Great Way to Cure and Fix Bad Swing Tempo, Senior Golf Tip 1

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.

Swing More Smoothly and Controlled – Cure and Fix Bad Swing Tempo

Swing More Smoothly and Controlled – Cure and Fix Bad Swing Tempo

The golf swing is not all about mechanics. If you listened to the average golfer talk about his or her swing, you might think that the only thing that matters in the swing is the collection of positions that you hit along the way. As long as you put your body and the club in the right spots at various points in time, you are bound to hit a good shot, right? Not at all. The golf swing is a dynamic action, and the timing of those positions matters just as much as the positions themselves.

Building a great tempo in your golf swing should be one of your top priorities. Unfortunately, many amateur golfers fall way short of the mark on this point. Instead of working on a reliable tempo, they instead focus on technical positions while thinking very little about the timing of their action. As a result, these kinds of players are usually disappointed with their play on the course. They might be able to hit nice shots on the range with nothing on the line, but pressure will quickly pull apart a golf swing built on poor tempo.

In this article, we are going to help you work toward the goal of improving the rhythm and tempo in your swing. This topic can be a little bit tricky to discuss in an instructional setting because the right tempo for one golf could be completely wrong for another player. There is no one 'magic' tempo which is going to allow you to get the job done perfectly. Instead, you will have to find your own way, developing the tempo that leads you to the best results.

With that in mind, we are going to simply offer some tips and suggestions for how you can work your way toward a successful tempo. It will still be up to you to do the hard work, but we hope the advice we provide in the article below will set you on a path towards a positive outcome. Once you start to see the benefits of improving your tempo show up on the course, you will only feel more and more motivated to fine tune your rhythm even further.

While the content in this article is going to focus mostly on the full swing, you will be happy to know that improving your full swing tempo will likely have a positive effect on your short game. The rhythm you use on the course tends to permeate your entire game, so taking a step forward in one area should mean that all parts of your game move in the right direction.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

Some Common Problems

Some Common Problems

There are a number of common ways in which golfers tend to go wrong with their tempo. If you were to hang out at your local driving range on a Saturday morning to watch players warm up before they head to the first tee, you would see a number of rhythm-related problems. Some golfers swing much too quickly, while others go too slow. Also, there are players who don't seem to be committed to once specific tempo – instead, they are forever stuck in-between, combining slow and fast tempos into a mess of a golf swing.

Before you can get down to work on your own tempo, it will be helpful to take note of some of the common problems that plague many golfers. With a clearer picture of how your tempo can go wrong, you will be able to get down to work on making it right.

  • Always in a rush. This is probably the most common tempo-related problem in the game of golf. For some reason, most golfers are simply in a hurry. This doesn't make much sense, of course, given the fact that there is no 'shot clock' in the game of golf, and it is known as a game where you can take your time and play at a leisurely pace. There are plenty of sports to play for people who are in a hurry – golf really isn't one of them. Instead, you can relax, move at a comfortable pace, and only hit the ball when you are ready. By feeling rushed on the course, your tempo is automatically going to speed up, and you are going to struggle to produce good shots as a result. While we aren't trying to promote slow play – you do want to keep up with the group in front of you – it is important to slow yourself down when the time comes to make a swing. Walk quickly between shots to maintain a good pace for the round, but take your time when getting ready to hit a shot. If you can set aside your need to rush during your rounds, you can be sure that your tempo – and your results – will improve.
  • Thinking too mechanically. Another common problem, this one tends to affect the serious golfer more than the casual player. If you are a serious golfer, you probably read a lot of instructional articles, books, and magazines. You may even take lessons from your local pro, and watch golf programming on TV at night. In other words, you are spending a lot of time and energy trying to find ways in which you can improve your game. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, but you do have to be careful that you don't overwhelm your mind and body with too many different ideas. If you are thinking technically throughout your swing, it will be nearly impossible to maintain a good rhythm. This is not to say that you shouldn't work on technical aspects of your swing – you certainly should. The key is to keep those thoughts on the driving range, where they belong. Work on the technical part of your game during practice, and then focus on your rhythm and tempo when on the course. This separation will serve you well, even if it is difficult to achieve at first.
  • Trying to hit the ball too hard. We have all been guilty of this one at least once or twice over the years. Even if you know that you shouldn't swing your hardest on the average shot, you probably can't resist letting it rip from time to time when you are on the tee of a long par five. Of course, as you already know, trying to swing particularly hard is almost always going to do more harm than good. Instead of hitting a long drive right down the middle, you will miss the sweet spot and struggle to keep the ball in play. Even when you want to hit a huge drive, the best bet is almost always to keep your swing tempo smooth and steady from start to finish. Distance is not everything it's cracked up to be in golf, especially when compared with the ability to control your ball flights and hit your targets. Forget about trying to hit the ball as far as possible and instead focus on striking quality shots. You will immediately become a better player as a result of your shift in mindset.

