Golf Swing Speed Vs. Swing Tempo
The number one problem with any golfer's swing is that they try to swing too hard. This may be a bold statement, but I think it is true for just about every golfer at some point in time. Unless you are a very seasoned golfer that has tremendous control over their body and swing, it is often difficult to even tell you are over-swinging.
The reason golfers swing too hard or try to swing faster is simple, people equate speed with power and distance. The faster you swing, the more power you strike the ball with, and the farther it will go. This is correct! However, you do not need to be swinging your fastest your entire swing, for the only time speed truly matters is at the moment of impact.
Think about it, you could be swinging in "slow motion" your entire backswing. And you can continue to swing in slow motion for the beginning of your downswing. The only time you need be at full speed, is right at the moment of impact with the ball.
So, that being the case, you now have the entire rest of your swing to focus on tempo. In the example above I said you were swinging in "slow motion". Obviously to go from slow motion to full speed there is going to be some acceleration at some point. The trick is to do this smoothly, and still be able to keep your hands aligned properly, etc. The harder you try to swing, the more likely you are to throw something off with regards to your hands, weight shift, head, aim, etc. Ask anyone that has seen a pro golfer in real life swing a club and they will tell you that the golfer swings effortlessly. "Effortlessly" is one way of saying that the golfer has good tempo. They are able to swing smoothly, stay in control, speed up their swing right before the moment of impact to get the most speed possible, and still do not over-swing. Because, if they were over-swinging or trying to swing too hard, their stroke would not be "effortless".
Forget about all the mechanics that go into a swing. Go to the driving range, buy a large bucket, and don't worry about where the ball goes. Just practice taking smooth, in control swings. Don't swing too hard, don't swing too softly, just swing comfortable. Once you have this motion down, then you can start focusing on the nuances of the mechanics of your swing.