Tempo: It’s About Time…


by: Stephane Boudreau


One of the main things I constantly work on my golf swing is my tempo. Everyone has a different tempo; some players have very fast tempos like Jason Day and Billy Horschel for example. Other players have very slow tempos like Ernie Els. During my lesson last week with Coach Hathaway he noticed that I was swinging way to fast compared to the speed I swing at when I am hitting it good.

I said that I could feel myself swinging fast and that I noticed it. But honestly I only noticed it once he mentioned it. After he pointed out how fast I was swinging, I could not stop it. I was swinging out of my boots for no reason. One shot I would block it and the next I would hook it because I could not time it.

Thankfully Coach Hathaway had me do a couple of drills that I have been doing every day since. One drill that I really liked and I think is helping me find my tempo is to take a mid-iron like a 8, 7 or 6 iron and hit a few full swing shots that only go 60 yards. Then go up to 80 yards, then 100 yards, and then move up until I am hitting that iron full. If you have never tried to make a “slow motion” golf swing and still hit it solid, you have no idea how much harder it is then it looks.

Hitting those full swing/very slow tempo shots help me tremendously to find and keep my tempo consistent. I have always struggle with having a quick rotation at the ball and if my timing is off, my off shots are terrible. But when I focus on my tempo, it’s like night and day really, because my off shots are just a little off and let’s face it, golf is all about your misses.

Obviously I work hard on all my other basics of the golf swing, but I feel like if I don’t have the right tempo for me, it doesn’t matter how good my technique is. And just to be clear, having good tempo, is not swinging it super smooth and slow. It can be if that works for you, but for me, I am in the middle. I take it back slowly and once I’m fully rotated I can let it go. But if I take it back quickly, I get in trouble because I am being quick at the wrong part of the swing. The key is to be quick at the ball/impact and trying to find the best tempo that allows you to be quick at the correct position.