Don’t Try to Kill the Golf Ball!

Don’t Try to Kill the Ball! This is a lesson that I, and many high handicappers, seem to frequently forget. The harder you try to swing the worse the results tend to be. Swing smoothly for lower scores.

Did you ever go to an amusement park and play the sledge hammer game, where you swing a sledge hammer down onto a plank, launching a weight up to ring a bell? Many strong and large people try this game and fail…because it is not about how “hard” you hit it, but rather how “well” you hit it.

With golf it is the same. Especially for beginning and intermediate golfers, trying to “hit” the ball harder, generates more tension, throws off balance and rhythm, ultimately causing a loss in club head speed and usually causing miss-hits on the clubface.

Logically it “should” make sense that the harder you try to hit the ball, the farther the ball will travel, but it just does not work that way. So discard this so called logic, and instead, focus on a smooth and relaxed swing, with balance and good rhythm. This will allow you to hit the ball with better contact, accurracy and distance.

For me, I found that the takeaway of the golf swing…when I first start moving the club away from the ball…is what allows me to set the stage for a smoother swing. By taking the club away a little slower, more smoothly, and just swinging back and through the ball, I am able to hit the ball more cleanly and accurately. Also, I want to make sure that I finish the backswing…that I am starting the downswing too quickly. The key here is to keep a smooth tempo throughout the swing.

Also, monitor yourself as you play. If at some point you begin to feel you are starting to swing harder…feeling the need to “kill the ball” starting to creep into your round, relax and slow down. As they say, do not try to “hit” the ball, rather swing and let the ball just get in the way.

Mick Gyure is the author of “Everyday Golfer’s Guide to Shooting Lower Scores.” A book to help the everyday golfer improve their golf game. For more information, visit


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