A good tempo is the glue that binds your golf swing together. Most experienced golfers know precisely what it looks like. It's not a case of slow or fast, instead it's a golfing action that is relatively smooth.
We will all have experienced that feeling when our tempo is a little off-kilter. The quality of strike often deteriorates, and ultimately the score suffers.
While most of us are well aware of the importance of building and maintaining a good tempo, we're arguably more likely to spend our range time trying to hit bombs.
To help direct your focus toward developing a smooth golf swing, we've listed some of the standout benefits you could expect to gain. We've even thrown in a simple drill for you to use.
Having a good tempo is like having the master key to your own golfing success. A desirable rhythm in your swing allows you to ingrain a reliable, repeatable motion.
With a more flowing swing, you'll be able to control your ball flight better and more efficiently manage your misses. It will also build an excellent foundation for you to progress to the next level. Practising new moves is much easier when you have a smooth, repeatable tempo.
You should also see fewer calamitous holes and more consistent scores each week when you're on the golf course.
If you're a golfer who regularly strains to hit the golf ball harder, it can put your body through all sorts of turmoil and often, it's for no real gain. The results can be erratic at best, and this approach can spell disaster for your golfing longevity.
Discovering your ideal golf tempo will lead to you swinging in a more controlled manner, and it has the bonus of helping you maintain your golfing fitness and avoid any long layoffs.
A Prettier Swing
When we talk of golfers with beautiful golf swings, it immediately evokes images of Freddie Couples' buttery smooth motion, or perhaps even Adam Scott's more modern, athletic - but no less aesthetically pleasing - move. What stands out in every golf swing we may term 'beautiful' is a tension-free body and effortless tempo.
Of course, we all seek a golf swing that works best for us over one that looks 'pretty', but it's perfectly possible to have both. If you can improve your tempo, you'll immediately look like a better golfer, and over time your swing will become the envy of your fourball.
One Perfect Swing Thought
Turning your focus to tempo can help banish the myriad of other swing thoughts you might have swirling around your head at address. It'll also help distract away from negative thoughts that can - and often do - become self-fulfilling prophecies.
A primary focus on your swing tempo will help you approach each golf shot in a more positive frame of mind and allow you to move away from destructive thoughts before you pull the trigger.
Ability to Perform Under Pressure
When the pressure is on during a round, it's a simple human tendency that we tighten up and everything gets a little rushed. Our grip pressure might increase, we may nervously lash at the golf ball, and we can lose all feel and finesse in our swing.
When you've spent time working on your tempo and can now understand what your new smooth motion feels like, you can slow yourself down and find your rhythm again. You'll be better positioned to hit solid golf shots when the heat is on.
How Can You Develop Good Tempo?
It would be a little remiss of us to explain all the great benefits of a good tempo without highlighting a way to work on improving your own. Here's a neat little drill we love.
Feet Together Golf Drill
This drill is great for golfers of all handicap levels, and it helps you learn to swing while balanced throughout the entire motion. You can do it anywhere, with or without a golf ball.
Take your regular grip and posture, put your feet together so that your heels touch, and then balance the sole of a short iron on the ground.
Initially, take a few small swings - little 50% pitch shots - and try to feel like you are perfectly balanced after the shot. It might take a few swings for you to feel like you can hold your finish, but when you get the hang of it, move on to 60%, 70% and then 80% shots.
You can then work your way through the bag and as far up as driver if you want.
The whole point is to get you to feel unsteady within the swing to force you to make adjustments and find a tempo that works for you.
Benefits of the Drill
When you finish off by widening to your normal stance, you'll have a newfound rhythm and feel far more balanced throughout the swing.
The beauty of this drill is that while it will help you with tempo and training a more rhythmic golf motion, it can also improve your swing sequencing, quality of contact and even swing path issues.
If you can find a few minutes each day to work on this at home or the range, you're on to a winner.