Golf swing tempo refers to the elapsed time of the golf swing from the moment you begin the takeaway to the fulfillment of the follow-through. The fact is that every player wants it, but very few have it.
It is one of the golf swing pieces that separate the professional from the inexperienced. The reason is that inexperienced golfers often try to replicate professionals in performing this technique but don’t have the proper fundamentals to make it happen.
This article will help you better understand this technique and how to achieve it easily and quickly. So, let’s get into the details!
What Is Swing Tempo?
Swing tempo indicates the time it takes for golfers to swing their club from the setup position to the follow-through.
So when you do golf tempo properly, it will happen slightly slower on your backswing and faster on your downswing.
Golfers with excellent tempo will look as though they have balance and rhythm in their swing.
Meanwhile, people who struggle with this technique will have a swing that looks unbalanced or jerky.
Inexperienced or beginners often have difficulty finding the right tempo because they think they need to turn much faster than they do to create significant distance and power.
Sometimes, trying to imitate the technique of a professional golfer can get you bad results. So, although learning from professional players is recommended, it is unwise to replicate their swing without the proper fundamentals.
Even pros sometimes struggle with this technique. For example, when they are making swing changes, have a pressure shot, or have too many swings thought.
Most players will have a specific tempo that makes them feel natural. Therefore, they should stick with that tempo and speed for their swings.
What Is The Proper Swing Tempo?
There are no exact numbers in determining the perfect golf tempo in this sport.
However, there is a ratio that seems to lead to the highest level of success when it comes to this technique.
The right golf tempo is all about getting the ratio of 3:1. It will take golfers three times as long to swing their club back as they do to swing their club down.
In other words, their backswing should take 3X as long as they’re downswing.
Hence, if their backswing takes 3 seconds, their downswing should take 1 second. Next, their downswing should take 0.2 seconds if their backswing takes 0.6 seconds.
It is a rough estimate of what the appropriate tempo should be.
The fact is that studies have shown that this is something all great golfers have in common. It ensures that they always accelerate at impact and compress their balls with power.
Some golfers will calculate a perfect tempo for the amateur or the professional. Yet, it is something that most golfers find difficult to control or think about.
How to Improve Golf Tempo?
Here are some helpful tips that will allow you to swing it like a pro and nail the 3:1 ratio in no time.
1. Getting Motions Down
This phase allows you to have a better posture before practice.
Step 1: Relax Before Starting
Playing any sport, including golf, can stress players, confusing them when swinging the club. Unfortunately, it is quite a common issue, and it is primarily due to nerves.
If you feel nervous or confused before hitting your ball because you think you can’t make a good shot, chances are you will not get the best results.
So, it is essential to calm down before hitting your ball to reduce stress. We recommend that you remind yourself of the following:
- You’re a skilled player with super-hitting ability.
- Your nerves are the only factors stopping you from success, not your talent.
Step 2. Hold Your Golf Club Correctly
This step refers to gripping your club firmly while keeping the wrists loose.
Before you get ready to hit your ball, you need to make sure you have a firm grip on your golf club.
That way, you’ll get the power and control you need to make a hit well.
Meanwhile, you need also to make sure your wrists are relaxed, loose, and maneuverable. As a result, you will turn your club more like a whip and less like a stick. Also, a decrease in tempo will lead to an increase in speed.
Step 3. Do the Movement Slowly
Start by rotating the non-dominant shoulder far away from your ball. Every movement you make should be deliberate. Remember that the takeaway’s speed will set the golf tempo for your entire swing.
Hence, it would be best if you took it slowly. If your backswing does not feel right, you can always start over.
Step 4. Pull the Golf Club Back as Further as Possible
It is essential to pull the club as further away from your golf ball as feasible during your backswing.
Otherwise, it is impossible to gain the required power to hit the ball correctly.
Further, an inappropriate backflip will throw off the overall tempo, resulting in more challenges to connect with your ball.
When you are done correctly, the backswing should finish with your club growing far above your head and held by barely-bent arms.
Step 5. Begin the Downswing at the Same Speed as the Blackwing
After you have completed your backswing correctly, it is feasible to start the downswing immediately.
You can also pause for a while to increase your focus and refresh your mind. Yet, once you are ready to start your downswing, you need to start it at the same pace as your backswing.
Once you approach your ball, you should let your speed accelerate naturally and keep the momentum going until you finish the follow-through.
2. Working on The Swing
Once you’re ready both physically and mentally, it’s time to practice.
Step 1. Attempts to Make the Downswing 3X Faster Than the Backswing
If you notice, professional golfers like Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods both have a golf tempo ratio of 3:1. That means the backswing takes three times longer to complete than the downswing.
You can also achieve it with the help of a friend. Specifically, you can ask your friends to time your backswing and downswing to see how you stack up.
- If the downswing is faster than necessary, you need to slow down the takeaway, changing the shot’s pace.
- Conversely, if the downswing is slower than necessary, you need to ensure your pose is proper and does not cause unneeded drag.
Step 2. Practice Hits Using Empty Tees
In practice, practicing with an actual golf ball can quickly bore you out, specifically when you can’t hit them as far as you’d like. Hence, practicing with empty tees can increase your focus on your swing speed.
That way, you won’t need to fear golf balls anymore. Instead, you will think more about how long it takes to create a shot and see if it’s the correctly.
Step 3. Change the Swing Pace in ¼ Increments
It’s not easy for golfers to change their current golf pace, especially with long-term players with much built-in muscle memory.
Yet, it is not necessary to do this in the short term. Instead, you need to increase or slow down your swing speed by around 25% for each practice.
Then you can practice at your new speed until it becomes your habit. After that, keep changing until you get a 3:1 swing tempo ratio.
Step 4. Maintain Your Pace Consistent Between Hits
Sometimes, tempo issues stem from the inconsistent swing. It means you change your speed between clubs, holes, or individual shots.
Once each swing’s rhythm is random, it will be difficult for you to control your hits’ power or predict what each swing will accomplish.
So, it is essential to maintain consistency from shot to shot. Thanks to that, you will enjoy the advantages of the correct golf tempo.
Except for the putter, utilizing the same golf tempo for any golf club is possible.
Step 5. Count for a Better Time Swing
The mental timer will help you make hits more consistent until your tempo becomes habitual.
Though choosing any way you prefer is feasible, the 1-2-3 count utilized for waltzing will work well with the golf tempo. Precisely, the first 2 beats will line up with your backswing, while the third will line up with your downswing.
On the other hand, you can also use songs to get similar results, such as:
- Fallin’: Your backswing will land on “I keep on” while your line up with “fallin’.”
- Fly Me To The Moon: Your backswing will line up with “Fly me to” while your line up with “the moon.”
Check out the following video for more knowledge:
The Bottom Line
You can always get better when it comes to golf tempo. The key is to always practice and change until you get the technique you want. Even Tiger Woods changed his swing after winning ten major championships.
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The Brainstorm Team was created by people who are never happier than when they’re creating golf clubs. People with years of experience at brands like Odyssey Golf, Never Compromise, Titleist and Cobra.