Golfers want to hit the ball farther, but how often do you hear…. Swing Slower. Does this make any sense at all? The reason golfers slow down the golf swing through the impact zone is to compensate for mistakes in their golf swing. So, in that respect slowing down the swing is good advice. However, if you want to hit it further, you need to learn how to swing faster with good fundamentals like a square clubface and a proper path.
Proper path is often broken when golfers drag the club straight back on the target line and then straight through the target line. This breaks the free flow motion of the swing and decreases club head speed dramatically. It also puts the club on a path which is outside / in and crosses the target line. For right hand golfers this can create the popular slice to the right with a square or open clubface. It can also cause a pull to the left with a closed clubface, or when on a tee a pop up shot that goes nowhere and scuffs the top of your driver.
The only time the club head should appear on the target line is about an inch behind the ball and an inch through the ball. The rest of the time the club head follows a path inside the target line (Fig. 1) So if you are focused on trying to guide the club straight back and straight through the target line, you are hurting your path and thus your clubhead speed.
Consider a baseball swing. The bat is parallel to the ground and when you swing the bat you do not attempt to take it straight back and through on a target line. You simply load a backswing and fire through attempting to swing through the impact area. No guiding back and through on a fixed line.
Convert this freedom into your golf swing by setting your club out in front of you parallel to the ground and prepare to swing it like a baseball bat (Figure 2). Now swing it back and through as though it was a baseball bat; with freedom and no concern for this target line. Do this several times and try to make the SWISH sound louder and louder. This will get you back to swinging a more natural swing motion, while the SWISH will indicate your speed.
Now set up in your golf starting position. Make the same free and unguided swing as if the pitch was on the ground. No more guiding the club straight back and straight through the target line will improve your swing speed.
Getting this natural freedom back in your swing is the first step. The next step is Clubface angle. Stay tuned and swing like a kid!
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