Golf swing tempo is an important component of a great golf swing. It's important to understand how fast or slow is optimal for swinging your club so that you can maximize both your distance and your accuracy.
Many golfers who come to me for lessons have golf swings that are way too fast. A lot of guys want to swing really hard because they want to hit it far and think swinging harder will equal longer golf shots.
To be a great golfer, it's important to balance distance and accuracy. If you're 10 or 20 yards longer off the tee but not in the fairway, you're probably not helping your scores because on average, you won't hit it as close to the hole from the rough or by being in the trees or even in a hazard.
The way we generate club head speed makes a big difference in distance. Golfers who swing too fast at the wrong times in the golf swing, end up losing power and distance because of it.
The best or optimal way to swing is for the club to gradually pick up speed in the golf swing so that it is traveling the fastest through the impact zone when you are hitting the golf ball. This is acceleration and is a very simple and important concept. Your golf club needs to be accelerating through the golf ball in order to maximize your distance.
If your club head is swinging fastest at the right point in the swing, it will also help your accuracy. The club will automatically tend to stay on a better path if a golfer swings with good tempo.
Start your backswing out slowly and smoothly with a nice pause as you transition from backswing to downswing at the top of your swing. A good pause is important because a quick transition will actually cause the club to slow down on the downswing and can lead to deceleration which is what we don't want to happen.
Golfers who make really fast and quick backswings will also tend to decelerate on the downswing and through impact. The momentum is lost by rushing the swing early and you cannot use the laws of physics properly to work in your favor if this happens.
That's why I explain to my students that the golf swing should be a gradual progression of speed so that the club is traveling the fastest through the hitting area at impact with the golf ball.
So, overall it's good to slow the golf swing down so it is more controlled but the club should be traveling the fastest at impact in proportion to the rest of the swing. That's why I don't just tell someone who is swinging too fast to slow their swing down, because that can sometimes cause a person to slow down at the wrong time and decelerate through the golf ball.
It's also helpful to swing slowly enough that you can feel or have a sense of where your club is at all times during the golf swing. If you are losing that feel, then you are probably swinging too fast. Keep things smooth and balanced and you'll hit it plenty far while gaining more control and keeping the ball in the fairway.