By: Andy Fish, PGA
Tempo and balance are two of the most important fundamentals in your golf swing. We often talk about them, but we don’t give them the time and focus they deserve. If you are in search of a consistent and repeatable swing, you need to practice your tempo and balance.
Tempo is the timing of your swing. Your tempo can be quick or it can be slow, but it must be yours. Think of a person you know who might do everything quickly. They speak, walk and move quick. They should swing a golf club quickly too. It is their tempo. There are ways to find your tempo. Here are a couple drills to help you with that.
25, 50, 75, 100 – In this drill you line up 4 balls. I like to tee them up so I am not as focused on ball contact. The first ball you hit at 25% effort. It is still a full swing. The second ball hit at 50% effort. The third at 75% and the last ball hit with 100% effort. Then line up 4 more balls and start at 100% and work your way down. You should find that somewhere around your 50% or 75% swing you are getting a very repeatable and solid swing. This is your tempo. This drill works best with full shots.
Eyes closed – It’s just that simple. Hit balls with you eyes closed. This drill works best with shortage and putting. Hit a few small chips with your eyes closed and don’t worry about contact. Relax and let the club swing free. You will start to feel how the club wants to swing and you will not add quick un-needed movements. If you do get quick movements, you will feel them. This drill will get you to know your swing and putting stroke intimately. Your tempo will emerge without thought and you will feel solid shots. Give this one some time, at first you will be a little nervous about making contact, but soon you will get a strong connection with how your swing and tempo feel.
I am sure you have heard many times, “swing within yourself”. You should, but what does that mean? You should make an athletic swing. One that is repeatable and gives you the best balance between distance and accuracy. When your swing is finished you should feel solid and relaxed. If you take a step or wobble, you need to work on your balance. Here are a couple drills to help you with your balance.
One foot – in this drill you hit balls standing on one foot. Start on your left foot. You can let the toe of your right foot touch the ground behind you. Swing without a ball at 25% of your full swing effort. Focus on relaxing your muscles. Relaxed muscles balance better that tense ones (think skiing). Let the club swing back and forth with ease and feel grounded. Once you feel comfortable, start hitting a few balls with the same 25% effort. In a perfect world, we would do the same on the right leg with a left handed club, but we will just make sure we swing without a ball standing on our right leg. Feel your balance and relax as much as possible. Your balance will get better quickly.
Tap,tap – We use this in Junior golf to teach a proper weight shift. Swing your club with or without a ball and when you get to your finish tap,tap your back foot’s toe on the ground. Many people fall back or stay planted in their forward swing. This drill will not only help you with your balance, but it will make you put your balance in the right place. So, next time you are about to go on the course, take some time to hit a few shots and tap,tap.