November 2008 Golfsmith Clubmaker Back to Main
Faz–Fit Fittings
clubfitting tip
New Solutions for Slower Swing Speeds
by: John Mathieson

Have you heard client complaints like these? “All of my shots go the same distance! My 7-wood goes further than my 3-wood! I hit my 8-iron further than my 5-iron! The game is no longer fun!”

They’re symptoms of a common problem that causes many to wonder if golf is still for them. The issue is slow or declining swing speed, and players who suffer from it can be easily frustrated. Some are at the point of giving up the game due to lack of or loss in distance.

In my experience, one of the biggest obstacles that older players face when dealing with declining swing speed is that often, their egos get in the way. None of us wants to admit that we are getting older (or more experienced in life, as I like to think of it). Many veteran golfers simply refuse to accept the reality that they do not swing as fast as they used to.

It’s a real problem, though, regardless of whether it’s acknowledged. As one’s swing speed decreases, the force of gravity seems to be become exponentially stronger. In other words, the ball does not have enough velocity and spin to stay airborne for very long. As club makers, we can recommend eliminating lower-lofted clubs, but many times the player’s pride will not permit the 3-wood to be removed from their bag.

For women golfers, a lack of swing speed, frequently compounded by ill-fitting “starter” sets or hand-me-down clubs, is the primary reason many give up the game in a short time. The clubs they often start with prohibit any type of success. Drivers with 11° of loft and 3-woods with only 15° are next to impossible to use by anyone with a swing speed below 80 mph — much less below 70 mph. That’s why for some time, I have instructed our clubmaking students to forgo the 3-wood in new sets for women and instead go to the 5-wood, due to its higher loft.

For all these reasons, Golfsmith recognized that to keep slow-swinging players in the game and to enhance their enjoyment, we needed to create a new set, one that would give club fitters a fresh option for helping them.

The results are our Snake Eyes Python XLS and Indigo families of clubheads, which offer players a chance at success with the most difficult clubs: the driver, 3-wood and long irons. Their higher lofts will specifically benefit players whose swing speeds are less than 80 mph, so they can help many seniors and ladies see significant, measurable improvements.

One of the benefits of additional loft, however, is intangible: the often overlooked confidence factor. If you feel you will be better, you will be! Think about how happy your clients will be when they start achieving more success than they’ve had in years. That is good for your business and good for the game. The more players we can keep interested and enjoying golf — regardless of their swing speeds — the better off we all are.
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Design and Technology 2009
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