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- Tempo is really sequencing
- works well for rhythm learners and for building swing thoughts
- Work from the ground up
Tempo is a good thing to understand in the early phases of building your swing, and it’s a good thing to keep in mind as you move on to layer two of the full swing. Since we’re big on science here at Golf Smart Academy. Let’s take a look at what actually creates “pretty” swings.
Tempo is a look at movement compared to time. The golfers who look “smooth” or rythmical, have ideal sequencing or timing of movements. With certain 3D analysis systems, you can measure the time each piece of your body is moving. We will get into much more detail of sequencing in section 3 when we discuss lag/power, but at this point start thinking about aiming for something I call, “effertless power vs powerless effort.” Good tempo is using proper mechanics to create power easily, where a tempo that lacks smoothness, typically results from trying hard to create power in an ineffective way. In the next section, you will get into the two areas where tempo usually breaks down the backswing and the transition. Learning how to use your body in sequence with your your arms will give you a swing that looks easy, but produces lots of power.
Playlists: Find Your Best Swing Quickly
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In this concept video, we're going to talk about tempo and rhythm.
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So tempo and rhythm, I think, are something that can be used to your advantage and
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their words that are going to get thrown around a lot.
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When you're playing with people, they're going to tell you, oh, you got quick on that one
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or you deselerated.
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Those are kind of words of rhythm and timing.
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And I always talk about that there are two key components.
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You have to know the right movements to do and you have to do them in the right timing
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So tempo and sequencing can be a great thing for you to use on the course to train these
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movements how to work together.
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We're very one of my favorite biomechanics books talks about how tempo and sequencing
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are often synonymous.
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Basically, when you feel slow, it tends to mean that your body is moving more than your
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arms and hands when you feel fast, it's going to tend to mean that kind of your extremities
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are moving more.
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So what tends to happen is golfers who will have one of two extreme feelings.
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They will either tend to feel like they get quick or they'll feel like they deselerated.
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In my opinion, both of those are going to come from sequencing problems, which is basically
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you're going to be moving the wrong part of your body at the wrong time.
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Basically what that means is I get to the top of my swing and I'm going to move my arms
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first and then have to compensate with my body.
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Or in a short game shot, I'm going to move my body first, create all the speed and then
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have to kind of slow down and stall things.
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So the quick is usually the upper body goes first in the full swing and then the deseleration
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is usually this stall pattern feeling from my lower body going too fast too soon.
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Now one other piece is this rhythm, which is basically I could have the perfect sequencing
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but instead of going one, two, three, four, it could go one, two, three, four.
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And that would tend to from someone watching, even though the sequencing is right, the
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tempo may look okay, the rhythm is not quite going to be there.
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So what I like to think about with the rhythm piece is more the speed of the movements.
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So there's two key components that are having a swing that looks like urnials.
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When you have the right movements happening in the right sequencing and at about the
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right speeds for your body, you're going to look like you're moving in slow motion,
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yet hit the ball really really far.
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So there was a great book called Tore tempo where they basically looked at video and
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analyzed golfers and they pretty much found that Tore golfers have this pattern of three
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to one, backswing to downswing.
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And amateurs would tend to have slower patterns, not faster, but actually slower patterns
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where their backswing would almost be, alright, I'm trying to control the club going here
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and then oh yeah, I have to be naffly, now I'm going to speed things up.
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So using these this kind of feeling of rhythm will help integrate all these movements
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that you're putting together and it's a great way for controlling distance.
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I find that golfers who do not have very good sequencing do not have this kind of good
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spacing of their sequencing, they tend to have trouble hitting half shots and they tend
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to have trouble with kind of distance control, especially with the distance wedges.
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So you'll notice that I talk about a lot in the short game using tempo as a way to kind
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of gauge your distance.
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I think that you can do it with the full swing as well.
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It's just a little bit, let's say less critical because you're almost always going about
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the same speed in distance and so your brain can be pretty good at figuring out one pattern
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So in summary, the two major pieces are going to be the speed of the movement that you're
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making as well as the sequencing of the movements that you're making.
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So when you're on the course, thinking tempo thoughts are really great at helping you play
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where mechanical thoughts may affect your sequencing because you're focusing so much
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on the specific movement.
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I'll give you one quick example that a lot of players end up facing.
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So let's say that I have kind of a cast pattern or an upper body dominant swing so
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I tend to feel very quick from the top because my arms are moving quickly.
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So now I'm going to try and work on a little bit more of a lower body driven transition.
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I may notice on the range that when I do that I feel like there's more time before I
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extend my arms so therefore things are moving slowly.
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So instead of thinking of the direction and how I want to use my hips on the course,
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it may be more beneficial for playing for you to actually think about this.
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Okay, I'm going to move slowly and if I move slowly I'll do the right movements.
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So it's a great bridge from working on mechanics to working on playing and I think that
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you can use it to your advantage especially if you're a beginner and especially around
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That's just my take on tempo and rhythm.
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I think it's great to have but by itself I haven't seen a lot of golfers improve from just
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trying to work on the tempo and sequencing.
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I think of it more as kind of the icing on the cake that helps you take these good mechanics
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and become really consistent with it on the course.