In his latest video golf tip, Mel Sole of the Mel Sole Golf School at Pawleys Plantation explains why tempo is so important to improving your game, and demonstrates how your smartphone can help you find your ideal swing tempo.
Today we’re going to talk about tempo. Most people don’t really understand what tempo is. Tempo is not only the speed at which you swing the club, but the relationship between the backswing and the downswing. Every great player that has ever lived … This is a study that was done at some university in the United States. Every single great player that’s ever lived has a ratio of 3:1 backswing-to-downswing. If their backswing took 12 seconds, their downswing took 4 seconds. 3:1 ratio.
Obviously on the backswing, if my backswing is three seconds, my downswing is one second. If my backswing is two seconds, my downswing is going to be a little bit faster. For example, somebody like Nick Price or
Lanny Wadkins that have a quick backswing, they’re going to have a very quick downswing. Somebody like an Ernie Els is going to have a slow backswing, he’s also going to have a slow downswing. You always want to have that 3:1 ratio.
How do you know when you’re on the tee practicing? You can sometimes get out of rhythm. I have a little app on my iPhone that is a metronome. You can get these … This one was totally free. I think it’s just called Metronome. I’ve set it to my pace. My backswing to my downswing. I’m not a musician, but this says “prestissimo.” The speed that I’m swinging is this term in music, but it is a 3:1 ratio for me, backswing-to-downswing. What I’m doing here, when I turn this metronome on … You can hear this little tick, bom, bom, bom, tick, bom, bom, bom. One and three. One to three. I want to have my backswing start on the first tick and impact would be on the next tick.
If I put this down while I’m practicing … Now I start my backswing when I hear the little beep. I felt like I hit the ball when it beeped again. I’ve got the one beep and three little dots, we’ll call them.
What it’s doing is it’s teaching me to swing in a 3:1 ratio. If you have a faster swing like a Nick Price or a Lanny Wadkins you’d have to speed this up a little bit. If you have a slow swing like an Ernie Els you might want to space it apart. You’ve got to have this beep, bom, bom, bom. Three beats and one beat. Three beats and one beat. Then watch my rhythm here. I know for sure every single swing is the same pace because I’m hitting it … This is something you can use while you’re on the range. I would suggest you turn it down a little bit so you don’t annoy the guy practicing next to you. I’ve got it loud so my microphone will pick it up, but you can have it much softer where only you could hear it.
Good tempo masks a lot of swing flaws. I love watching Inbee Park play golf. She has such a beautiful slow backswing and then a slow through. There is no rush at all. In a recent interview with some LPGA Tour players they asked them what is the biggest flaw that they see in pro ams with amateurs. Every single one of them said the amateurs swing too hard.
Work on your rhythm. I absolutely guarantee that you will play better golf.