A Smooth Swing is a Fallacy

I belabor this point on a regular basis, but it bears repeating: a smooth swing is a fallacy.  Amateurs around the world mistake the idea of a smooth swing to mean “swing easy”. “Pros just swing 80% and are so smooth,” etc.  This is not always the case. Look at tour stats on PGA Tour.com: https://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.02401.html. Their highest club head speed versus their average club head speed is less than 3%, so no one is swinging at 80%.

People often mistake efficiency and economy of movement for smooth and think their wasted effort, out of balances, forced motion, is only the result of swinging hard.

Then golfers apply the “just swing easy” band-aid and instead of a fast bad swing, the have a slow bad swing and often, hit it worse than before. You are just subbing one wrong motion for another, not fixing the underlying issue.

The fix is not to swing “smooth” like Ernie Els and Fred Couples (who incidentally rip the snot out of it) and end up just waving at it. The answer is to swing more efficiently like Ernie Els and Fred Couples and smash it.

Now we can’t swing as well as they do, but we can be better versions of ourselves. We can set-up better, make a more cohesive backswing…and most importantly, improve our transition sequence. Golfers hit the ball straighter with a near 100% smashed swing with a proper transition…not the steer job of a “swing smooth.”

When you have that “I just got quick” feeling and you slow down your backswing, you actually just made it worse. The slower your backswing is, the harder it is to be patient in transition, which is where the slow, smooth, easy, should be happening. Then: Hulk Smash.

I have compare an amateur golfer’s swing next to a tour player on one occasion: when they tell me their tempo is too quick…I know, I know, this is the same old story. I was told by a psychologist that since conquering motor is about repetition, so is teaching it. I also have a theory that if I repeat the same things over and over again, people will do it out of spite so I will shut up.

…but I digress.

All the “I got quick people” are usually in the middle of their backswing when The Big Easy (Ernie Els) is making contact.

The bottom liner here? Improve your swing, don’t make a bad slower version of it.

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6 Comments

  1. Pat

    Hahahaha
    Monte, the golf teaching industry is filled of charlatans. I believe that some have a difficulty explaining in simple term what the golf swing is… ” the ground force effect, you get your power from the ground, hold a club like a baby bird…..”… WTH

    Students will pick up quickly if they can relate the lesson to anything in the real world. How can we better use a sport that students have played or other activities for any sense of correlation?

    Example: “a soccer goalkeeper feet movement and shifting in golf….” Just like the way you taught me last year, I enjoyed your simplification of things as related to my sport in Africa.

    Keep up the good work! I am pounding the driver by the way.

    from Cameroon

    Reply
  2. peter saika

    Monte,

    You are so right…..

    I can be so guilty of this. Somehow a smooth easy swing becomes a sloppy flaccid slap at the ball. It is still a very sporting move and requires everything that goes along with that.

    Thanks for this!

    Reply
  3. ray kinley

    You put my swing next to the big easy. I have since increased my tempo on all clubs from the half wedge on up to remarkable results.You’re the man!

    Reply
  4. Dave MacDougall

    Monte,

    Please keep calling these. WE all need this crap debunked.

    Reply
  5. David S

    Monte,
    Refreshing that you teach to maximize a students golfing potential instead of promising mega yardage, and putting the swing easy sacred cow down was a mercy killing.

    Reply
  6. Wade Schwartz

    I feel like I make my best swing when it feels effortless not swinging out of my shoe’s I have played my best golf when swinging like this but it’s hard to do it all the time.

    Reply

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