Play better golf without changing the golf swing.
Every golfer plays badly from time to time and when it happens it is easy to assume that the golf swing needs to change and so mechanical thoughts or changes are sought to address the issue. The problem with this approach is that most golfers do not want to make mechanical changes and spend hours on the range, most golfers wish to spend their free time on the golf course enjoying themselves and the company of their golfing partners. In addition, mechanical thoughts, although important for long term improvement, often make things worse in the short term and so for some golfers, mechanical is not always the best course of action. The good news is that it is not always swing technique that has to change to make an improvement, sometimes it can benefit the individual to focus on tempo rather than technique.
When referring to ‘tempo’ or ‘rhythm’ in the golf swing we are referring to the speed or pace of the movements of the body. This can be the shoulders, hips, hands, club and so on. Each part of the body swings at a different ‘tempo’ but the secret to a successful swing is to synchronize all of these movements together so that they all work as one whole. If this happens it is possible to hit the ball successfully even with poor mechanical technique. Remember, it is possible to hit the ball well with a bad swing and badly with a good swing, just watch the tour every week and see well-rehearsed swings make mistakes. Is that because of poor technique or a swing that was out of time?
Try these two drills to improve your golf swing tempo:
1. Swing with both feet together
Stand to a golf ball with a 7 iron and put both feet together. Begin hitting golf balls focusing on turning the hips and the shoulders through the ball, maintaining balance. This exercise forces a slowing down of the swing and allows the many parts of the body to rotate together through the ball. Swing too fast or use one part of the body excessively such as swinging the arms too hard and your balance will be lost.
2. Take the club away from the ball ‘low and slow’
Take two golf balls and set up to one of the golf balls as normal for a golf swing. Position the second golf ball on the other side of the club head so that it rests against the back of the club. Focus on turning away from the ball with the body keeping the arms and hands still. Let the club head push the second golf ball, rolling it across the floor away from the target. This exercise starts the swing more slowly which avoids any snatching movements at the beginning of the swing and sets the correct tone and rhythm for the swing.
Using drills like these will help to synchronize the movements of the body in the swing giving a better, more consistent ball strike and enabling correct rotation through the ball to hit shots straighter.
Perhaps more importantly though, swinging with rhythm and good tempo will take the ‘hit’ out of the shot and relieve pressure on the body. After a round of golf there should be less aches and pains and any previous injuries or issues with flexibility will have less of an effect on golf performance.