Through this article, I would like to educate you on the importance of the correct or slow down golf swing tempo as well as provide you with some of the best possible drills.
In any form of sport, rhythm and balance are the key fundamentals to success.
These drills and fixes are sure to make the golf swing smooth and rhythmic.
If you look at the swings of all the legendary golfers to date, they have one thing in common. And that is that their golf swing tempo is constant and has a smooth rhythm to it.
All golfers are separated by the different types of swings they have. This variance occurs due to the fact that each body is different and as well as the flexibility levels.
While it is absolutely impossible to make all golfers have a similar swing ( not recommended too), it is quite possible to make them have a similar tempo to their golf swing.
Golf swing tempo is defined as the time taken in a golf swing from the moment you start the takeaway to the completion of the follow-through.
According to the research done by John Novosel in the year 2000 and later mentioned in his book Tour Tempo, the correct golf swing tempo is in a ratio of 3:1.
This means that the backswing should take 3 times more time as compared to the downswing.
Be it, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Fred Couples, Gary Player, or any of the legends of this game, all have this 3:1 ratio in common.
It is important to understand that the speed of the swing may vary from player to player but in order to strike the ball more consistently, the ratio of the backswing speed to the downswing speed should be constant at 3:1.
- 1 5 simple tips to have a golf swing tempo like a pro
- 1.1 Don’t try to hit the ball too hard to get distance
- 1.2 Release the tension in your grip
- 1.3 Take a deep breath before the swing
- 1.4 Perform a smooth takeaway
- 1.5 Complete the backswing
- 2 Golf swing tempo drills
- 3 Conclusion
5 simple tips to have a golf swing tempo like a pro
Don’t try to hit the ball too hard to get distance
As a beginner, it is quite obvious to relate hitting long distances to having to hit the ball as hard as possible.
In golf, it is quite the opposite.
The less you try to hit the ball hard, the smoother will be your golf swing, which will help you to impact the ball right in the center of the clubface.
It is important to let the club do its own job and allow yourself to negate any jerks or power in the golf swing.
Release the tension in your grip
Another reaction to hit the ball longer is to tighten the grip on the golf club.
In order to have a more controlled and smooth swing, it is important to hold the club lightly.
Golfing greats like Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have a habit of holding the club lightly at the setup position and tightening it a little as they carry the takeaway.
Having a light grip pressure allows a smooth release of the club and removes the jerks during the beginning of the golf swing.
Take a deep breath before the swing
I have seen many golfers struggle with the tension and pressure before approaching a golf shot. This results in the tightening of the body muscles which prevents a smooth swing with the right tempo.
Taking a deep breath before hitting a golf shot has a two-fold advantage.
- It allows the muscles of the body to relax. This promotes an easy flowing golf swing.
- It allows you to gather your thoughts and relax your mind. This is key to hitting a solid golf shot at the intended line.
Perform a smooth takeaway
The next time you go to the driving range, take a note of your takeaway.
The takeaway of a golf swing is the initial few feet of the backswing till the shaft is parallel to the ground.
While performing the takeaway, make sure that any jerky movements are avoided.
How you begin the golf swing is crucial in determining its end result.
Try slowing down the takeaway speed the next time while practicing. Start with a slower takeaway and see how it affects the impact.
The trial and error method will allow you to find out the correct speed for consistent impact.
Complete the backswing
Many golfers, especially beginners, are guilty of being too eager to hit the ball.
In this process, the full completion of the golf swing is ignored, which results in an early release of the golf club.
Not taking the club back to reach the full flexible potential of the shoulders has 2 major disadvantages-
- A loss of power and accuracy
- Early release of the golf club leading to improper impact.
Golf swing tempo drills
The 1-2-3 drill
The next time you step out on to the driving range, try measuring your swing in 3 parts.
These 3 parts are- the takeaway, the backswing, and the downswing.
As a general rule of thumb, the speed of the backswing should be a little slower as compared to the downswing. This enables a smooth transition of energy and weight of the body along with the swing.
The 1-2-3 drill involves 3 counts and they are distributed as
- The beginning of the takeaway
- End of the takeaway and the beginning of the backswing
- End of the backswing and the beginning of the downswing
The speed of the count from 1 to 3 is completely dependant on you as a golfer. The trial and error method helping to determined The 1-2-3 Drill.
Once you’ve figured out the right tempo, practice this 1-2-3 drill out on the range by saying the numbers out aloud.
Benefits of this drill
- It will make the swing more rhythmical
- It will make you more aware of your own tempo
- A constant tempo will be defined
The metronome drill
A metronome is a device that really does wonders for the golf swing tempo.
Be it for the short chips, pitches, putting, or the iron shots, a metronome can make an out-of-rhythm jerky swing into a smooth rhythmical one.
Here’s how it can be used
In the next range session, use a simple metronome app on your phone and set it on a 2/4 beat.
Set the tempo anywhere between 55-65 and try making the backswing and the downswing according to the beep sounds.
Use the trial and error method to see which tempo suits your impact and balance the best.
Once you’ve figured out the perfect tempo for you, add the metronome in your daily practice routine to keep the swing tempo constant for a consistent impact.
The Blind Swing
To create better awareness of your golf swing, try swinging the golf club with your eyes closed.
The next time you are on the driving range or even before hitting a shot on the course, try swinging the golf club a few times with the eyes closed.
By doing so, not only are you making yourself realize the tempo of your swing easily, but also creating awareness as to where your golf club is at all points of the swing.
While everyone is always interested in the swing analysis and the intricacies of the golf swing, golf swing tempo is probably the most important but the most neglected part of any instruction.
The correct golf swing tempo is 3:1.
This means that the backswing should ideally take 3 times more time as compared to the downswing.
With the small fixes and drills mentioned in the article above, I’m pretty sure that finding your own swing tempo won’t be a problem anymore.