Welcome to PlaySmart. Game improvement columns and podcasts from editor Luke Kerr-Dineen to help you play smarter and better golf.
Ask any golf fan whose tempo they want and one name will come up quite a lot. It’s Corey Connors. The 30-year-old Canadian golfer is one of the best ball-hit strikers on the tour, and he says the key to everything is good rhythm.
“That’s what I’ve always focused on since I was a kid,” Connors said. “My father really helped instill that in me: have a good tempo and hit the ball in the middle of the clubface. gives you the best chance of hitting a good shot.”
Connors said he practices literally counting in his head during the backswing and downswing. He counted his second on the backswing, then swung and counted another second.
“I hit so many shots that way,” Connors said.
Tempo took precedence over technique in his junior years, but he also found that one helped solve the other. The smoother Conor’s tempo, the better his swing.
“When I play with amateurs, I think they notice my swing, but I remind them too,” he says. A lot of amateurs say when they hit a bad shot, they go faster, and the club doesn’t get a chance to set before it starts down.”
Now, thanks to PING’s ENSO system, we can admire Connors’ tempo in a whole new light.
We’ve written about ENSO before, but simply put, it’s a high-tech program designed by PING that measures advanced elements of a player’s golf swing. Ping has helped us better understand how the technology is reacting, and improved our ability to adapt it to the player.
You can listen to the full 11-minute Play Smart episode below, subscribe to Apple’s Play Smart podcast here, or Spotify here.
Connors tempo key
Last week, the company shared some interesting nuggets about Corey Conners’ swing.
His backswing is almost exactly one second long. 0.937 to be exact.
His backswing ratio is 3.5 to 1. in short, His backswing is more than three times slower than his downswing.
The club almost comes to a complete stop at the top of the backswing. A more pronounced backswing pause, as biomechanist Sasho Mackenzie explains herewhich is really useful for some golfers.
These are all things you can emulate in your own swing. But Conners says the best tempo is the one that feels natural to you. So try different speeds and practice what feels comfortable, he says.
“A good tempo doesn’t necessarily have to be slow,” he says. “It could be faster, but it should be smooth.”
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