Quick Swing is OK, But Keep it Consistent

Every golfer wants a silky smooth swing like Fred Couples or Rory McIroy. Alas, few of us are blessed with such a languid natural tempo.

Look on the bright side: Golf is full of great players with quick, whip-like swings. Think Lanny Wadkins, Hubert Green, Nick Price or Rickie Fowler. If you've got a snappy action, don't fight it -- just make sure your rhythm is consistent from takeaway to finish, shot after shot, and that your arms don't usurp the body's big muscles as the engine of the swing.

The problem many quick-swinging golfers run into is mismatching tempo on the backswing and downswing. Some are fast going back then decelerate coming down. Others have the opposite problem, taking the club slowly to the top, then slashing violently toward the ball.

If you suffer from the first malady, try the whoosh drill,” which will teach you to accelerate at the moment of impact. If you tend to throw or cast the club from the top, the pause drill will alleviate the problem.


The basic idea is to engage the hips, torso and shoulders – aka the “big muscles” – and keep the arms and hands in a secondary role. That's the key to power and consistency.

Quick Swing is Okay – But Keep It Consistent

Quick Swing is Okay – But Keep It Consistent

If you read much golf instruction, you have likely heard that you need to use a smooth swing in order to produce consistent results. And, it is true, a smooth swing is likely to help you strike the ball more consistently from swing to swing. But does a smooth swing have to mean a slow swing? Not necessarily. There are plenty of players who have succeeded in this game with a quick swing tempo, and you may be able to do the same.

In this article, we are going to talk about how it is possible to use a quick swing to play good golf. Some golfers feel like a quick swing is automatically associated with poor rhythm and tempo, but that simply isn't true. It is possible to have a nice tempo with a fast swing, just as it is possible to stay in a nice tempo when you swing slowly. It isn't about the overall speed of the swing in the end, but rather the consistency of your tempo from start to finish. By the end of this article, we hope you will have a clear understanding of this point, and what it means for your swing.

For a little bit of reassurance that it is okay to play with a quick swing, all you need to do is tune in to a professional golf tournament on TV. As you watch a variety of players do their work, you will see many different swing tempos in action. Some players are going to possess a smooth and slow swing, while others move the club quickly from start to finish. Is one of these options better than the other? No – not necessarily. The best swing tempo in golf is the one that works for you. The important thing here is not to copy the tempo of another player, but rather to develop your own tempo. With a swing rhythm you can trust, and one that repeats from swing to swing, you will be able to live up to your potential on the course.

Once you have established the right pace for your golf swing, you will want to mimic that pace when hitting short game shots. For example, if you decide that a quick swing tempo is best for your needs, try hitting chip shots and putts with that same type of rhythm. Having continuity between your long game and short game will go a long way toward allowing you to play well all day long. Remember, golf is about more than just hitting pretty shots from the tee and from the fairway – you have to finish the job on and around the greens, as well.

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.

What Does It Mean to Have a Good Tempo?

What Does It Mean to Have a Good Tempo?

In golf circles, you will often hear people comment that a certain golfer has a 'good tempo' in his or her swing. Or, on the other hand, you may hear someone say that a given golfer has 'no rhythm'. What do these terms mean? How do you know if you have a good tempo, and what can you do to improve your tempo moving forward? Let's get to the bottom of these questions in this section.

For starters, let's explain what tempo is in the game of golf. Basically, when someone talks about tempo, they are talking about the pace of your swing from start to finish. A player with a 'good tempo' will swing the club at an even pace from the takeaway on through to the finish. On the other hand, a player who struggles with tempo is going to speed up and slow down suddenly during the swing. A common example of this is a player who swings up to the top of the swing very slowly, only to suddenly change directions and swing aggressively down toward the ball. This type of swing is rarely going to work effectively, and if it does hit a good shot now and then, it will never be consistent. You don't see these kinds of swings on the professional tours, and that should tell you all you need to know about the importance of tempo.

While tempo is all about swinging the club smoothly, it doesn't say anything about the actual speed of the swing. You can have a good tempo when swinging quickly, just like you can have a good tempo while making a slow swing. It makes no difference. A player with a slow swing doesn't automatically have a good tempo just because he or she swings the club slowly. Creating a good tempo is all about the consistent nature of your swing from start to finish, regardless of what pace you use within the swing.

