Good tempo in the golf swing is extremely important. The first few feet of your take-away should be the slowest part of your swing.
Initially, many golfers quickly jerk the club back, resulting in poor tempo through the backswing and ultimately back to the ball. To give yourself an idea as to proper pace for a good take-away, set up to a golf ball with a long iron (preferably 6-4 iron). Then place another golf ball directly behind the club head. Take your normal backswing and notice how far back that second ball rolls. It should only roll a few feet. If the ball catches air or catapults back more than a mere few feet, you have started your backswing too quickly.
Once you have ingrained a slow, smooth start to your backswing you will see the benefits throughout the rest of the swing, most importantly at impact.