To Use Power For Speed

Must-try golf speed training exercises demonstrated by golf strength and conditioning coach, Jamie Greaves

Golf Speed Training
(Image credit: Tom Miles)

It’s not enough for golfers to be strong – they need to be fast, explosive and athletic. During the golf swing, we don’t actually get huge amounts of time to generate our force – we're talking 0.5 to 0.7 seconds – so we need to be able to use it quickly. So, I recommend building in some kind of faster paced moves, along with some golf strength training, into your golf workouts.

How do you train for speed in golf?

There are many different exercises that you can try, and I have a number that I work on with my students. In the videos below, I demonstrate some fantastic lower body explosive exercises, plus I show you how a medicine ball can be used in golf speed training. It's not just a favourite amongst my students, but also with the world's best players. In fact, Rory McIlroy's gym routine involves a lot of med ball work. 

Lower Body Explosive

These exercises increase lower body power, which has a high correlation to how fast we can swing a golf club. In this video, I demonstrate the sprinter step, which is aimed at beginners (in terms of exercise experience); the broad jump for intermediate level; and the band assisted jump, an exercise for those at an advanced level. 

Med Ball Explosive

Med ball exercises help develop upper body power and athleticism. They're fun, too, and golfers can see the resemblance to the golf swing itself. In this video, I demonstrate three different medicine ball exercises that can be used as part of your golf speed training: the med ball toss, the med ball slam, and the med ball rotation slam.

Does speed training work in golf?

Yes, absolutely. Jumps, throws, sprints and speed swings are a fantastic way to get you used to moving quickly and can really complement your mobility, strength and golf stretch work. What I would stress, however, is they are add ons to strength work, not a substitute. Lots of golfers try and skip the strength work and just get stuck into jumps, throws, sprints and speed swings, as it's more fun.

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Not only does this limit potential speed gains – to use a car analogy, strength training essentially gives you a bigger engine – but it could also increase injury risk (that's why it's also a good idea to do some lower back exercises for golf). Strength is the foundation and the power and speed work is the cherry on top of the cake.

Jamie Greaves is a strength and conditioning coach and an avid golfer. He played college golf in America, where he reached a handicap of +2. Whilst playing in the States, Jamie discovered a love for fitness and how proper training can positively influence your golf game. Now TPI Fitness Level 3 Certified, Jamie has his own studio at Northampton Golf Club. He trains players of all ages and abilities both in person and through his JG Golf Fitness App. He also works with a number of Tour professionals, including Charley Hull, Lauren Taylor and Meghan MacLaren.