NO RUSH: Take it slow from the top for more speed at impact.
Two players I work with -- Justin Rose and Tiger Woods -- sometimes make what I call a "violent transition" from backswing to downswing, rather than let the change of direction happen smoothly. Their goal is to have the speed of the downswing increase gradually, with the fastest part happening at the bottom. When the transition gets violent, it's hard to square the face at impact.
Many average golfers also suffer from a poor transition. That's mostly because they take the club back too quickly, and then fail to complete the backswing before starting the downswing.
If you have this problem, a simple, time-tested drill I use with Rosey and Tiger can help. Next time you're practicing, when you reach the top of your swing, pause for a second before swinging down.
The reason I suggest doing it on the range is because, if you're quick at the top, this drill will feel very strange and might take a while to get used to. But if you do pause, you can then swing down as hard as you want, and the ball will really jump off the clubface.
SEAN FOLEY, a Golf Digest Teaching Professional, works at the CoreGolf Junior Academy, outside Orlando.