Cameron Champ went low and left the field behind at the Sanderson Farms Championship thanks to incredibly long drives. There is no secret to how long drives are produced: increased clubhead speed results ultimately in faster ball speed. Golfers at all levels are chasing more distance, so how does this newcomer generate so much power?
In the clip, we get to hear Cam provide insight into how he swings and explain the swing motion that produces 129mph club speed. A great visual Champ speaks to is the slingshot-like effect his downswing has. And although the overall motion does not seem aggressive or tasked for speed, he swings all-out at the bottom.
All-out at the right time is the key to his power. All the energy is stored and delivered to the back of the ball in a very efficient motion. For years, amateurs have been instructed to lead with hips when transitioning into the downswing. Unfortunately, this has hurt as many as it has helped.
Instead, we coach players to turn and work to impact with all the pieces of the swing except the arms and hands when a player is really looking to swing for distance. By doing so, the upper and lower body are in a position for the player to leverage force against themsevles and move the arms and rotate the hands at the bottom of the swing — the slingshot being released that Champ is talking about.
In separating the motion of the lower and upper body away from the arms and hands, golfers find an ability to move the club faster at the right time. Just look at Cam right before and at impact, everything is turning past the ball at point of impact. The clubhead has to travel extremely fast to cover the distance and catch up or else!
NOTE: Although Cam gets his hips through and past the address position, he does a great job of keeping them stationary as he leverages against them, utilizing ground force to move the arms and hands down into the impact zone quickly.
This doesn’t work for everyone and is certainly not going to produce more fairways hit, but if distance is your goal, having your hips open and facing the target while your upper body uncoils as your arms race like hell to catch up is one recipe for speed and distance.
If you are looking for a more tame start to creating more speed, watch what Cameron does just before he takes the club back. You may notice a similar motion in Jack Nicklaus swing and even Bubba Watson’s. They all lift and hover the driver above the ground before beginning the backswing.
This a great tip for amateurs looking to shallow out their angle of attack, create a smoother tempo on the backswing, and also create some width in the swing are — all of which help swing the club faster.