Golf swing tempo tips

Balance and Tempo, Michael Lamanna

All great players have the ability to swing every club at a consistent tempo
and with great balance. Rhythm and balance are linked. Some players, like Tom
Watson, exhibit faster tempos. Some, like Ernie Els, exhibit a slower tempo. Yet
all remain balanced. The key to consistency is to maintain your balance and use
a smooth rhythm.

If you rush your swing you will loose your balance and the end result is
inconsistent contact and poor ball flight. Outstanding ball strikers are rarely
off balance at impact and their rhythm is the “glue” that bonds their positions
and movements. Often their swings seem effortless and they, as Julius Boros
described it, “swing easy and hit hard.” Great rhythm allows you to properly
sequence your body motion and arrive at impact in a position of leverage and

Ten-time PGA TOUR driving accuracy champion Calvin Peete says the three keys to
straight driving are “Balance, Balance and Balance.”

If you want to be a more consistent ball striker, you must understand how the
body should be balanced in four key positions. Setup

Although your spine is tilted away from the target at address, you should have
your weight evenly balanced between your right and your left foot with your
middle and long irons. Also, you should feel your weight evenly balanced between
your heels and your toes, roughly on the balls of the feet.

Top of the Backswing As you pivot to the top of the back swing, your weight
moves into the inside of the back foot. You should feel approximately 75-percent
of your weight on the back foot and 25-percent on the front foot. The weight
must never move to the outside of the back foot.

Impact By the time you arrive at impact, approximately 70- to 75-percent of
your weight should be shifted onto the front foot. Your head must be behind the
ball and your hips must shift forward approximately 4 inches past their starting
position. This increases the spine tilt by at least double.

The Finish At the completion of the follow through, you should have the
majority of your weight – about 90-percent of it – on the outside of the front


Developing good tempo not only leads to better balance, but it also sets off a chain
reaction of good things throughout your golf swing. Your goal should be to swing each
club in your bag at the same pace for all full shots.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s
your driver or a short iron. The goal is still the same: Tempo and balance. First,
work to develop a smooth, one-piece takeaway. Let your arms and shoulders start the
swing with a consistent and coordinated movement. Next, focus on achieving balance by
transferring your weight properly from your rear foot to your forward foot.

The great
Sam Snead developed a drill that can help you develop good tempo and balance. Swing
the club like you’re listening to a waltz — one, two, three, four. Work on your
balance at the same time by lifting your forward foot at the top of your backswing
and your rear foot at the finish. Practice this over and over, and you’ll find that
developing a good swing tempo is as easy as one, two, three — and four.


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