At this point, you might be wondering why tempo is an important swing key in the first place. After all, if the club winds up in the right spot at impact, what's the difference? Let's take a look at a few points which highlight the importance of solid tempo.

  • Put your body in the right place. To create a solid impact position, you need to do more than just place the club in the right spot. You also need to have your body in the right place over the ball, and that is where tempo comes into the picture. With a smooth tempo, you should be able to position your body in the same spot swing after swing – and that is crucial if you hope to become a great ball striker. Your body weight should be gathering up on your left side by the time impact arrives, and your hips should be open to the target line. It's hard to get into the right spot when your tempo is constantly changing throughout the swing. Build a smooth rhythm and look for your ball striking to improve dramatically.
  • Create a predictable ball flight. One of the best things you can take with you onto the golf course is a consistent ball flight pattern. When you hit the ball with the same shape time after time, it becomes much easier to actually hit your targets. If you currently make your swing without knowing which way the ball will turn in the air, it may be that your tempo is to blame. No matter what your standard ball flight pattern turns out to be, you should be able to use it effectively as long as it repeats itself.
  • Generate more power. This one is surprising to many beginning golfers. It might seem like using sheer force is the best way to hit the ball farther, but that actually isn't the case. When you use an efficient tempo to deliver the club to the back of the ball, you may find that your distances quickly improve. Many amateurs try to 'muscle' the ball down the fairway by tightening up at impact and attempting to overpower the club. This is not how professional golfers get the job done, and you shouldn't be trying to swing this way, either. Instead, focus on creating a great tempo and letting the club accelerate freely through the hitting area. Once you start to make progress on this point, you'll be amazed at the power you can create with a smooth swing.

Having a good tempo in your golf swing is a worthy goal, and it is one which is within the reach of every player. You don't have to be an elite-level golfer to build a great tempo, you just have to be willing to practice. And, as you will see in the rest of this article, you don't have to swing slowly to have a quality tempo. Let's move on to discover whether or not a quick swing tempo is right for you.

A Personality Assessment

A Personality Assessment

When deciding what kind of tempo you are going to use in your swing, it is best to start by looking at your own personality. That's right, your personality. When playing golf, you want to make a swing which matches up with your overall personality, both on and off the course. This is important because it will be hard to consistently produce a swing that runs counter to your natural instincts. For instance, if you are someone who walks fast and talks even faster, making a slow and smooth swing probably won't be comfortable for very long. By trying to force yourself to play in a way that is out of character, you are going to be making the game harder than it needs to be.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to assess your own personality, since it is the only one you have ever known. As you try to get a handle on what kind of swing tempo will suit you best, ask yourself the following three questions.

  • How fast do you walk? This might not seem related to your golf swing, but the speed of your walk says something about your personality. If you walk faster than the other players in your group, you are probably in a hurry to get things done. Laid back people generally don't walk with a quick gait. You can get on the right track with your golf swing just by matching the pace of your swing to the pace of your stride. Quick walkers should think about making a quick swing, while those with a slower stroll can take it easy with regard to their tempo.
  • Are you a patient person? When waiting in the line at the grocery store, do you just look around and wait your turn, or are you fidgeting in place while hoping everyone else will hurry up and get out of the way? While most people like to think that they are patient, this is actually a trait which is rather rare in the modern world. Patience is becoming harder and harder to come by, since so many of our needs and desires are fulfilled quickly these days. As you might suspect, a slow and steady swing is going to fit a patient person, while someone who is always in a hurry will want to hurry along with their golf swing, as well.
  • Do you feel anxious on the golf course? As you go through the average round of golf, how do you feel? Are you generally feeling relaxed and at peace, taking the game one shot at a time? Or do you feel constantly nervous and anxious, thinking through each shot several times in your head before starting the swing? If you are anxious, it is going to be difficult to force yourself to make a slow swing. For the anxious golfer, the better choice is to trust what comes naturally and make a quick swing with an even tempo.

The best thing you can do when trying to settle on a tempo is to be honest with yourself. Even if you would love to be someone with an easy tempo and relaxed personality, you can't be that person if it isn't real. Take an honest look at your approach to life, both on and off the course, and find a tempo that makes sense for you as an individual.