A simple swing thought to improve your tempo and hit more greens

Jennifer Kupcho tees off at the 2020 KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Aronimink Golf Club on Oct. 10, 2020, in Newtown Square, Pa.

Jennifer Kupcho tees off at the 2020 KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Aronimink Golf Club on Oct. 10, 2020, in Newtown Square, Pa.

PGA of America/Getty Images

When your game goes sideways, there could be countless reasons for it. But the solution might be a simple one, especially if you are confident in your mechanics: remember to be conscious of your tempo.

But what, exactly, does that mean? Here’s a swing thought LPGA pro Jennifer Kupcho goes back to when she needs to get her game back on track. Kupcho, you might remember, won the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur last year, was the 2018 NCAA individual champion and former No. 1-ranked amateur. Now she’s the 23rd-ranked women’s player in the world and one of the LPGA’s top ball-strikers. Need proof? Then refresh your memory with this shot from the final round of the ANWA:

Kupcho, 23, ranks 9th on the LPGA in driving distance (268 yards) while hitting 74 percent of her fairways. She’s also 12th on Tour in greens in regulation (72.6 percent). But whenever she feels like her ball-striking is off, she simply starts counting. It’s all to fix her tempo.

“I always get really fast when I’m not hitting it well, so I count when I swing,” Kupcho says. “My backswing I count ‘one, two, three,’ and then at three I start my downswing.”

Kupcho says she does this a handful of times every round or whenever she feels like she’s not hitting it how she wants. She likes this drill because it checks several boxes.

“My coach (Ed Oldham) and I have always worked on tempo and mental game and it does both of those,” Kupcho says. “It works because I’m distracted on counting so I don’t even think about swinging. It works because my body already knows how to swing, so by taking my mind off of it, my swing is really just what I have been working on for all these hours.”

It works for the first-ever ANWA champ. Maybe it will for you, too.

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Golf.com Editor

Berhow is the managing editor at GOLF.com, the site’s primary homepage editor and the edit team’s on-site lead during major-tournament weeks. He plans the site’s daily coverage, marquee story placement and long-term content rollout for magazine pieces and special projects. He writes for both the website and magazine, edits and assigns stories. Berhow also contributes to podcasts and appears on camera for a variety of digital programming. The Minnesota native attended Minnesota State in Mankato.