I grew up in Australia, and because of the wide variety of courses and climates across the country, I learned to play golf well in many different conditions. I think that’s why having a consistent, natural rhythm in my swings became so important to me. It’s easy to let things get ugly when you’re playing in a different environment than you’re used to. Sometimes it’s not even the golf course or the weather. It could be the weight of the moment, a big match, or the last few holes of a tournament, throwing you off your game. These are those moments when getting back into swing with a good rhythm is the most important thing.
It’s hard to explain what a good tempo is, but here in my backyard, I’ll do my best to demonstrate three key areas of my full swings and talk about the things I feel help create good forward and backward motion. . Using my green, I’m also going to offer tempo help for his short game. It’s definitely something I think about when I’m shooting, jumping and even putting. Whenever I’m playing with my partners and they want a quick tip, I always go back to rhythm and swing in sync, especially when you start to get the club back. Let’s start there and then I’ll help you smooth out the rest. —With Ron Kaspriske
When I’m out of sync, it usually starts with a bad move in the first quarter of the swing. My arms go back first, the club moves away from my body, and then I have to do this crazy action to try to even things up on impact. What I want to feel is “connected”, trying to get my body to move as a unit when I start the swing (Top right). I know I move better when I start to feel the weight on my right heel. Get the first part of the backswing right and you’ll usually hit a much better shot.
This area of the swing, from near the top of the backswing (up, left) to the first move down (Top right), is where a lot can go wrong, especially for fans who get a lot of cast at the top. Throwing means that you are trying to hit the ball immediately when you start to throw the clubhead away from the body with a little flick of the wrist, rather than letting the club release closer to the ball. By the time you get to the top of the backswing, you’ll know you can start going down if things feel solid and together—your body and arms stop at the same moment. So the transition should feel like you’re not in a hurry. A good idea is to let your arms drop in front of your body as you begin the descent. From there, you can rotate your body and you’re in position for good movement through the ball.
The throwing motion can be the result of nerves, anxiety, or just wanting to hit the ball hard. You have to resist that urge by maintaining a smoother pace going down. Don’t get me wrong: your stick should be picking up speed, but you don’t have to bring it down from above. Save your speed for the area just before and after impact (up), and make sure nothing feels jerky or out of place with the tempo you created from the start. Get it right, and the ball will bounce off the face. The shot will feel effortless.
Have you ever noticed how soft your shot feels when you’re taking swings around the greens, but when it comes time to hit, you tend to produce something fast and powerful? I see it a lot when I watch ams chip and pitch. I’m not sure why, but it could be because you’re trying to hit the ball and get it off the ground, instead of swinging through it that allows the club to do the work (up). This may be harder to do than to say, but it might help if you pretend the ball isn’t there when you swing. That thought should bring you closer to copying your softest practice swings.
Fast greens can tempt you to abandon your shot through the ball. Long, slow putts can make you want to hit the ball. No trend will make you a better putter. What will he do? Have the same tempo on every shot, regardless of the putt. I try to hit each shot with a 2:1 ratio in time from backswing to impact. You can practice that with some internal cadence, even just thinking one, two going back and three going forward, whatever helps to recreate the same tempo. The goal is a complete release of the putter head, making it stop directly at my line after the ball is struck (up). If you’re picking up a theme here, I’m not hitting the ball, I’m stroking the putter head through it. If you take just one swing thought from all this talk about tempo, never mind the shot, I hope that’s it.