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PGA Teach­ing Pro­fes­sional Clin­ton Rus­sell ex­plains the im­por­tance of keep­ing the same tempo for ev­ery club.

WATCH a golfer hit a pitch­ing wedge, and then a driver, and you will no­tice how the player ramps up the swing speed with the longer club.

Of course, the driver club­head moves faster be­cause it’s longer, which is due to the prin­ci­ples of physics, not be­cause the golfer is ac­tu­ally swing­ing the club with a faster tempo.

Tempo is the to­tal amount of time it takes to cre­ate your golf swing from be­gin­ning to end. Some play­ers have a rel­a­tively fast tempo, no mat­ter what club they have in their hand. Oth­ers nat­u­rally have a slower swing tempo.

Ei­ther way is fine, as long as you keep the same tempo for ev­ery club in the bag, whether it’s a 7-iron (pic 1), a wedge or a driver (pics 2 & 3). Golfers get into trou­ble when they ei­ther slow down or speed up their nat­u­ral tempo.

When your tempo starts vary­ing from club to club, the tim­ing re­quired to hit con­sis­tent golf shots is lost. That’s one rea­son why you feel you can hit your irons well one day, but not the driver, and vice versa. For ev­ery club in the bag, the tempo should be the same.

It should take the same amount of time to make a swing with your pitch­ing wedge as it does for the 7-iron and the driver, for ex­am­ple. What’s dif­fer­ent is the speed of the club­head. Be­cause the driver is longer than a wedge, the club­head moves faster through­out the swing, but if it takes two sec­onds to swing a wedge, it should take the same two sec­onds to swing the driver.

Cer­ti­fied PGA Pro­fes­sional CLIN­TON RUS­SELL is a Sydney-based teach­ing pro. You can book a les­son, in­clud­ing a play­ing les­son, with Clin­ton via his web­site www.clint­

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