I checked out Tour Tempo by John Novosel from the community library a couple weeks ago and have been on a recent test drive. Authored in 2004, I was completely unaware of the Tour Tempo series but after reading, am adding this to my golf library.
Many instruction books and tips espouse a secret or magic move to better ball striking which can be attributed to one tour pro or another. Novosel’s “Last Secret Finally Revealed” is completely non-mechanical and is backed up by a solid investigative approach and detailed film analysis. His premise is that tour players are in “The Zone” much more often than amateur golfers and what’s consistent about Zone ball striking is rhythm. If you can duplicate a tour player’s rhythm, not his swing speed, you can dramatically improve your ball striking. Think about which tour player has the smoothest, slowest, and most effortless swing. Many would say Ernie Els. Novosel shows that Els’ swing is actually faster than Greg Norman’s, but the key to Els’ smooth appearance is timing. He compares and times swings of top pros from Sam Snead to Tiger Woods and finds that almost everyone has a 3:1 ratio of backswing to downswing. Yes, some pros swing faster than others, but the ratio is always the same. If amateurs can duplicate the ratio, their rhythm and balance will improve dramatically, even if their strength and fundamentals don’t approach tour standards.
The book comes with a CD containing video and audio tracks. The audio files provide three different swing speed mantras which you can listen to before hitting balls or warming up for play. You use the mantras to adjust your timing and get to the 3:1 ratio. For most, it will feel like you are moving incredibly faster than your normal swing, but the adjustment period is short. I tried it and needed to speed up my downswing a bit, but saw immediate positive results with my driver last weekend, and got a feeling of rhythm and balance I hadn’t felt in about 20 years (when I used to drive the ball much better.) Imagine my excitement! At the range today, I warmed up with Tour Tempo and was hitting it pure. I did not have as good a round as the previous week, but did hit some very good shots. The best part has been my non-reliance on swing keys or mechanics. For the last 36 holes, I’ve played with one swing thought; the Tour Tempo mantra, and love the simplicity of the approach.
There are tips and WOOD band-aids that we golfers play with all the time, and true to form, they usually only do Work Only One Day. But when you are on to something fundamentally correct that is consistent from day-to-day, round-to-round, and practice session-to-practice session, you need to grab hold of it and go. Tour Tempo feels like that fundamental change. It’s simple, easy, and it works first time out of the box, and since you are making no mechanical changes, is very low risk. I highly recommend you give it a try and let me know how it works for you!