How to find the perfect golf swing tempo.
Have you ever considered the significance of the right tempo in your golf swing? It's a crucial but often underestimated aspect of a great golf game. If you've been fixated on the notion of a "Low and Slow" swing, it might be time to rethink your approach.
Here's why. Across the globe, the top professional golfers share a common tempo thread. While some swings appear faster, and others slower, they all maintain a consistent backswing ratio of 3-to-1, three parts backswing to one part downswing.
In contrast, amateur golfers exhibit a wide range of tempos, generally leaning towards the slower end. This is primarily due to excessively slow backswings. Consequently, they struggle with inconsistency and often find themselves lacking the distance they desire.
When you execute an overly slow backswing, complete with pauses, it results in a series of jerky movements during the transition. Your muscles need to re-engage, and everything must restart, consuming more energy and time, ultimately leading to a loss of power.
Imagine pulling a rubber band back and letting it snap. There are two ways to make it snap faster: either pull it back faster initially or pull it back as far as possible and then release it.
Both methods result in a faster snap, but the latter takes too much time. In golf, a complete swing should last just about one second, with approximately 0.75 seconds for the backswing and 0.25 seconds for the downswing.
Amateur golfers often take as long as one and a half seconds to complete their swings. If you think you're getting too quick, the solution isn't to slow down even further; it's quite the opposite. Speed up your backswing to create a smoother, more rhythmic downswing.
As you add a bit more speed to your backswing, you'll notice that it feels more controlled. It might even seem like you're shortening your backswing, but in reality, you're not. This adjustment will also help clear your mind of unnecessary swing thoughts.
The next time you hit a poor shot, resist the temptation to slow down. Instead, do the opposite – accelerate your backswing.
Begin by practicing with ten balls, focusing on a faster backswing. Concentrate on making solid contact with the ball and gradually work on consistently finding the center of the clubface as you become accustomed to the faster golf swing.
Remember, a quicker backswing translates to an overall faster golf swing, potentially unlocking newfound power and precision in your game.
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Joe Park is a golf teaching pro in North Scottsdale. His 30 years of experience will help you play better golf through golf tips here in Stroll Silverleaf & DC Ranch so you can try it out on the range or the golf course the next time you play. Joe moved to Arizona from MN with his wife Nicole and two sons who play professional golf.