Distance dominates the game of golf. Everyone wants to hit it further off the tee and golf courses are only getting longer.
While most golfers focus on distance, tempo is a lost art in our opinion. Not only will having the right tempo help you hit it further, it will improve your ball striking with every club in the bag.
While we’ve written all about tempo here, we wanted to give you a tool to finally master your tempo. As we discussed in the blog post, it’s been discovered that all elite players have one thing in common – tempo.
As you likely know from watching golf on TV, that doesn’t mean they have the same tempo and swing speed. Not at all.
Instead, it means they all have a 3:1 tempo – meaning their backswing takes three times as long as their downswing.
While that might make sense, it’s hard to feel a good tempo… until now. There’s an easy-to-use app called “Tour Tempo” plus a matching book (Tour Tempo: Golf’s Last Secret Finally Revealed) that can help you find the ideal tempo in your own swing.
Keep reading to learn more about how these resources can help you dial in a 3:1 tempo and improve your ball striking for more distance.
Before the world of iPhone apps, this app was originally a book that was published in 2004. Tour Tempo: Golf’s Last Secret Finally Revealed by John Novosel (with John Garrity) put tempo on the map.
In the introduction, John Garrity started the book by saying,
“The great golfers have always swung more quickly and aggressively than middle and high handicappers. If you don’t believe me, take a stopwatch and time a typical tour player’s swing from takeaway to impact.
The elapsed time will be between .93 seconds and 1.20 seconds, or about as long as it takes to flip a package.”
He found that great players like Tiger Woods swing in 1.06 seconds and Bobby Jones 1.17 seconds. While the everyday amateur take 1.3 to 3.0 seconds to swing. His conclusion was that almost everyone swings the club too slowly and has a direct impact on their ball striking and distance.
Pretty crazy right? Thinking that some amateur golfers take 3X as long to swing as elite players?
So, why don’t more everyday golfers have better tempo?
According to the authors, two main reasons as quoted from the book:
- “The first reason is that neither the golf instructors nor the touring pros can explain what a good tempo is.”
- “There is a second reason that golf pros and swing gurus tiptoe around tempo; they can’t teach it. In fact, conventional wisdom holds that a golfer’s swing tempo is natural, immutable, and egocentric.”
The good news is that you can change your tempo. Like any swing change, it will take time but it’s 100% possible and the Tour Tempo App can help.
I say this with 100% certainty because I was someone who always had a slow swing, despite being a single digit handicap player. While it didn’t feel slow during my swing, when I watched swing videos of myself or compared to other players, it was clear that my swing was slow. It was also negatively impacting my total distance and ball striking.
Using the Tour Tempo app and working with a golf coach, I was able to drastically improve my tempo in a few months. Now, the new normal has added 7-10 yards with irons and 12-20 yards with my driver. You can get these types of results too with hard work and consistent action.
While I’ve had tons of success, the book also outlines countless case studies as well. Check out this case study from John Ross, who swung before and after a tempo training session.
- Before his session, his 5-iron swing was 88 mph and went 165 yards.
- After his session, his 5-iron swing was 92mph and went 172 yards.
While other case studies featured in the book added 10mph or more to their swing! By swinging faster and smoother, they increased distance without sacrificing accuracy.
Since golf courses are only getting longer, it’s important to add speed to your swing. While speed training is great, establishing a faster tempo is step one. Paired with a new driver, you can transform your game.
These are just a few snippets from this book and highly recommend it to any serious golf. Click here to buy it now.
Reading about tempo is one thing, putting it into practice is completely different. Luckily, the app makes it incredibly easy to feel and hear your way to a better, more effective tempo.
The Tour Tempo app is a paid app that costs $24.99 and there isn’t a free version. But $25 is only the price of two sleeves of golf balls or a few golf gloves, which is a very low cost compared to the insane value it delivers. Plus, much cheaper than most training aids.
The app is available to download on the App Store and you can get it on Google Play as well. It also works on Apple watches too. Let’s get into why it’s such a great investment in your golf swing.
The first feature of the app solves a problem that is discussed in the book, “Pros can’t teach it.” Which is why they created this app, so the everyday player can feel a faster tempo when they’re out on the driving range by themselves.
Using tones or tracks, you can hear the perfect 3:1 timing for different speeds.
According to the creators, “We measured the time of their backswings and downswings by counting how many frames of video each part took. The magic ratio on full swings turned out to be three parts backswing to one part downswing. Tones are provided for each of the following frame ratios of Tour Tempo – 18/6, 21/7, 24/8, and 27/9.”
For example, if you choose the Long Game – Voice option, you will hear, “Swing, set, through.” The swing means you should start your backswing, “set” is when you set the club at the top of your backswing, and “through” is your finish.
If you’re like most golfers, you will feel like you’re swinging faster than ever during your first few swings. Which is completely normal as they found that most golfers swing far too slow. Start with the slowest setting until it feels more comfortable and then work up to a faster swing.
