SWOLF is a simple, yet effective, benchmark for swimmers to measure their stroke efficiency and consistency. But how is it measured, and how do you know if your SWOLF Score is good?
What is SWOLF?
SWOLF is literally short for Swim Golf. It is simply the easiest way to measure a swimmer’s overall efficiency in the water, and can also be a measure of consistency.
How is it measured?
SWOLF is measured by calculating Split Time (in seconds) + Strokes.
What is a good SWOLF score?
SWOLF is mirrored from a similar metric in Golf, where the goal is to get a lower score. As the SWOLF score decreases it means the swimmer is executing more efficient strokes. This means the swimmer is going faster while taking fewer strokes.
Typical Range Chart
SWOLF is an absolute number, so no unit of measure is required to interpret it. Check out the chart below to see where your SWOLF falls in each typical range by stroke and pool length.
How to Improve SWOLF?
Improving SWOLF is an exercise in balancing Stroke Rate and DPS.
In order to decrease your SWOLF Score, you need to either
- decrease your split time,
- or your number of strokes.
However, it's not as easy as simply trading one for the other. For instance, if a swimmer clocks a faster split, but maintains the same stroke count per lap, the resulting SWOLF score would be lower which is the goal.
Conversely, if stroke count is maintained but split time increases, the resulting SWOLF score would be higher. This may indicate that a swimmer is maintaining their DPS, but swimming at an inconsistent pace - gliding too much or not moving through the water fast enough.