Golf Tips: How to Start The Ball In the Right Direction—Balance First
Quick Golf Tip On Balance
When it comes down to it in golf, everything about the swing needs to go straight back to the basics. If you are hitting it all over the place or simply not hitting it the way you would like to, then take a step back and get back to the basics of the swing. Building a foundation is key to swing success.
One of the things I teach is the importance of GAPS—Grip, Alignment, Posture and Stance. But before you even get to that point you need to feel comfortable over the ball—that means feeling balanced. Think of it this way, if builders don’t pour the concrete and level it out while building your home, your home will tilt one way or the other—in other words, it will be unbalanced.
I try to take my player minds to other sports to see and feel what balance means. A quarterback in football must be in balance over center so when ball is snapped, he can move quickly and make the right move and decision without falling down all by himself. In tennis, the player awaiting the serve is totally in balance so he/she can react quickly to the serve. Basketball players guard each other in balance so to move quickly.
Now, I know what you are saying…but those sports are ‘reactive’ and golf is an individual sport. Ah yes, but imagine if you are out of balance swinging between 60-120mph? If you are out of balance, where do you think you will end up… on your posterior side looking up at the beautiful clouds.
How to Check Your Balance and Stay Balanced
Take your address position. Check
I find for some reason that many players tend to grind their toes into the ground almost through their shoes. I ask my players at address to wiggle their toes to be sure they are not too far forward. Check
I ask my players to emulate the position of a tennis player, basketball player or quarterback…sticking their posterior side out a bit more than they think. When we get nervous or out of balance we tend to ‘suck’ in our back side and end up almost standing straight up. So, just sticking ‘it’ out a bit will allow for better balance. Check
Make sure that your shoulders are right around the width of your shoulders. Everyone is made differently so width will vary with each player. I use the club in my hand and bring it up to my shoulders to measure the width from just inside my shoulders, mark it with my finger and bend down and put that between the heels of my stance (heels are more accurate measure since some of us ‘flare out’ our left or right foot a smidgeon). Check
Start with a weight distribution of 50% right and left foot to keep it all even. As you gain confidence in shot making, this will vary a bit, but for now let us keep it simple. Check
Now, if you have a golfing buddy nearby, have the go around you giving you a little push from the right shoulder, left shoulder, back and sternum. If you are in balance, there will be no falling out of your address position. If you are slightly out of balance, you will find yourself fighting to stay put. Check
Time to Swing
The above is just a quick tip on how I teach getting balanced. Certainly I can go into more detail, but this is simple and easy to get into the right balanced position to swing. You have poured your concrete and leveled it out, now give it a rip and enjoy the benefits of a balanced foundation.
‘keep smiling and always believe’