The importance of good tempo in the golf swing isn’t lost on most players. One of the first lessons the majority of golfers learn is that tempo is one of the more-important elements of a good golf swing. When you are able to maintain a smooth, even tempo all throughout your round, it will be that much easier to control your ball flight and hit consistent shots hole after hole. Tempo might not be one of the most-exciting things to practice, but it certainly is one of the major keys to improving your game.
One of the challenging things about working on your tempo is that there is no right answer that applies to all players. Unlike some of the mechanics in the swing – which can apply to any golfer – tempo is a personal thing. Think about watching golf on TV and what the tempos of the best players in the world look like. By and large they all have an even tempo, but some are fast and aggressive, while others are slow and smooth. What matters is that your tempo is even throughout the swing and that it stays the same from shot to shot.
The Feeling of Good Tempo
Practice sessions at the driving range are the best time to work on your swing tempo and try to find your perfect rhythm. When playing a round on the course, you have too many other things going on in your mind to really focus in on improving your tempo. Put in the work on the range, and let the results show themselves on the course during your next round.
So what does a good tempo feel like, and how do you achieve it? The best way to describe good tempo is having a rhythm in your swing that feels natural. You shouldn’t be ‘manufacturing’ or ‘faking’ your tempo – it should come naturally, and be unique to you. In many ways, your tempo should simply be how you would swing the club if you weren’t thinking about anything at all. When you are able to get out of your own head and just swing the club freely, that swing will represent your perfect tempo. This is why so often players who are struggling actually improve their swing when they “give up” and just “swing what feels comfortable.”
Often, the tempo of a golfer reflects their personality on and off the course. If you are a person that is laid back and relaxed in your day to day life, a slower, softer tempo should suit you better. Those who walk fast and talk fast, on the other hand, are more-suited for a quick tempo in their swing. Don’t fight your natural tendencies – if you force a tempo that isn’t true to you, your swing will never feel like your own.