As a PGA Teaching Professional and Director of Instruction, I see many golfers that have the tendency to over swing the club at the top. More and more golfers know that they do it, but they have a hard time getting a better position. If they were to get a better position they would find they have more control over the flight of the golf ball. Yes, it is true you may lose a little bit of club head speed, but if you can swing the club on a better plane and hit the ball more in the middle of the club face, you’d hit the ball straighter and ideally wouldn’t lose any distance. As a matter of fact, you’ll find you will actually hit the ball farther.
Try to understand that if you hit the ball straighter, it’s going to travel farther. If you hit the ball with too much curve left or right, the ball is only going to travel farther into the woods. Let’s try to understand how to hit the ball more in the center of the club face. Many times we are wrapped up in the technical aspects of a golf swing. Technique and mechanics are highly important, but if you don’t have control over your tempo, you might find it very difficult to perform perfect technique. The mind is the generator and the body is the motor. If you’ve been told you swing too fast, the odds are good you need to smooth the swing out. Take time to make a smooth, patient and relaxed back swing. The definition of your tempo must swing the club at the same speed from start to the top of your swing before the change of direction to the down swing. You don’t want to start out slow and gather a too much speed, because you’ll lose control at the top. A perfect back swing will work to the top at the same pace and would actually slow down or pause at the top before the transition or change of direction occurs.
As the change of direction or transition occurs, it must stay smooth and then gradually build speed and continually accelerate until maximum speed is reached at the moment of impact. Many golfers snap the club at the top of the swing and try to swing too hard. They never give the club head time to build speed. Remember, you want the club head to reach maximum speed at the moment of truth, which is impact. In order to do that, you must start out slow and gradually accelerate to give the club head the best chance to reach full speed.
Shortening the swing doesn’t guarantee more speed, but it will clearly give you a better chance of striking the ball more solid. Most PGA Teaching Professionals would agree that if a golfer can hit the ball straighter and more solid, they will in return hit the ball further than if the ball was curving off its path. I believe that’s the most common reason why a golf instructor would recommend a golfer to shorten the swing. However, please keep in mind that in order to shorten a swing, the golfer must be smooth and slow enough to maintain control over the clubs position.
All the best in golf,
Director of Instruction