Tempo and Rhythm

People confuse these two terms and its a HUGE problem.

I hear “my tempo is too fast” or “I am too fast” all day long.

Guess what? Everyone who says that about themselves and others are completely wrong.

The fix is always to slow down the back swing and that makes it worse.

You are all too slow, not too fast when it comes to tempo and speed of back swing.

Everyone thinks Freddie is so slow and smooth? Put his swing on your screen and try to match the tempo. You will all be significantly slower, even if you think your tempo is too fast.

Being fast is all about how you start the transition.
Hands and arms=fast, no matter how deathly slow your backswing is. A slower back swing will most likely cause you to make the transition even worse and even faster as the “hit impulse” will be increased if the back swing is slower.

Shift in transition=Slow and smooth…and that folks, is better rhythm, not slower…and that’s what you need.




  1. calvin

    Excellent. One of my foursome is the poster-boy. Backswing like jacking up a car.
    Downswing a violent spasm. Complete dissonance. There are probably a thousand variations of it that are missing the link.

  2. CheckJV

    Everybody has a swing Tempo…it is a measure of the frequency of the swing (the time it takes to complete one swing cycle). The Rhythm (as we think about it in golf) is a measure of the symmetry of the swing cycle. So someone may swing really fast (have a fast tempo) but have a very rhythmical swing because the back swing and downswing are about equal (and the transition is perfect). When someone has a timing issue (I am too fast, my tempo is bad, etc.) it means that their tempo is too fast for them to control and it is not rhythmic. As Monte says, the transition is the halfway point of the swing and is the most critical element of a good swing. So yes, it might be wise to slow down a swing tempo so they can control the transition which will result in good rhythm.

    • calvin

      Just too cool for words.

    • Brett

      Great video.

  3. David

    Had a lesson and the pro pointed at my obvious fast backswing. He said I needed a good 4 seconds to complete the backswing. I did it once just to move on, but that had to be the worst feeling I ever had. I almost fell asleep doing it.

    I need to slow it down so momentum doesn’t open by grip during transition, but 4 seconds is a bit overboard I think.

  4. Will

    Ernie Els is another whose smoothness belies his tempo. I tried to mirror his swing before, and I couldn’t believe how much faster I had to swing (not swing speed, but tempo). It was eye-opening.

  5. Tom

    virtually all pros have a backswing to downswing ratio of 3:1. there is an interesting book about this called Tour Tempo.


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