The average female golfer’s swing speed is 65 mph, wrote Tom Wishon in “Ten Things You Thought You Knew About Golf Clubs.” Because a woman has less upper body power than a man, her swing speeds tend to be lower. By using proper clubs, increasing your upper body and core strength and improving posture, you can maximize the distance of your hits.
The average swing speed of a female LPGA player is 94 mph with the driver and 78 mph with the 6 iron, according to data collected by TrackMan. The compares to a driver speed of 113 mph and 6-iron speed of 92 mph on the PGA Tour. A woman long drive competitor’s average swing speed shows speeds ranging from 105 to 120 mph, according to Wishon’s book. The woman amateur, on the other hand, has a slower driver swing speed, according to TrackMan: a scratch or better golfer averages 90 mph; a 10-handicapper averages 83 mph; and a 15-handicapper swings at an average of 79 mph.
More Loft Than Tiger
For your swing speed to translate into maximum distance, you need to match the loft of the driver to your swing speed. While male professionals, such as Tiger Woods or John Daly, with swing speeds reaching 120 mph and higher, can use a low loft, the average woman golfer should use a higher driver loft to achieve greater distances. The optimum driver loft for a female golfer who swings the driver 65 mph is about 20 degrees, according to “I’m Not a Golfer, I Play Golf” by Greg Peddie. Until you can swing a club at 90 mph or faster, you won’t hit the ball as far as you would with a loft lower than 15 degrees, wrote Wishon.
Posture for Power
Long drive champion Lee Brandon works with golfers to correct their posture, which is often lopsided from repetitive swinging with their dominant arm, according to Michael Lednovich, who wrote about Brandon in “Southland Golf Magazine.” Brandon’s mantra is “posture equals power.” When you swing, you need to pull in your navel, push your shoulders down and lengthen your neck and spine. Both sides of your body have to work equally to maximize the force generated by torso rotation. Brandon warms up by doing a bilateral swing with a driver, performing a set of 10 swings to the right and then left.
Specificity of a Woman’s Swing
Women use different movements in their swings than men to compensate for lesser upper body strength. A 2006 study published in the “International Journal of Sports Medicine” detailed how researchers at the University of Rouen used an optoelectronic system to study the golf swings of seven male and five female golfers. Women golfers rely on shoulder and hip rotation on the backswing to achieve a wide swing, while men used more knee flexion to transfer their weight to the right side on the backswing. Although the mechanics of a female and a male swing differ, that does not affect swing speeds in any significant way, suggested the researchers.
Strengthen Golf Muscles
Strengthening and stretching your golf muscles increases swing speed. Trainer Meredith Steyer, writing for the LPGA Golf Clinics for Women, suggests a 30-minute at-home workout that consists of: lunges, squats, pushups, supermans, bridges, planks and supine twists. Except for the plank, perform 15 to 20 reps of each exercise for three sets. This body-weight workout conditions your golf muscles and requires no equipment.