October 3, 2021
MESQUITE, Nevada – The Kyle Berkshire experience has to be seen (and heard) to be believed. It’s relatively easy to understand that he’s the longest golfer – a historic, sweet-swinging superstar with unfathomable distance and speed. It is a little more difficult to understand the force and intensity with which he hits golf balls.
Berkshire doesn’t hit any dimples, he erases them and apparently tries to knock the “Top Flite” logo off his tournament balls. He retains the unique honor of being one of the few golfers I’ve ever seen whose ball flights disappear from the tee – at speeds so high and so high in the air that one can only wait to see their official distance from the Judges heard 400 meters away.
He is a multiple world champion, a hero of the long-drive world and the sport’s greatest ambassador. He’s so good that Bryson DeChambeau turned on his services as a private tutor for speed training (the two are also close friends).
Perhaps most impressive is his figure, which – in a sport with many Andre the Giant doppelgangers – is athletic but not overly muscular. The shoulder length hair only adds to the experience.
So how does Berkshire manage to reach such frenzied speeds despite its lack of a Bryson-shaped figure? The short answer is that he has a plan – a plan to follow, but be warned, it won’t come quickly.
“I really don’t believe in exercise – speed is not a quick fix,” Berkshire told GOLF.com. “If you want constant speed, you have to train for it.”
“He was so much happier”: How Bryson DeChambeau found joy and acceptance after a long drive
As he explains, there are two pillars to increasing speed: speed training and fitness. As for the first pillar, Berkshire has a proven method of building what he calls “speed reserve”.
“My recommendation is to swing as hard as possible with 50 balls three times a week,” he said. “You should be walking around everywhere because you are basically overloading your nervous system. This overload will cause the nervous system to recover a little faster and more robustly. You’ll have the same momentum, it’ll just go a little faster. I would recommend that instead of looking for a quick tip, because quick tips lead to a quick step backwards. “
But speed training is only half the battle; the other half ensures that your body has enough strength to continue to withstand higher speeds.
Bryson’s bulk-and-bomb diet is certainly one way of gaining muscle mass, but as Berkshire explains, the key isn’t just gaining muscle.
“You want to get stronger,” he said. “You don’t necessarily need muscle mass, but you want to get stronger. In order to gain strength, you have to build muscle at some point, this is only part of the biological process of adapting your body to greater loads. “
LIFTOFF on day 2 of the World Long Drive Championships.
Today we cut the field from 64 to 32. Bryson will tee off at 3:45 p.m. local time, but in the meantime, enjoy this Kyle Berkshire blast. pic.twitter.com/ZqxZwasE8y
– James Colgan (@ jamescolgan26) September 29, 2021
Interestingly, the best way to get “stronger” is not necessarily to add a ton of weight like Bryson did. Rather, it’s about focusing on training your body to use a higher percentage of your muscles. And what’s the best way to do that? By changing the way you exercise to strengthen your “CNS” or central nervous system.
“Train more at a lower rep range to lift as much weight as you can,” says Berkshire. “To do that, train like a powerlifter, train low reps, high weight. You will build muscle, which is fine. But that’s not why you’re doing it. For the past three years I’ve competed in worlds weighing 197-202 pounds, but I’ve gotten a lot stronger. So train for strength, not for hypertrophy. “
If you stick to this two-pronged plan, Berkshire says, you’ll find that your shoots get wider and straighter. It doesn’t take long to swing 8-iron where you once hit 6-iron.
James Colgan is Associate Editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine on a wide range of topics. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and leverages his broadcasting experience on the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James – and obviously his golf game – is still thawing from four years of gritting his teeth at NFL Films, CBS News, and Fox Sports. Before joining GOLF, James was a Caddy Scholar (and smart looper) on Long Island, which is where he’s from.