One of the more common errors I see my students make is swinging too hard. Some look like they’re about to pop out of their shoes or even fall backwards during their swing! But the funny thing about golf is that if you stray away from proper form, the harder you try, the worse things get.
I just had a nice surprise in a lesson with a student I had not seen in a few months. I had given him 4 lessons in the spring and early summer including a few in the previous fall season. Our biggest hurdle when he first saw me is that he consciously couldn’t stop himself from swinging hard. It led to inconsistent contact and errant shots.
But what surprised me in his latest visit is that he has a completely different swing because of the manner in which he hits and swings a golf club now. He spent that time away working on the drills I taught him, but also on physically trusting that a controlled swing results in better shots than a fast swing.
When he came back, I was extremely proud of what I saw after he hit a few balls. He was there mostly for a tuneup but he said that he has been playing the best he ever has. So now that he came back with a more controlled swing, we could focus on other improvements in his game. I could see the maturity in his game grow.
Why do some golfers swing too hard?
Trying to Keep Up With Playing Partners
Some golfers may feel pressure to swing the club hard in order to keep up with their playing partners or competitors. This can lead to over-swinging and a loss of control over the swing. It’s important to remember that golf is an individual sport, and trying to keep up with others may harm your game. Stay within yourself and play YOUR best game.
Swinging the club too hard can also be due to ego. Some golfers may want to show off their power or distance, and may swing harder than they should as a result. This can lead to poor ball contact and decreased accuracy and result in a poor shot which you’ll then have to recover from.
Misconceptions About Power
Some golfers may believe that swinging the club harder automatically leads to more power and distance. However, this is not necessarily true. Swinging too hard can actually lead to a loss of clubhead speed and a decrease in distance. It’s important to focus on proper swing mechanics and generating power through proper weight transfer and swing sequence, rather than simply swinging harder.
Lack of Technique
Finally, some golfers may swing the club too hard because they lack proper technique. Without a proper swing sequence and mechanics, golfers may try to compensate by swinging harder. However, this can lead to poor ball contact and a loss of accuracy. Proper technique and instruction can help golfers develop a more efficient swing and generate more power without over-swinging.
Tips to Stop from Swinging so Hard
Here are some of the things that we worked on that transformed my student’s golf swing that can help you as well.
Loosen Grip and Pressure
If we were drastically changing his swing, let’s do it right! He had a very strong grip and held the club very tightly. I told him that the way you hold the club has to feel different if the swing was going to change. In the process, good things will happen automatically in the future.
Changing his golf grip to neutral forces the weight of the grip in his fingers more than his palms. This allows him to let the clubhead weight help swing the club for him and to create more speed. This will also take pressure off the hands off gripping it too tight from start to finish.
A small change at setup that he trusted right away. He was always having trouble opening the clubface from the start so this gave him a better feeling of swinging the club around more than up and down. This will allow him to let the club shaft become flat and able to shallow out on the way down.
I wanted to give him physical support to let the club do more work rather than him swinging with his hands. During his golf stance, I had him bend over more from the hips so his torso can swing with the club on the way back which will lead to more lower body movement. This way he can feel more weight back on his trail side so he can start using weight transfer to start his downswing. This will help him not use his hands so much.
Step First Drill
He said that this drill helped him change his muscle memory. Since he couldn’t stop using his strong grip, we needed to make him feel different at transition to use his body. So this drill was to have him take a step rather than pull down the club when starting the downswing. Ball not needed.
- Start with club at hip level in your follow-through
- Move your feet closer together
- Swing the club back to top of swing to feel momentum and weight loaded on trail side
- Now pick up forward leg and step into your normal feet stance to start downswing
- Finish swing on forward side and hold the finish
Build Up To It Through Solid Contact By Chipping
What my student said that also helped him transform his swing is to start feeling what contact feels like without trying to hit the ball to the moon. With all the new changes, he started small by chipping the ball 10-20 yards and to feel that he didn’t need to hit the ball hard to have it travel just as far.
He then increased the yardage with barely any extra effort. He continued this until he found out that his ball swing was much more effortless and fluid with better contact. The ball traveled more than he imagined for such a swing he felt was 50% less effort with a shorter swing.