You should think of your swing as a sort of horse race in which every horse not only leaves the gate
at the same instant but also reaches the finish line simultaneously in a mass dead heat.

In the takeaway, all your ‘horses’ – the arms, legs, hips, shoulders, and club – move away from the ball in a unified movement. The first horses to reach the top of the swing are the knees and hips, followed by the shoulders (which in fact have had to rotate twice the distance). The arms, which have to go farther still, come next, followed by a complete cocking of the wrists as the weight of the clubhead – the last horse to reach the turn – gives a final downward tug. The pack remains in this general formation at the beginning of the downswing.

Greg NormanIndeed, even as the wrists and clubhead are completing the turn, the lower body has begun to head for home. The left knee moves laterally towards the target, thereby pulling on the left hip, which in turn pulls the left arm a bit downward. Then the right knee begins to drive towards the target, bringing the shoulders, arms, wrists, and clubhead into the back stretch.

Then, at the last split-second before impact, the race tightens. The wrists and clubhead, which had been lagging behind, suddenly unleash like a slingshot and catch up with the bigger muscles, with all horses hitting the wire at impact. In a good swing, your impact position is a virtual copy of your address.

Then, at the last split-second before impact, the race tightens.


There’s no such thing as the perfect tempo. Ideally each of us should adopt a swing speed that is consistent with our overall temperament. Lanny Wadkins swung quickly, but Lanny did everything quickly. Ben Crenshaw was a more deliberate person, and his swing was slow and smooth.

So suit yourself – but whatever tempo you adopt, be sure that you keep it consistent throughout the round. Try not to speed up when the pressure is on. If you find yourself quickening, then consciously slow things down – slow down your walk, your speech, your club selection.

As for rhythm, there is an ideal, but it can’t be described in print. It must be absorbed. The best thing to do is to spend several minutes watching the swings of players with great rhythm, guys like Seve Ballesteros, Tom Purtzer, Larry Mize, and Nick Faldo. Then walk – don’t run – to the course and try to mimic them.