Helpful Tips

Understanding and Improving Putting Tempo

Male golf player

You may hear the term putting tempo thrown around from time to time and the fact that it can do wonders for your golf game, but you may not know much about it, how it works, or how to put it to use. Understanding and improving your putting tempo can and will have an impact on how well you play the game. So, here, I’ll explain what it is and how you can use it to your advantage in order to improve your performance and generally make you a better player.

What is Putting Tempo?

Basically, a putting tempo involves the total time your stroke takes from start to finish. Using putting tempo can help you maintain an even rhythm. There are many putting devices that are designed to help you develop a much smoother putting stroke using a back and forth rhythm. Each golfer will have their own tempo, however, most golfers tend to use a tempo that’s too quick. This is because a tempo that’s too fast can significantly interfere with the natural acceleration of gravity because it rushes the downstroke.

Based on your personal tempo, you should swing your putter back and forth using the same timing for all putts. The length of your putting stroke should remain the same each time. Basically, you need to create a stroke that’s pendulum-like, rhythmic, and smooth. The length of your backstroke should be equal to your follow-through length.

Finding the Right Tempo

In order to find the perfect tempo for your putts, you can purchase a number of different devices that are designed for this specific purpose. Each aid is designed to help you achieve a rhythmic, smooth putting stroke. These are pretty simple devices that work by clamping onto the shaft of your putter. Typically, it will have a small and large dimple on the flat base, where you’ll rest the ball. These models feature a couple of difficulty levels that are designed to help you master smooth putting action. Any type of unevenness in your swing will cause the ball to become dislodged.

When you’re swinging, the object will be to keep the shaft of the putter as straight as possible, with just a slight bend in the shaft when you change the direction between the back and forward stroke. Smooth strokes will provide a well-controlled putt and a straight shaft. A poor stroke provides a wayward putt and a snagged shaft.

Putting Drill


You need to use an even tempo if you want to improve the consistency of your putting. Try a basic putting drill to help you achieve the tempo you need. To do, you’ll put a coin on the head of the putter and swing the club back and down into impact. During this time, the coin must remain on the clubhead and should not fall off. This is only possible if you have a smooth stroke.

How the Right Tempo Can Improve Your Game

The tempo of your stroke is what will determine the distance that the ball will roll. Try using a credit card instead of a hole. When you take a shot, you’ll see the ball roll through the card and stop. You may notice that the ball stops at a variety of distances, never rolling to a stop in the same place. This is a clear indication that your putting is all over the place.

Your tempo and the length of your stroke are what control your putting speed. A good putter will use the same tempo for each and every putt. All you’ll really do is change up the stroke length. If you tend to vary both your tempo and your stroke length, then learning how to control the speed of your putt can be almost impossible.

Righting a Wrong

In order to adjust your tempo and perfect your putting skills, buy a metronome to help you keep the beat. You can even download a metronome app for your phone or purchase a training metronome from a golf club manufacturer. So how many beats should you shoot for? Most players find that eighty to ninety beats per minute are ideal. Of course, you should experiment to find one that will work for you. Once you have the right tempo, don’t change it. The key here is using a consistent tempo.

When you find a tempo that works for you, practice at that tempo every time. You can use the metronome and use the credit card drill to check your progress. After some time, you’ll find that you can reduce yips, miss-hits, and wobbles. The best way to begin is to start a stroke on the first beat, hit the ball on the second beat, then hold your finish for the third and fourth beats. Next, you’ll practice varying the length of your strokes, which will be much easier compared to changing your tempo each time.

There are many ways you can use a metronome to practice your tempo. Below you’ll find a few other examples of how to use your metronome during a practice session, for better results.

The basic timing of a putt involves backswing and downswing time. For the backswing, it should be two times the downswing to impact time. The metronome should be set to a timing method in which the beats occur in sync with putting stroke events such as takeaway, the top of the backswing, then impact and finish. With consistent practice and a trusty metronome, you’ll find your rhythm in no time.

Golf Tech to the Rescue

When improving their skills on the course, most players tend to focus only on their long game and many will often rely on the best golf range finder, like the TECTECTEC ULT-X to improve distance and shot accuracy, but most players fail to pay attention to the importance of their short game and simply don’t know much about short game basics or what tools they need to rely on to improve and become a well-rounded player. But do you really need a putting aid to help with a smoother transition and perfect your short game? In most cases, these devices will work just like a metronome, helping you to improve your timing and allowing you to make a smoother transition for a variety of shot lengths. But in the end, all you really need is a metronome to work on your short game. Many of these putting aid manufacturers claim that their devices will make you a better, more consistent putter, but in reality, you can easily get by with a metronome app. These devices don’t do anything special when it comes to improving your putting performance. ,

How Can You Find the Perfect Time?

When you’re trying to achieve the right tempo, it’s going to be all about your timing. But learning how to perfect your timing isn’t exactly easy. The pros are pros for a reason. Many are able to keep their timing variances down to a few hundredths of a second. Those new to golf tend to have a variance of tenths of a second, which can have a major negative impact on their putting quality. Your tempo must remain consistent every time you putt. Only with a consistent tempo can you expect to grow as a player. Practicing daily, with a metronome is the best way you can improve as a player. But don’t expect to have your putting tempo down after just a few practice sessions. This is going to take hard work, especially if you’re a new player. If a metronome doesn’t work for you, then purchase a putting tempo device. The goal here is to practice daily using proven drills that can ensure a smooth transition throughout your stroke, for a tempo that results in smooth action and shot consistency.

If you want to learn more about putting, I suggest checking out my article on some of the best putting secrets out there.

Keep Your Backswing in Check

Because of this, it’s crucial that you have a stroke that’s equal as you go back and as you go through. You don’t want to have a very long backswing. When you see players that are putting poorly, it’s because they’re missing the short putts, which is the number one issue most new players have. A backswing that’s too long can cause your swing to decelerate as you’re coming through.

If you’d like to learn more tips and tricks that can make you a better player and improve your performance on the course, click here to read my latest article on Understanding wedge gaping and loft.

Final Thoughts

Understanding and improving putting tempo is all about finding a tempo that’s right for you and using it consistently, for every putt. When you come back and through on your swing, you should concentrate and ensure that your grip pressure has not changed at all. You do not want to tighten or squeeze up on your grip. Instead, you need to stay relaxed the whole time. You’ll want your transitions to feel slow and smooth. Use a light grip pressure, to ensure a smoother relaxed transition. These tips will help you stay on your game and focus on your tempo using smooth, fluid motions that will result in shot consistency.