If you don’t like the voice, you can also switch it to tones as well which have different tones for starting, setting, and following through. All you need is some earphones and an app to get started at home or the driving range.
While the long game training is great, they also have short game tones too. According to their website, “John Novosel studied the Short Game swings of the top touring pros, and discovered that virtually all of them employ a 2 to 1 swing ratio on or around the greens – a different Tempo than the 3 to 1 ratio of the Long Game. This is another reason why the game of golf is so hard to master.”
That’s right, the perfect tempo for your short game is different from the long game!
Which makes sense because the shots around the green require such smaller swings. This is a huge breakthrough for most golfers and why this app can change your game. Not only will it help you speed up your full swing for more distance, but it will also help your short game too.
All you have to do is to toggle to “Short Game’ in the app and choose one of the five timing options based on your preferences. Use this for pitching around the green, bunkers, and chipping to establish world-class tempo from short range.
We’ve also got a full article about the correct putting tempo here.
Besides the helpful tones and tracks, they also provide a handful of helpful videos too. Some of them include:
- Explainer videos. Learn how to use the app quickly so you don’t waste any time on the driving range.
- Short game videos. They also have videos to help your putting, chipping, lob shot, and bunker game.
- Golf workouts. This 8-minute track will give you instructions and drills to make the most out of your time on the driving range.
- Track and focus songs. The app also has tracks to incorporate them into your daily routines and the focus track uses binaural tones to embed the muscle and help you concentrate on the golf course.
Do you have more questions about the Tour Tempo app, book, or tempo related questions to find the balance in your swing? If so, hopefully we’ll answer them in our FAQ section below.
Unlike speed training which isn’t recommended for daily use, the Tour Tempo app is something you can use all the time. In fact, the more you use it, the sooner you will speed up your swing and find the perfect 3:1 tempo.
What’s great about the app is that you can use it at home without a club, practice swings in the backyard, or hitting balls on the driving range. This is a huge benefit as most training aids aren’t nearly as versatile.
The only thing I will say is make sure you use it with 100% focus. Don’t try to do it while you’re multitasking as it won’t be nearly as effective. Even 5-10 minutes a day or listening before your round can have a huge impact on your swing speed.
While everyone has their own natural tempo, the creators found a 3:1 tempo is common among elite ballstrikers and professional golfers. Yet, most golfers swing far too slowly (as most of us were taught “Low and slow”) which holds a lot of golfers back.
The Total Game Tour Tempo app and book can help you master your tempo once and for all. Plus, can help you establish a proper 2:1 short game tempo too.
Yes and yes.
What’s great about the Tour Tempo app is that anyone can use it, regardless of experience or age. Tempo is a foundation to the golf swing and affects everyone, so it can help everyone as well.
As a beginner, of course you will still need to learn about the grip, setup, and other parts of the swing. But establishing a great tempo sooner rather than later will help you play better golf sooner.
While we’re not trained medical professionals, here’s what the authors said in the book,
“I don’t see how. A fast, smooth tempo is much kinder to the body than the jerky, lurching motion of the high handicapper. Typically, the player who is trying to swing “low and slow” takes the club back as if it weighs 20 pounds. Then races down from the top with a forward slide and a back-wrenching spin.”
I can’t disagree on this point either. Adding 10+ mph to my own swing speed has had no affect on my body and have better balance than ever before. Plus, more distance too.
Like any training aid, some swing trainers are much more useful than others. Some of them are all hype with little results to show for it and better off paying for a golf lesson. But some trainers are great, including:
- Tour Striker Planemate: The Planemate was designed by world-class golf coach, Martin Chuck and designed to help players shallow their swing. This is such an effective training aid because you can feel the club shallow and get immediate feedback. Plus, it’s one of the few devices that you can use at home with practice swings or hit golf balls on the driving range. If you struggle with an over the top move, this is a great tool for your game. Click here to read our full review of the Tour Striker Planemate now.
- Orange Whip Swing Trainer: Yes, we think the Orange Whip is a great tool to help your golf game. I don’t think of this as a swing trainer and a more useful tool to help you warm up before the round. Click here to read our full review about the product now.
No, this device will violate Rule 14-3 as it’s an artificial device that will assist in making a stroke. But you can use it during solo rounds by yourself and encourage it vs. always using it on the driving range. You will primarily use this app at home or the driving range to prime your swing for competition.
I truly think tempo is one of the best things you can work on for the rest of your golf career.
There’s something magical about a player who has a smooth tempo like Fred Couples and something to be admired. Plus, having the right tempo can make a huge impact in your golf game with more distance and consistency.
Remember, most golfers swing far too slow and it negatively affects distance and ball striking.
The good news is that regardless of your tendencies, you can change your tempo for the better. The sooner you start and the more often you do it, the sooner you will start to reap the benefits.
Plus, don’t forget to use the app to hone your short game skills. Listening to the tones and tracks for a 2:1 tempo will help you around the greens and likely save shots from close range.
Have you ever tried to improve your tempo? If so, what’s the best tool you’ve used?
Make sure to let us know in the comments below.