Tempo is the glue that sticks all the elements of a golf swing together – Nick Faldo
You probably hear all the time how important tempo is in a golf swing. But what does that even mean? And how does music relate to a golf swing? There are three undeniable links between music and your golf swing: Tempo, rhythm and timing.
It doesn’t matter if you are covering a song on your acoustic guitar or hitting a driver… if you lack tempo, rhythm and timing you are going to suck at both.
But there is another issue with music and your swing. The majority of the music in your playlist is counterproductive to your swing. Why? Because every song has a different BPM (beats per minute) than your natural swing speed. The first song you play is too fast and the next is to slow.
Swing Tempo Ratios
For this article we will talk about a driver to keep it simple. The correct swing ration for a driver is 3 to 1. It works like this:
If you total swing time is 1 second, then your takeaway time would be .75 seconds and your downswing would be .25 seconds. So if you take .25 and times it by 3 you get. .75.
Now your total swing time might be 1.12 seconds or .92 seconds. Whatever it is, there is a perfect 3:1 ratio in those numbers. And that my friend is what actually makes your tempo perfect. So the next time you are playing and someone says “That was a smooth swing” you’ll know you nailed it.
Now that you know what the perfect tempo is, how can you work on this while you are at the driving range? How do you even know what your ratio is? Are you too fast on the takeaway or downswing?
How to figure it out – The hard and expensive way
The most effective way to figure this out is with the Blast Motion sensor (or similar). This is a small sensor that you attach to the butt of your golf grip. The sensor is incredible and has an App that literally tells you your swing ratio after each shot. We love the sensor but there is one problem… If your ratio is off there is no way for the average golfer to know how to speed up or slow down their backswing/downswing.
Or You Could Just Listen to Music
I know earlier I stated that music is actually detrimental to your tempo but what if… someone made music that had tones and voice prompts you could time your swing to and have perfect tempo? That is exactly what we have done at Golf BPM. We launched with four stations and 24 tracks (with more songs on the way). You just time your swing to the tones or voice prompt and you will nail perfect tempo, timing and rhythm. And the best part is the songs will get stuck in your head just like normal music does.
This is not a new concept. Masters Champion Jimmy Demaret created records in 1959 with waltz music to swing to for perfect tempo, rhythm and timing. I think I found and bought the last remaining set on eBay a two weeks ago. Plus, you can’t bring a record player to the driving range.
Have you ever noticed all the people on the driving range that are listening to music while practicing? The next time you do, ask them what they are listening to. Or better yet, watch them closely and see if their swing tempo changes from song to song.
Our App, songs and swing speeds are much more complicated than a written article explain. But the idea and concept and execution are simple. Put on your headphones, choose a swing speed and then time your swing to the tones. We recommend starting at 144 BPM’s and then working your way up or down depending on your current swing speed.