Rhythm versus Tempo

It’s not semantics either.

I see thread after thread here about having good tempo… there is no such thing as good and bad tempo per se.

Fact is the context is almost always the tempo is too fast being the issue. The other fact is most ams have tempos that are too slow. Some painfully so.

You can have a fast or slow tempo and it’s individual and usually based on matching your general personality.

The issue is rhythm… And how well you transition from the backswing to the downswing.

More often than not, those that slow their tempo make the rhythm worse as it makes the body anxious and activates the hit impulse even harder.

The next fix is to pause at the top. That ruins the whole dynamic motion, Bob Murphy notwithstanding.

The last gasp is to just swing easy.

Now you have a deathly slow backswing, a pause at the top and a wave at the ball. No distance, accuracy or solid contact.

The point. Learn how to not pull the handle in transition and you can swing as fast and as hard as you want.

Pulling the handle too hard in transition is the “I got quick” mistake everyone discusses.

I am sure I left out some pertinent details and I am hoping this thread brings them out and educates all of us on attacking the core issue and not superficial change.




  1. Damon

    For me, I swing best when I don’t rush things. When I get to the top, I have a small momentary (what I feel is a) “pause”, which allows me to gather the momentum of the club and deliver it to the ball with power. If I don’t do this, then I get the hit impulse to deliver the power, which never results in a solid strike. I don’t know if this “pause” results in a slow rhythm or not, but it’s a feeling that works for me.

  2. Neil

    Very good points Monte. I try to strive towards control and consistency with me swing as appose to all out speed and power. But have always been someone who struggles a bit with tension and the transition at the top, I have tried multiple “actions” and “feels” to help produce better results. I have tried to pause, slow down at the top, etc but they all but destroyed all power and length.

    I think the key for me was a good rhythm.. and the tempo will take care of itself. Whether it’s saying to yourself “one aaannnddd two” one the backswing and downswing or the classic “ernie, els” whatever works. I find words and breath work (read; not holding breath) help in relieving tension and aid in creating better rhythm or tempo of a swing sequence. But it really comes down to how a certain player identifies with “feels” a feel that works for one doesn’t necessarily work for all. But everyone can def “feel” and “see” when they have made solid contact with a solid swing.

    I know I am speaking generally here, but if you have a fundamentally sound set up (spine angle away from target key! Thx Monte), a solid balanced full shoulder turn, balanced/stable weight transfer, and a downswing that allows for the arms to stay in front of you with a tempo/speed/rhythm that for me “feels” like 80-90% of max swing speed can produce some amazingly solid contact and ball flight. I have found great benefit in trying different feels/words to test different tempo/rythym/speed and always come back to one that feels balanced and allows for a bit of acceleration at the bottom. This combined with a solid impact position(Thx Monte) has produced my best results. Along with the countless hours of you tube instruction/drills from Monte of course 🙂

  3. Eric Brown

    Monte I always wait for the feeling of the club weight setting my wrist and hands at the top. Once i feel that load up I go..
    Is there a way to go before you feel all of that happen at the top ?

  4. Thomas

    Working on shortening my backswing. To some degree I felt I had to slow Down my backswing a bit to have less momentom that brings the Club even further to lang back


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