All of my best rounds have occurred when I've had the distinct feeling of just patty-caking the ball. When I have that feeling of swinging easily and smoothly, often good things happen for me. And yet, often I find myself swinging, as Lee Trevino once said, "Like a caveman killing his lunch." In fact, I remember once being told by a fellow player, who was playing with me for the first time, that I swung the club harder than anyone he had ever seen. As I recall, I played rather badly that day as well.
Sam Snead was convinced that he actually hit the ball farther with an 80 percent swing. And Bobby Jones suggested that we start every round swinging easy-- just hard enough to move the left side out of the way for a right-hander. Julius Boros even wrote a book entitled Swing Easy and Hit Hard. Swinging easily is an excellent key for most of us.
Of course, for every rule regarding the golf swing, there is the exception. Jack Nicklaus tended to swing hard, and so did Arnie. But we are definitely not Jack or Arnie. So, if you have the tendency to want to try to tear the cover off the ball, consider trying to use your lay-up swing for the first few holes the next time you play and just see if, by not adding force to the equation, you don't start hitting it better. You just might discover the truth of the old Colonel's advice. "Swing easy and accept the extra distance."