I had a good friend attend the Masters. He came back gushing about how the tour pro’s swing so smooth and easy. If you’ve ever attended a tour event, you’d have to agree with him. It’s so effortless. You see where I’m going with this, don’t you? All these words (smooth, easy, effortless) somehow get rolled into one word and that word becomes TEMPO. If you’re going to be smooth, easy and effortless, then you have a tempo that matches and naturally that tempo is easy and slow.
And that is the Tempo Paradox. Because the Tour pro’s are anything BUT slow. They are so fast, both in clubhead speed and tempo. Masters winner Danny Willett looks smooth, but from takeaway to impact, he’s less than 1 second. Jordan Spieth is exactly 1 second. Close your eyes for a minute. Say to yourself one thousand one. Danny Willett beats you to the word ONE. His driver has a pretty good arc and he easily beats you?
For an even better experiment, get out your Tour Tempo Micro Player or the Total Game App. Put it on 21/7 and close your eyes. Seems fast, right? Well, the PGA tour players can easily reach that rhythm.
The big question that hits me over the head is, “Why?” Why do the pro’s look so smooth, effortless, easy when they swing so FAST?
I think I’ve got an answer and the first part of my solution is going to go all Albert Einstein on you. Time is relative. We have the ability to speed up or slow down time. The time machine that does this is your brain. So, when you get intensely focused (you get a ‘contact’ focus by just being near a tour pro hitting a golf ball), you can make time slow down. Time will literally slow down when you watch them (in your own head anyway).
The 2nd big reason the guys on tour look smooth is that they don’t have any weird moving parts. The less moving parts the smoother and ‘slower’ you look. If you were to watch Jim Furyk swing in person, you might not feel that he looked super slow, smooth and easy. He has a few moving parts and those give the appearance of speed.
Reason #3 is balance. If you make a swing in balance, then it tends to make you look effortless. It’s rare to see a tour pro swing an iron and NOT be in balance.
And last but not least, the 3:1 ratio of Tour Tempo. If you were to watch a golfer create 120+ club speed with a 4 or 5:1 ratio, then that swing will not look smooth due to the lack of symmetry between the backswing and the downswing. Because the FORCE (see the end of Tour Tempo 2) used to create the 3:1 ratio is just twice the effort (downswing force is 2x the backswing), this gives the appearance of smooth/slow.
So, don’t fall for the myth of slow. The myth of smooth. The myth of effortless.
Find a way to work on your focus, get less moving parts and swing in balance (at least on irons anyway). Then add the tones of Tour Tempo. You will have the appearance of smooth and effortless and you will have the Speed and Rhythm of a Tour Pro!