There's so much minutia in hitting a single golf shot, it shouldn't be a surprise that your timing is only one thing on the long list of stuff you have to get right in order to hit a good shot. Not only do you have to aim properly, setup and address the ball, make a sufficiently wide but not too steep a backswing with good shoulder and hip turn, but you also have to swing the club 100+ miles per hour and catch the ball square at the perfect angle. Wow, now that's minutia.
Without getting into the mechanics of the swing, let's talk about what needs to happen from start to finish. In the golf swing, you first accelerate the club away from the ball and decelerate it at the top of the swing. I didn't say stop at the top. You then accelerate it again, down and through the ball, then decelerate it at the finish. The more fluid the swing is during the transitions periods, the better you will play.
I think one thing that will help you stay fluid, therefore improving your timing is understanding your natural pace or tempo of your swing. This is a gray area, as in most of golf. So, knowing yourself will greatly help. If you're a very deliberate person in general, your swing pace is probably on the slower side. If you're a more hyper or quick to act person, then you probably swing much faster. Knowing the type of person you are will help you determine the pace of your swing, therefore improving your timing. The important thing is not to fight it, embrace it. Fighting it will be a losing battle, especially when under pressure.
Having said all that, whatever pace or tempo you have, try to maintain your back swing pace during the transition from backswing to down swing. This will allow you enough time to get the club moving on the right path down and through. The club will automatically speed up through impact, you don't have to rush it. Also, your grip pressure will play a big roll in this timing bit. Your grip should be firm, but not tight. If you can maintain that pressure throughout the swing, the better your timing will be. The last thing you want to do is grab tight at the top of the swing. If you're going to err on grip pressure, err on the light side.
Mulligan's Corner: River Bend Golf Club in Ormond Beach has a great deal for new members. Memberships are only $282. Plus, for a limited time the initiation fee is waived. Check it out by calling (386) 673-6000, Ext. 10 for more information.
Sal Martignetti is an independent golf coach and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (603) 986-3376. His free e-book is available at elusivegolfswing.weebly.com.