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Speed up your swing to gain control!
Doug Hammer

Scottsdale, AZ (Sports Network) -- I have a lot of students come to me for the first time and tell me they have been trying to slow down their golf swing to gain control. The first thing I ask them to do is to show me what would feel like a fast swing to them.

Almost invariable that swing produces a good shot.

Why is that? I know I have been told countless times when I was learning the game to ?slow down? or ?swing easier?. I am sure everyone reading this article has also been told those exact words. So, why am I writing to tell you to scratch that thought and swing faster?

Vijay Singh
Vijay Singh has one of the most explosive swings on the PGA Tour.
The answer is quite simple. Slowing down your golf swing gives the illusion that you are hitting the ball better. A ball will curve off line because of side spin. If you slow down your swing, you produce less spin, therefore producing a straighter shot. All you have accomplished by slowing down your swing is you have given yourself a slow, bad swing!

So now you may be thinking you will have speed but no control. This may be true if you have incorrect fundamentals, such as a weak grip or poor posture. It is important to work on your set up and in-swing fundamentals to achieve a square clubface and on-plane golf swing. When you are practicing whatever it may be you feel you need to work on with your golf swing, ALWAYS swing at a normal, firm pace, NEVER slow down!

How can you achieve your maximum speed with a golf club? You do not want to swing with a poor tempo, or rhythm, to your swing. In other words, you do not want to take the club away slow and then swing fast to the ball. Make sure your swing has a nice rhythm to it, and keep it moving fast using your 3 power sources.

The golf swing has three major power sources:

  • The hinging and unhinging of the wrists through the hitting zone
  • The turning of the shoulders 90 degrees in the backswing and finish
  • The swing of the arms rotationally around the spine

    To see if you have all three power sources, try the ?swish? drill. Using your golf grip, hold the club up in front of you, so that it is sticking straight out from your belt buckle. Take a baseball swing around your spine using nothing but your shoulders; be sure to turn as far as you can. You should have heard the club make a tiny ?swish? sound. Take another baseball swing. This time cock your wrists in the backswing to make the shaft of the club and your left forearm form a 90 degree angle while you turn the shoulders the same amount. Uncock the wrists quickly as you swing through the hitting zone.

    The ?swish? should have gotten much louder. Now, make one more swing, this time take all the tension out of the arms and let them swing freely around your body, cock and uncock the wrists, and turn the shoulders. That should have been the loudest ?swish? yet.

    Lower the club into position and make the same ?swish? sound every time you swing at the ball. No matter what you may be working on, ?swish? the club every time, and you will be hitting longer and straighter in no time. Good luck with all your golf goals!

    PGA professional, Doug Hammer, is the Director of Instruction for Talking Stick Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ. Doug has been with Troon Golf since 1998, teaching full time since 2001. Doug has studied under some of the game's greatest teachers in Tim Mahoney, Hank Haney, and Mike and Sandy LaBauve. Since 2001, Doug has taught in 10 U.S. states and a short stint in Japan. With this experience, he brings a very patient and consistent approach to the lesson tee, and feels that he can help all levels of players reach their goals.


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