I cant believe another week has gone by in this most recent lockdown! The good news is though, we’re another week closer to warmer, dryer weather and more importantly another week closer to life out of lockdown.
This week I have another new training aid (yes I’ve been going a bit crazy buying golf treats due to boredom) and it’s really going to help you understand your golf swing a bit better. The topic this week is tempo and is one of the most crucial parts of your golf swing. Some of your best days on a golf course may not have been your technical best but the chances are on that day your timing and rhythm were better than average. Most club golfers struggle to understand the importance of rhythm or tempo and it varies during a round which can have detrimental effects on performance.
I bet you watch good players either on the TV or at your club and wonder how they make it look so effortless and still hit it lots further than you, the answer to how they do this most of the time is due to timing and rhythm. Now there isn’t a perfect tempo for the golf swing as we’re all built in different ways and have different capabilities but finding the right tempo for you is key to success. I have quite a fast tempo in my swing which means it’s all over quite quickly but the important thing is that I know what needs to move when.
Lets compare some of the tour pros for example, Earnie Els (The Big Easy) has a very loose and relaxed tempo compared to someone like Jon Rahm (Rahmbo) who has a very fast tempo. Both have been extremely successful so who is to say one is better than the other? The important thing like I said is to find a tempo that works for you. This takes time, practice and a lot of patience!
The training aid that I have purchased is a tempo trainer. It is basically a very bendy shaft with a heavy weighted ball on the end. It’s a lot heavier than a golf club and feels strange because the shaft isn’t stable like a proper club. The good thing about this product is that you can really feel the heavy weight on the end of the shaft and this will actuallly help you “shallow out” which we’re not covering this week but is another key feature of this training aid. The bendy shaft and overall heavier weight means you can’t have a “jerky” or “snatchy” movement in your transition from backswing to downswing which is where most people falter making it the perfect way to practice timing.
I have recorded two videos to demonstrate me using the tempo trainer, one with it at waist height (like a baseball swing) and one closer to playing level.
The purpose of swinging it around the body like a baseball swing is to encourage a turn of the body and a gentle release of the forearms. I started slowly and then gradually started building up the speed. Then I did the same closer playing level, gradually building up the speed and after a few swings I was starting to feel the burn! Finally I did a few swings left handed to try and keep my body balanced and when I finished doing that I was ready for a sit down on the sofa with a cup of tea.
It was a great full body workout and I would highly recommend getting one. They’re available to purchase online and would be a good way to keep your swing feeling fresh without hitting balls if you don’t have a net. It would also be an ideal warm up before hitting balls on the driving range or before a round of golf. I know I’m going to be taking it with me when I can go to a golf course again!
If you don’t have a net or one of these products yet just try to get into the garden with one of your clubs and make some smooth swings without a ball. Most of us are going to struggle after such a long break from the golf course but if you can do just a few smooth swings a day you’re going to be a few shots ahead of your opponents.
Stay safe and hopefully see you soon,