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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Imitating Inbee Park's Tempo (Video)

Since I focused on Collin Morikawa's tempo over the weekend, let's continue with this important fundamental. LPGA instructor Katie Detlefsen has a quickie lesson on how Inbee Park maintains a consistent tempo from swing to swing.

Katie has picked out two aspects of Inbee's tempo that are easy to duplicate.

First, she doesn't freeze over the ball. She rocks back and forth in her stance, keeping her leg muscles relaxed and encouraging a feeling of agility over the ball. That gentle rocking motion, shifting her weight from one foot to the other in a way that feels comfortable to her, makes relaxation a more natural reaction to her shot.

And second, Inbee's swing starts slow and gradually speeds up until she smacks the ball. That 3-to-1 ratio between her backswing and downswing that Katie mentions is something that was discovered through video research nearly 20 years ago. The results were published in a book called Tour Tempo by John Novosel, and it was something of a revelation to instructors.

In case you don't know, Novosel was comparing videos of pro swings, looking for similarities, and that's when he discovered that 3-to-1 ratio. But here's the interesting part: It wasn't that the pros all had swings that took the same time, but merely that their backswings always took three times longer than the downswings. For example, Nancy Lopez's total swing took much longer than Nick Price's, yet each players backswing was three times as long as their downswing.

In simpler terms, if you count 1-2-3-4 as you swing and make each count the same length, your tempo will give you the best results if you need three counts to reach the top of your backswing and change direction and then actually hit the ball on the fourth count! That ratio creates speed at the proper place in your swing to hit the ball a long way while helping you retain your balance so you can hit the ball more accurately.

If you're interested in learning a bit more about that 3-to-1 ratio, just go to YouTube and search for 'tour tempo golf training'. John teaches the technique using audio rhythms (when I bought the book shortly after it was released, it came with a CD to use for practice) and you'll find a number of videos that introduce you to the rhythm.

Just don't forget to use Katie's first tip as well. It's much easier to swing in tempo when you're relaxed!

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