Fundamental #4 – Carry Tempo into Short Game
The tempo that you use in the short game is just as important as your full swing tempo, yet most players ignore this crucial part of their technique. If you want to consistently hit the ball the right distance in the short game – which is the main part of the challenge – you will use a smooth and steady tempo from start to finish.
Just as was the case with your full swing, you want the tempo that you use in your short game to reflect your personality. With that in mind, it should match up nicely with your full swing so that you are able to be consistent from hole to hole and round to round. As you already know, the short game is an incredibly important piece of the golf puzzle, as you will have difficulty shooting a good score without the ability to hit good chips and make putts. While practicing your short game, be sure to pay attention to the tempo of your strokes both on and around the greens. Once you are able to dial in a consistent rhythm within the short game, you should find that you are able to dial in your distance control as well.
Tempo is critical in the short game for a number of reasons, one of which is the fact that you are going to feel the most pressure in the short game. All golfers know the feeling of standing over a short putt for par with doubts about your stroke eating away at your confidence. A good tempo is an excellent way to perform at a high level even when you start to get nervous, as that tempo will repeat over and over even if your mind is focused on other things. You can trust your short game to perform when it matters most, as long as you have spent the time necessary to establish your rhythm properly. If not, your short game will likely break down under pressure and your scores will quickly climb higher.
There can be no debate on the importance of tempo in the golf swing. If you are going to reach your potential as a player on the course, you absolutely have to spend time working on the tempo that you use to move the club back and through. Many players become so focused on the mechanics of their swing that they lose track of the tempo, and the results speak for themselves. Don’t let yourself fall into that category – work on your tempo consistently during your range sessions and look forward to the excellent results that you should see on the course.