Tempo – Part 3 – Take it from the range to the course

Tempo – Part 3 – Take it from the range to the course

Golf instruction doesn’t always need to be mechanical and technical. Many times, if you improve your tempo and rhythm, you’ll improve your mechanics. Take time to practice improving your tempo and staying smooth with your golf swing.

First, you’ll need to understand what it means to improve your tempo. Please keep in mind, there are different meanings of tempo. A fast tempo, like Nick Price, moves quicker but maintains a fluid sequence. Most average golfers can’t swing consistently with a fast tempo. You just don’t see it very often. However, most golfers are more in the medium tempo category. The back swing is not too fast or too slow. It’s somewhere in between. I would recommend taking a lesson from a PGA Teaching Professional, just to determine what tempo is best for you and your golf swing.

A medium tempo or a slower paced tempo will generally work best for the average golfer. If you snap the club away from the ball too quickly, it’s going to be more difficult to load and set the club. That’s just common sense. Understand that the average golf swing takes 1.2 seconds from start to finish. The back swing is nearly one eighth of that time. That’s why it is critically important to stay smooth and have good tempo, because the down swing should be gradually building speed and continually accelerating through impact. The only possible way for that to happen is to have a smooth back swing, transition to the down swing just as smoothly and gradually build up speed. That is the definition of consistent tempo.

As an instructor, I use simple terms to try to help my students develop their own tempo. My eyes can certainly see a perfect tempo for my student, but for me to often explain it can be a challenge. Once I see what I believe is a perfect tempo for my student, and they hit that perfect shot, all I can do is say “do that again.” It’s now the students’ job to try and repeat the improved tempo. Once we find it, we need to try our best to repeat it.

To improve your tempo, try these simple ideas:
1. Slow at the top — Fast at the bottom
2. Go slow enough at the top and feel the need to catch up at the bottom
Feel a slight pause at the top of your swing

All the best in golf,

Greg Greksa
PGA Professional
Director of Instruction