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Tempo is the speed of the golf swing. Tempo can refer to the backswing, the downswing or the overall swing. A golfer can certainly get too quick or too slow (decelerate) with either side of the swing causing poor tempo. Every player's tempo is different and tempo often matches a golfer's personality. For instance, if a golfer was a person that tended to talk fast, walk fast and do things quickly, typically they would have a quick tempo with their golf swing.

Tempo Drills

  • Using a Metronome Drill
    The Using a Metronome Drill will help you groove a consistent putting…
  • Pincher Drill
    The Pincher Drill will train you to get a nice smooth acceleration…
  • Whoosh Drill
    The Whoosh Drill helps train you to build acceleration gradually in your…

Tempo Tips

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  • For Quicker Tempos, Try a Tighter Grip

    If you have a quicker tempo, try a bit of a tighter grip. While we don't want to add tension to the grip and make the swing jerky and inconsistent, a quick tempo can sometimes be difficult to control. Holding the putter too loosely and being quick could cause the face to move in your hands. Adding a bit more pressure will help you maintain better control if this is the case with you.

  • For Slower Tempos Grip Light

    If you have a slower tempo try a lighter pressure on the grip. Tensing up with a slow tempo can cause you to move the putter head all over the place. This results in pushes and pulls as the putter head swings off line. It can also cause the face to open and close too much throughout the swing. A light pressure will let the putter head swing more like a natural pendulum and keep it on line.

  • Sudden Acceleration Throws Off Consistency

    Keep the back swing and forward swing as one movement to control distance. Any independent movements or sudden acceleration will make speed control very inconsistent. For this reason it is important to let your big muscles (back, shoulders, abdominals) control the stroke. Getting the little muscles of your wrists and hands too involved makes it hard to keep the stroke smooth.

  • Tension Makes For a Jerky Stroke

    Never grip the putter too tight as that will make your stroke rigid. To make a nice smooth pendulum stroke that stays on line, it's important to let the putter swing rather than trying to direct it. When we tense up too much, the muscles in our arms and shoulders can become jerky. That kind of tension can force the putter off line. If your shoulders, arms and hands are relaxed, the stroke will be natural.

  • Without a Consistent Tempo, Distance Control is Impossible

    Practice tempo. A good rhythm to practice would be to count 1,2 on the back swing and 3 coming into the ball. The average tempo on the PGA Tour is 84 bpm. You can use a a metronome to test this tempo and see if it's right for you. If it's too fast try slowing it down and vice versa. The important thing is to find a tempo that works for you and get it grooved.

  • Your Rear Side Applies the Power

    Putt with right hand or rear hand only. The theory here is that it is the rear side that applies the power. In your full swing your left side pulls and your right side pushes (if you are right handed). So if you can develop feel or touch with your right hand only, your distance control will become much more accurate.

  • Accelerate to Impact

    To hit solid putts and control distance make sure you keep accelerating consistently to impact. It should be a constant acceleration, not a sudden acceleration. Sudden bursts of energy are going to make distance control nearly impossible. Your swing should feel like an even pendulum accelerating just a bit to the ball.

  • If Your Tempo Varies, Your Distances Will Vary

    Use a metronome for consistency with touch. The average tempo with professionals is 84 beats per minute. Buy a portable metronome and take it out on the green with you set at 84 bpm. On the first beat take the putter back and on the second beat impact the ball. This will build consistency with your touch. This may not be the tempo for you so experiment making it slower and faster until you find what is comfortable. If your tempo is changing from putt to putt you will be varying the amount of pressure you put into the ball as well sending it inconsistent distances.

  • Let the Clubhead Go Down

    When hitting greenside chip shots (bump and runs) focus on a nice pendulum swing just like when you are putting, but make sure that the pendulum descends down in to the ball. Try to feel that the triangle you form at address with your shoulders, arms and hands remains intact and does not change throughout the stroke. Simply rock the triangle back and forth and let it run into the ball. As long as the clubhead goes down into the ball as opposed to up, you will hit a nice clean shot with spin.

  • Let Gravity Bring the Club Down

    When hitting pitch shots don't force the club, but rather "let" it free fall and drop down under your ball. If you swing your club up and let it go, it will go down simply because of gravity. The reason we blade pitch shots or hit them thin is that we fight gravity by pulling back up on the club. Simply relax your arms and let the club fall on the ball. As long as you keep your pivot going and your weight shifting through the shot, you won't hit it fat.

  • Keep Your Arms and Chest in Sync

    When pitching, in order to have consistent strikes it's important to keep your arms and chest swinging in sync. This holds partially true for the hips as well. The last thing you want on a small finesse type shot is to have different body parts accelerating at different rates of speed. For instance if you fire your hips and spin them open, but leave your arms lagging behind you are likely to come into impact late and with an open face. The opposite is true if your arms out race your body, you are likely to pull shots. When you keep everything moving at the same rate of rotation however, you are more likely to deliver the face to impact square.

  • Feel Long and Slow With Fairway Woods

    When swinging fairway woods feel like your swing is long and slow. One of the biggest issues golfers have with these long and low lofted clubs is that they get too quick and jumpy. This causes body parts to fire out of order and thus causes the swing to get out of sync. If you think "slow and smooth" and feel like you stay in the swing forever, you are more likely to release the club at the right time and hit the ball a lot more square in the face.

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