This video shows and compares the tempo and timing of a variety of Adam Scott’s full swings, with a short-iron through to a driver, all recorded during 2014.
Each swing is shown at full speed, with a mix of face on and down-the-line views.
Each swing is marked by three audio clicks, one at the start of the swing (the first move of the club head away from the ball), one at the top of the swing (when the club head stops moving back), and one at impact.
These clicks help you to see the precise tempo (the duration of the swing from first move away to impact) and timing (the time from the first move away to the top of the swing, the time from the top to impact, and the ratio between them) of each swing.
Notice how, for every swing, both the tempo and timing is exactly the same, whether it’s a short-iron or a driver.
All great golfers exhibit this consistency of tempo and timing.
Indeed, when you see a top professional golfer hit a poor shot, his tempo and timing are almost always different from that of a good shot.
It’s also interesting to note that the timing of Adam’s swing is almost exactly the same as Tiger Woods’ was at his dominant best, as well the swings of Rory Mcilroy, Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Jordan Spieth and many others. They all swing the club back in 0.8 seconds, and down in 0.27 seconds. The ratio of their backswing to their downswing is 3 to 1.
Of the current world’s top 10 ranked men, Justin Rose and Jim Furyk are slightly slower in their backswing and downswing, and Rickie Fowler is a touch quicker, but they have the same 3 to 1 ratio of backswing to downswing, as do almost all great golfers, both past and present.
You may think that Ernie Els has a slower tempo because of his “easy” swing. Indeed, it does look effortless. But no, it’s the same tempo and timing as Adam’s.
Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Ben Hogan were the same as Rickie Fowler, that’s to say just a little quicker than Adam but with the same ratio. Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, and and Tom Watson were almost exactly the same as Adam.
How about the average amateur?
What may be less obvious is how this compares to the amateur golfer.
You may have been told that “you don’t hit the ball with your backswing”. The great Bobby Jones once said “You don’t hit anything on the backswing, so why rush it?” And yet Mr Jones’ tempo was only very slightly slower than Adam Scott’s.
We’ve heard golfers being told that their backswing was too quick on many occasions.
But the average amateur golfer’s backswing is much slower than that of the best players in the world.
If you try to swing back in 0.8 seconds, you’ll probably feel incredibly fast!
What’s really interesting is that the downswing of a strong amateur golfer is often quicker than a top professional’s, even though it generates far less club head speed through impact.
So what’s happening?
The truth is that the momentum created, in your arms and upper body, by a faster backswing turn will help you to generate power through increased separation (the “X-factor”) and a bigger stretch through the large muscles of your core.
The downswing of a top professional takes longer than that of many amateurs because he takes the time to build that stretch at the top, to stabilise his lower body, and to shift over his lead leg and drive into the ground. In doing all of this, he keeps his back to the target a fraction longer before turning on the power with his shoulders and arms. Once he does start pouring on the power, the stretch and stability created at the top enable him to do so with enormous power.
Most amateur golfers would improve dramatically if their backswing was quicker, if they took the time to load the muscles in their core correctly at the top, and, above all else, if they worked on creating the same tempo and timing for every full swing.
We’ll teach you how to do all of these things and build a great, consistent and powerful golf swing in the Swing like a Champion system.
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