July 27, 2010

'Dear Tiger... I thought you'd like some good news': John Novosel, founder of Tour Tempo writes an open letter to Tiger Woods on Golf.com explaining that
virtually all tour golfers have the same tempo: a 3-to-1 elapsed-time ratio of backswing to forward swing, measured to impact. he uses frames of TV footage to measure each aspect: 'I clocked you at a perfect 21/7 in the second round, when you nearly aced the par-4 18th. I had you at 24/8 on several other shots, which is how you swung a decade ago when you were winning tournaments by Oosthuizen-like margins.' Bobby Jones was a languid 27/9, Ernie Els in his prime was a 24/8, and Jack Nicklaus was a brisk 21/7. No mention of Charles Berkley.

posted by JJ to golf at 10:51 AM - 8 comments

The whole article reads a bit like an infomercial, but interesting all the same.

posted by JJ at 10:52 AM on July 27

Great. Something else I have to remember to do during a golf swing.

posted by owlhouse at 11:25 AM on July 27

Strangely enough, this is the same tempo that I used to learn to cast a fly rod. 3 counts back cast, 1 count forward cast.

posted by trox at 11:44 AM on July 27

That is interesting. I have never heard of studying swing tempo. I wonder if that has anything to do with why--despite not being stronger than them--I always use less club to hit the same shot as people I play with.

posted by bender at 12:26 PM on July 27

trox - maybe it's some kind of "striking" golden ratio for anything involving pronation.

I played in a pro-am a while ago (as an amateur) where they took video of everyone on the same tee box and then when you came in, you could see your own swing side by side with anyone else's. Monty was playing, so lots of people chose his swing to put next to their own. Almost everyone who did saw the same thing: just as Monty reached the top of his backswing, they were striking the ball.

bender - quite possibly. Another alternative might be that (like me) you slide into the ball with your hips and hit the ball so late in the action that by the time the clubhead reaches the ball, you've de-lofted it and effectively turned your wedge into a 7-iron.

posted by JJ at 12:37 PM on July 27

Used to play with a guy years ago who would hum "Delta Dawn" very quietly as he swung. He swore it kept his tempo where it should be. We swore that it was the only song he knew.

posted by Howard_T at 06:08 PM on July 27

on the golf channel's "playing with the pros" I once heard Mark O'Meara advise that in his backswing he slowly says to himself, "Cin-dy" and then quickly in the foreswing, "Crawford."

I think my swing is more monosyllabic, a real fast "Shakira!" But hey, hips don't lie.

posted by mayerkyl at 09:44 PM on July 27

I've been playing a bit recently with a guy I met a few weeks ago who was introduced to me only as "Greeny". Several holes in, I discovered that his first name is Al, and ever since that discovery I can't play with him without earworming Let's Stay Together. The interesting bit is that I've started hitting the ball much better when I play with him than I do when I play with other people. It's clearly the song.

My girlfriend's old man whispers to himself as he swings. He imagines himself as a compere in Vegas. He gets over the ball:

"Ladies an gentlemen" *waggle* "Direct from the bar" *waggle* "Mister" *set* "Deeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaan" *backswing* "Martin!" *impact*

posted by JJ at 05:52 AM on July 28

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