Get your balance right

Published 29/03/2009 18:17:57

Because it lies at the heart of a clean, powerful ball striking, balance is a critical aspect of a successful swing. Developing a feel for how fast you can swing without losing control will make you a far more potent competitor. The following drills and tips are designed to improve your poise throughout the swing.


Watch it fly


If you have made a smooth swing you should be able to hold your finish position until the ball lands.

However, if you are unable to retain this stance for more than a couple of seconds, your unbalanced movement means that a clean strike is purely a matter of chance. Holding your finish position is an effective swing thought that should trigger a perfectly controlled movement when you are on the course. If you find this impossible to do, make a series of practice swings, gradually reducing the pace of your swing until you can hold your finish position for around ten seconds.


Feet together drill


A classic drill that highlights just how balanced you are is to hit some shots with your feet together. Having a narrow stance stabilises you, and if you are unbalanced at any stage during the swing you will be forced to take a step to steady yourself. If this is the case, simply slow the pace of the swing until you feel confident that you are in control.


Bare feet drill


An excellent drill popularised by the great American golfer Sam Snead is to hit practice shots without wearing any shoes or socks. As the soles of your feet are in direct contact with the grass, you get a far better feel for how your weight moves during the swing.


At address, place your weight on the balls of your feet, then as you take the club back, move it on to your right foot. Through the downswing, drive your weight onto your left side. This drill exposes those weight shifts and will highlight your own sense of balance.


Athletic swing


Maintaining yoiur balance is crucial but you still need to turn your body and shift your weight athletically during the swing. If you are wanting to improve your poise make sure that it does not come at the cost of athleticism. If you suddenly become flat-footed, you may end up doing more harm than good to your technique.


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