Everything requires you to swing in golf, whether you're standing on the tee or getting off the beach, your swing is the one part of the game that can't be avoided and should be perfected over time to be natural, consitent and smooth for you!
The most common mistake that alot of golfers make is to follow someone elses swing. Although this can help...you should never try and have the same swing as someone else. If you do, your swing will always be contained within that of the person you are copying. (It is a very limited source to perfecting your own natural swing).
Your perfect swing will evolve from what feels natural for you...I have a friend who would shock you in how he swings his clubs. To stand by his side whilst he's teeing off you would dive for cover thinking that the ball is coming your way. He stands and swings like no model has ever taught anyone, yet he consitently hits the ball where he wants it to go every single time. This is because he's developed his own natural swing that feels right for him and hasn't fallen into someone elses model. I've heard people say that if they had Tigers swing their game would improve! I can tell you if my friend was to try and swing like Tiger, his 8 handicap would soon be 30 or more as his swing would no longer be his own and his game would fall around trying to be someone else rather than himself.
The truth behind the perfect swing is for it to feel 100% natural for you and this is simple to fix! Simply don't to follow the model of someone else. Golf is an individual sport and it should be played and developed as a natural individual...why do you think all the Pro Golfers have a different swing and style? Its because they have all developed their own natural way to play which feels right for them...If they were all to try and swing like someone else then the Pro's of golf would soon be like the rest of us!
So how do you get your natural swing back?
It takes time for a natural swing to evolve and this can't be shortcut. The truth is having a very smooth natural swing (that is your own) consitently hitting the ball where you want it to go is much better than a powerful swing (that is someone elses model) that hits far and off course 90% of the time.
Its rewarding to see the ball dissapear into the sky but no where near as rewarding as consitently watching the ball land exactly where you want it to go.
You have most likely had this occur... you swing slow and smooth and can hit the ball 150 yards...then you add more power and smash the ball as hard as you can and still hit 150 yards off course? The first common remark is I need new clubs which add more distance without me needing to smash the ball! The truth is you need to be able to add more power to your natural swing and hit the ball as clean as you do when you swing slow and smooth.
Here's a simple method I use to keep my swing natural, consitent and smooth. What I like to do is to simply place three tees in the ground along the direction that I want the ball to go, about a 5 inch gap between them, with the center tee being that which the ball will end up being placed. (Make sure you can see the tees but dig them in so you cant hit them out). Now this is your swing plane and a good swing comes from one that consitently follows a clean line throughout. If you have a swing that flows on a good line and hits the ball clean, then the club is designed to make the ball move as far as the power you put through it.
Take your stance, as it feels natural for you...I like to put a bit more weight on my heels, you might not! Now simply start swinging your club in a way that feels right. If it feels awkward then stop! Take the club in your hand and pretend this is the first time you're swinging a golf club again. It will feel right straight away. Go slow and watch as you pass over the tees to see how your club stays on line. If your club is drifting off your line then dont adjust your swing, adjust your feet a little. Keep it going until you start to have a natural flow with the club and direction of it.
Once you start to feel that your club is moving in a straight line and it feels natural, put a ball down. Now don't make the common mistake of then forgetting eveything you've just done, you should not even see the ball there! (it's common as soon as we see a ball that we want to hit it far) Just swing as you were swinging before...slow and straight through (Forget about power at this point!). The contact with the ball and line of your swing is key to adding more distance.
Now a good natural swing comes from consitently practicing this and slowly increasing power, now try and add some more power watching the tees again to see if this effects the line of your club. More often than not the faster you swing the more off course your club will go. If it starts to drift then adjust your feet a little more...not your swing! Now place a ball down again and hit it further. This might seem a little backwards for alot of golfers as most will have been taught and will teach that your alignment is the key to a good swing. I say that your natural swing is key to the alignment you need to have. If your swing feels natural and isn't forced and is consitently moving on a straight line, then your alignment is only the minor adjustment of keeping your club on that line with the more power you add.
Keep doing this as often as you can, I do this alot before a game to make sure my swing is running straight and feels right. The more often you practice this simple technique the quicker and more powerful your natural swing will evolve and your handicap will lower.