Learning the golf swing normally comes in phases. We begin with basics like grip and stance. Then we move on to swing mechanics focusing on things lik
Learning the golf swing normally comes in phases. We begin with basics like grip and stance. Then we move on to swing mechanics focusing on things like takeaway and shaft angle. Once we have a good understanding of those things a successful golf swing is all about the execution. Can we execute consistently over an entire round? Round after round?
When we fail to swing consistently, we often go examine our basics and mechanics to correct our swing fault. When that happens to you and there is no obvious fault with either your basics or mechanics then I submit you may want to consider these keys: swing timing and swing tempo.
They say timing is everything. My life experience supports that thought as well and it applies to the golf swing as well. I have a good friend and playing partner, Dooley Duffer who taught me something about this tempo and timing thing this fall. During the summer Dooley was swinging better than ever. His drives were long, extra long, and under control. He was confident that he would find the short grass from the tee box nearly every time. His scores certainly reflected his good play. Our group was impressed.
But as the summer changed to fall he “lost it” so to speak. He became inconsistent and erratic. Dooley often had that puzzled look on his face after a shot. You know the one that says, “What just happened here?” Dooley began chasing his swing fault by checking his grip, stance and alignment, and shaft angle at the halfway point of the backswing. Nothing worked to fix his swing.
Then at the start of a round back in October Dooley came to the first tee grinning. His mood was very up. He stepped up and nailed that first tee shot and followed that up with a solid second shot. His shot-making had returned, at least temporarily. The rest of us were just waiting for him to “lose it” again but Dooley kept it up all day.
So on the way from the 15th green to the 16th tee, I asked him about his recovery. He told me, “I have a song in my head now.” I must have had a blank stare because he went on to explain that he had learned from an eBook he found online about good swing tempo. He said he followed that up with a few range balls where he put his swing to the tempo of a song. He began to sing, “One and Two then Three and Four” and explained that each number represented a certain point in his golf swing. One was takeaway, two was when the club reached the top of the backswing, three was impacted and four was his finish position. He said he had been singing that song to himself all day.
I left that conversation with a chuckle only to watch Dooley lace another tee shot off of the 16th. So his issue at the beginning of autumn had not been so much about basics or mechanics but poor golf swing tempo. Once he found the proper golf swing tempo he also found a more consistent result on the golf course.
All I know is that whatever Dooley learned from that eBook sure did fix what ailed his swing. He still uses that little song when he notices things getting out of whack again. It has made him a better player.