Better balance for better golf

Having good balance will help you perform in many sports, with most great athletes having this in abundance.

Some from the past like George Best and Muhammad Ali had fantastic balance and one modern golfer comes to mind in particular, Luke Donald.

Get a chance to watch how Luke Donald sets up to play golf and you’ll notice that he has a text book posture whilst standing naturally and also when addressing the ball to play golf shots.

I’m going to give you six key areas’ to check out and then you can address any weaknesses or non-textbook positions within your golfing set-up.

1 - Check out your normal standing posture. Compare your body positions to that of postural assessment forms you may find at a Physiotherapists and see if your posture doesn’t match up, ie. forward head carriage, forward shoulders or hips that are tucked under, making it near impossible to get a fluid swing motion and a lack of good swing rotation.

2 - Poor posture or balance in the set-up, with the bodyweight favouring either the heels or the balls of the feet too much. This will immediately throw the golf swing out of balance once the club is taken back with any amount of speed. So make sure the weight is balanced evenly over the whole foot to help you maintain balance.

3 - Bio Mechanical limitations that are affecting natural rotation in the body, ie. lack of spinal, shoulder or hip rotation, will then cause you to over compensate with other muscles or lose the integrity of your swing in order to make a ‘full turn’. Again throwing you out of balance. So a good idea to get a flexibility screening for golf.

4 - Misunderstanding or misconception of the swing, ie. when the club gets way too far inside on the backswing, this leads to an excessive movement out and across the ball in order to recover your balance, resulting in a straight shot left or one that starts left and slices back right of target. So get some quality lessons, perhaps on video camera and own and fully understand ‘your swing’.

5 - Hitting too early from the top of your swing with the hands and breaking down the natural kinetic chain motion that all good swings have. So really work hard on the transition from backswing to forward swing. Remember, never try to swing faster than you can shift the weight in your swing from back foot to front foot. Hit the ball from the ground up!

6 - Trying to keep your head down! The worst lesson you’ll ever listen to. Trying to keep the head down as you swing through the ball will cause a restriction and a loss of power in the forward swing. So remember, let your eyes track the ball flight to a full relaxed finish and you’ll hit the ball longer and more accurately.

In summary:

HAVE YOUR POSTURE CHECKED OUT

CHECK BALANCE THROUGH THE FEET AT SET-UP

HAVE YOUR MOBILITY/FLEXIBILITY SCREENED FOR GOLF

FULLY UNDERSTAND YOUR SWING AND PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS

WORK ON BETTER KINETIC MOVEMENT FROM THE GROUND UP

DON’T KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN! RELEASE THE EYES AND TRACK THE BALL FLIGHT IMMEDIATELY

Michael Langford

Golf Performance Ireland

Roe Park Resort

admin@golfperformanceireland.co.uk

07732680065