Originally Posted by Hey Joe
I have hit a bit of a brick wall in my swing. Playing for 9 mos now, shooting low 90's, but can't break through. I started lessons with a local pro and he was pretty much okay with my posture, swing plane, etc, but said my tempo was my biggest enemy. We spent some time on winding up my core and trying to just release the energy. Just swing easy.
Well, I was doing okay, but it felt unnatural and I had to think instead of do. This carried over to practice yesterday and I did not hit the ball well. I can't seem to slow down and get that sweet elusive tempo. I try and tell myself during the set up, have a little phrase in my head, but I am having a hell of a time. Nice controlled back swing, down swing like the devil!!!
I was a public school teacher for 38 years. In addition, I coached golf for more than a decade and taught private music lessons for more than 35 years, so I am familiar with the scenario that you describe above. My students excelled in their performances, and I feel that I had a successful career, not because of what I did, but because of the feedback that I received from my students.
I am guessing that your instructor's philosophy is pretty much the same as mine. I would evaluate my students' strengths and weaknesses, and then provide the drills and exercises that would elevate the weaknesses, so that they would become strengths. From reading your post, I gather that your instructor has determined that tempo is something that needs improvement for the overall benefit of your game.
First, let me say that everything you describe is pretty normal. Anytime a person is going through a swing change there is a natural downturn in your game, before things get better. Try not to get too discouraged.
Yes, the tempo is elusive at this point, but I feel that your development is geared toward your understanding of the problem, and then practicing the remedies which are necessary to make the correction. It seems as if you understand the problem, so I would suggest that you ask your instructor for various drills that might better help you reach your goal.
As for the opinion that your instructor might not be the one for you, only you can make that evaluation. The key question to ask yourself is, "Do I enjoy my lessons, and am I learning anything?" You will know if it is time to move on.
One final point about tempo. I will use the example of Byron Nelson. During his incredible 11 consecutive PGA victories, Lord Byron would listen to Strauss Waltzes. This was one of the keys to his tempo. So, as a young man, I, too, would listen to Strauss Waltzes and this would help me set my tempo. (The "Blue Danube" was my favorite.)
Now having taught for 40+ years and golfed for more than 50 years, I am the first to realize that each person has their own internal metronome. So, what I would recommend is to find some kind of music that allows you to find a nice, easy, relaxed swing. Then, put it on your iPod, so that you can play it as you hit balls at the range, or as you are driving to the golf course before playing a round of golf. Hopefully, this will help you find that elusive tempo.
Best wishes on achieving your goals.