How to Play Golf: Timing is Everything

They say that timing is everything in life. The same can be said for the golf swing. A golf swing that has good timing is one that will hit the ball straight more often than not, while a poorly timed swing will frequently be off line or make poor contact with the ball. Timing is not an easy thing to teach, and good timing is a little bit different for everyone. The key is that you understand what your own personal timing feels like, and that you can repeat it from swing to swing.

What is timing in golf?

Generally, timing refers to how your body and the club work together at the moment of impact. When your timing is good, everything comes together and the clubface is square, causing the ball to fly straight. When timing gets off, the moment of impact is thrown off, and you may hit the ball in a variety of bad directions. Good timing requires a connection between your torso and your arms so that one is not turning through the hitting zone before the other. When they come through together, your swing is in time and good results should be right around the corner.

How do you improve timing?

One popular drill to improve timing is to start out with slow, small swings and make them bigger and bigger until you are up to your full swing. Timing is easier to feel - and correct - in a smaller swing, so hitting some short wedge shots is a good place to start. When you feel like you are timing those little swings properly, you can go ahead and start to hit the ball farther and farther. If you think your timing is getting off, go back down to smaller swings until you recover it.

Watching on Video

If you are having trouble feeling good timing in your swing, try to take a video of yourself hitting some balls on the driving range and watch it back. If your camera has the capability, slow down the video so you can see how the club is working together with your body at impact. If your timing is off, you should notice that the club is either early or late as compared to the rest of your body. Once you identify the problem, you can go back out to the range and try to get it fixed.