How to Add Clubhead Speed the Pain-Free Way

July 6, 2023

What have you been told about how to add clubhead speed?

Probably that you’ve got to move your body faster, right? That your swing should be a combination of restricted movement and sudden, whip-like motion. Snapping your hips, spinning your hips, sharp rotation… all the things our bodies can’t do once we reach a certain age.

I cannot tell you how many golfers come to my lesson tee frustrated by the advice they get for how to add clubhead speed. 

These are guys and gals who finally have more time to play the game they love. They’re retired or have a new job with an easier schedule. Maybe they’re sending their kids off to college and their weekends are their own again. 

But while being further along in life frees up more time for them, it also means their bodies can’t move like they used to. 

If this cruel joke feels a little too familiar to you, let me assure you:

There are other ways to generate more speed. You don’t have to spin your hips or tweak the heck out of your back. And you don’t need a time machine.

You’re about to learn how to add clubhead speed without adding pain and strain. I’ll show you a technique that works for everyone at every age. This works even if you’ve been injured or had surgery. 

You’ll also come away from this article with a couple tips for practicing this speed-generating method. Not that you’ll need to put in much practice on this one. You can pick up this technique right away and start picking up yards immediately.

But first, let’s get clear on what it actually takes to get the ball farther down the fairway.

The Truth About Increasing Distance

Before we talk about how to add clubhead speed, I’d like to help you reframe this whole concept.

Traditional golf instruction focuses so much on increasing distance by getting faster, snappier movement in the body that golfers start to equate a quick body with a long carry distance.

They’re not the same thing.

What makes the golf ball carry farther is more speed in the clubhead, not more speed in the body.

Now, does quick motion in the body create more speed in the clubhead? Sure. But all that hip snapping isn’t the only way to accelerate your swing speed. And once you reach a certain age, those hot-shot techniques do more harm than good to both your body and the quality of contact.

Allow me to offer you a body-friendly alternative.

How to Add Clubhead Speed: The Technique No One is Talking About

The formula is simple: let your body slow down and get your arms swinging a little faster.

You’re still going to have some natural turn in your body, but you’re not whipping it, snapping it, or spinning it. You’re not wringing yourself out trying to pack more power into your swing.

Instead, let your arms swing straight back and up along a more vertical swing path. Allow them to drop down and through along the same vertical line and let the rest of your body be quiet. 

As you do this, see if you can get your arms to swing faster (without swinging them out of their sockets, of course).

After years of traditional instruction, this might sound like it’s not gonna do a darn thing for your distance. Try it anyway. 

I’ve taught this approach to countless students and I’ve seen a lot of senior golfers find their way back to the blue tees as a result. I’m so confident in the value of this approach that I built an entire coaching program around it.

(It’s called the Vertical Line Swing System. You can check it out here.)

If you’re anything like my students, you’ll wish you’d known about the Vertical Line Swing years ago. Even back when it was easier to spin your hips. It’s an effective technique that’s all about natural movement. 

There’s no pain, no strain, and it’s way easier than anything else you’ve been taught.

You could probably stop reading right now and go do it fairly successfully. But if you’d like some tips on how to practice this technique, stick around.

How to Practice This Speed-Generating Swing

As you run these drills, your keyword is “natural.” All the movement in your arms and body should feel effortless and organic. Nothing is forced. There’s no straining. You’re letting your body do what it was built to do and what it can do in this phase of life.

Now, there are two ways to practice this swing.

Regular Drill

  1. Step back from the golf ball and take your regular setup.
  2. Take a practice swing, allowing your arms to swing straight back and up, then drop back into the slot naturally.
  3. Take two or three more practice swings just like that, one right after the other. Try to get your arms swinging a little faster than they usually do.
  4. Step up to the ball and hit a golf shot.

As you do this, you should notice that you immediately feel relaxed in your swing… possibly for the first time ever.

Now, if you want to get a really good sense of how that vertical motion looks and feels, try this:

Extra Strength Drill

  1. Step back from the golf ball and take your regular setup.
  2. Step your lead foot forward (towards the ball) and your trail foot back (away from the ball).
  3. Take a practice swing, allowing your arms to swing straight back and up, then drop back into the slot naturally.
  4. Take two or three more practice swings just like that, one right after the other. Try to get your arms swinging a little faster than they usually do.
  5. Step up to the ball, maintaining that position with your feet (lead foot forward, trail foot back). Hit a golf shot.

As you may have noticed, this is basically the same as the previous drill. The only difference is the repositioning of the feet. You wouldn’t typically play a round with your feet in this position, but it’s a helpful technique when you’re learning the Vertical Line Swing. 

This stance helps you see the Vertical Line more clearly. It’s easier to make sure you’re bringing the club straight up and back instead of low and around (as you’ve likely been taught).

Now You Know How to Add Clubhead Speed. What’s Next?

So there’s the previously untold truth about how to add clubhead speed. Shockingly simple, right? All you’ve got to do is allow your body to do what it can do well—pick up speed on a vertical swing path. No more forcing or fighting.

Try it for yourself. See what you learn. And please come back to share your experiences in the comments below. Or jump in right now and let me know if you have any questions or want to share your own clubhead speed tips. We love hearing from you!

Now, I know something as simple as the Vertical Line Swing might sound too good to be true. But as a golf instructor, I want you to know that the golf industry has made several aspects of this game harder than they have to be.

The truth is, you can play your best round with the body you have. You just need instruction and equipment that was made for you. (Most of what’s out there is designed for tour professionals.)

Want to learn more? Check out We’ve got loads of products and advice all geared towards the casual, experienced golfer.

See you there!


  1. Todd,
    I had a “reverse” shoulder replacement back in 2019 and my game has suffered. I don’t have the mobility with it as I have had in the past. My left arm bends very early in the backswing and I don’t have the backswing I previously had. I get my backswing to parallel and that is about it.
    Do you have any drills or exercises to increase my backswing? Or any other ideas?
    Thank You,
    Larry Couden
    ps – I am a HUGE fan and enjoy your email lessons!

  2. Larry,

    Thanks for the kind words and great to see your passion for the game. Here is a good drill that may help

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