Top 5 Tips on Best Swing Tempo
In the golf swing, tempo isn’t everything but it’s very important. Tempo refers to the fluidity and rhythm of a player’s swing. What everyone should know is that swinging in good tempo doesn’t mean you should slow your swing down. It’s more advantageous to swing based on your personality.
Think of Touring Professional Ernie Els, the “Big Easy”, he’s a classic example of swinging within yourself. If you’ve ever had the chance to see Els play, he strides between shots like he’s on air. He talks very calmly and looks like his heart rate is permanently set at 60 beats per minute. His golf swing is a great indicator of the person he is. Could you imagine if he swung the club quick and fast? I’m not sure he would have won 2 Major Championships.
Swing tempo needs to be one fluid motion regardless if you have a fast or slow rhythm. Too many times we see people start their swing real slow and in transition have a violent speeding up action. This generally results in poor timing at impact. Let’s take Charles Barkley for an example. Here’s one of the greatest players basketball ever saw. He had great coordination and skill while performing on the court. However, once he got under pressure on the golf course he would tense up and the result was one of the craziest swings of all time.
There are some quick tips to help any level of golfer with their tempo. If you struggle under pressure, the following will assist in keeping your rhythm in check.
It’s always good to have two or three speeds to your swing. Understanding what the ball does with each speed can dramatically lower your scores, especially under pressure or in adverse weather conditions. Next time you’re on the range practicing, take ten balls and alternate hitting one at 100% speed and the next one at 75% speed. These must be full swings and not ¾ swings. It’s important to see the results of each shot. More often than not the 100% speed will curve off line. The 75% speed will remain online but may not travel as far. If you want to play better golf, you have to be discipline and know when to swing normal (75%) and when to be aggressive (100%). Harnessing these two speeds can add diversity to your game and make you a much better player.
If you struggle with a quick takeaway resulting in a poor tempo to your swing, it’s likely the result of gripping the club too tight. Loosening your grip will create the likelihood of taking the club away smoother. To test your grip pressure, grab the grip as hard as you can. That’s 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. Now grip the club as light as possible without it falling out. That’s 1 on a scale of 1 to 10. Now grip it as a 5. That’s where you need to remain until the transition of your downswing. Proper grip pressure reduces tension and allows the wrists and forearms to function freely during the swing. Naturally you will grip the club tighter at impact.
The question “Who’s your favourite golfer?” is asked very often. Especially if you’re an experienced player. Everyone has a favourite, whether it’s Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth or Rory McIlroy. Most successful players in golf had an idol, and they would have a burning desire to be like that person when they played. It’s highly recommended to find a golfer that you find is relatively close to your own personality and emulate them. Take note of their tempo, the way they walk between shots, the way the talk in interviews and the way they react to poor golf shots. If you try and do what other successful people do, it’s very likely it can work for you.
If you want to know what the ideal tempo of a golf swing is, it’s quite simple. The speed of the downswing should be three times faster than the backswing. So keep in mind if you take half a second for your backswing, it better be three times faster on the downswing. A great way to practice this is to count in your mind, 1-2-3 on the backswing and then 1 on the downswing. This will help you understand the proper rhythm between the start and finish of the golf swing.
When under pressure it’s very common to see a golf swing speed up or get out of sync. When fear and tension take over, it can do terrible things. When you find yourself in unchartered waters during a round of golf, whether it’s a career round or you’re leading the club championship, always remember to breathe. Long deep breaths help your mind stay in the present and your swing in good rhythm.