• Swing it like a pro with good tempo

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    Watching the professional golfers swing, live or on TV, seem to look like a breeze! When you observe them keenly, you will notice a similarity in the way they move the golf club. Smooth and even. Some are slow and some are faster.

    When the golf swing tempo is done properly, it almost automatically synchronizes the movement of the body with the club, and vice versa. In this case, the tempo is based on the principle of the pendulum, representing a swinging motion.

    A pendulum, as defined, is a weight hung from a fixed point so that it can swing freely backward and forward, especially a rod with a weight at the end that regulates the mechanism similar to a clock. When you check the word swing, it is defined similarly.

    The writer shows steps 1 and 2 of the drill. PHOTOS BY BUDDY DE JOYA

    There was a book that came out in 2004 by John Novousel, entitled Tour Tempo. According to his research, a perfect swing tempo is based on a 3:1 ratio. Meaning, the backswing is three times slower than the forward swing upon striking the ball. You can either use numbers, words or music to acquire a good tempo. It can be slow, medium or fast, depending on the choice of the player.

    But, whatever ideal tempo you choose to establish, make certain that the time interval between syllables or count must be even. For example, if you use numbers like 1-2-3 on the backside and 1-2-3 on the forward side, the interval time between count is .2, .3, .4 or .5 of a second. Select only one time interval.

    If you use “smooth and even”, you can designate 2 syllables on the backside and 2 syllables on the forward side. For example, on the backside it’s “smooth—.5 sec.—and—.5 sec., and on the front side is “e—.5 sec.—ven—.5 sec. This will be similar to 1-2 on the backside and 1-2 on the forward side, being 1—.5 sec.—2—.5 sec. (backside) and 1—.5 sec.—2—.5 sec. (forward side).

    Assuming that you do a full swing, please take note that the backswing starts from the center at address position. With your club set at center and rotated for a full back swing, this covers halfway of the circular motion. The transition from back to forward until the end of the full follow-through covers a full circular motion.

    Therefore, if and when you use the 1-2-3-1-2-3 (3:1 ratio), count 1 starts the backswing and the second count 1 strikes the ball on the forward swing. The remaining 2-3 counts are designated to the follow through.

    Drill:
    1. Hold the butt end of the grip with your right thumb and forefinger, with your arm slightly extended at eye-level in front of you, and your thumb visible. Left-hander can do the opposite.

    2. Hold the club head or the shaft with your left hand and raise the club until it becomes parallel to the ground, without changing the angle of your right hand.

    3. Let go of the club head on your left hand but do not release your right thumb and forefinger. Allow the club to swing freely and continuously, and let it simulate a pendulum. Count 1-2-3 on one side and 1-2-3 on the other side.

    4. Do an actual golf swing and imitate the pendulum motion. Feel the fluidity and continuity of the swing. Practice at least 5 minutes a day for the next 30 days.

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