Of course, these are just common problems that are experienced by many golfers – that doesn't mean they are actually going to be the underlying cause of poor tempo in your game. Only you can know what is causing your tempo problems, so think carefully about how you approach your game and attempt to pinpoint the real issue. Once you know why you have gotten off track from a rhythm perspective, you can get to work on finding your way into an excellent tempo once and for all.

Starting Small

Starting Small

One of the problems that many golfers face when they start trying to work on their tempo is that they begin with the driver. It is hard to make any meaningful changes when you begin with the biggest club, and the biggest swing, in the game. Instead, it is a much better idea to start small and work your way up.

To get started on finding a better rhythm, head to the short game practice area at your local course. Take one of your wedges from the bag and set a few golf balls down on the ground. Pitch each ball up onto the green without bothering to pick out a target. You aren't going to worry about distance or direction at this point – just pitch the balls somewhere onto the green. In doing so, you should be using a smooth rhythm with an even pace that moves back and through at a similar speed. You shouldn't feel like you are in any kind of rush, and you should be as relaxed as possible.

Most likely, you are going to notice something about these shots right away – they are coming off your wedge with a solid strike. They probably won't be miss-hit like many of your normal pitch shots tend to be out on the course. Using an improved tempo is not only something that will benefit your longest swings. Instead, it will help you all the way from the driver down to the putter. By starting small, you can see quick results which should motivate you to keep moving forward.

Now that you have hit some solid pitch shots, head over to the driving range and start to stretch things out a bit. Even at this point, you are still going to be hitting relatively short shorts. Continue using your wedge, and work your way up to half swings which hit the ball roughly fifty yards or so in the air. Of course, you are going to continue to focus on a smooth, even$ tempo. Fight back against any temptation to rush through these shots. Again, you should find that your swing results in solid contact, and your shots are more consistent than they would have been with poor rhythm.

You are going to continue this process until you do have a driver in your hands. By working up from the start, you should be able to feel what it is like to make a smooth, controlled swing – and you can then do that with each successive club until you are hitting drivers with a great rhythm. This is where the big surprise comes in for most people – you will probably find that you are hitting the ball just as hard with the driver as you were with the faster, more aggressive swing. Most golfers don't lose any distance at all when they slow things down, and many actually hit the ball farther.

It takes some patience to work your way up like this from small swings to big swings with the driver. Your patience will be rewarded in the end, however, as you will be left with swings that can produce far more consistent results with the driver than you would have ever gotten without a smooth tempo. As you see more and more great drives travel down the range during your practice session, your confidence will grow and you will soon be ready to try out a controlled tempo during your next round.

The Counting Drill

The Counting Drill

As another step toward great tempo, we recommend that you try out the drill described in this section. The drill is easy to perform, it requires no extra equipment whatsoever, and it can be applied to any club in your bag. Once you get comfortable with how this drill works, you just might find yourself using it during every practice session – and maybe even out on the course.

