Are you told by your golf buddies that you swing too fast?
Do you think Ernie Els' is nice and slow and rhythmic?
The chances are that Ernie's smooth swing is WAY faster than yours. It's not the speed, but the tempo, that separate you from Ernie, because Golf Swing Speed and Golf Swing Tempo are fundamentally different. Quite often, the average golfer may seem to appear extremely fast, because they don't have the correct tempo. They usually have a very deliberate take away and back swing, where they are trying to ‘Place' the club head in the correct position. There may even be a deliberate pause at the top. This is then followed by a rush, down towards the ball, trying to gain the momentum that was lost during the previous phase. The chances are that all of the PGA tour players swing faster than you. What separates them, from us, is that they do it with a tempo that is fluid not disjointed. They also swing to an exact tempo ratio.
I've read many articles, allegedly about Golf Swing Tempo, that start to talk about components of the swing. Club plane, take away, ball position, alignment. These are fundamentals and separate parts of the swing. These are the individual parts that you learn, which when combined, give you a complete golf swing.
Golf swing tempo, is the glue that holds all of these constituent parts together. In fact, the more you practice, with the correct swing tempo, the more stable all of those separate, fundamental, components become.
So what is Swing Speed? Well it's simply the amount of time you take to get from the start of your takeaway to the point of impact. But let's say for simplicity sake, that for you, this takes 4 seconds. (And it better not! Otherwise you and I won't be playing together anytime soon!) If you take 2 seconds getting to the top of your back swing and then 2 seconds getting the club head to the ball, you really are not going to generate any club head speed.
So what is Swing Tempo? Let's take the same 4 second swing OK? This time you take 3 Seconds getting to the top, but 1 second on the way down, and what do you have? Well you have a very slow swing, but you have PERFECT Golf Swing Tempo…..Why?
Because all PRO's swing at this exact tempo ratio. 3 To 1. So you can swing as fast as you like..Really! As long as you do it using the 3 to 1 ratio. Now all you have to do is achieve this tempo using one of the many training aids available. Most of which are audio cue devices. When you do what you will find (As I did), is that you will swing faster than you ever have, but with a tempo and a consistency, that is going to stay solid throughout your next round of golf. Also, when you use one of these aids, your mind tends to focus on waiting for an audio cue, which eliminates those mind games you tend to start playing when you are addressing the ball. You know, the ones that get you all tensed up and anxious, the ones that took away any chance you ever had of a good smooth tempo.
Your golf buddies will probably make comments like, “Wow, Your swing is so much smoother”. They won't notice ‘Faster'.
Because as I said…Golf Swing Speed and Golf Swing Tempo are two different things.
Whether you share this secret with them…Is up to you!
Steve Snead lives in Youngstown, Ohio. He teaches golf in the area, to children of all ages.
Swing Tempo Training