How to Create Rhythm & Tempo in a Golf Swing

By Sharon Penn
Fred Couples, regarded by many as having one of the smoothest swings golf.
Fred Couples, regarded by many as having one of the smoothest swings golf.

Golf is an elegant game of timing, rhythm and tempo, not brute force. A beginning golfer learns exactly where to position the feet, knees, arms and hands. He also learns how to execute a takeaway, backswing, downswing and follow-through. It’s no wonder that the rhythm and tempo of the swing can suffer as the golfer tries to pay attention to all this information at once. To swing smoothly with good rhythm and tempo, put all the particulars in the back of your mind when you practice. Get out on the driving range, relax and hit some balls with a smooth swing.

Follow a pre-shot routine to quiet your mind and focus on the golf shot. Use this time to survey the shot, check your stance and posture, and position the ball properly.

Grip the club with just enough pressure to hold the club, making sure that the club is grasped across your fingers and not in the palm of your hand.

Align the clubface to the target line, bend your knees and lean into the ball. Allow your arms to hang down from your shoulders without tension. Your knees should be over your feet, and your shoulders should be over your knees.

Bring the club back slowly with a shoulder turn. Imagine holding a bucket of water instead of the club, and allowing the water to pour out slowly without a splash as you take it back. Your left shoulder will approach your chin on the backswing, and your weight will shift to your back foot. Concentrate on having your legs, arms and torso working together for a smooth swing.

Start the downswing with the lower part of your body before your arms and the club reach the top of the swing. The downswing tempo is faster than the backswing to generate the speed that results in distance. The downswing remains smooth and rhythmic, with the arms relaxed to take advantage of centrifugal force as the clubhead hits through the ball. Maintain your balance and posture as you execute a strong follow-through. Your weight will shift the front foot.

About the Author

Sharon Penn is a writer based in South Florida. A professional writer since 1981, she has created numerous materials for a Princeton advertising agency. Her articles have appeared in "Golf Journal" and on industry blogs. Penn has traveled extensively, is an avid golfer and is eager to share her interests with her readers. She holds a Master of Science in Education.

Photo Credits

  • Streeter Lecka/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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