Club Head Speed

Club Head Speed by Age Group: Which Percentage Are You?

For the past four years, Par4Success has become down and dirty with juniors, amateurs, pros, and senior golfers from across the country, including North Carolina. What’s our goal? To gather information and statistics on all of these regular golfers in order to determine how to assist the 99 percent of us who live and breathe golf.

After analyzing over 600 data points, we identified some key physical stats that you should aim for if you want to be at the top of your game. While we have a laundry list of important metrics for golfers, today we’re focusing on the most requested: club head speed.

If you work in the golf industry, you’ve probably seen a golfer take a swing, check their speed, and then turn to you and say, “Is that any good?” If you were like us before we got our hands on this data, you probably drew on your memories of other golfers you’d seen to make a comparison… not the most scientific or precise method, right? 

Okay, let’s first break this down in simple terms. Do you know how everyone talks about PGA and LPGA tour averages? That’s fine and all, but here’s the thing: it’s not exactly apples to apples. Imagine a 13-year-old or a 65-year-old attempting to compare their swing speed to that of the pros. It’s like the average Joe believes he can match Warren Buffet’s bank balance. Let’s get real and find a comparison that makes sense for your current situation and goals.

When it comes to the major clubs, such as the LPGA and PGA Tours, it’s clear that hitting it long can make a significant difference. The big hitters tend to make the most money. So, it’s reasonable to assume that the same is true for us regulars, whether we’re amateurs, juniors, or seniors. The farther you hit the ball, the easier it will be to lower your score. You’ll have shorter shots into the green and, hopefully, won’t need to use your hybrid as often. 

Okay, let’s clear everything up before we move on. Don’t get the wrong impression from what was said earlier; you don’t have to be a super long hitter to make the pro Tour or play at a high level. You can still earn a good living on Tour without swinging at 120 mph, and you can play at a high amateur level without hitting the ball 300 yards. But, let’s be honest, having some serious length gives you a significant advantage when it comes to making money on tour.

Remember when your children were little and the doctor told you what percentile their height and weight were? It was kind of fun, right? But, let’s be honest, it didn’t predict how tall or athletic they would become. It simply allowed you to see where they stood in relation to other children their age and gender.

We’ve now done something similar with club head speed, using our data. The percentiles we’re about to show you can be useful in a variety of ways, depending on where you are in your golfing career. 

If you’re a junior golfer, this data can show you how you compare to others your age and older players at the next level. Say you’re between the ages of 10 and 16 and want to know how fast college players swing. Just look at the 17 to 30 age group. This should help you understand where you need to be to compete with them.

This data establishes a realistic standard for what is considered good for people in their 30s and 50s who work as amateurs. It also shows you how much speed your peers usually lose over time. Use it to monitor any unusual power losses for your age group.

If you’re 50 or older, this data can help you see where you are now versus where you could be. For example, hitting 90 mph at 65 isn’t particularly impressive, and there’s probably a lot of room for improvement! 

The next logical question for everyone who isn’t in the 99th percent is possibly “How do I get more club head speed?” The answer is found in science and one of the four quadrants of speed. A player can gain speed in four quadrants: improving technical efficiency, improving equipment to match the player’s speed needs while keeping accuracy in mind, improving mobility to allow full rotational capacity, and increasing power. Power is the simple sum of how much force a player can generate and how quickly they can produce it. Simply put, power equals strength plus speed.

Depending on where a golfer is on their journey, the importance of speed improvement solutions varies. Take two players as an example: a senior with limited mobility and a junior with excessive flexibility. Even if their equipment and technique are identical, their approaches to increasing club head speed will be very different.

The senior player is likely to see the greatest speed gains by focusing on mobility. On the other hand, the junior player will most likely benefit from strengthening and controlling their flexibility.

Of course, neither player should ignore the other aspects of their game, but they should prioritize the areas where they can make the most progress. For example, a junior with hypermobility may still work on mobility, but rather than increasing it, they will focus on better controlling their range of motion. This could be incorporated into active rest periods between strength and power training sessions, thereby preventing injuries. 

The senior player’s training program will include not only mobility but also strength and speed training. They may perform eccentric strength training throughout the year, which not only improves mobility but also increases strength. They will also work on golf-specific speed and deceleration drills that target various movements such as vertical, horizontal, and torsional.

However, before diving into strength and speed training, the senior player will focus on soft tissue work, mobility drills, and golf-specific rotary centers.

Knowing your percentile for age and gender can help you set goals. It is critical to follow a sports science-based plan that maximizes the effectiveness of your training efforts. Seeking advice from golf fitness, medical, and teaching professionals can help you assess your current situation and determine which areas of speed you should work on the most. 


What is the clubhead speed?

Club head speed refers to the speed at which the club head moves when it makes contact with the golf ball. It is usually measured in miles per hour (mph). The higher the club head speed, the further the ball can potentially travel.

Why is club head speed important in golf?

Club head speed is important because it, along with launch angle and spin rate, influences distance and control over your shots. The faster you swing the club, the farther you can go if you make solid contact with the ball.

What constitutes a good club head speed?

While there is no definitive standard, average club head speeds typically fall into the following categories:

PGA Tour pros can reach speeds of 110-125 mph, while low handicap amateurs can reach 90-105 mph, mid handicap amateurs 80-95 mph. And high handicap amateurs/seniors 70-85 mph.

So, for amateur players, anything over 100 mph is ideal, while mid-80s to low-90s is about average.

How does the club head speed vary with age?

Club head speed typically peaks in a player’s late twenties and early thirties. After the age of 35, the average speed declines by about 1 mph per year. Here’s the breakdown by age group:

20s: low to high 100s (95th percentile)

30s: High 90s to low 100s.

40s – High 80s to Mid 90s

50s, mid-80s to low-90s

60s, mid-70s to mid-80s

70s: High 60s to mid-70s

What percentage should you aim for per age group?

As a baseline, try to aim for the following percentile rankings for your age group:

  •  20s/30s: 60th percentile or higher. – 40s: 50th percentile or higher.
  • 50s: 40 percentile or higher.
  • 60s/70s: Top 25% based on your age

While innate talent and physiology play a role. Maintaining flexibility and strength through a golf-specific exercise program can help you reach your full speed potential.

What are some tips for increasing clubhead speed?

If you want to gain more speed, work on flexibility, strength, club fitting, swing mechanics, and even equipment to optimize launch conditions. Every little bit helps to increase your distance. 

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