Keeping the Rhythm

Four-time European Tour champion Raphael Jacquelin explains why rhythm is such a crucial ingredient for good golf, on both full shots and putts ... 

Jacquelin's last win came at the 2013 Open de Espana

Rhythm is King

Rhythm is a massive key for me because my swing relies on it. When my rhythm isn’t perfect, that’s when I struggle, especially with contact. Swinging a club is like throwing a stone - you need to have both rhythm and connection to help you send it a long way. When people see me playing on TV they think it looks effortless, and that’s what I see when I watch myself, too. There is an effort - it’s not that easy for me! But it looks like I’m doing nothing because my rhythm is pretty good and in connection with my body action. I feel like I can then hit the ball with good speed at the last minute.

Losing That Connection

Sometimes I hit from the top, which is when I struggle. I play my best when I just wait for the club to come down - that’s my rhythm really. At the top of the swing I just wait to bring the club down first, instead of moving the body too quickly. Then I can put the rhythm, connection, body and club all together and swing through.

The ‘Back-Hit’ Drill

Sometimes I count, and sometimes I say “back” when I take the club back and “hit” when I hit the ball. The ‘back-hit’ drill helps with my rhythm, but ‘one-two’ is the same thing. We’re all working on the same thing out here, so there’s no secret unfortunately! But I feel my rhythm has been there since I started to play golf.

Don’t Rush It

When the rhythm is not there and I’m not feeling it, it’s normally because I start my backswing too quickly. So you need to just take your time to make your backswing, and turn. It’s as simple as that – take your time. Sometimes you’ll see amateurs not even finish their backswings before they want to hit the ball, and it’s the same for us. You can’t really see that on TV, but I can definitely feel it when my backswing is too fast.


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