Archived Newsletters - HOW CAN I DEVELOP A CONSISTENT TEMPO IN MY GOLF SWING? :
Newsletter February 2016
I once asked Barbara Romack, LPGA what she thought about on the first tee of a tournament. She had a one word answer; TEMPO. Having good tempo in your golf swing is mental as well as physical. Along with having good tempo, YOU also need to have good timing and rhythm to produce consistent shots. It is certainly true that in life and golf, timing is everything.
To maximize your club head speed your timing and tempo should match your personality. Swing to your own internal clock. If you walk and talk fast, your swing tempo should be fast like Tom Watson or Rickie Fowler. If you move slower, your swing should match someone like Freddy Couples or Ernie Els. It is important to maintain your own personal speed and rhythm throughout your round for consistent hits.
Tempo is the pace or speed of your golf swing. Tempo is defined as the elapsed time of your golf swing from the moment you begin your takeaway to the completion of your follow-through.
Golfers tend to swing faster as the round progresses either because they are over-confident or fearful of making a mistake. Having a balanced follow-through is an indication of a swing with the proper tempo.
Golfers think they need to swing faster to generate power and distance. Every club has a distance limit. If you need more distance, take one more club. When you lose your tempo on course, step off to the side and swing with the club only in your right hand to get the feel because then you won’t be able to accelerate too quickly.
Timing is the most difficult part of the golf swing to learn and execute. The timing of the moving parts of your body and club has to be in the correct sequence. When the timing is in synchronization of your body and club, the result is the perfect impact position for consistent shots.
It is important to overcome feelings of rushing through the swing. For the transition at the top of the swing, be patient before starting back down. Most tour players start their downswing with their feet and then the knees, hips, followed by the hands and arms falling into the proper sequence. To do this you have to be relaxed.
Good rhythm is accomplished by having the same tempo on the backswing and the downswing. Golfers tend to swing with uneven rhythm on the longer clubs as there is a longer path to travel. Or taking the club back slowly the golfer tends to rush on the downswing. Good rhythm is the same for every club and every swing. Because the driver is longer than the pitching wedge, the club head is moving faster throughout the swing, but the rhythm is the same.
Practice feeling your swing
I played with a 17-year-old who had a 2 handicap. I asked her mother how she had gotten to be so good at such a young age. Her mother told me that every day after school she swung a club in her backyard for two hours without hitting any balls. When you stop thinking about how to swing the club and feel the swing, you also will feel and trust your own perfect tempo.
- Feel the pressure of your grip. If your grip is too light or too firm, it will change the synchronization of your body and club and make a smooth swing impossible. Have a grip that allows your wrists to hinge freely so you can feel the club head.
- Practice your timing, tempo and rhythm off course by swinging a club with your eyes closed to access your feel. Pay attention to the pressure of your grip.
- Tape your favorite song that is in sync with your personal tempo. Listen to it on the range so you can make rhythmic swings in time with the music.
- Control your emotions. The range of emotions in a round of golf can cause you to get out of your natural rhythm. Maintain your “game face” and Arousal Level to manage pressure.
- Send affirming messages to your self about how you would like your swing to feel.
I swing with easy, effortless power.
I have a smooth, flowing swing.
I swing to my own internal rhythm.
I am in tune with my own swing tempo and rhythm.
Play “in the zone” with Joan
Entrain Your Heart &Mind for Peak Performances
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