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Why the Delayed Hand Release increases Golf Swing Speed & Distance

Why the Delayed Hand Release increases Golf Swing Speed & Distance

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Published by Les Ross
This article describes the physics and mechanics behind one of the most critical downswing techniques you can use to increase your driving distance...

This article explains why smaller golfers can achieve huge distances...
This article describes the physics and mechanics behind one of the most critical downswing techniques you can use to increase your driving distance...

This article explains why smaller golfers can achieve huge distances...

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Les Ross on Jun 01, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/10/2012

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Why delaying the release of your hands on the downswing increases golf swingspeed and distance
The technique of delaying the release of the hands to generate swing power has been welldocumented and written about for years. What is not well understood by many golfers, isthe extent this technique has on their "swing speed" performance.In this article I am going to explain the "mechanics" and "physics" behind this techniqueto demonstrate just how effective it is at generating tremendous swing speed.Many of the smaller golfers on tour use this technique very effectively for generatinghigh swing speed. One player in particular who stands out is Sergio Garcia.Pound for pound Sergio Garcia he has one of the most effective swings in golf. Weighingin at only 160lbs he packs a mighty punch off the tees, consistently exceeding drivingdistances of over 320 yards.Much of the success of his swing comes down to how he lags his hands on thedownswing. Interestingly enough, his technique is very similar to another successful ballstriker who also was not a big man, Ben Hogan.
The Physics behind the delayed hand release
I must apologize to you first.I am going to dive straight into the raw "physics of the swing" without giving you muchof a lead in due to the limitation of space for the article.The equation for "power" is given as the rate at which energy is released on an object:Power = Energy/timeTo increase the power of a golf swing and therefore the "swing speed" that you cangenerate in the swing, you have two options:-Increase the energy stored during the swing.-Decrease the time it takes to release this energy on the down swing.The easy way to understand the "power" equation is to look at walking up a flight of stairs.The potential energy you need to get your body to the top stair depends on your weightand the height you are climbing. The power you can generate depends on how fast you
 
can release this energy to get to the top stair. The faster you can climb the stairs, the morepower you have.The physics behind this article on the "delayed hand release" is focused on the samething, the time to release the energy of the swing on the downswing. The less time ittakes, the greater the swing power.Newton 's 2nd Law can be applied to two types of motion:-Linear Motion, which is for objects moving in a straight line governed by the followingequation:Force = Mass x Acceleration-Circular or Angular Motion governed again by the same law but with a differentequivalent equation:Torque = Moment of Inertia x Angular AccelerationTorque is the rotational equivalent of force, and Moment of Inertia is the rotationalequivalent of "Mass" in Newton 's 2nd Law both of which and are governed by the"radius of rotation" of the object in question.Since the golf swing is a circular motion, this is the equation that governs the motion of the swing.
Swing Speed and Angular Acceleration
I want to make sure you fully understand the term "swing speed" before we go further.We hear the term being used a lot on the TV coverage on the tour events.In a nut shell that term refers to the speed at which the club head is traveling as it strikesthe ball. Now, I am sure that you are aware that the faster the club head is traveling, orthe faster the "swing speed" the further you are able to hit the ball.The swing speed of the club head at impact depends on how quickly you are able to"accelerate your downswing turn" from the top of your backswing where the swing speedis ZERO, to the point of impact with the ball.Just as the speed reached over a quarter mile by a drag racer depends on the accelerationcapabilities of the car from the zero stand still position.That being the case, take a closer look at our equation and try to figure out how you canincrease the rate of acceleration of the down swing turn....Torque = Moment of Inertia x Angular Acceleration
 
 You essentially have two options:-Increase the torque generated in the swing.-Reduce the Moment of Inertia of the swing.Looking at ways to increase the torque in the swing is a whole chapter in itself. In mybook, I have identified multiple techniques for increasing swing torque.In this article though, I am going to focus only on reducing the "Moment of Inertia" orMOI of the swing to increase angular acceleration.
Reducing Moment of Inertia
Moment of Inertia (MOI) is governed by the mass and radius of rotation of the movingobject by the following equation:MOI = Mass x Radius²The total mass of the object in the case of a golf swing is the mass of the club head, theshaft and your arms that are all rotating about the radius of the swing.The swing radius being the distance from the tip of the club head to the center of yourspine in your shoulder area, around which the swing is turning.If you study the equation for MOI you will discover that it depends on the SQUARE of the radius of rotation...MOI = Mass x Radius²Since we are looking for ways to reduce the MOI of the swing, it can only be done byreducing the radius of rotation of the swing. This is because the mass of the swing isfixed by the weight of the club head, the weight of the shaft and the weight of your arms.Here is the important fact....For every unit of reduced radius, the MOI of the swing is reduced by the "square" of theradius reduction which translates into increasing the angular acceleration of thedownswing turn by the same proportion.This fact is huge!Impact of the delayed hand releaseWhen you delay the hand release, essentially what you are doing is keeping the "radius of rotation" of your swing as "compact" and as small as possible. Think about that for a

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