Practicing Balance, Timing & Tempo to Improve Your Golf Swing

By Teresa Justine Kelly

Balance, timing and tempo are important components to your golf swing. Without them, your swing's natural sequence will be compromised, making it difficult to square the clubface at impact to produce a solid shot. A fast tempo on the backswing will impair your ability to control the club, resulting in a reverse pivot or overswinging the club. A fast tempo on the downswing will force your hips to outrace your hands, making it impossible to square the club at impact. The key to getting good distance, consistency and control is perfect timing. A few tips will help you.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Step 1
Evenly distribute your weight between your right and your left feet at address. You should feel your weight balanced on the balls of your feet.
Step 2
Move your weight to the inside of the back foot on your backswing, using a controlled, steady, even tempo, taking the club back and keeping it on the target line. Do not rush. The majority of your weight should be on the back foot.
Step 3
Using a steady, even tempo, shift the majority of your weight onto your front foot at impact, keeping your head behind the ball and your hips shifting forward as you swing through. The downswing should mirror the backswing.
Step 4
Place the majority of your weight on the outside of your front foot at completion of your swing and follow through. Your body should remain balanced and controlled throughout the entire swing without any instability.

Tips & Warnings

Practice this tempo and timing drill: Hold the clubhead end of the shaft in your grip and practice swinging back and forth, keeping the grip part of the shaft about 12 inches above the ground. The club will feel very light--what you are trying to make is the loud "swoosh" noise made by the club as it swings through the air, traveling into the hitting zone where the ball would normally be. This sound will only be produced if your timing is correct. After doing this for a few swings, grip the club normally, but make the same smooth, rhythmical swings. You will feel the weight of the clubhead at the end of the shaft--try to recreate the swooshing sound at the same point in your swing as you did when you held the clubhead.
Tension, anxiety and nervousness will automatically force you to swing your club too quickly and unsteadily, preventing you from swinging with tempo and balance. Clear your mind of any doubt or negative thoughts. Focus on swinging smooth and steady. Keep your arms relaxed and tension-free. If you find your timing, rhythm and tempo are off, try swinging your club at half speed. Committing to 50 percent in both the backswing and the downswing will help you regain your tempo.

About The Author

Teresa Kelly graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. She was an editor for seven years for several magazines and publishing houses. Kelly is an avid golfer, a well-known children's book and golf author, and is currently the president of Highview Press/Golfing Lady that produces all occasion golf greeting cards.

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