Former Smash Mouth drummer has system to help you improve your golf game

BoykoNext time someone tries to argue that golf is pale and stale and hard to stomach, tell them, “So is Wonder Bread, and lots of people like it.”

Also tell them that the game is a lot hipper than they think

As proof, you can point to a fly guy named Mike Boyko, a professional drummer, avid golfer and co-founder of a company called Tempo in Motion, which takes a musical approach to improving your game.

Log onto and you tap into an archive of instrumental tunes -- classical, jazz, rock, country, hip-hop and more -- ready to be streamed and applied to your swing. Each song is overlaid with a series of click patterns, auditory cues that encourage rhythmic movements. You pick the genre, and modify the tempo to your liking.

Before you know it, Boyko says, you’re swinging like Sinatra.

“When you customize the tracks to fit your natural rhythms,” he says, “it takes your training to a whole new level.” A native New Yorker who now lives in Santa Fe, Boyko, 47, grew up playing Bethpage Black, where his uncle was a greenskeeper. He became a decent player but an even better stick behind a drum set, where he made his living, recording with such big names as the rock band Smash Mouth on their hit “Walking On the Sun.”

In the late 1990s, Boyko and his game were mired in the high 80s when he started listening to music on the practice range (warning: he’s a heavy metal guy, which might not be for you). Swinging to the rhythms, Boyko worked his way into the low single-digits, a rarefied place where he remains today.

Tempo in Motion’s archives contain hundreds of songs, and Boyko is constantly expanding the options. Recently, he added tracks from Brian Hardgroove, who, as any member of the R&A could tell you, was part of Public Enemy, the legendary hip-hop group.

No, not the one who wore the clocks around his neck; that was Flavor Flav, and, given the whole emphasis on tempo, Boyko wouldn't mind landing him too.

Meantime, he’s confident you’ll find something that suits you in his current collection. Perhaps a lyrical sonata, or head-banging ballad. To each his own.

With all due respect to Hank Haney, Boyko believes that access to his archives could have even cured Charles Barkley.

“Let’s say he’s a hip-hop cat,” he says. “We’d line him up with some hip-hop grooves and he’d be all set. There’s nothing like the beat to train your main frame.”

That’s Boyko for you: a guy who uses “hip-hop cat” in a sentence.

And you thought those "Golf Boys" videos were cool. (Photo: Twitter: @MikeBoyko)  

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by Kevin Cunningham