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TIP FOR BETTER GOLF

One in a series of weekly golf tips from club professionals in Citrus and Hernando counties. They will offer advice on everything from the mental game to equipment to nuts-and-bolts mechanics.

Play with an effortless swing and tempo

Many of today's golfers watch golf on TV.

They see touring pros hitting the ball super-long distances. Many of them routinely reach par 5s in two shots.

When an average golfer attempts to imitate pros, they usually play worse than they did before.

Why does this happen?

First of all, let's keep in mind that today's typical touring pro is a young, healthy and physically conditioned individual who's been playing golf with a passion since he was a child.

They can hit the ball hard because they're physically strong and have trained for long hours each day over a period of many years to achieve professional skill playing-level.

We average golfers are neither at the same physical nor playing levels. Therefore, we shouldn't try to hit the ball with the same force. The average player should strive to swing the club with an effortless tempo.

This is a swing speed that can be controlled.

If you swing too fast by trying to hit the ball too hard, you will often "top" the ball, hit a "fat" shot and generally loose distance and direction because of this loss of control.

A good, well-produced swing will feel like it was no effort at all. An effortless tempo produces plenty of clubhead speed, and you will hit the ball well more consistently, resulting in a better score.

A good pre-shot swing thought to use is "just hit it with an effortless swing temp." Say this to yourself before every shot and you gradually will start swinging easier.

Be patient and give yourself time to get used to it. Old habits don't change easily.

_ Paul Attard, head professional, Brooksville Golf & Country Club

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