Few swing fundamentals are more overlooked than tempo (the consistency of the pace at which you swing your club). Tempo is a difficult concept to grasp. There’s more to it than swinging your club faster or slower. You need to feel it. In the same way that you developed your natural walking pace, you need to find your natural swing speed or your motion will lack the smooth, rhythmic feel associated with solid ball striking.
Use this exercise to find perfect swing tempo:
• Tee up four balls in a row.
• Address the one closest to you and hit it at 25 percent of your standard swing speed.
• Immediately move to the next ball. This time, make a swing at 50 percent speed. Hit the third ball at 75 percent speed and the last at full throttle.
Perform this drill a few times. Focus on the feel of the different speeds, and keep in mind that your goal is to not slow down or speed up your swing in order to hit your ball longer or straighter.
Your objective with this drill is to become familiar with different tempos and to learn to coordinate the movement of your body and your club to produce solid contact at any tempo. That’s what creates consistently long and straight shots. You can’t stick to a single tempo for every swing. Every day on the course is different. Your body is different, your swing is different, and the course and weather are different. To play your best you must discover what tempo-faster or slower-will work for that day.