U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)


Keeping your tempo

May 27, 2008

1. Good tempo is as much mental as it is physical. You get fast because you're trying to stretch more out of the shot. Remind yourself that every club has a distance limit; when you need more distance, take a longer club. And don't think you have another gear for the driver. Use one speed for every full swing.

2. I see a lot of amateurs fighting to stay in balance at the finish, shuffling their feet and twisting their bodies around. This usually comes from swinging too hard. One tempo check I use is to rate my balance at the finish on a scale of 1 to 10. Try it: If you're averaging less than 7, your tempo is too quick.

3. When I lose my rhythm during a round, I'll step off to the side and make right-handed swings. With only one hand, you can't accelerate too quickly. You can't rush the club down from the top. Make some swings like this, and you'll see how it teaches you to build speed gradually.

Sorenstam writes instruction articles only for Golf Digest Publications and runs the Annika Academy at Ginn Reunion Resort near Orlando.