You might be able to guess that this drill is going to involve counting, as indicated by the title of this section. Specifically, you are going to be counting to four. It is important that you count evenly, without rushing or delaying during any of the breaks between the numbers. A little practice should help you learn how to count evenly time after time. Also, it is important to note that you aren't necessarily counting out one number each second. This counting routine doesn't have anything to do with time. Forget about the clock and just use your own counting pace to develop a natural tempo in your swing.

To put this drill to work, please follow the steps below.

  • To get started, head to your local driving range and set yourself up with a bucket of practice balls and a middle iron. We like to recommend the seven iron for this project, but you could use any middle – or even short – iron with success. As always when practicing, it is best to find a quiet portion of the range where you can get down to work without being interrupted. Golfers love to talk, and setting up near a busy section of the range is likely to result in some conversation. That is fine in some cases, but not today – you are trying to make progress, and you need to focus.
  • Before you start making swings or hitting shots, you will want to pick out a target down the range that you can use for each shot. Pick out something on the range which is located at an appropriate distance based on the club you selected. It is important to practice your aim at every opportunity, so don't neglect this step. Once you have a target in mind, you may even want to place a guide club down on the ground along your toe line to make sure you set up properly before each swing.
  • With everything ready to go, you are going to get started by making some practice swings. You should not be hitting balls at this point. Start with practice swings to get comfortable with the drill and add in golf balls later on. For your first practice swing, get set up and settle into a comfortable stance. As soon as you start the swing, count out the number one. As the swing progresses, you are going to count two when the club is parallel with the ground going back. The number three will be counted when you get to the top of the backswing, and four will be counted out when you reach impact (imaginary impact, in this case). While there are no more numbers to count after four, you should still swing through to a full finish.
  • Once you get comfortable with the rhythm of the drill, feel free to start hitting some shots. You shouldn't be trying to hit the ball extra hard or anything like that – just stick with your tempo and let the numbers guide you through each swing. Hit as many shots as you like while using this drill, and feel free to switch it up and hit some other clubs as well.

So how is this drill going to help you develop your rhythm? For starters, it should help you even out your tempo between various parts of your swing. As long as you keep your counting pace steady, you should move through the swing with an even cadence from start to finish. Also, the pace with which you count out the numbers is going to be a reflection of your personality and natural tempo. So people naturally move quickly while others move slow, and that's okay. Trust your natural counting pace to lead you in the right direction with regard to your golf swing. With some practice, this drill is likely to become a trusted and valued part of your practice routine.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Before wrapping up, we wanted to touch on a couple final points related to curing a bad swing tempo.

  • Don't get sucked into a competition. We have seen this happen time and time again out on the course. A player starts off the day with a beautiful tempo, only to have that tempo ruined by the temptation to hit the ball farther than his or her playing partners. This is silly, and it can destroy what would have been a great round of golf. Don't get sucked into long drive competitions on the course, as they are only going to inhibit your growth as a golfer. There are plenty of other ways to have fun on the course with your friends without having to show off in this way. Stick to your tempo, make controlled golf swings, and be proud of the results. In the end, you will likely be the one left standing with the lowest score.
  • Hold steady all day long. Even if you are playing by yourself, it can still be difficult to hold your tempo steady from the first shot on through to the last. Rounds of golf regularly take more than four hours, which is a long time to perform any skill in the same manner over and over again. If you get frustrated by your play, you may allow your tempo to speed up accidentally. On the other hand, if you get tired from the long walk out in the sun, your tempo may slow down and your ball striking could suffer. Either way, you need to pay attention to your body and your emotions and respond as necessary. By simply paying attention to this issue, you should be able to maintain a level rhythm all day long.

Tempo is one of the most important elements of the golf swing. It isn't always easy to stick with your own natural tempo when there are so many threats on the course which can knock you off track. We hope the advice offered in this article will help you find and maintain your rhythm during your upcoming rounds. While tempo doesn't get as much attention as things like swing mechanics and equipment, it plays a huge role in the score you are able to write down at the end of the day. Good luck!