Tiger Woods and Fred Couples have IDENTICAL swing tempos. It’s true! Nearly every professional golfer, male or female, has identical time proportion in his or her swing, a common ratio between takeaway and downswing.
It is a rare occasion when I do not work on swing tempo. To me, swing tempo is an essential piece of good swing technique. The golf swing is a complex movement blending mechanics and tempo…change one and you will affect the other.
Do not confuse golf swing speed with golf swing tempo. Your golf swing speed is how fast the club is moving at impact. Your golf swing tempo is the pace of your swing from the first movement to impact. The best players in the world (all with different, unique, core patterns of movement and style) have the same 3:1 ratio in their swing tempos. This means that regardless of swing speed, players take three times as long to get from the start of the backswing to the top of their backswing compared to the time it gets from the start of the forward swing to impact. The start of the swing is defined as the first frame where there is movement of the clubhead away from the ball. The top of the backswing is defined as the point in the swing where the clubhead appears still.
So, how can you train? It may be easier than you think. Play with a cadence counter or metronome with the 3:1 ratio to determine which synchronized tone sounds and feels good to you (3 ticks to the top of the backswing, one tick to strike the ball). Play this over and over again to match your tempo with the 3:1 ratio. Don’t be surprised at how this may feel fast at first. Good tempo can be trained and the results will speak for themselves.