4 Timing Drills For Golf

timing drills for golf

In this exclusive instruction video, Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach Andrew reynolds offers four timing drills for golf to get your striking your shots perfectly once again

Timing Drills For Golf

It happens to us all. A few poorly struck shots and suddenly your timing is gone and you feel incapable to getting the club properly on the back of the ball. If you’re half way through your round, start making half length, half paced practice swings before each shot. Make a few but importantly, it needs to be a slow movement back and through. This works because you’ll start to feel the clubhead is during the swing. It will also naturally slow you down.

Rory McIlroy Practice Tips

Find your feel

Poor ball striking often stems from excess tension in your hands and arms. When you are nervous or trying to hit the ball too hard, your grip pressure can become too tight and you lose the mobility in your wrists and your feel of the club. Take a look at Ernie Els. There is not an ounce of tension in his body and yet, a better ball striker, you will not find. To rediscover your feel, try the first of my timing drills for golf by holding your fingers very lightly on the grip. As you set your hands on the club feel as if the forefinger and thumb of both hands are in control of the club – the rest are there purely for support. This will soften your grip and get the club moving with much more flow, releasing as it should through the ball.

Acceleration drill

When your timing goes wrong, it often stems from trying to hit the ball too hard. In my experience, the desire for extra distance causes players to over-rotate in the backswing. The knock-on effect is an early wrist extension in the downswing which restricts your power and often disrupts your timing. The simple way to stop yourself casting (releasing the club too early) is to make a slightly shorter backswing (two thirds the normal length) and then swing through to a full finish. This will help you accelerate the club through impact and find that crisp contact you are looking for. If you are catching your shots a little thin or fat, this is a great drill to use.

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Synchronisation check

There are occasions when, try as you might, you aren’t able to rectify the problem while out on the course. That’s fine – even the world’s best players have days when their timing is off. However, if you are serious about rectifying the issue, head to the range and hit a series of half wedge shots. The aim is to keep the club shaft out in front of you throughout the shot. At the address, top of backswing, impact and in the finish, the clubhead should be pointing directly away from your chest. Try to get this image in your mind as you swing and the synchronisation between your body and arms will improve.

Lower body release

If you are losing shots to the right, blocking drives, your lower body might be releasing too quickly. This is a fault that causes the clubhead to get left behind as your body turns through. In this instance, you need to slow down your lower body release. Hit some practice shots with a wider stance, as shown here. This will help your arms stay connected to the rotation of your body for much better strikes.

Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."

Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X