Maintaining Tempo Under Pressure
Finding your tempo on the practice range is one thing – holding your tempo throughout the round is quite another. You will usually go through a range of emotions during a round of golf, including excitement, frustration, nerves, and more. All of these emotions can take a toll on your tempo and cause you to get out of your normal rhythm. One of the things that separates good golfers from average ones is the ability to manage pressure and maintain a good tempo from the first hole to the last.
We’re all too familiar with the fact that it is often the times when you are playing a good round, that a loss of tempo is likely to strike. As the round moves on and your score continues to look good, it is natural to get both excited and nervous. Each of those feelings can contribute to losing your tempo – and your swing as a result. This is why it is so hard to close out a good round on the golf course. When the round gets going well, and you start to think about the scores you could shoot, your tempo can desert you at exactly the wrong time.
There are a few things you can do to try and deal with the pressure and hold onto your tempo until the round is over:
- Gain experience: There is no substitute for experience in this case. The more rounds you play, the more comfortable you will become with feeling nervous and excited. Even if you fail at first in those situations, you will learn from your mistakes and be more likely to succeed in the future.
- Put away the scorecard: The less mental math you can do during the round, the better. Try to keep your mind off of what scores could be waiting for you at the end, and just focus on the shot at hand. This is easier said than done, but work on narrowing your focus and your tempo should improve.
- Pick safer shots: When you decide to take on a challenging shot – such as going for a par five in two – it is natural for your tempo to speed up. When you are playing well, try to choose more conservative shots and keep your ball in good position. Hopefully, this will keep you out of trouble, and help you maintain a good rhythm through the finish line.
Tempo has always been one of the most important elements to good golf, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. By putting in the time on the practice range to work on your golf swing tempo, and by paying attention to maintaining it on the course, you could unlock some of the best golf of your life.