The key to consistency on the golf course is consistency in one’s golf swing. The best way to develop a consistent golf swing is to establish a consistent rhythm. The best way to develop a consistent rhythm is to develop a consistent tempo. Tempo is best defined as the rate of speed used to perform each incremental part of the swinging process.
Notice that rhythm and tempo are two different concepts. Rhythm relates to how each part of the swing fits together while tempo relates to the speed at which a swing is made. With a consistent rhythm and tempo, golfers can create the ability to better control their swing.
The task of developing a useful and consistent tempo requires the golfer look at several aspects of the swing process in order to better understand how everything fits together.
1. Relaxation – When the body is rigid, the golfer is required to force the body to do what they want it to do. By maintaining a relaxed stance and disposition, the golfer can allow the body to naturally develop its own rhythm and subsequent tempo.
2. Misuse of Strength – There’s a misconception that swinging harder will launch the golf ball farther. In fact, swinging harder is more apt to force the golfer off-balance, which often results in a wayward shot. Each golfer has a natural center of strength. By developing their golf swing with the proper tempo, that natural strength should be more than enough to maximize the distance a golfer can get from their shot.
3. Using Rhythm to Develop Tempo – The golf swing has three components, the back swing, locking of position at the top of the swing and the release into the upswing. If the golfer can develop a consistent, smooth rhythm for these three components, they stand a far better chance of developing a consistent tempo that will render consistent results. Again, rhythm and temp are two different concepts that interact closely with each other.
4. Setting Rhythm and Tempo in Motion – When a golfer addresses the ball by standing over it for an extended period of time, they are creating a situation where they have to start their swing from a locked position. By minimizing the amount of time they address the ball, they can make a smoother transition into their swing, which often translates to a smoother rhythm and consistent tempo.
5. Maximizing Tempo – The value derived from a faster swing can only be realized if the golfer is able to consistently maintain their balance. By spending extra time at the range working on swing tempo, a golfer should be able to find the optimum amount of tempo they can create with losing their rhythm and balance.
By gaining this basic understanding of the difference between rhythm and tempo, the golfer can hopefully better understand how these two swing components interact with each other. Consistent results often depend on the golfer’s ability to develop a rhythm and golf swing tempo that they can control at all times.