Better balance for a better golf swing
Better balance for a better golf swing
Good balance is essential when it comes to hitting solid shots. Yet, I see many amateurs struggle in this area as a result of trying to hit at the ball (instead of making the proper swing) or trying to hit it too hard. Having stability in your lower body through good balance encourages a more synchronized movement between the turning of the body and the swinging of the club, and the result is a more consistent strike.
Any kind of sway as a result of swinging too hard makes it difficult to repeatedly hit solid shots. To improve your balance, try making half swings with your right foot crossed over your left (above). This drill teaches you good balance while emphasizing the ideal blend of arm swing and body turn.
You can hit shots with a short iron off a tee from this stance as part of your warm-up. Once you return to your regular stance, you’ll be amazed how balanced and synchronized your swing feels.
At the foundation of every good golf swing is good balance. Maintain your balance and you can deliver the clubhead to the ball with both speed and accuracy. Lose your balance and your swing loses its tempo, or rhythm, and falls apart.
To find the correct balance, it’s essential to know where your weight should be during the swing. Following are three balance checkpoints during the swing, as well as drills to help you feel the correct balance and more solid shots.
If your weight falls on your toes, the clubhead will tend to start outside the target line. If your weight rests on your heels, the path will tend to be too inside. Neither path is conducive to generating much clubhead speed or consistent contact. To check your balance at address, simply jump straight up in the air (top left). If you’re in balance, you should land comfortably on both feet (top right) without falling forward or backward.
TOP OF SWING
At the top of the backswing, your balance point is over the middle of your right foot. If it is, you should be able to lift your left leg completely off the ground and hold the position to a count of three, without wavering.
Your finish helps dictate your swing. Finish in balance and it’s a good bet your entire swing was in balance. If you’re stumbling at the finish, chances are your rhythm and timing are off, and the shot less than satisfying.
Believe it or not, I’ve seen some great shots with the eyes closed. Why? Because when you’re unable to see the flight of the ball, it’s much easier to sense any disturbance in balance. You’ll know right away if you’re swinging the club too fast to control. When your vision is taken away, you begin to sense balance internally.
The thing I notice the most when I watch Rory McElroy play golf is his balance. This balance is the base for his control, power and consistent ball striking. If you want to gain more balance like Rory I can teach you how by watching TV with your eyes closed.
To do this we first have to understand balance. Your body’s balance comes from three areas; the eyes (visual), the inner ears (vestibular) and the proprioceptive system. For this article we are only going to deal with the Proprioceptive System and assume that you have no limitations in the Vision or Vestibular systems.
That sounds great but what the heck is Proprioception? It can be defined as the unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation arising from stimuli within the body itself. In simple terms it can described as your body’s ability to sense the position, location, orientation and movement of its parts. The golf swing is only 1.5 – 2 seconds long. This is too fast for anyone to think their way through the swing and maintain the correct kinematic sequencing. The only way to do this is to rely on your proprioception to control your movements once you pull the trigger to start your golf swing.
Now the good news is that proprioception and balance can be improved over time by doing the correct drills. People do not lose balance from age but from lack of balance rich activities and practice. Just remember that anyone at any age can improve their balance. So keeping that in mind I have one simple drill for you that I promise will improve your balance and increase your proprioception. When you are at home watching TV you must do this drill every time a commercial comes on and you will have two very amazing results. The first result is you won’t have to ever watch another TV commercial and the second is that you will gain balance and more control of your golf swing.
The drill is called the “single leg balance drill” and yes it is as simple as it sounds but not as easy as it sounds. Stand on your right leg with your arms hanging by your side then raise your left knee until it is at a 90 degree angle from your hip. Once you are in this position close your eyes and hold the position as long as you can then repeat on your other leg.
The average amateur golfer’s single leg balance time is approximately 10 seconds, while the average tour player (male and female) is roughly 26 seconds. This is a major difference between those players who are very efficient and effective in making that white object go to the desired location. So, Use this simple drill during TV commercials and I swear on Harvey’s “Little Red Book” that you will see improvement in all aspects of your game and start creating balance like Rory. I just hope you don’t mind missing all those brain melting commercials on TV.
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