By Paul Myers

Most people think of swing speed as being a purely physical endeavor. While it is physical, there is some room in there to add some miles per hour to your swing simply by thinking better. Golf is a game that is largely mental in nature, and bad thought processes have been known to undo more than a few golfers. You might be surprised at just how many areas of your game can improve when you commit to a consistent and rational thought process.

Following are five tips that could help you free up your swing and add a few yards to your drives – even without making a single physical change to the way you swing the club.

Tip #1 – Be Fearless

Fear can be a killer of swing speed, and more than that, a killer of good golf in general. It’s good to play with confidence when you are out on the course so you can live up to your full potential. If you are making swings while thinking about all of the trouble that lurks up by the green, you might get tense and lose some swing speed through impact. Stay relaxed, trust yourself and your preparation, and turn the club loose through the ball.

Tip #2 – Pick Shots You Can Hit

If you are trying to hit shots that you just aren’t comfortable with, it is natural to tighten up and lose speed in your swing. Make sure you are selecting targets that you are confident in your ability to hit, and that will give you some margin for error in case your swing speed isn’t perfect. By allowing for a little forgiveness in the target that you select, your mind may better be able to relax and your performance could improve.

Tip #3 – Don’t Try to Hit It So Hard

It might be counterintuitive, but trying to hit the ball hard is a mistake that can actually make you swing slower. Your body can tense up and opposing muscle groups work against each other– restricting freedom of movement and slowing down the motion of the club. Stay relaxed, and try thinking about just hitting the shot a comfortable, easy distance. If you’ve got a radar to play around with, try to keep your full swing at no more than 90-95% of your max. Your driver can perform better when you are thinking more about tempo and rhythm than sheer power and swing speed.

Tip #4 – Focus on the Job at Hand

Getting distracted and thinking about other things when you are trying to make a swing can be trouble. You can lose swing speed simply because you aren’t focused on the job of making a swing, and your sequencing and timing may suffer. It is the little technical details within the swing that accumulate to create a fast swing speed, so stay focused on the little things and the big picture can take care of itself.

Tip #5 – Ignore the Competition, Play Your Own Game

Some golfers get sucked into an ego-based competition of trying to outdrive their playing partner’s hole after hole. In the end, hitting it past your partner may not matter, as long as you still make a good score. Getting caught in this power struggle can also actually rob you of distance, however, as you try too hard to out-hit your friends.

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