Golf, Part 27, Emulate a Tour Player Tempo Plan

Great players consider Tempo as a means to Balance in the golf swing. Tempo is the major point of concern as a Tour Player warms up before a tournament round. They know that athletic balance is lost without good tempo.

One trick used to cope with the excitement of the moment is to incorporate a musical connection. Bobby Jones, it is said, listened to classical music from within as he played. We have been close enough to a legend to hear him sing and hum (almost inaudibly) Born Free. Tom Watson and Tiger Woods are said to match their tempo to Edelweiss, the song classic from the movie, Sound of Music. Others whistle or otherwise turn awareness over to some verbal cadence when playing.

Athletic flow of motion in the golf swing does not feel like a series of jerky movements (see Parts 8-12). It might be helpful to note that research has found a three to one ratio in the Coiling & Springing of better players. The individual might wish to try these steps in finding their own Tempo.

STEP 1 – Accept the fact that improving Tempo is the goal. Improvement can only occur if the golfer does things they have never done before. Discipline is required to make the change.

STEP 2 – Hold a 3-wood in the fingertips (many will try to cheat and make an effort to control the club with the INTERIOR JOINTS). Connection with the club will feel weak and uncontrollable. Try hitting a few shots with ball teed. Do not make an effort to get the club upward or downward with the hands and forearms. Let it be swung by upper body rotation as described in previous installments. The sense should be as if the hands, forearms, and club were a pendulum attached at the elbows. Keep feet planted. Smoothness and balance are the goals, rather than how far the ball can be sent. Fifty yards or less might be tops.

STEP 3 – Establish an Authentic Grip (Part 7) with Athletic Readiness (Part 3) and hum a straight tonal line at address. Direct attention to the tone instead of distance and make a few swings (include the ball). Continue humming until the shot is finished. Tempo and rhythm are good if the straight tonal line can be maintained without disruption. Peaks and valleys, or stopping the tone altogether, are indications that more effort (muscular) is being interjecting than the swing requires. This drill also makes the golfer aware of areas of the motion where error begins. Hit shots until a flow of athletic balance emerges.

STEP 4 – Songs that resonate in the head should have a beat that matches the pulse rate. A song that is too fast will soon bring the pulse rate with it and create heightened excitement; a song slower than the pulse rate will bring apprehension. The musically disenfranchised can chant a cadence such as: Back & Through, or One & Two. Select a procedure and make it your own -- listening, singing, humming, whistling, or counting the way to a better score.


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Michael Lucas
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john koenig
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