Swing Tempo Drill

When you watch top professional golfers on TV their swings look so smooth and rhythmical and even slow. Then when you get to see them in real life their swings are fast. Of course they have to be fast to swing at 110 -125 mph.

But the point is…on TV the speed of things is not accurately represented.

Sadly a lot of golfers think that to improve their ball striking they need to slow down their swings. But in most cases the complete opposite is the truth!

And a man called John Novosel wrote a book called Tour Tempo where he found that basically all professional golfers swing at a 3 to 1 ratio. What this means is that it takes pro golfers 3 times longer swinging back than they do to come down and hit the ball. But even more important than that discovery was that he found out that pro golfers generally fall into 3 different swing tempos. For example:


  • Jack Nicklaus
  • Gary Player
  • Nick Price
  • Ben Hogan
  • Craig Stadler


  • Sam Snead
  • Tiger Woods
  • Fred Couples
  • John Daly
  • Ernie Els


  • Ben Crenshaw
  • Hal Sutton
  • David Toms
  • Bobby Jones
  • Al Geiberger

John Novosel found these tempos out by recording professional golfers’ swings from TV and then in an editing program he would count the frames it took for a golfer to swing from the start of their swing to the top. Then he’d count the frames from the top of their swing to impact. So if you were to look at Tiger Woods’ swing in editing software (e.g. Apple’s Final Cut Pro) for example….you’d find he takes 24 frames to reach the top of his swing and then 8 frames to contact the ball which is the same as Ernie Els

Who would have thought that Tiger Woods and Ernie Else both share the same tempo. It certainly doesn’t look like it on TV does it?

But as I’ve said TV can be very misleading when trying to judge the speed of movement.

So with the Tour Tempo book you get a CD with the tones on it. If you don’t already have that book I recommend you get it and then experiment with the CD that comes with the book to find what tempo works best for you. You can get the Tour Tempo book at a great price from here:

Now if you have the red swing speed radar you can use that to measure the time it takes from the start of your backswing until you hit the ball. Naturally by getting this consistent and quicker you’ll hit longer drives more consistently. If you don’t have the swing speed radar yet, go here to get it now.  After you have that device here’s the times for differnt tempo swings:

21/7 = .93 seconds

24/8 = 1.06 seconds

27/9 = 1.20 seconds

But no matter whether you get the Tour Tempo book, Swing Speed Radar or both….you need to find the golf swing tempo that suits YOU best. When you do you’ll then have a reference so that you can help to keep your golf swing consistent from one game to the next, from one week to the next and ultimately for the rest of your golfing life.

Swing Tempo Drill Task

  • Video your swing and see what your tempo is.

  • Experiment with different tempo speeds to find the best tempo for you.