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Play Consistent Golf Part 5: TEMPO

Let’s talk about Tempo and its importance to consistent golf.

If you were to watch an amateur and a professional hitting side by side you would invariably see a marked difference in tempo. The pros have a smooth, steady swing to the top and a constant acceleration down to the ball and through to the target.

In contrast, far too many amateurs have a quick, sudden move to the top and a slash down to the ball. The pro swing looks effortless, while the amateur swing looks like hard work.

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Play Consistent Golf Part 5: Tempo

In this FAQ we talk about Tempo and its importance to consistent golf.

If you were to watch an amateur and a professional hitting side by side you would invariably see a marked difference in tempo. The pros have a smooth, steady swing to the top and a constant acceleration down to the ball and through to the target.

In contrast, far too many amateurs have a quick, sudden move to the top and a slash down to the ball. The pro swing looks effortless, while the amateur swing looks like hard work.
That’s because a smooth, steady swing helps to eliminate tension, and tension kills swing speed. Any sudden movement or too-rapid transition produces counterproductive tension.

There are typically three areas where unwanted tension enters the swing:

  1. First, at the takeaway, when the hands and arms grab the club to initiate the swing;
  2. Second, in the transition from backswing to down swing, particularly when the hands and arms start the downswing instead of the lower body;
  3. and Third, at impact, when the golfer tries to add a little more power by squeezing the grip.

Any time tension enters the swing at any of these areas, the club face angle changes and your consistency suffers.

A good tempo can eliminate unwanted tension and help with consistent golf shots.
Just about every golfer has thought to themselves or been told at some time to “slow down” their swing. Good advice. The question is, slow it down to what?

As a rule of thumb the backswing takes three times as long as the down swing. If we translate that to music that means three beats up and one down. 1-2-3-hit. A perfect waltz beat. 1-2-3-hit. 1-2-3-hit.

If you know a good waltz tune, try saying the words the next time you are at practice. We use a tune from the Sound of Music called “These are a few of my favorite things” with our students, with words adapted for golf: “drives down the Middle” where you start your swing on “drives” and make contact on “middle.”

See you down the fairway!

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