How to Swing Light and Easy
Golf is a game that sometimes doesn’t make a lot of sense. You want to hit the ball as far as possible - so you should swing as hard as possible, right? Not necessarily. If you are going to maximize distance, you will actually need to swing light and free, letting the club accelerate and speed up as much as possible through impact. This isn’t an easy concept for new golfers to understand, but it is something that all good golfers have come to know and appreciate.
The key ingredient to long golf shots is clubhead speed. Generally speaking, the faster your club is moving when it contacts the ball, the further the shot will fly down the fairway. So, the goal when making your swing is to have the club moving as fast as you can when it actually hits the ball. Too many golfers squeeze the club tightly and try to muscle the ball off the tee - but that technique is missing the point. Tension actually slows down swing speed, so you want to be as relaxed and free as possible.
Light Grip is Key
The best way to ensure your swing remains free and easy is to keep your grip pressure as light as possible while still controlling the club. If you squeeze the club at address, you are putting tension into your hands and forearms that will limit the amount of speed you can generate. Practice light grip pressure by starting with short shots where you are holding the club as gently as possible. From there, keep adding speed until you are hitting long shots without choking the club unnecessarily.
Long, Smooth Tempo
Once you are comfortable with a light grip, move on to making your tempo as smooth and flowing as you can. Short, quick swings tend not to generate as much speed and power as do longer ones. Let the speed in your swing build gradually over the course of the stroke, so that it maximizes at the bottom when you strike the ball. Think about the pros you watch play golf on TV - does it look like they are swinging as hard as possible? No, not really. Most pros have an easy tempo that launches the ball because they know how to accelerate the club at just the right time. Emulate that free and easy approach to your swing if you want to add yards without losing balance or control.