The myth of the 80% swing

I hear ams say, “I just need to swing smooth like the pros on TV. They only swing 80% and that’s why they hit it straight.”

This is why Golfers continue to stink. Bad information based on incorrect perceptions, that are perpetuated by an ignorant, or at least apathetic, golf media.

The 80% swing doesn’t exist unless it’s a 60 yard LW.

It’s 95% and 100%.

While I am not quite 100% yet with my shoulder, another good player and I tested the theory yesterday.

My smooth just get it in the fairway driver swing-117 mph
My….if I swing any harder I’ll get a hernia swing-121 mph

Other good player smooth course swing-112 mph
A swing he swore would be 120 if the other swing was 112….115 mph

If you look at PGA tour numbers. The differences between their average mph and high mph is 3-4 mph.

It’s not about swinging easy, it’s about sequencing properly then you can swing about as hard as you can and it looks smooth. It looks smooth not because it’s an easy swing, because it’s a well matched swing with less wasted effort.

Swinging easy is a bandaid that leads to more problems than it temporarily solves.

Swinging easy is like having pain in your knee and saying, “It’s OK, I’ll just walk slowly and limp.”




  1. Mark

    For me the 80% swing is really my 100% swing. When I “feel” like I’m going 100% it is because I have just over swung and my upper body lifts out of position, usually tilting toward the target. So bad :(, I wish I would stop doing it without conscious thought.

    You are correct in that there is no real “80%” for a good swing.

  2. Mike


  3. Mike

    Monte, don’t you think its more about swinging so hard that you are out of control and swinging hard but being in control? A better analogy may be 100% vs 120% rather than 80% and 100%.

    Riddle me this…. why the hell does Tiger swing so damn hard most of the time. It seems like when he swings within himself he hits a good shot.

  4. Don Lissen

    “swinging easy”–OK, so it doesn’t work and is not technically true.

    Then why do gurus say it? Maybe because people overuse their arms & shoulders, which don’t have a lot of power by themselves. (But it’s OK if people think they do, and that works for them).

    Maybe “swing easy” is just a way of saying,”You’re doing it wrong, but I don’t exactly know how to tell you how to fix it.”

    • Michael C.

      Acceleration happens through the ball. Swinging at 80% is a feeling to keep high handicappers from snatching the club away and/or making a big jerk down in transition. When everything is in sync then and only then can you power through or accelerate at 100%. I like to think of it as hammering a nail. You lift the hammer in your natural rhythm, transition in the same rhythm, then accelerate and pound the nail home. Of course, this is my opinion and we all know about opinions. lmAo

  5. Tom

    My swing easy is In fact faster than my hit the heck out of it swing! Controlled swing was 107 and my try to really hit it hard was 103 to 105. I’m assuming everything got tighter and therefore slower. When I try to swing easier than the controlled 107, I dump the club head in the ground. Could 80% be of the level of effort applied? I know my controlled swing feels like a lot less effort than the hard swing that produces slower speeds.


Leave a Reply

Share This