Tempo and Balance, Key to Good Golf

Mark Oswald
General Manager
The Highlands at Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ.
Marana, AZ

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How would you rate the tempo of your golf swing? Fast, slow or moderate? How about maintaining your balance? These two keys will work together to improve your golf swing.
We all swing the club at different tempos. Our tempo should compliment our balance. If you cannot swing and maintain your balance, tempo is the problem.

Here is a simple test for you to take. Take your normal golf swing and hit the ball. Now, ask yourself these questions from the last swing. 1) Were you able to hit the ball and maintain your balance from the address to the finish? 2) Did you shift your weight to your front foot and maintain balance? 3) Can you hold your finish without wavering until the ball lands on the ground? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you have a balance problem and probably a tempo problem as well.
Question 1:  If you cannot hit the ball, maintain good balance from address to impact and then the finish, you will not strike the ball in the center of the clubface.  Centeredness of contact directly affects distance and direction. Think of it this way, if you start with the ball in the center of the clubface and during the swing you move in towards the ball just - inch, you will now strike the club closer to the heel and the ball will go right of target. If you move back away from the ball only - inch you will make contact on the toe of the club and off to the left it goes. A half of an inch off the center of the club makes a huge difference. Start out balanced with your weight on the balls of your feet and maintain this balance.
Question 2:  If you cannot shift your weight and maintain balance, you not only miss the center of the clubface for impact, you loose distance by the lack of weight transfer through the swing. Start with slightly more weight on your back foot, on the backswing you will transfer more weight to the front foot and then begin shifting the weight forward so that by impact you have more weight on the front foot and finish with almost all the weight on your front foot.

Question 3: 
Hold your finish! You should finish with 95% of your weight on your front foot and your belt buckle facing the target. Hold this position until the ball lands. If you cannot do this, you have poor balance and a poor weight shift. Work on this and make yourself hold the finish on every shot.

The tempo or pace that you swing the club directly affects your ability to keep your balance, shift your weight and hold your finish. If you are loosing your balance, slow down the tempo. Swing the club only as fast as you can maintain balance throughout. A slower tempo helps maintain better balance.

A good drill is the half speed drill. Take out a club and take a full swing at half speed and try to hit the ball half distance. This is only possible with good balance and controlled tempo.

Work on improving your tempo and balance and you are working on lowering your score.

For lessons, please contact Mark at moswald@orovalleycountryclub.com or acceleratedgolfacademy.com.