Swing tempo is crucial to being able to hit consistent golf shots. Good swing tempo helps players to look smooth during the golf swing and effortless and it can often hide a multitude of technical errors.
More consistent players demonstrate a three to one ratio for tempo during the golf swing. Their backswing takes three times longer to complete than their downswing tempo. This ratio allows players the time to create a good backswing position, with balance and stability that they can then accelerate towards the ball from creating maximum club head speed through impact with the golf ball.
A great way to achieve this swing tempo ratio would be to actually count during your golf swing. Count one, two, three, during your backswing at an even relaxed pace. Keep the numbers even and constant and fit how you are swinging the club to when you are saying the numbers, rather than fitting the numbers to when you are in that position. One should be as you begin your takeaway, two as you are half way through your backswing and three when you reach the top of your backswing. Four should be at impact as you hit the ball. Again say the numbers in a relaxed, even and steady way and work on having the club in the correct position as you say the number so adjust the speed of movement in the club accordingly.
Another way to improve swing tempo would be to play a game called 'back hit'. This game will help to improve your timing, create a pause at the top of your backswing and then help you to accelerate into impact. To play this, simply say the word 'back' when you are at the top of your backswing and then say the word 'hit' as you strike the ball. Work on saying the words at the correct point during your swing. This will help you to focus on your timing and make you more aware of where the club head actually is during your swing. Say this drill out loud and you will be amazed with how far out you are initially between when the club actually hits the ball and when you say it hits the ball - so improve your awareness and timing.
A third drill that will help you to improve your swing tempo is to take your driver and give your usual swing a speed value of 10. Hit some shots now that only have a speed value of 3 and they only fly about a third of your usual driving distance. Once you have hit a few shots like this, take the speed up to 6, just above half speed. Again, hit the ball at a speed of only 6 and the ball should travel only two thirds of your usual driving distance.
Now finally take the speed to 8. You will see that the ball travels as far as it usually does when you are trying to hit it really hard. This helps for two main reasons. Firstly, you are making a slower, more consistent swing and you will achieve a more solid connection with the ball that is more from the middle of the club face. The second reason this works is that you are ingraining making a slower, more controlled movement and removing the reason for your lack of tempo, wanting to hit it a long way!