Golf Tips: Balance points will improve consistency

By: Shawn Kelly
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When golfers talk about the golf swing, it is amazing how many different opinions and theories are discussed. Golfers tend to think way too much about their swings, which can inhibit their performance. It’s been called “paralysis by analysis” because one can not hit a ball consistently by thinking about how to hit it. Rather we must focus on the target or where we want it to go to be successful. This is done by focusing on your routine prior to executing a shot instead of how to move the club through the ball. We learn a new feel or athletic swing by doing drills in repetition, away from a ball, not while trying to hit balls. For me, I rarely go to the range to work on my swing; I go there to execute ball flight, or most times I’ll work on my short game and my pre-shot routine. If I want to work on my swing then I do it away from the ball, in front of mirrors or a T-square and I like to use training aids at home to get some feel. The thing I do work on diligently are my three balance points — start of the swing, top of the back swing and full finished position, or “swing to balance.” The following points describe my feel and what I do to ingrain these positions. The three balance points are: • Start of the swing – A balanced set-up position right before you pull the trigger. Weight should be equal on both feet and you feel athletic. Rock your weight back and forth to feel rhythm. And of course keep the grip light and soft in your hands • Top of the back swing – the sternum is turned over your back leg and your weight should transfer to the back leg and is balanced in the back foot. My weight actually feels as if it moves to my back heel. • Full finished position – you have uncoiled you torso so the sternum is now over your target leg, your weight has transferred to the front foot and you can hold your balance for a two count. My weight is in my target side heel. If your weight doesn’t reach your heel on the target side, get as close as you can consistently. This is the most important position of the swing and I like to call this position “swing to balance”. Practice these positions and you will get the feeling of an athletic swing. Then do as many repetitions as needed in order to be able to trust your swing, which will, in turn improve your consistency.