Golf instructor Michael Lamanna wrote an article for About.com entitled "Balance and Rhythm in the Golf Swing."
The article is about how a consistent, smooth tempo and good balance are underrated keys to the golf swing. In fact, tempo and balance are paramount, and tempo plays a big role in helping with balance ("rhythm" is used interchangeably with "tempo" in the following excerpt):
All great players have the ability to swing every club at a consistent tempo and with great balance. Rhythm and balance are linked. Some players, like Tom Watson, exhibit faster tempos. Some, like Ernie Els, exhibit a slower tempo. Yet all remain balanced.
The key to consistency is to maintain your balance and use a smooth rhythm.
If you rush your swing you will loose your balance and the end result is inconsistent contact and poor ball flight. Outstanding ball strikers are rarely off balance at impact and their rhythm is the "glue" that bonds their positions and movements. Often their swings seem effortless and they, as Julius Boros described it, "swing easy and hit hard." Great rhythm allows you to properly sequence your body motion and arrive at impact in a position of leverage and power.
A player's tempo might be slow or fast, but it must be consistent and smooth. Some golfers practice with a metronome to help with rhythm, but there are also new devices out there - more advanced devices - that are designed to help a golfer focus on tempo.
Two of these gadgets are the Swing-Tempo and the Tour Tempo. We'll take a look at the Tour Tempo on Page 2, but let's start with the ...
The Swing-Tempo is a small electronic device that can be propped up on the ground next to a golfer on the driving range or putting green; or clipped to a belt. It has an LED readout to help with settings, and offers the golfer three different ways to work on tempo training: an audio mode, a visual mode, and a vibrating mode.
The makers of the Swing-Tempo include a chart showing how PGA Tour and LPGA Tour players' swings relate to the Swing-Tempo's method of breaking the swing into backswing, topswing (transition) and downswing. You can set the Swing-Tempo to match the tempo of one of those players, you can use it on the preset "average" tempo or try the fast, quick transition, or slow tempos; or you can choose your own starting points.
The unit alerts the golfers - either through the audio tone, visual signal or with vibrations - to the ready position, start of the backswing, and finish of the swing. The golfer chooses the settings for those three signals, then goes to work on his or her tempo, swinging in time to the signals.
In auto mode, the Swing-Tempo repeats a swing (with its three signals) every five seconds; in manual mode it gives you swings in sets of three.
I've had a chance to experiment with the Swing-Tempo and have found it to be a very easy device to use. The concept is easy to grasp and put into practice, the owner's manual is clearly written, and the how-to/instructional DVD is concise and well-produced.
A great feature of the Swing-Tempo is the three different modes for tempo training. I suspect most people will use the audio mode, but it's nice to have the choice. And the vibrate mode is a great option. Clip the Swing-Tempo onto your belt and you can use your tempo trainer without bothering any golfers near you.
The Swing-Tempo can be used for full-swing tempo or putting tempo. Batteries, carrying case and DVD are included.
Next Page: The Tour Tempo Player