Julius Boros was as “cool a customer” and possessed as sweet a tempo as golf has ever known!
Here are a dozen ways to regain your swing tempo that I gleaned from some of the all-time great players.
1. Practice in your street shoes. No, I don’t mean those sneaker or gripping shoes, but leather-soled shoes. In order not to slip while hitting a longer shot, your balance had better be good and your tempo smooth.
2. Sam Snead always talked about making his swing feel oily. So should you. Think of your swing as being a fluid motion from start to finish and infuse it with oil.
3. Put thoughts of distance out of mind and instead try to slow the club down just a bit. Think about making the purest hit, not the hardest one.
4. Check your address position. If your address position is out of synch, you feel discomfort and that affects your confidence. Less confident swingers inevitably swing too fast or snatchy. So don’t slouch. Bend over at the waist and keep your back relatively straight allowing your hands and arms to just naturally hang straight down not far from your body.
5. Gene Littler had the most beautiful tempo – similar to today’s Luke Donald. He spoke that tempo begins with your feet. When his tempo would wander, he would first check his footwork, because he always wanted to feel that he was swinging the golf club with his feet!
6. Tommy Bolt was also one of the best swinger and strikers of the golf ball ever. He maintained that his tempo could never be too slow and to assure that, Bolt would keep his eye on the ball, but with his peripheral vision watch his clubhead go back the first two feet. Too fast, he would quickly no to slow things down.
7. Hit balls with your feet together. This forces you to swing slower and smoother. It also makes you finish your backswing before starting back down and rushing to the hit.
8. The late George Archer always wanted to hit a bag or 9-iron shots every day to maintain his wonderful tempo. He felt is was the perfect club for developing good tempo. Because of the loft, no matter how hard you swing, the ball seems to go the same distance, even if you swing easier. Gradually you will reduce the effort you make in your swings – an ideal tempo for all your clubs.
9. The late Dan Sikes had a full, but deliberate body turn. Realizing that a golfer with poor tempo is simply swinging too fast, Sikes would make a conscious effort to make a slower, smooth turn of his body away from and back to the ball.
10. Swing a weighted practice club. Not only does this practice maintain flexibility and build strength, its weight makes it virtually impossible to swing it too fast. This will also seamlessly help you cure a host of other swing thoughts.
11. Julius Boros had the most beautiful almost lazy tempo. He had a slow waggle in his preshot routine. If you don’t have a waggle get one immediately, and if you already do, check it for speed and grip pressure. A slower, softer waggle will usually continue into a better swing tempo.
12. Slow down the way you do everything. Can you appreciate why if you walk, talk, eat, and drive fast, your golf swing tempo is likely to border on too fast as well? Same goes for rushing of any sort. When your tempo goes awry, try to consciously slow everything down. Allow more time to get to the golf course, slow down your practice session and hit less balls if necessary. Bend over, pull your clubs, and do everything just a little bit slower and this different tempo will likely transmit to your swing. Conversely, speeding up destroys swing tempo.