How to Maintain Your Golf Swing Tempo When You Play

The other day I received an email from a gentleman who was having trouble with his swing tempo at 170+ yards out when he played.  His email got me on a roll so I wrote a tip about it.  Here it is:

As far as your golf swing tempo is concerned, it is maintained by basing your swing on your rotation as opposed to hitting with your arms.

Think of it like this … In a good golf swing the body (torso) doesn’t even rotate at 3 mph.  If your arms are completely turned off and you allow your body to move your arms as you swing, they would move very slowly because they only extend a short distance from your body.  In other words, the swing speed of your arms is determined by how fast you can turn your body not how hard you are hitting.  If your body rotates slowly in your swing, there is no way you would have a fast looking tempo.

On the other hand, if you are trying to hit the ball hard with your arms, you can move them a lot faster than your body.  Therefore, your tempo will vary a lot more because it will be extremely difficult for you to judge exactly how hard your arms should be swinging at the ball every time.

So the idea is to turn your arms off and use your body rotation to determine your arm speed.  This is what Swing Machine Golf teaches you to do.  If you don’t have Swing Machine Golf, here are 9 things you can start doing right away to develop a consistent swing tempo:

1.  You have to understand Iron Byron and relate it to your own golf swing.

The arm of Iron Byron only moves when it’s motor turns its driveshaft.  When you hit your shots you should be imagining you are the Iron Byron.  If you do, your body will determine how fast your arms would be swinging which will stop you from trying to hit the ball as hard as you can and give you a better tempo.


2.  When you hit driver, DO NOT think about how far down the fairway you are going to hit the ball.

Think ONLY of getting the ball in the fairway when you are hitting driver.  For example, if you are playing a hole and you see 2 fairway bunkers (1 at each side of the fairway) at 280 yards out, DO NOT think about getting the ball up to those bunkers.  I want to you to look out and find a spot (let’s say 200 yards out) that is in the middle of the fairway.  This is the ONLY spot you should be thinking about.  This way you are not thinking about DISTANCE and DIRECTION.  You are only thinking DIRECTION.  After you do this for a while you will become more consistent.  This will make you more confident which will allow you to gain more distance without trying to hit the ball too hard.

3.  Take an extra club when hitting into greens for a while.

Taking an extra club on approach shots will take the sense of hitting hard out of the equation because if you really nail your shot, it will fly over the green.  Doing this for a while will allow you to stop trying to hit every shot so hard and give you better tempo.  If this doesn’t work take 2 extra clubs on your approach shots.  Then you really will have to swing easier.

4.  Change what you are thinking about in the backswing.

In the backswing, most people are thinking about either hitting the ball itself as hard as they can or they are thinking about something related to their arms in the backswing.  What you should do is change what you are thinking about.  You should be thinking about how your body is coiling as you go back.  This coiling tells you that you have created the necessary torque in the backswing.  Torque repeats in life 100% of the time.  So feeling this coil tells you that you are basing your swing on something that is going to repeat which will allow you to develop a consistent tempo.  If you don’t sense a coiled up feeling in your backswing, you have not created the necessary torque.   This means you will try to hit the ball with your arms because that is your only other power source you have to hit the ball with.

5.  Do practice swings before you hit the shot.

As you do your practice swings, feel the stretch as I just explained in the previous point.  After you are feeling the stretch in the backswing, focus on swinging through to the perfect follow through position each and every time.  The logic is this, if you are thinking about trying to do the very same follow through position when you are done, you are not thinking about hitting the ball which is killing your tempo.

6.  Tell yourself that you are not Tiger Woods.

If you are not Tiger Woods why are you trying to hit it like him?  This just doesn’t make sense.  Be yourself and try to swing at a level where you are not failing off balance, out of control or hurting yourself.   Remember, your body rotates very slowly in a golf swing.   If you are basing your swing on this rotational speed there is no way your tempo would be too fast.

7.  Focus on making great swings not hitting great shots.

Great swings = great shots.  Great shots = great scores.  In other words, re-think your priorities.   Focus on making great swings and the great shots will come.  Right now you are trying to hit great shots without a great swing.  Sure, you may get lucky and hit a few great shots thinking this way but to hit consistently great shots you need a great swing.

8.  Keep doing tons of practice swings at home working and at the range working on perfecting your swing positions.

The swing positions I teach are vital to creating a great golf swing.  With each of these positions, I give you specific feedback to make sure you are doing them perfectly.  So … focus on this feedback instead of focusing on hitting the ball.  This will make the positions more important to you than where the ball is going.  Once this occurs, you will make the changes to your swing which will allow you to hit great shots.

When you are at home use a mirror or watch your reflection in a window as you do about 25 – 50 practice swings every night.  When you do the position(s) make sure you are trying to feel the feedback for each one.  When you are at the practice range, hit a few balls then back up and do 3 times more practice swings than balls you just hit (feeling the feedback).  The whole idea is to switch the numbers around.  If you just hit ball after ball with your old swing you will NEVER make the changes.  You need to do the new positions 3 times more than the old.  Once you flip the numbers around like this, you will finally make the changes and play great golf.

9.  Realize that what you are doing is not working.

If you have a fast tempo you are trying to hit the ball too hard with your arms.  If this is the case, you have to snap out of it and come to the realization that this is not working.  The longer you continue to hit, the longer it is going to take you to play great golf.  The epiphany I had was when I saw Iron Byron hit a ball.  After seeing It, I realized that its arm of Iron Byron is not moving independently of its driveshaft and motor.  This meant its arm was powerless.  Understanding this concept made me realize my swing was not working so I turned my own arms off and make them powerless as well.  As soon as I did, my whole world changed.   Yes, it was a different feeling but it worked and still does to this day.


The whole idea here is to turn your arms off and allow the rotation of your body to make your arms swing.  Your body cannot turn all that fast in a golf swing.  This means that if your body is telling your arms how fast to swing you would never have a fast tempo.

Unfortunately, I had to figure this out on my own because no one ever told me to not hit the ball with my arms.  If you can take the advice I have given you in this tip and stop hitting with your arms, you too will develop a consistent swing tempo.

Until next time,

Paul Wilson
Creator – Swing Machine Golf

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