Linksman Golf Tips – The importance of tempo in your golf swing.

Hi my name is Ken Stawasz (Email Ken for golf lessons in the Hartford, CT/Springfield, MA area) and I’ll be your host pro today for this golf tip that is brought to you by Linksman Golf.

It's all about Tempo

Today’s tip will be about tempo. I've always felt that if the mechanics of one's golf swing are fairly sound other then that the occasional tune up from your pro, you’re going to work on tempo more than anything. Tempo is kind of the glue that holds everything together. We all tend to swing too hard or too fast. Golf is a game of distance, in our minds anyway, more than a game of accuracy. We’re all trying to hit the ball farther. If anybody has heard a golfer say they don’t want to hit the ball farther I want to meet them ,I’ve never met one! A gentleman once asked me if I could give him just one tip, one sentence that would be the secret to the golf swing, what would it be? He thought I would take time to think about it but I didn’t. I said, "Sir, if you always have your arms moving in the same direction at the same time you're going be fine." He looked and very puzzled and scratched his head and walked away from me like I didn’t know what I was talking about, like I was half nuts, but it’s true.

The Hub of the Wheel

We talked before in the other segment about “The Hub of the Wheel”, which basically says that your body will provide the tempo of your swing. I can only move my body so fast . That’s about it, there’s my tempo. Now, everybody has different tempos, some players swing a little faster than others, some player rotate their body a little faster than others. But basically with all tour players, their tempo is the same. This is a 3:1 ratio, and there is a book and DVD out there called “Tour Tempo” out there that talks about this, the 3:1 will be 3 parts backswing and one part back to the ball, so there is an acceleration here.

The Swing Ratio

Now if I take my body and turn it again you’re going to see that ratio: three to one. If I take my arms now and put the club in my hand and grip the club correctly as always and I just get my tempo working and let my arms follow the lead of my body. No some people argue the arms swing and the body follows the arms but you can argue either way. But basically they go together, so if I can swing and get the” hub of the wheel” turning. Tempo equals timing, and timing is important. As we said we need to time everything so that when we get to the ball everything winds up correctly so we can hit the ball square and hit it solid.

Get your body into position

One example that I often use is a child on a swing. A child on a swing u push the child the swing goes up, doesn’t really stop, it just comes back down, 1… 2. Does it accelerate when it comes back down? Yes, that’s gravity. Some people get so rushed on their backswing and so rushed trying to hit the ball on the downswing that they lose their tempo. So their timing breaks down. They don’t have time to get their body moving into the position it needs to be in to hit the ball.

Practicing Swing Tempo

So work on tempo. One good way to just hold the club like this and just turn and turn and just count it to yourself… 1… 2... Notice 1 is drawn out its a little bit longer. That’s 3 parts to 1 part, if u can do that notice that your feet feel diff, you’ll notice that your balance is starting to shift in then correct direction. Again, here my arms and my body are working together in the dame direction. If I can attach the club and do the same thing, all of a sudden my swing feels much smoother. I feel like I’m swinging the club instead of hacking and chopping at the ball which is unfortunately something you see a lot out there on golf courses.

Work on the tempo, work on the rotation of your body, feel it in your feet and you’ll have what looks like a real golf swing.