Want to hit driver longer? A Hall-of-Fame teacher says to avoid this swing trap

Don't fall into the trap of swinging "hard."


Defending champion Rory McIlroy didn’t have a good Players Championship, and he didn’t pull any punches about his own game after the fact. His biggest fault, he said, was chasing distance, and that chase had negative side effects on his swing:

Speaking on his own social media account after the comments, GOLF Hall-of-Fame teacher Jim McLean offered up some interesting advice for golfers who may be searching for more power in their own game. McLean is one of the most influential and innovative coaches in golf, so when he talks, we listen.

His advice was simple: Generating speed is an incredibly important part of the golf swing, but swinging “hard” isn’t the best way to do that.

“What I’ve known and learn from all my years of teaching is that swinging as hard as you can usually doesn’t work,” he says. “We all know that speed is important. But I like effortless speed.”

McLean says the best way of doing this is by lightening your grip pressure slightly, nailing the correct sequence of your golf swing, and hitting the ball on the center of the face. Too many golfers do the opposite. They start trying to swing too hard and create excess movement which causes a range of issues:

“When you’re heaving the club out of the ground, and then leap down into the ground, and then leap up out of the ground and swing absolutely as hard as you can, you start hitting the ball all over the place. You start missing the center of the clubface. And you start doing harm to your body,” he says, adding:

“I’m all for speed, but this excessive amount of effort to hit the ball as hard as you can hurt a lot of people.”

Fascinating stuff from one of the most legendary teachers in the game. Watch on his Instagram account below:

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Director of Game Improvement Content at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.