I will preface my answer by saying that I am a “Older Thinker” when it comes to the golf swing, but I think Tempo is absolutely the most important and overlooked thought in the golf swing. It is vitally important to have the proper tempo in the swing to hit consistent shots and find consistent distance from each club.
From my view the tempo in the golf swing should be a slow build up throughout the swing. I like a slow, smooth takeaway through the backswing and an equally slow transition from the top of the backswing through the beginning of the downswing, with a build up of speed from ‘rear waist to the target side waist’.
All great swings of the club have had that slow transition and an effortless build up throughout their swing. Nearly every student I have discussed this with over the years say’s “my best shots feel effortless” and that is when the accomplish what I am teaching.
I think the best and also easiest drill to help accomplish this is to swing the club upside down with the club head in the hands at set up, with the grip above the ground. Swing the club back normally and listen to where the ‘swoosh’ sound occurs. The goal is to make the noise loudest from waist to waist. Do not try to hit the ground or the drill will not be accurate. Most poor tempo golf swings have the swoosh sound at the top of the back swing, which leads to an actual slow down in the crucial area of the swing or a crash into the ground.
If you were going to hammer a nail you would want the hammer to have the most speed at impact, and it is no different when swinging a club. Fred Couples, Louis Oosthuizen, Ernie Els and Sam Snead are classic examples of ‘great tempo’ golf swings. Patrick Cantlay is an excellent example in today’s game. All interestingly, were on the longer side during their era’s playing on tour with these effortless appearing golf swings and clearly Cantlay is more then long enough!