More Proof On Acceleration & Peak Club Speed

I am still shaking my head about the ridiculous claim by Peter Kostis on CBS’ Masters Saturday broadcast, claiming that top club head speed will occur well before impact, and if you still need proof of this, I have it below.

He showed a clip of Brooks Koepka, if you’ll remember, claiming that the analysis machine had B.K.’s top club head speed at 126 mph about 18″ or 45 cm before impact, and an actual club impact speed of 120 mph.

I am not questioning the validity of the data, only that this is fundamentally wrong in terms of mechanics and certainly not something that should be happening despite Kostis’ advice to everyone that this would be the case for them all.

So, I was swinging my SwingRite today, getting back into swing shape, and I shot a clip of one of my last swings on the hardest setting of the day wherein I can prove to you that this was a fatally flawed assertion.

Now, you can simply take my word for it, or you can see that in the below swing, the SwingRite clicks right around the swing bottom or even slightly past it, and the click of course would occur at the fastest speed in the swing, not before or after:


Here is where it snaps:


As I’ve said, a naturally falling pendulum will accelerate to the bottom of the arc, and that’s not me saying it, that’s just the laws of physics saying that.

Add to the gravitational acceleration of swinging something down in an arc (as in a golf swing) the muscular action of the extending power arm, the hands and wrists (the 2nd & 3rd levers of the swing action), and you will actually reach maximum acceleration and club speed slightly after the swing bottom when swinging the SwingRite.

Now, when hitting an actual ball, it is certainly possible that the club head stops accelerating upon impact due to the inertia of the ball, but there is no way you would reach maximum acceleration and club speed 18″ or 45 cm (roughly a foot and a half) before impact as Kostis was saying would be the case.

If Brooks Koepka has higher club speed 18″ prior to impact with his driver swing, then there is something very off there with what he’s doing in his mechanics.

Because, as I said in the previous posting, the only way to stop acceleration before the swing bottom is if someone or something interferes with it!


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8 thoughts on “More Proof On Acceleration & Peak Club Speed

  1. Paul Cervantes

    You’re making an excellent point here but you may want to fix this: ”He showed a I was swinging my SwingRite today, getting back into swing shape…” I really enjoy your blog. Keep up the great work!

    1. D Watts Post author

      Thanks for the comment and the compliment, Paul!

      I was actually beginning to say something and likely got distracted, switching to the next sentence… edited and thanks for the proof-read sir! 🙂

  2. Mr. McJohn

    Do you think it’s really even possible to lose 6 mph coming into the ball when swinging 126 initially? Seems like you’d have to be superman to decel that much the strength it would take. I’m starting to believe it’s not even legit, and that you just can’t lose speed swinging that fast. I mean 126 mph is a ton of speed, and to decel at all whatsoever would require some serious athleticism, beyond human limits. If you did decel at that speed, you’d break something immediately, you couldn’t keep swinging.

    Makes me wonder if the launch monitor was just off, or it’s just a modern swing ad by Kostis. Curious.

    1. D Watts Post author

      I imagine it would be possible with today’s technology to get speeds at various points, what with high-speed video and fps – that said, MMJ, I don’t see Koepka having 126 mph club speed anywhere in the arc with that swing. 126 mph club impact speed would correlate to around 190 mph ball speed with a 1.50 Smash rating and that’s Cameron Champ territory.

      I don’t know about the data, but I certainly believe it’s possible to have decel into impact, because I’ve predicted this would happen with certain aspects of the modern golf school of thought. Not just possible, but probable.

      You could have a “stuck” position getting into impact that causes loss of acceleration and speed, plus the tendency for these players to try to “stiff-wrist” the impact (bowed wrist and not letting the right hand release naturally), along with whatever one happens to be doing.

      So, I have my doubts about the data itself, especially since the presentation was a one-off data point and not a series of swings that we were shown. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the decel is legit, if say he’s going from 123-123 to 120-119.

      The problem, the huge problem I have, is not with the numbers, but with Kostis’ attempt to gaslight everyone by saying it’s natural or a standard thing. If it is, it’s a modern swing thing, and not mechanically-correct swinging, and just confirms the junk science nature of the instruction.

      Just my two cents.

  3. Joe

    Hey DJ, first off I listen to mute when I watch the golf channel. Their comments have done nothing but hurt golf. From telling you everything that was wrong with a swing to how you should swing. Funny you rarely hear that watching the champion tour. As it should be. That said my thoughts on swing speed is this. Unless they set up multiple Doppler radar each with only a small window to collect data. which I’m sure they didn’t then once again Peter is talking out of his arse.

    As far as the comparisons to the swing right, mine is not that accurate. Plus what makes it snap is the swing speed added to the sudden stop of the right arm that ran out of length in the double pendulum. When I watch your video I see it snap in a straight line to your right arm. Love the slowed down video very well done. JS

    1. D Watts Post author

      Their comments have done nothing but hurt golf. From telling you everything that was wrong with a swing to how you should swing…

      Couldn’t have put it better myself, Joe! Thanks for the kind words, and I’ll be doing a lot more quality slo-mo presentations when I can get out there and start my own season.

      Today, it’s rainy and windy with an expected high of 6C (42F)… the coldest and wettest April and start to May I’ve seen since I began doing this. Frustrating, but what can you do except wait?

  4. Tom Settles

    People who cast the club do have peak speeds 12″ – 18″ behind the ball, but that is not what we see from touring pros. I like Kostis but he does say some crazy things from time to time in an effort to validate his position on the broadcast. Another peeve I have is the BS flight tracker used in so many tournaments that show carry distance of 300+ yards for drives that are definitely under 290 yards of carry. I finally saw some truth shown yesterday at the AT&T in a drive by Jordan Spieth that showed on the flight tracker that it carried 258 yards.

    1. D Watts Post author

      I could bullet-point each of your sentences and respond, “Right on,” T.S.!

      And I’m shocked-shocked I tell you, to find there may be BS’ing going on in the pro golf industry:

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