Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Four Areas Getting Ready for Spring Golf - What to work on in the Month of March Madness - 3 Tempo

Again, I will remind you the four areas we are getting ready for spring golf;

  1. Flexibility
  2. Endurance
  3. Tempo
  4. Breathing
The last area we covered was Endurance.  This time we will talk about Tempo.

Tempo (One of golfs most basic yet elusive concepts)

 According to the dictionary, tempo is the characteristic rate rhythm, or pattern of work or activity.  In Golf it is the pace of your swing, back and through.  Some have a quick tempo like Nick Price, while others have a slow smooth tempo like Fred Couples.  Tempo is a highly individualized component.  There is no right or wrong tempo. There is no set tempo for every golfer, but there is a tempo for every golfer, may it be quick or slow.

Swinging at an even tempo, shot to shot, club to club is imperative in your golf swing.  We want to keep it as consistent as possible.  It is critical to making solid contact.  Tempo is closely tied to balance as well, another key to steady ball striking.

Here are three drills you can use to improve your tempo:

  1. Feet Together Drill:
    • I believe this is one of the best drills ever invented. It is very simplistic and and effective at at instilling an even killed tempo and finely tuned balance.  
    • Select a mid iron and stand with your feet together  Bend from the east while looking at the horizon to prevent your shoulders from "rounding" and soften your knees, then grip your club.  The ball position should be directly in center of your feet (hint: start with the ball teed up about 1/2 inch to build confidence then work into shots directly off the turf).  Take some shots with a light grip pressure and swing easily.  Imagine that your swing arc is a clock and your arms in the backswing should reach about 9 o'clock and then 3 o'clock in the follow through.  Feel how your hips and shoulders rotate within your body, like you are swinging within a cylinder without sliding your hips back and forward.  the club should only move as a result of your shoulder rotation in synch with an upward hinging of the wrists  The feeling of the turn in the backswing should be as if you were turning your body to look at someone standing behind you.  i.e. the head leads the shoulders which lead the hips and lower body.  The forward swing should initiate from the opposite sequence.  Use your lower body to begin the turn which leads the upper body and then the arms and hands will follow.  If you feel that your balance in the finish is wobbly then you most likely have initiated your down swing with the arms.  Work to maintain good balance in the finish on every swing until ball hits the ground.
    •   Once you have perfected this drill try some oft shots with a normal width of stance but feeling the same type of rotation and sequence with the body.  Try this drill to start every practice session or warm-up on the range and you will soon find the power and consistency that every golfer strives toward.  
    • You can also practice this drill in doors without hitting a ball, as long as you have ceiling room.
  2. Swoosh Drill
    • This drill requires 3 basic steps
      • Turn a club upside down and grip it just below the clubhead,
      • Make a full swing,
      • Hold your finish for three seconds
    • At first, you may find it difficult staying balanced at the finish.  Balance and Tempo are two sides of the same coin.  
    • Practice numerous repetitions of the swoosh drill and you will find it translates will to actually hitting the ball.
  3. 80% Wedge Swing
    • While on the range, hit a series of balls at 80% of your power.  In other words, nice and easy.  Move up a club or two to an 8 or 7 iron and repeat the process.  Continue through the driver, hitting no more than 80% on any shot.
    • You will not only notice better balance, pace and contact, you may find that your shots fly farther even though you are swinging easier.
    • That is the beauty of great tempo. 
The above mentioned drills should help on improving your tempo.

Next we will talk about the last are of interest Breathing.

Until then, with great tempo you will have more balance and create a better game with more consistent shots and scoring.....

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